Market News

Market News (INET BFA)

Gigaba could target PIC's Telkom stake for massive SAA bailout - Matthew le Cordeur

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA has revealed the need to sell state assets in a bid to inject nearly R16bn into SAA so it can repay loans. Following Treasury's R2.207bn bailout of SAA in June, GIGABA had to inform Parliament where the money would come from. This happened yesterday when he wrote to Speaker BALEKA MBETE. In his letter, GIGABA revealed that SAA has to pay lenders R15.963bn this year. The R2.207bn bailout was a part of this total amount, which was given to the airline to settle its debt with STANDARD CHARTERED. That leaves a further R13.755bn that must still be paid, with cash SAA does not have. This is because SAA has already used R18.624bn of its R19.144bn government guarantee allocation. This means the government has to find the cash elsewhere for the carrier is bleeding R370m of losses a month. GIGABA said the government is identifying assets for disposal to offset the expenditure incurred and render the operation neutral in respect of the current year's budget balance. Details of this asset disposal will be made in his mini budget in Oct. Those assets could likely come from the R14bn stake the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION has in TELKOM, DA MP ALF LEES said today. "A fire sale of these TELKOM shares would likely result in a significant discount and thus on their own will not meet the full cost of recapitalising SAA", LEES said. "Thus other assets will have to be sold, even if the asset sales are spread out in order to minimise discounts". LEES is concerned that no conditions on SAA were given for the latest bailout. "It is inconceivable that in his report to parliament, Minister GIGABA makes no mention of any conditions that were attached to the R2.207bn bailout of SAA. Despite the DA having requested details of conditions imposed on SAA none have been made known. The conclusion must therefore be that no conditions were imposed and that SAA is simply going to be allowed to continue making massive losses and to rely on taxpayer bailouts to avoid liquidation"

IMF pushes for 'realistic' Greek debt relief after approving cash injection - Mehreen Khan

The IMF is keeping the pressure on in Greece. Having approved "in principle" a largely symbolic cash injection for the country, the fund is pressuring its eurozone partners to provide more realistic budget targets and dbt relief as its price for involvement in the Greek bailout. Late yesterday, the Fund's executive board voted to give a precautionary green light to a "standby arrangement" for Greece, where the fund will provide €1.6bn to the country should it receive more guarantees over the sustainability of its debt pile. The move was designed to reassure EU creditors of the fund's continued involvement in the debtor country afgter seven years of bailouts. The IMF repeated its long-standing warning that Greece's debt remains "unsustainable". It called for "specific and credible assurances" from the eurozone about measures to restructure Greece's debt pile, which stands at 180% of GDP. IMF MD CHRISTINE LAGARD urged eurozone creditors to scale down their demands on Greece, urging Brussels to reduce an "ambitious" budget surplus target from 3.5% to 1.5% "as soon as possible". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Siemens to sell stake in Russian company after Crimea controversy - Patrick McGee

SIEMENS is selling its minority stake in Russian company INTERAUTOMATIKA after receiving "credible information" that all four gas turbines built for a project in southern Russia had been "locally modified and illegally moved to Crimea". SIEMENS has already been pursuing criminal charges against individuals at its Russian customer, TECHNOPROMEXPORT after confirming earlier this month that two turbines had been moved to Crimea in violation of EU sanctions. SIEMENS denies it supplies turbines to Crimea. It said it delivered four turbines in the summer of 2016 to a project in the southern Russian town of Taman. Any export to Crimea would be a "clear breach" of its contracts, SIEMENS has previously stated. It owns a 46% stake in INTERAUTOMATIKA, which offers products and services for power-plant instrumentation and control systems. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania spat hits cash balances at Acacia - Neil Hume

ACACIA MINING today reported a "significant" drop in its cash position following a clash with the government of Tanzania, which has banned exports of unprocessed ore. ACACIA said its cash balance had fallen to $176m from $318m in the six months to June, as a result of being unable to realise $175m of revenue because of the ban and a $51m tax bill. As a result of the ongoing ban on exports, ACACIA reported a 13% drop in EBITDA to $161.4m in the HY to end-Jun. and said it would not pay an interim dividend. Revenue was down 22% at $391.7m. Operations at the mines impacted by the ban - Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi - continued during the the period but that had led to the build-up of around 127 000oz of gold concentrate. "ACACIA's preferred outcome remains for a negotiated settlement with the Government, and whilst we see a route to achieving this we believe that it makes sense to continue operations at all three of our mines despite the losses we are incurring, predominantly at Bulyanhulu. However, given the scale of the cash outflows at Bulyanhulu we do not believe that this situation is sustainable at that operation beyond the end of the current quarter". Shares in the company fell more than 6% this morning to 265.6p. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Schlumberger snaps up 51% stake in Russia's Eurasia Drilling - Henry Foy

US oil services provider SCHLUMBERGER has agreed to buy a 51% stake in Russia's EURASIA DRILLING COMPANY in a renewed bid to take control of the country's biggest oil and gas exploration company. SCHLUMBERGER made a bid for the Russian company in 2015 but the deal came unstuck after Moscow's Federal Antimonopoly Service delayed approvals, amid concerns over allowing foreign ownership of an important asset in the country's hydrocarbon industry. The US group said its bid would also be subject to approval from the anti-trust body. The companies have had a strategic alliance since 2011. The Russian company operates over 650 offshore and onshore rigs, and boasts four of the five rigs operating in the Caspian Sea. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but SCHLUMBERGER's 2015 bid valued a 45.65% stake in EURASIA DRILLING at around $1.7bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodafone service revenues rise in Q1 - Nic Fildes

VODAFONE yesterday reported a solid performance in Q1 with service revenue up 2.2% to £11.5bn and growth reported across all of its operations excluding the Indian and UK markets. Reported revenue fell 3.3%. VODAFONE performed well in Spain, Italy and Turkey where revenue rose 13.9%. India fell 13.9% while the UK fell 2.7%. CEO VITTORIO COLAO said the overall performance "gives us confidence in reiterating our outlook for the year". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Microsoft sales growth bolstered by LinkedIn purchase - Leslie Hook

