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Occidental to sell Anadarko Africa assets for $8.8 billion

Occidental Petroleum has agreed to sell Anadarko Petroleum assets in four African nations to Total SA for $8.8bn (about R127bn at current exchange rates), contingent on the Houston-based oil producer’s long-running effort to buy Anadarko. The assets that would be sold are in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa, Occidental said in a statement Sunday. They would represent about 6% ... Read More »

SA budget deficit seen wider than Treasury forecasts

South Africa’s budget deficit for the most recent fiscal year could be worse than the government had forecast. The total shortfall for the year that ended on March 31 was R232.9bn, the Pretoria-based National Treasury said on Tuesday in its monthly budget update. That exceeds the government’s February projections of a R224.5bngap for the main budget and R210.2bn for the ... Read More »

What to Look for in a Profitable South African Franchise Business Opportunity

Franchising gives ambitious aspirant entrepreneurs and international investors an opportunity to invest in their own business with the guidance and support of a successful business enterprise. South African soil is ripe for franchisees, according to the Franchise Association of South Africa’s chairman, Tony da Fonseca. “The sector already contributes 13,3% to the country’s GDP, generating an estimated R721 billion through ... Read More »

‘Training is key to building SA’s black farming community’

Johannesburg – Access to finance, training and entrepreneurship is critical to building South Africa’s black farming community, agricultural services company AFGRI’s subsidiary Lemang Agricultural Services has said. Lemang was specifically created to train, develop and mentor new era farmers and focuses on developing black farmers towards becoming full-scale commercial producers through financial assistance. “With food security becoming an increasing concern ... Read More »

Rand trades stronger despite business sentiment slump

The South African currency continued to strengthen during the European session on Wednesday, dropping just below the R14/$ threshold according to NKC Research. This is despite the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry reporting that business sentiment slumped to the lowest level in seven months in March. However, the local unit was buoyed by a further easing in US-China ... Read More »

‘Air Cocaine’ pilots sentenced to six years in drug smuggling trial

Two former air force pilots have been sentenced to six years in prison by a French court after 26 suitcases stashed with cocaine were found on board their plane in the Dominican Republic. The Frenchmen, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, fled the country following the raid and were rearrested in France. A further five people have also been handed sentences ... Read More »

SA bonds back in favour after re-weighting, Moody’s

Partly driving demand was a re-weighting of the JPMorgan Government Bond Emerging Markets index on Friday, with South African debt assigned a higher weighting, according to Michelle Wohlberg, a trader at FirstRand Bank in Johannesburg. Also Friday, the country retained its investment-grade rating as Moody’s Investors Service deferred a review, further supporting appetite at a time when a risk-on mood ... Read More »

SA banks can hold out against a downgrade

South Africa’s banking system is robust enough to withstand a credit ratings downgrade, South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor Lesetja Kganyago stressed on Thursday, as the country awaits a pending ratings review from agency Moody’s. Kganyago was speaking at a press briefing following the latest meeting of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, which decided to keep the bank’s repo ... Read More »

SA faces hefty $124bn energy ‘transition risk’

South Africa faces a “transition risk” of $124 billion between now and 2035 if it carries on with business as usual while the rest of the world cuts greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. More than half of this would be borne by the government. This is one of the findings in a major report by the ... Read More »

African Bank is being beaten back into shape with digital plan

African Bank Holdings Ltd. is joining the rush into digital banking to fail-proof the business and provide an exit for shareholders that resurrected the South African lender from its collapsed former parent. The firm’s unusual owners, which includes the SA Reserve Bank and six of the nation’s largest lenders, stepped in to save it with an equity injection when African ... Read More »

45% of South Africans are ready to go cashless

CAPE TOWN – A recent study suggests cash costs South Africans around R23-billion annually. In a world where the trend is increasingly to go cashless, with countries like India already having fully cashless villages, how does South Africa fair? A Twitter poll found that 35 percent of South Africans could picture themselves transacting purely digitally, while a further 10 percent ... Read More »

These are the best earning professions in South Africa

Adzuna, an online job aggregator, recently published its 2019 salary report which explores the average salaries offered across South Africa’s top industries – analysing more than 100,000 online job listings. According to the report, salaries only increased by a mere 7% year-on-year from 2018, which is in line with the predicted wages for 2019 by the American company PayScale. Although ... Read More »

South African Business Confidence Falls to Almost Two-Year Low

South African business confidence fell to the lowest level in almost two years in the first quarter, with more than two thirds of respondents dissatisfied with current conditions. A gauge measuring sentiment declined to 28 in the first quarter from 31 in the final three months of 2018, FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank unit and the University of Stellenbosch’s Bureau ... Read More »

Eskom pays R13 billion in yet another dodgy contract: report

In the same week that energy regulator Nersa granted Eskom a hefty tariff hike, the power utility reportedly paid R12 billion for flawed designs at one of its power stations – with an additional R1 billion paid to the same firm for repairs. The City Press reported that a confidential tender report for Eskom showed that the power utility gave ... Read More »

South African business confidence declines to five-month low

South African business confidence fell to a five-month low in February. The index dropped to 93.4 in February to from 95.1 in the previous month, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in an emailed statement. While sentiment jumped to a two-year high in early 2018 after President Cyril Ramaphosa won the leadership of the ruling African National ... Read More »

6 big stories for South African investors to watch

There are many concerns swirling around South African investors at the moment, making it a particularly tricky time to establish a level of strategy conviction, says Nico Els, a fund manager at Ashburton Investments. Major geopolitical events could have any number of outcomes and in South Africa (SA), pervasive uncertainty seems to be the watchword as we inch towards elections ... Read More »

A first-timer’s guide to investing offshore – tax-free

Let me start by saying I’m not negative about South Africa’s long-term prospects and I would never encourage disinvestment in this country – quite the opposite. What I do always encourage, though, is portfolio diversification – that old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” adage. The South African stocks market is quite undiversified compared to others – if ... Read More »

Mboweni likely realised a tax ceiling has been reached in SA

Compared to significant tax increases in the last four years’ Budgets, the latest delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday appears to show an acceptance that taxation levels in SA have reached a ceiling, says Melanie Milleskie, tax expert at Deloitte Africa. Milleskie believes Budget 2019 was about hard facts and figures, sending a clear message that the economic ... Read More »

‘Ivory Queen’ sentenced to 15 years in jail for running African smuggling ring

A Chinese national responsible for running a huge ivory smuggling ring is sentenced to 15 years behind bars in Tanzania. We tell you more about the “Ivory Queen”. Also, Burkina Faso faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with around 100,000 people who have been displaced in the country. And in South Africa, a tiny seafood restaurant has been named the best ... Read More »

The Zuma years cost SA R470bn, laments economist Dennis Dykes

The Zuma years cost SA’s economy R470bn, according to Nedbank chief economist Dennis Dykes said in Business Day on Tuesday. “We have calculated that SA lost around R470bn of GDP stemming from the corruption, maladministration and misguided policies of the second Zuma administration starting in 2014,” Dykes said. There was an estimated loss in tax revenue of R140bn, which would ... Read More »