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Southern Africa

Rating cut looms as Moody’s flags risks

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SA HAS been put on notice for a downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service, and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and other government leaders will next week have to convince the agency otherwise with concrete plans to avert such a step. Until recently Moody’s had been the most upbeat among rating agencies about SA, but said yesterday it would downgrade if it ...

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Zimbabwe signals shift in compensation plan for seized farms

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Zimbabwe plans to start compensating mainly white farmers who lost their land and livelihoods during state-backed farm invasions that began in 2000 and triggered a near decade-long recession, the Finance Ministry said in a circular distributed to lawmakers. Farmers may be compensated for “both land and improvements,” as well as equipment acquired by the state during the often violent seizure ...

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Old Mutual shares surge on break-up and bid talk

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Anglo-South African financial services company Old Mutual said on Monday it was considering all options in a strategic review, with speculation of a break-up and takeover bids for its assets sending its shares soaring. Sky News reported on Saturday the 9 billion pound ($12.8 billion) company was working on a plan to split itself up and that this could trigger ...

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SA’s Standard Bank posts 27% profit rise

SA's Standard Bank posts 27% profit rise

South Africa’s Standard Bank reported a 27 percent rise in full-year profit on Thursday after offloading loss-making operations outside Africa. Standard Bank said headline earnings per share (EPS) totalled 1,359 cents for the period to end-December, from 1,070 cents the previous year. Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa and excludes certain one-off items. The results were ...

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SA’s Clover halts invest in Nigeria

S Africa's Clover says it will no longer invest in Nigeria

South Africa’s Clover Industries will no longer invest in Nigeria due to a financial crisis there, the dairy products company said on Wednesday. “The current financial crisis experienced in Nigeria which is fuelled by the low oil price is a further cause of concern, thus the group has decided to withdraw from future investments in Nigeria,” Clover said in a ...

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Vodacom S.A and Neotel end deal talks

Vodacom S.A and Neotel end deal talks

Vodacom announced that its proposed acquisition for a majority stake in Neotel’s fixed line business assets has been terminated “due to regulatory complexities”. The voluntary statement reads that certain conditions were not being fulfilled “accordingly, the parties have agreed that the proposed restructured transaction can no longer be progressed”, it said. Vodacom and Neotel appeared before the Competition Tribunal in ...

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South Africa regulator allows Eskom to raise tariffs by 9.4 pct in 2016/17

South Africa regulator allows Eskom to raise tariffs by 9.4 pct in 2016/17

South Africa’s Energy Regulator said on Tuesday it had allowed state-owned power firm Eskom to raise tariffs by 9.4 percent in the 2016/17, less than what had been requested by the cash-strapped utility. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced that it would not grant Eskom the 22.8 billion rand difference it requested for the costs incurred in ...

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Barclays exit of Africa to do with regulations – Bob Diamond

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Barclays’ re-evaluation of its African strategy, and possible scaling back of its operations, has more to do with regulation in the UK than it has to do with its vision for Africa, according to Bob Diamond, former Barclays boss and co-founder of Atlas Mara. “Barclays is in a difficult position. This has absolutely nothing to do with their vision of ...

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SA’s January trade balance swings to deficit

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SA’s trade balance swung from a surplus in December to a steep deficit in January, with the rand bucking the trend and closing stronger at the release of the data. While the large R17.9 billion trade deficit in January — in contrast to December’s surplus of R7.6 billion — would have been expected to cause rand weakness, markets seemed to ...

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SA’s rand firms on risk appetite but gains seen limited

SA’s rand firms on risk appetite but gains seen limited

South Africa’s rand strengthened against the U.S. dollar in early trade on Monday on renewed appetite for riskier assets as Chinese investors returned to markets after the Lunar New Year holiday. At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 15.7900 versus the dollar, 0.54 percent firmer from Friday’s New York at 15.8750. “This morning initial indications are that the markets are ...

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