MICROSOFT reported adjusted revenues of $24.7bn, up 9% y/y for Q4 to end-Jun. Much of that growth came from the acquisition of LINKEDIN, which the company bought last year. LINKEDIN contributed $1.1bn in revenues during the quarter. Without the addition of LINKEDIN, the growth of MICROSOFT's underlying business would have been just 4%. EPS were $0.98 during the quarter, on the adjusted basis favoured by Wall Street, a 42% rise y/y. MICROSOFT also announced it would be adopting a new accounting standard - a change in generally accepted accounting principles that all public US companies must adopt by the beginning of next year - on Jul. 1. Under the new standard, MICROSOFT's GAAP revenues will recognise the sale of revenue sooner for certain sales. That change will shift its GAAP revenues by billions of dollars, and make the future GAAP revenues more similar to what MICROSOFT has previously reported as non-GAAP revenues. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Visa quarterly revenues lifted by 'economic tailwinds' - Adam Samson

VISA yesterday unveiled larger-than-expected bumps to its quarterly profits and revenues, which were bolstered by its purchase of VISA EUROPE as well as robust growth in payments volume amid a strong global economy. The company said operating revenue jumped 26% in its fiscal Q3, which ended in June, to $4.57bn. Net profits rose to $2.06bn, or 86cps, from $412m or 17cps y/y. Analysts had forecast EPS of 81cps on revenues of $4.36bn. Profits in the y/y period were weighed down by one-time items related to the purchase of VISA EUROPE, which it closed last June. Excluding those factors, net income would have been up 26% on a y/y basis, VISA said. The gains came as payments volume growth clocked in at 38% to $1.9tn in the quarter. Cross-border volumes rose 11% when the Europe operations are included in the y/y results. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 21/07/2017

At 11h44 on 21 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.95 ZAR/EUR 15.10 ZAR/GBP 16.86 Gold 1247.60 Platinum 928.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.54 All Share 54610.18

Venezuelan banks warned not to buy state debt - Financial Times

The head of Venezuela's parliament has written to the country's bankers warning them not to take part in state bond auctions and saying any debt they purchase there might not be recognised by the future government. JULIO BORGES said the auctions were "illegal [and] unconstitutional" as the government of President NICOLAS MADURO had approved the national budget without parliament's consent. "By taking part in these auctions you are... breaking current laws and violating the constitution", BORGES wrote in his letter to the president of the Venezuelan Banking Association. Opposition leaders are trying to isolate the MADURO regime and cut off its funding in the hope of forcing political change. They have previously criticised GOLDMAN SACHS and NOMURA for buying Venezuelan debt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ukraine pulls PwC bank audit license over PrivatBank balance-sheet hole - Roman Olearchyk

PWC suffered the latest blow to its reputation late yesterday when Ukraine's central bank announced it had pulled its domestic bank auditing rights for failing in prior audits to identify a $5.5bn balance-sheet hole at PRIVATBANK, the country's largest lender. The accounting group, which has denied such claims in the past, had audited PRIVATBANK from the mid-1990s until it was nationalised late last year on government claims of massive related party lending practices. The National Bank of Ukraine said it had "removed" PWC's domestic subsidiary, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUDIT LLC "from the register of accounting firms authorised to audit banks". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Carrefour's Brazilian unit fizzles in trading debut - Andres Schipani

There was no first day trading pop for ATACADAO, the Brazilian unit of French retailer CARREFOUR. The company, whose IPO was priced earlier this week at R$15, or the bottom of the R$15-R$19 range it was targeting, fell 2.5% to R$14.62 in opening trade yesterday morning. The IPO, which raised R$4.5bn to give the business a valuation of R$29.7bn, is Brazil's biggest IPO since BB SEGURIDADE PARTICIPACOES R$11bn debut four years ago. The drop in the share price reflects investors' caution towards Brazil, which is facing fresh political turmoil even as it continues to reel from an ongoing economic crisis. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ExxonMobil lobs legal challenge at US Treasury over sanctions penalty - Ed Crooks

Hitting back at a $2m penalty over alleged violations of Ukraine-related sanctions, EXXONMOBIL has brought a legal challenge arguing that the US Treasury based the penalty on a retroactive re-interpretation of the sanctions law that did not align with previously issued guidance. Earlier yesterday, the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control accused EXXON of behaving with "reckless disregard" for violating sanctions while REX TILLERSON was CEO in May 2014. The regulator said that presidents of EXXON's US subsidiaries had signed "eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russia with IGOR SECHIN", CEO of Russia's ROSNEFT, who has been deemed a sanctioned individual since Apr. 2014. EXXON responded by suing STEVEN MNUCHIN, the Treasury secretary, and OFAC, arguing that the fine was "arbitrary, capricious, [and] an abuse of discretion". In a filing in the US district court in Dallas, EXXON said the fine relied on "a new interpretation" by OFAC that had not been announced at the time of the alleged offences, contravened the "plain text of the relevant executive order" and was contrary to the guidance given at the time by the White House and by the Treasury itself. In the suit, EXXON asks the court to deem the finding of sanctions violations "unlawful" and set it aside, as well as wipe out the $2m penalty. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Philip Morris cuts guidance - Pan Kwan Yuk

PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL yesterday saw more than $6bn wiped off its market cap after it reported a ninth straight quarter of cigarette volume decline and cut its earnings guidance for the year. PMI said it now expects FY diluted EPS to come in at between $4.78 to $4.93, down from the $4.84-$4.99 range it was forecasting just three months ago. The company cited a bigger-than-expected "unfavourable currency impact" as the reason behind the downgrade. Forex headwinds will impact 2017 earnings by 14cps - a 75% increase from the 8cps it had previously predicted. For the quarter to end-Jun., cigarette shipment volume fell 7.5% to 193.5bn units - marking the company's ninth consecutive quarter of decline. The value of total cigarette sales actually fell 3.4% to $6.3bn during the quarter. Overall group revenue managed to eke out a 4% gain to $6.9bn - below Wall Street estimates for $7.1bn - thanks to sales increases in new tobacco technology products. The small but growing unit saw sales jump from $123m to $615m during the quarter. Net income dipped 0.4% to $1.78bn, or $1.14/share, also missing Wall Street forecasts of a rise to $1.9bn, or $1.22/share. Shares in PHILIP MORRIS fell as much as 3.3% in early trading before trimming those losses to trade 2.5% down to $118.58. The stock remains up nearly 30% for the year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Greece will wade into bond market when 'time is right' - Adam Samson

