The latest bout of trouble in South Africa’s mining industry entered its second week on Monday with the country’s gold stocks index hitting an almost 12-year low and the rand down at levels last seen four years ago. Continue reading »
Alongside the riches, Ghana’s oil boom has also ushered in a string of woes, including huge infrastructure needs and the stubborn problem of rampant public expenditure. So, at a time when investors are displaying appetite for sub-Saharan African bonds, it’s little surprise then that the country is planning to issue a Eurobond worth up to $1bn. Continue reading »
South African mining firms are in a delicate position. Squeezed by falling commodity prices, production problems and labour unrest, they are trying to push on with plans to cut costs while treading carefully to keep workers onside.
On Friday, top global platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced its decision to slash 6,000 jobs, a far cry from the 14,000 originally planned – but the main union AMCU rejected the announcement, and Amplats may find itself dragged back to the drawing board. Continue reading »
Botswana may be the world’s top diamond producer, but it is keen to diversify its exports away from precious stones. The country has been steadily mapping out a plan to develop what it says are its huge coal resources.
The benefit would be clear: in addition to boosting domestic energy supplies, a coal industry would be able to export to countries such as China and India in the future. The question is, just what is the size of its reserves? Continue reading »
It may be having a rough time at home, but South African Airways still has friends overseas – and the latest is Etihad Airways. The airlines announced a strategic partnership on Monday, including a route-sharing partnership on flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond.
SAA and Etihad will also look at joint procurement and maintenance opportunities, according to the statement. In return, Etihad gets access to 10 cities in South Africa and other parts of Africa. Continue reading »
Strong regulation and transparency in the local financial market is ramping up investor confidence in South Africa’s Collective Investment Schemes or unit trusts, an industry body says, after the sector attracted net inflows of R47bn ($5.2bn) in the first quarter of 2013 – the second biggest quarterly net inflows ever. Continue reading »
Investors appear to be getting pretty jittery about placing their money in projects in Zimbabwe, as official foreign direct investment figures from a government agency indicate.
After the country’s recent economic turnaround (post-dollarisation), investors are being turned off by the uncertain political climate, and the small matter of not knowing if they will be stripped of half a business. Continue reading »
A weaker rand may add to the cost of imports in South Africa, but there are positive effects. The depreciation that has seen the rand fall 6.47 per cent year to date is helping exports and, if could even help ease the country’s balance of trade headache.
Trade data due on Tuesday may show that Chinese imports from the country have shot up in March, according to one analyst, which could underpin an improvement in South Africa’s trade balance. It’s not the consensus view, but it’s worth taking note. Continue reading »
When one of the biggest energy companies in the world says it will invest half a billion dollars, that’s nothing to sniff at. British oil giant BP announced on Wednesday it will invest R5bn ($550m) in South Africa.
It might not be the biggest deal, but it’s a thumbs up after the hard time the country has had attracting foreign investment. The funding will be ploughed into its refinery, terminal and retail network assets over five years. Continue reading »
Private equity in Africa is on the up – so it was only a matter of time before investors started looking at the more extreme end of the market: distressed assets. Funds in South Africa are showing a keen interest in what is a new area, buoyed by a new law that helps to rescue ailing companies from the brink of collapse.
But are South African dealmakers fully equipped to handle what is considered to be a highly risky asset class? Continue reading »
South African corporate bond issues are still on the up after a record 2012.
Recent figures from Absa Capital, a subsidiary of Barclay’s, show the rise continuing into 2013. If issuance so far is any indication of what’s to come in the rest of the year, an increase of more than 50 per cent looks possible. Continue reading »
A growing desire for a decent burial among the less well-off in Africa is changing the map of things as far as insurance goes. With vast parts of the continent still uninsured, could the business of burials be one of the keys to opening up the insurance industry?
Funeral insurance policies are set to lead a rise in demand in Africa as the continent gears for a boom in the global insurance market, research shows. Continue reading »
South Africa is already known for being a one of the best-regulated financial markets – ranked first in the world by the World Economic Forum, no less. Now the country’s desire to keep in line with international market standards has prompted the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to strengthen its exchange traded derivatives market with a new default fund to protect investors.
The fund, announced on March 14, is aimed at protecting investors in the event of a clearing member defaulting – a necessity for clearing houses following the 2008 financial crisis. The question is – in the event it is needed, who ultimately pays? Continue reading »
1time it flew
South Africa’s domestic air travel should be one of Africa’s most lucrative aviation patches. But with a history of failures, increasing consumer caution, and court action challenging the state’s aviation funding, new budget players eyeing the market may be in for a turbulent time.
The sector, with 12.7m trips in the last 12 months, is being hurt by high fuel costs and airport taxes. It also has had a fair amount of corporate failures. Over the last two decades, 10 of the 11 independent airlines have collapsed. Can the newcomers make a go of it? Continue reading »
At between 4-5 litres a year, Ethiopia’s beer per capita consumption is one of the lowest in the region. Yet its market has doubled over the last five years thanks to its growing population, urbanisation and rising incomes. All this is proving to be an irresistible draw for global brewers – with Heineken the latest to announce plans to build a new $156m brewery in the country. Continue reading »