Greece plans to tap the bond market for the first time in three years when the "time is right", a government spokesperson said yesterday. "We are closely monitoring developments in bond markets and we are monitoring trends. When we consider the time is right we will take the first step toward the markets", DIMITRIS TZANAKOPOULOS said. The comments came after the Financial Times reported yesterday that the country is expected to sell a five-year bond this week or next. "The decision of the government is not only related to bond yields, but to a comprehensive strategy and preparation to ensure that in August 2018 we will have regained market access", TZANAKOPOULOS added. The government's aim is to make the best use of the positive conditions to conclude the bailout programme in Aug. 2018 and give an end to the period of supervision, he stressed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Blackstone's assets under management climbs to record $371bn - Javier Espinoza

BLACKSTONE now manages a record $371bn worth of assets, a 4% increase y/y, the private equity bellwether said yesterday. The figure comes as private equity groups have benefited from strong fundraising as yield-seeking investors look for ways to beat the still low interest rates environment. The growth in assets under management came as a result of fundraising, organic growth and fund appreciation. BLACKSTONE chair and CEO STEPHEN A. SCHWARZMAN said the results "marked the end of our first decade as a public company". Economic net income rose to $705m, or 59cps. This represented a 36% y/y increase. Analysts had expected EPS at around 62cps and $375bn of assets under management. BLACKSTONE also posted quarterly distribution at $0.54 per common unit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Citi to add 150 new jobs in 6 EU locations as result of Brexit - Laura Noonan

CITIGROUP has told staff it will create 150 jobs around Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dublin, Luxembourg, Madrid and Paris as a consequence of Brexit. The bulk of the jobs will likely be in Frankfurt, where the bank's Europe, Middle East and Africa boss JIM COWLES confirmed that CITI would create its new EU broker-dealer. "Frankfurt is our first choice for headquartering our EU broker-dealer based on the existing infrastructure, and the people and expertise we already have on the ground", COWLES said. The Frankfurt broker-dealer, which will house the investment bank's trading business, will be created by converting a licence CITI already has in Germany. "We also expect to further enhance our capabilities in Private Banking, Treasury and Trade Solutions, Corporate and Investment Banking and Capital Markets by increasing over time our footprint in other key EU cities including Amsterdam, Dublin, Luxembourg, Madrid and Paris", COWLES said. The 150 jobs are a small fraction of the 6 000 CITI employs in London. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ECB leaves rates unchanged - Claire Jones

The ECB has left its interest rates on hold and maintained its current pace of bond purchases, leaving attention to focus on the message from president MARIO DRAGHI on when and how the central bank may start to pull back. The central bank stuck to its previous line that stimulus will remain in place "until the end of December 2017, or beyond", and until inflation is on a clear upward path. The ECB remains prepared to do more if the economy takes a turn for the worse, in a move that will upset the governing council's hawks who think it needs to do more to convince markets it is serious about winding down its bond buying spree in 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deutsche Bank tells staff it is preparing for 'worst outcome' from Brexit - Paul McClean

DEUTSCHE BANK CEO JOHN CRYAN has told employees the lender is preparing for the possibility of a hard Brexit and would "inevitably" move a large portion of its assets and some employees to Frankfurt. In an internal video released earlier this month, CRYAN said the group could not afford to wait for the outcome of Brexit talks before acting, and warned he was "assuming a reasonable worst outcome" from the talks. "There's an awful lot of detail to be ironed out and agreed' depending on what the rules and regulations turn out to be, we will try to minimize disruptions for our clients and for our own people", CRYAN said. "But inevitably roles will need to be either moved or at least added in Frankfurt... The worst [outcome] is always likely to be worse than people can imagine", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Delta Corp back in growth territory - Tawanda Karombo

AB INBEV's associate unit in Zimbabwe, DELTA CORPORATION, has swung back to growth after revenues for the June quarter rose 2% on the back of a 12% growth in beer volumes. The company attributed the surge to improved agricultural output following last year's drought. DELTA said beer volumes grew compared to the similar period last year with a strong recovery in value brands. "Positive volume out turn is attributable to improved consumer spending arising from a better agricultural season", the group said. However, imported beer and soft drink products held back the company's full potential. Soft drinks grew nearly 3% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Amplats own-mine output up, sales down in Q2 - Martin Creamer

Performance from its own mine operations helped ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM to increase in the quarter to end-Jun., but sales volumes fell sharply on technical problems and two workers succumbed to fatal injuries. FY output guidance remains unchanged at 2.35m-2.4m platinum ounces. Expressed as metal in concentrate, output rose 5% to 617 00oz in Q2 on strong performances from the Mogalakwena and Amandelbult mines in SA and Unki in Zimbabwe. JV and associates production was down 1% to 201 100oz, 64 300oz being the attributable share of JVs and 136 800oz of concentrate bought from JVs and associates. Meanwhile, two workers were seriously injured in a fall-of-ground incident at the Tumela mine in April, and both died later in hospital. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAEFA says NUMSA has no desire to avoid strike action - Anine Kilian

The South African Engineers and Founders Association feels NUMSA has no desire to avoid strike action, despite the significant financial repercussions it will have on the industry. In a statement published yesterday, SAEFA executive director GORDON ANGUS said that, while the other unions involved in the talks at least made attempts to counter the offers put on the table by employers in the sector, NUMSA had not contributed to any of the talks, choosing rather to stick resolutely to its initial demands. ANGUS said NUMSA's demand for a 15% increase was "untenable". He noted that strike action not only has an immediate effect on an industry, but also has an impact that can linger for years afterwards, especially in terms of limiting future employment opportunities that could otherwise have been created, had long-term growth not been stunted by strikes. "Employers earnestly want to avoid industrial action and remain willing to do whatever they can to find a solution to this impasse that meets the requirements of all parties", ANGUS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global steel output up in June - Creamer Media Reporter

Global steel output rose by 3.2% y/y to 141mt in June, worldsteel said yesterday. This brought global steel output for the HY to end-Jun. to 836mt, up 4.5% y/y. SA's production fell by 15.9% to 458 000t for June, compared with the 545 000t produced y/y, whiel production for the six months was 4.1% lower y/y at 3.08mt. Egypt's stell output rose by 40.9% y/y to 531 000t in June, while its HY output was up 36.9% y/y to 2.27mt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sharp PanAf gold production rise on the way - Martin Creamer

PAN AFRICAN RESOURCES is looking forward to a much improved performance in 2018 with a substantial increase in gold output. The company's gold production guidance for the FY to end-Jun. 2018 is 190 000oz+, a 10% increase y/y. During the past year, the company has reaffirmed its gold focus. "We look forward to a much improved performance in 2018, with a substantial increase in gold production", PANAF CEO COBUS LOOTS said. The company yesterday said its Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant project is on track to contribute low-cost gold ounces and profits in the next 18 months. Going forward, the completed Evander mines shaft refurbishment and restructuring programme is yielding substantial cost savings. PANAF is in a strong financial position, with sharply reduced net debt of R66.7m compared with R339.7m y/y and available debt facilities of R880.2m. In the next FY, initiatives will continue at Evander Mines to ensure a sustainable and consistent performance from the operation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale eyes 2017 iron ore output at low end of forecast - Reuters

VALE yesterday said iron ore output would close the year near the bottom of its forecast of 360m-380m tonnes, despite record Q2 output. VALE said iron ore output reached 91.85mt in the quarter to end-Jun., a record for Q2, up 5.7% from 86.823mt y/y. Pellet production rose 21.5% to 12.2mt last year from a year earlier. Iron ore output was spurred by record production of 41.5mt in VALE's so-called northern system. Shipments of iron ore and pellets from Brazil and Argentina totalled 81.6mt in Q2, 4.4mt higher than in the same period of 2016. VALE moved more of its ore abroad, boosting the percentage of offshore stock to 28% from 15%, making it easier to respond to market demands by blending final products closer to customers, especially in Asia. Blended volumes in Asia totalled 14.8mt in Q2, 3.7mt higher y/y. VALE said production of nickel fell 16% to 65 900t from the same period y/y, mainly due to the reconstruction of a furnace and planned maintenance in Sudbury, Canada. The company cut its expected nickel output forecast for the year from 317 000t to 295 000t. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

World copper market shows 80 000t surplus in first four months of 2017 - Henry Lazenby

The world refined copper balance for the first four months of 2017 shows a surplus of about 80 000t, the International Copper Study Group said yesterday. It ascribed the surplus to a decline in Chinese apparent demand. The ICSG estimated that global apparent refined usage has fallen by around 3% in the first four months of the year, with preliminary data showing that despite the world excluding China's usage might have grown slightly by about 0.5%. However, the growth was more than offset by a 7% drop in Chinese apparent demand. The ICSG estimated world mine output to have declined by around 3.5% in the first four months of 2017, with concentrate output declining by 3% and solvent extraction-electrowinning declining by 5%. The decline in world mine production was mainly owing to a 12% drop in output in Chile. Further, a decline in Canada and Mongolia concentrates output of 19% and 22% respectively, mainly owing to lower grades in planned mining sequencing also weighed on global output, while a 14% decline in Indonesian concentrate output as output was concentrated by a temporary ban on concentrate exports that started in Jan. and ended in Apr. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Industry retaliates, dismisses Zwane's proposed moratorium as 'unlawful' - Samantha Herbst

The Chamber of Mines has dismissed Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE's proposed moratorium on new mining rights applications as "unlawful", owing to the damage the proposal might inflict on the mining sector. ZWANE this week gazetted for public comment a proposal to restrict the granting of any new applications for the renewal of prospecting or mining rights until the High Court delivers its judgment on an urgent interdict, lodged by the CoM, to have Mining Charter 3 set aside. ZWANE's proposal is also aimed at restricting the transfer of mineral rights between companies. According to the DMR, ZWANE's proposal is in the national interest and aimed at ensuring that any applications for new prospecting or mining rights, of the transfer of mineral rights, are concluded in terms of MC3 to "advance the socioeconomic transformation objectives of government". The CoM believes the effect of the minister's notice is to "pave the way for the Minister to issue a further notice to prevent the issuing of new mining and exploration rights, which will have an immediate negative impact on investment in the sector". Webber Wentzel partner JONATHAN VEERAN speculates that ZWANE's actions are "an attempt to force the industry to ultimately bow to the Minister's whim in respect of Mining Charter 3." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kumba raises Sishen FY output guidance - Creamer Media Reporter

KUMBA IRON ORE has raised the FY output guidance for its Sishen mine to 28mt-29mt, due to the solid and consistent performance and ongoing improvements at the mine. The mine produced 7.9mt of iron ore in Q2 2017, up 38% y/y. Production at the Kolomela mine rose 11% y/y to 3.5mt, and it remains on track to produce 13mt-14mt for the FY. KUMBA said export sales rose 8% y/y to 9.4mt, with FY sales guidance increasing to 41mt-43mt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caledonia lowers FY17 output target on infrastructure constraints - Creamer Media Reporter

CALEDONIA MINING has reduced its FY production target to 52 000oz-57 000oz of gold, from the previously targeted 60 000oz. The company's Blanket mine produced 12 522oz of gold in the quarter to end-Jun., compared with the 12 510oz produced y/y. This brought production for the HY to end-Jun. to 25 316oz, up 8.5% on the 23 322oz produced y/y. In the quarter under review, CALEDONIA took the decision to safeguard the long-term production target of 80 000oz in 2021 by prioritising capital development tonnage over ore production tonnage. This resulted in the 2017 output target being reduced. CEO STEVE CURTIS said the infrastructure constraints at the mine should be alleviated when the new Central Shaft is commissioned in H2 FY2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DA to lay criminal charges against Eskom CFO - Business Report

The DA yesterday announced it will be laying criminal charges against ESKOM CFO ANOJ SINGH. The party said it had reason to believe that SINGH allegedly may have played a pivotal role in the GUPTAS' capture of the power utility. "The DA will lay charges against SINGH for possible breaches of Section 50 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act, which states that an accounting officer at a public entity must 'ensure reasonable protection of the assets and records of the public entity' and 'act with fidelity, honesty, integrity and in the best interests of the public entity in managing the financial affairs of the public entity'". The DA say SINGH has been linked to a range of corruption scandals and dodgy deals at ESKOM which must be fully probed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AMSA predicts sharply higher H1 loss - Tanisha Heiberg

ARCELORMITTAL SA expects H1 headline losses to rise by over 200% due to higher costs, the steelmaker said yesterday. The company forecast an HLPS in the range of 143cps-152cps for the HY to end-Jun., up from a loss of 45cps y/y. Its share price fell over 5% on the announcement. AMSA said margins remained constrained despite higher steel prices. "Higher steel prices did not fully compensate for the higher raw material costs, namely coal and iron ore", AMSA said, adding that operational incidents, impairments and the strengthening of the rand against the US dollar also hit its bottom line. "In order to address these challenges the company is in the process of exploring several initiatives, including additional cost cutting interventions, assessing the profitability of various product line and the implementation of structural changes in the next six months". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB cuts repo rate, denies political pressure - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

The SARB unexpectedly cut its benchmark repo rate for the first time in five years yesterday, citing weak growth and easing inflation, and denied any pressure from recent political attacks on its mandate. SARB governor LESETJA KGANYAGO said the central bank remained independent and had not come under any pressure to trim rates. He said the central bank eased rates due to weak growth and an improved inflation outlook, but said monetary policy alone would not be enough to spur an economy languishing in recession. "No President past or present, no Minister of Finance past or present has ever attempted to tell the SARB how to go about implementing its mandate. We are not under any political pressure", KGANYAGO said. The 25bp cut to 6.75% was the first reduction in rates since Jul. 2012 and ran counter to market consensus that rates would be held steady. The SARB also halved its 2017 growth forecast to 0.5%, and trimmed next year's projection to 1.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim budget rose to $1.4bn in 2016 - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's budget deficit shot up to $1.4bn, or 10% of GDP in 2016, above previous revised estimates, Finance Minister PATRICK CHINAMASA said yesterday. He told parliament the shortfall arose from unbudgeted subsidies to farmers, food imports following a drought and support for loss-making SOEs. The deficit increase far exceeded an initial project of $150m, CHINAMASA said. In his annual budget address last Dec., he said the deficit had risen to $1.18bn but yesterday revised the figure upwards again. The government initially set aside $66m to finance farmers but ended spending $615m, with most of the money borrowed from domestic banks and the central bank. This year's deficit is also expected to increase by nearly $120m this year due to a maize subsidy, Reuters calculations show. CHINAMASA reiterated that a rebound in agriculture would see the economy grow by 3.7% in 2017, while revenues, at $3.7bn, are expected to be in line with the budget forecast. "The outlook for 2071 is very positive", he said in his half-year budget review statement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya misses 2016/17 revenue collection target - Duncan Miriri

Kenya collected taxes of 1.365tn shillings in the FY that ended last month, setting a new record high but missing the target by 9%, the Kenya Revenue Authority said yesterday. Data released by KRA showed the collection rose 13.8% from the prior year but still fell short of the target set by the government of 1.5tn shillings. Collections grew across all tax segments. Collections have grown by an average of 14.3% over the past five years but infrastructure investment like road construction and a huge public wage bill have ensured there is constant pressure on the government's finances. The commission that oversees salaries in the public sector recommended earlier this month that top officials, including the president, take lower pay, to save 8.5bn shillings a year. Anger over the high salaries and perks enjoyed by senior government officials, including elected officials, has become a key issue ahead of a national election on Aug. 8. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Two Nigerian banks say do not owe govt money - Oludare Mayowa

Nigeria's UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA yesterday said it has paid the government all the money due to it. Meanwhile, FIDELITY BANK said it did not owe $24.5m to the state and it has contacted the state treasurer to understand what account the government was referring to in its request for monies owed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria: Wema Bank plans equity raise in 2018 - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's WEMA BANK plans to raise equity next year to bolster its capital ratio and cut its operating costs as its new digital strategy gains traction, CFO TUNDE MABAWONKU told analysts this week. The lender said it cut loan growth this year to between one and two percent of total loans. "We would be looking at going on an equity raise at the end of 2018", he said, adding that he believed H2 "will be much better. WEMA has said HY pretax profit rose to 1.43bn naira, from 1.30bn naira y/y. Shares in the mid-tier lender shed 1.8% yesterday. They slumped 46% last year as the banking sector was hit by the economic slowdown and currency crisis. MABAWONKU said the slowdown in loan growth was necessary to restructure WEMA's balance sheet to pay down expensive fixed deposits and retail liquidity in the business. However, it would offer short-term loans mostly from repayments this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF urges Moz to address debt audit concerns - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

Mozambique should take steps to address information gaps that remained regarding the use of loans granted to three SOEs, the IMF said yesterday. The Fund visited Mozambique from Jul. 10 to 19 to discuss findings of an audit by KROLL into the country's $2bn in hidden loans to tuna fishing company EMATUM, security firm PROINDICUS and MOZAMBIQUE ASSET MANAGEMENT. The audit showed roughly a quarter of the money remained unaccounted for. "The team urged the government to take steps to fill the information gaps and to enhance its action plan to strengthen transparency, improve governance, and ensure accountability", the IMF said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 21/07/2017

At 07h33 on 21 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.03 ZAR/EUR 15.15 ZAR/GBP 16.90 Gold 1245.03 Platinum 923.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.36 All Share 54287.32

African Bank staff snub retrenchments - Siphelele Dludla

AFRICAN BANK yesterday announced it has decided to discontinue the Section 189A consultation process because of the response it has received to its offer of voluntary retrenchments and early retirement, which are enough to stave off planned retrenchments. The lender said it had reached the agreement with the South African Society of Bank Officials. The mediation consultation entailed offering voluntary severance and retirement packages to employees. In a bid to cut costs, AFRICAN BANK in May issued notices to its staff about its restructuring plan that would have seen as many as 652 workers retrenched. Yesterday, CEO BRIAN RILEY said as a result of the high number of workers accepting voluntary severance and retirement package, the bank no longer needed to continue with the retrenchment phase. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone current acc surplus shrinks in May - Mehreen Khan

The eurozone's current account surplus with the rest of the world shrank again in May on the back of a declining goods balance and falling income on foreign assets. The 12-month current account shrank from 3.2% of GDP to 3.5% in May , according to the ECB. In seasonally adjusted terms, the surplus was up from €23.5bn to €30.1bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EasyJet bumps up profit forecast - Katie Martin

EASYJET today said its profits are likely to beat analysts' forecasts for 2017, as it starts to put a tough period behind it. The budget airline said pre-tax profits are on track to be between £380m and £420m for the FY, above the £375m expected by analysts. Outgoing CEO CAROLYN MCCALL said: "Our progress this year has enabled us to upgrade this year's [profit] forecast and demonstrates that after a difficult 18 months of external challenges EASYJET once again has positive momentum". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Severstal posts 20% rise in earnings - Henry Foy

Russia's SEVERSTAL posted a 20% rise in earnings for Q2 as the economic recovery boosted domestic demand, but said a strengthening global market was tainted by worries over threats of trade tariffs. EBITDA rose an annual 19.6% to 4629m, driven by a 22.2% rise in revenues to 41.93bn. Net profit fell 77.6% to $136m due to a one-off non-cash charge. "Global capacity utilisation is staying above 70%... In 2017 we anticipate growth in global steel demand, supported by China's commitment to close inefficient steel and mining facilities and stimulate domestic economic growth", SEVERSTAL CEO ALEXANDR SHEVELEV said. In Russia, domestic steel consumption is expected to rise by around 1.5%-2% in 2017 supported by GDP growth, SHEVELEV added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAP lifts annual outlook on strong Q2 growth - Patrick McGee

SAP announced a share buyback programme and raised its annual outlook on the back of strong top-line growth in Q2. For the FY, SAP now expects total revenue in a range of €23.3bn-€23.7bn, versus the €22.1bn recorded y/y. Its projection for cloud subscriptions and support revenue remains at €3.8bn-€4.0bn at constant currencies, representing annual growth of up to 34%. SAP reported that total revenue in Q2 rose 10% y/y to €5.78bn, versus estimates at €5.68bn. Cloud subscription and software revenue soared 29% to €934m, missing forecasts of €961m. New cloud bookings were up 33% in the quarter. CEO BILL MCDERMOTT predicted "continuing momentum in the in the second half" of 2017. Profit after tax in Q2 fell 18% y/y to €666m. SAP said that S/4 Hana added 500 additional customers in Q2, bringing its total number to 6 300, up 70% y/y. The €500m share buyback programme the company announced for 2017 will begin shortly and take place in several tranches. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Elliott warns BHP of 'deep concerns' over potash plans - Neil Hume

ELLIOTT ADVISERS has continued its war of words with BHP, saying it had "deep concerns" about a multi-billion dollar plan to enter the oversupplied fertiliser market. BHP is spending almost $4bn sinking shafts at its Jansen potash mine in Canada, with a view to starting large scale mining from 2023. BHP earlier this week said demand for potash could double by the late 2040s, bywhich point it could be a $50bn market. "That's one of the reasons why we're investing counter-cyclically to give ourselves the option to add it to our diversified portfolio of commodities through the construction of the Jansen project", said PAUL BURNSIDE, BHP's principal potash analyst. Those comments seem to have riled ELLIOTT, which has previously called on BHP to sell or spin off its US shale business and overhaul its corporate structure. "BHP is now arguing that it should spend billions of dollars of shareholder money to diversify into potash. This sounds alarmingly familiar and comes as the company proclaims the dubious strategy of "Thinking Big" - a concept that has been disastrous for BHP shareholders... Rather than Think Big, it's time for BHP to Think Smart. The recent appointment of KEN MACKENZIE as the next Chair of BHP is an opportunity for the company to set a new strategy and avoid repeating the costly mistakes of the past. Billions in shareholder value is at stake", ELLIOTT said. BHP CEO ANDREW MACKENZIE has said he might seek board approval for the Jansen project next year. Analysts estimate it would cost a further $4.7bn to bring the project into production. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 20/07/2017

At 11h58 on 20 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.96 ZAR/EUR 14.91 ZAR/GBP 16.80 Gold 1237.79 Platinum 913.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.56 All Share 54221.96

AmEx quarterly profit falls less than expected - Adam Samson

AMERICAN EXPRESS yesterday unveiled a slimmer-than-expected drop in its quarterly profits but said it was forced to spend more to lure new customers and hold on to existing ones. Net income fell to $1.3bn, or $1.47/share in Q2 from $2.10 /share y/y. The EPS exceeded Wall Street forecasts by four cents. Revenue ticked up by 1% to $8.3bn, compared with forecasts they would slip to $8.21bn. Excluding the COSTCO co-branded portfolio, which AMEX sold to CITIGROUP last Jun., as well as currency moves, revenues would have been up 8%. AMEX said revenues were boosted by higher cardholder spending and net interest income. Still, consolidated expenses rose 21% to $5.8bn. AMEX boosted its provision for losses to $584m from $463m, reflecting "continued strong growth in the loan portfolio and a higher lending write-off rate". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Morgan Stanley to add staff across all EU ops in wake of Brexit - Laura Noonan

MORGAN STANLEY will add headcount to all of its EU operations in the aftermath of Brexit, CFO JOHN PRUZAN said yesterday. "As you can imagine we're well advanced in our planning, we have an extensive network in the EU 27... we've got a bunch of options, the base case is that all of those offices will be larger", PRUZAN said. As well as a large presence in London, MORGAN STANLEY has offices in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. The bank will mainly send staff to Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin in the wake of Brexit, a source said. Staff covering individual European markets will likely be relocated to those markets, a second source said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GSK to sell Horlics brand in strategic review - fastFT.com

GLAXOSMITHKLINE has announced a "strategic review" of its cephalosporins antibiotics business with an option to sell it, along with associated manufacturing facilities, and said it plans to sell its Horlicks brand of drinks. The antibiotics business is through to be worth around £200m in annual sales. In another significant move, the company said it intends to sell its Horlicks brand in the UK and is proposing to close the sight in Slough where the product is made. In addition, GSK intends to sell the MaxiNutrition brand in the UK. It is also exploring options to divest some other smaller non-core nutrition brands. GSK further announced that between now and 2020, it plans to invest more than £140m at its Ware, Hertfordshire, Barnard Castle, Co Durhan and Montrose, Scotland sites. The investments would support expansion of manufacturing for respiratory and HIV drugs. This new investment is in addition to the £275m announced last year and investment of over £1.2bn in UK manufacturing since 2012. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Morgan Stanley results top estimates - Laura Noonan

MORGAN STANLEY beat Q2 forecasts in all of its key divisions and contained its fall in fixed income trading revenues to just 4%. The investment bank posted adjusted EPS of $0.87 in the quarter to end-Jun., far better than the $0.76 expected by analysts. Fixed income trading was down just 4% to $1.24bn, vindicating the bank's fixed income restructuring last year. Investment banking fees rose 28% to $1.4bn, led by a 49% rise in the fees the bank made for underwriting debt and equity issued by clients. CEO JAMES GORMAN noted that the wealth management business produced a 25% margin, while the strong investment banking results "attest to the diversity of our global business". Group-wide revenues came in at $9.5bn for the quarter, up from $8.9bn y/y. Wealth management was the biggest contributor, with $4.2bn of revenue versus the $4.1bn expected by analysts. Equities trading revenues were unchanged y/y at $2.2bn, while investment management revenues came in at $665m versus the $603m analysts expected. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Anglo sounding brighter while investors eye return of dividend - Neil Hume

ANGLO AMERICAN CEO MARK CUTIFANI said the company was on course to hit its production forecasts after posting an 8% rise in Q2 output. CUTIFANI said a smooth ramp-up of key projects in diamonds, iron ore and coking coal helped the company deliver a "strong performance". "We have increased the full year production guidance for KUMBA IRON ORE and are on track to deliver full year guidance across the rest of our products", CUTIFANI said. ANGLO is due to report H1 results on Jul. 27 and speculation is growing that the company could resume dividend payments, which were axed during the commodities downturn. ANGLO said South African iron ore volumes rose by 38% to 11.4mt due to operational improvements. The company now expects production of 41mt-43mt of the commodity this year, against 40mt-42mt previously. Anglo's South African businesses has net cash of $1.6bn, according to analysts at MACQUARIE but the company can only move those funds to London if it pays a dividend at the group level. ANGLO has previously said it would reinstate its dividend at the end of FY2017, paying out 30%-40% of earnings. It is also targeting net debt of less than $7bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Strong robotics orders push ABB back to growth in Q2 - Ralph Atkins

Strong orders for robotics helped ABB return to growth in Q2 2017, but higher commodity prices hit profitability. Orders rose by 3% on a comparable basis to $8.35bn in the quarter to end-Jun., ABB said. Orders in its robotics division rose by 14%. "Order growth was broad-based and across all regions", CEO ULRICH SPIESSHOFER said. Orders were up 8% in ABB's industrial automation division but fell 3% in its power grids unit. SPIESSHOFER repeated that he expected 2017 to be a "transitional year" and warned global markets were still only seeing modest growth and "increased uncertainties" - including over Brexit. However, operating profits fell by 5% in constant currencies to $1.0bn in Q2, which ABB said was the result of commodity price increases and overcapacity in some businesses. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoJ holds rates steady, pushes back inflation target date - Hudson Lockett

The Bank of Japan kept interest rates on hold today but pushed back the target date for reaching its inflation goal in the wake of underwhelming consumer price growth during H2 2017. The BoJ kept overnight rates at -0.1% and 10-year bond yields capped at around 0%. The central bank also said it would continue buying assets at "more or less the current pace" of Y80tn/year. The decision suggests BoJ governor HARUHIKO KURODA remains undaunted in his plan to continue monetary stimulus in pursuit of a 2% inflation goal. But in its baseline scenario for prices, the central bank noted that developments in Japan's CPI had been "relatively weak" when excluding the effects of energy prices. The central bank maintained that CPI would eventually pick up, but acknowledged it would likely do so after its adjusted target date of "around fiscal 2018" - the year started Apr. 2018 - and conceded to push back its target date for achieving 2% inflation to "around fiscal 2019". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bunge issues Q2 profit warning - Gregory Meyer

BUNGE has made a surprise profit warnings as woes deepen in its grain and oilseed trading business. The company yesterday said profits would be "below the low end" of estimates in Q2. It scheduled a conference call for later today. The disclosure will fan speculation that BUNGE could become a takeover target. The stock fell 3.4% in after-hours trading in New York. GLENCORE in May said it approached BUNGE about a business combination. CREDIT SUISSE this week put the odds of a buyout at 50%. BUNGE said its adjusted Q2 earnings, due for release on Aug. 2, would be "modestly profitable" and blamed "challenging global agribusiness market conditions." The company also announced a $250m cost-cutting programme and said it would reduce its planned 2018 capex to $650m from $750m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alcoa tweaks earnings outlook, lifts aluminium demand forecast - Mamta Badkar

Investors soured on ALCOA shares yesterday after the company lowered the upper end of its earnings outlook for the FY even as it lifted its aluminium demand forecast. Shares in the company fell 2.6% in extended trading after it said it was tightening its outlook for FY EBITDA to a range of $2.1bn-$2.2bn, down from its previous outlook for EBITDA of as much as $2.3bn. ALCOA also said it expects a negative $50m in net performance for the year "as strength in the global aluminium market drives up input costs". That accompanied a profit of $75m or 40cps in the quarter to end-Jun., compared with a $55m or 29cps loss y/y. Adjusted for one-time items, earnings of 62cps were ahead of analysts' expectations of 58cps. Profits came in lower with ALCOA posting net income of $225m the prior quarter. Sales jumped 23% y/y to $2.86bn, in line with analysts' forecasts. The company maintained its outlook for a modest global surplus of 300 000t-700 000t in aluminium, while lifting its outlook for aluminium demand growth to a range of 4.75%-5.25%, up from 4.5%-5% previously. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NHI bill may be ready for adoption by Nov. - Liesl Peyper

The Department of Health hopes to have the National Health Insurance Bill ready for adoption by Parliament as early as Nov. 2017. VISHAL BRIJLAL, technical adviser on the NHI at the DoH, said the NHI fund cannot be established without first drafting appropriate legislation. Parliament will be conducting public hearings from Aug. 214 to Aug. 16 to get input from the public and industry stakeholders on the NHI policy proposals. "There will be two processes going forward, the adoption of NHI legislation through an Act of Parliament and in the meantime a transitional fund, making use of the existing system and processes in the healthcare sector", BRIJLAL said. The transitional fund will come into effect by Sep. 30 and remain in place until the NHI legislation is finalised. The transitional fund will utilise the existing budget allocated towards the DoH for the flow of funds and purchasing. Once the NHI is fully established as a public entity it will be financed via an appropriation of Parliament. A number of current legislation will need to change along with the new NHI Bill. Priority will be given to the Medical Schemes Act, General Health Amendment Act and other legislation relating to healthcare professionals and the National Health Act. All healthcare service providers, whether public or private, will need to adhere to the new National Health Act. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Less than 1% growth forecast for SA - Lameez Omarjee

SA's economic growth is expected to rebound in 2017, but will remain below 1%, according to BMI RESEARCH. The FITCH GROUP company has revised down its GDP growth forecast from 1% to 0.7%. Challenges to growth include higher unemployment, lower consumption and limited government spending due to fiscal consolidation. Policy uncertainty and a poor operating environment will also discourage investment, BMI said. It expects the fiscal deficit to narrow, but at a slower pace than expected as weak growth will limit fiscal revenue. With the run-up to the ANC elective conference in Dec., BMI expects President JACOB ZUMA to lean towards the left in terms of policy decisions in a bid to gain control. "Should this be the case, we could see significant fiscal slippage and continued more populist rhetoric by the president, presenting downside risks to investment but upside risks to government consumption", BMI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB seen keeping rates steady - Lameez Omarjee

Economists are of the view that the SARB will likely hold off introducing rate cuts at the monetary policy committee's interest rate announcement later today. Although CPI remained within the target 3%-6% band, the central bank will still be cautious given political and other macro-economic risks to the currency. The SARB may have leeway to introduce a 50 bp cut, given lower inflation coupled with low GDP growth. But interest rate cuts may be deferred due to rand risks which continue to provide "an upside threat" to inflation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Why Eskom crushed Optimum's R2.1bn fine to just R255.4m - Fin24

ESKOM reduced a massive R2.1bn fine levied on TEGETA EXPLORATION & RESOURCES because of a problem with the coal crusher, ESKOM CFO ANOJ SINGH said yesterday. The struggling OPTIMUM mine was bought by TEGETA after it went into business rescue. TEGETA inherited the fine when it acquired the mine from GLENCORE. ESKOM struck a deal with TEGETA on the fine in Mar. during arbitration but refused to disclose the deals of the agreement, citing a confidentiality clause. "ESKOM went into this process with legal opinion saying it should settle this claim", SINGH said. He said the poor quality coal was because of a change in sampling equipment in 2010. "The change meant it was different than the original sampling equipment. The new design had a crusher, which increased the reject coal put in the plant. It gave a false positive of quantity of reject coal. This was the outcome of investigations over three to four years. We realised the contract was punitive and poor quality coal was being delivered. That is why the amount ramped up so quickly. When we realised the crusher was the problem, we understood that we had sufficient information that the crusher was causing this. That is why we went into settlement. The contract manager said the claim should be R700m. This was then discounted to R255.4m", SINGH said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dlamini to work with SAPO on SASSA grants - Thembizile Dzonzi, Bloomberg

Social Development Minister BATHABILE DLAMINI yesterday said she is committed to working with the SA POST OFFICE, easing concern that the planned partnership between the SAPO and SASSA would be scrapped after she ousted SASSA CEO THOKOZANI MAGWAZA this week. DLAMINI told staff that the ANC had instructed her to work with the POST OFFICE, and she will comply. A potential partnership with the SAPO, which would replace NET1 UEPS TECHNOLOGIES as the distributor of welfare grants to around 17m people was thrown into doubt when DLAMINI fired MAGWAZA earlier this week. "We got a letter from SASSA on Friday to work collaboratively to pay grants", SAPO CEO MARK BARNES said this week, adding: "The process now is to get to it". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Flipkart said to make new offer for Snapdeal - Saritha Rai, Bloomberg

FLIPKART has made a revised bid to acquire rival SNAPDEAL for about $950m, an offer that could lead to a final agreement between India's two largest local e-commerce providers within three weeks, according to sources. SNAPDEAL's board discussed the proposal on a conference call late on Tuesday night after rejecting an earlier offer of around $850m. The final price of the current bid will range between $900m and $950m, depending on the cash and debt on SNAPDEAL's balance sheet at the time of signing. Japan's SOFTBANK, which backs SNAPDEAL and TIGER GLOBAL MANAGEMENT, a FLIPKART investor, has advocated for the merger, which has been under discussion for months. Separately, SNAPDEAL has held early discussions with online retailer INFIBEAM about an alternative offer to combine forces, sources said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodacom's revenue gains in SA offset declines in rest of Africa - Robert Laing

Revenue growth in its home market helped VODACOM offset declines in the rest of Africa during the quarter to end-Jun., the company said today. Revenue for the quarter grew 3.9% to R20.7bn, boosted by South African revenue growth of 7.8% to R16.65bn offsetting an 8.2% decline to R4.24bn in revenue outside of SA. VODACOM said prepaid average revenue per user fell to R58/month in the Jun. quarter from R61/month q/q. It attracted an additional 2.2m prepaid customers during the period, taking its total in SA to 34.2m. South African contract customers remained flat at 5.1m, while arpu fell to R393/month from R401/month. CEO SHAMEEL JOOSUB said the declining arpu was thanks to the company making its rates more affordable. Subscriber number growth of 3.9% in the DRC to 10.8m helped the company show a 0.9% overall increase in customers outside SA to 30m despite declines in Lesotho and Tanzania, while Mozambique remained flat. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom accounts show R3bn in irregular expenditure - BDpro

The postponement of ESKOM's financial results was triggered by the utility's auditors raising a qualified audit option on the accounts. ESKOM's accounts showed the utility incurred a R3bn irregular expenditure bill, which may have triggered some of the covenants on ESKOM's debt. Revenue in the FY to end-MAr. rose 7.9% to R177bn, while profit dropped 83% to R888m. ESKOM acting chair ZETHEMBE KHOZA said the utility's performance and operational standing was continuing to improve. ESKOM has lost billions in suspected fraud and other crimes, including hundreds of millions paid to the politically connected TRILLIAN group of companies despite it having conducted no work for the utility. KHOZA said this and other irregularities and offences were being probed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pallinghurst setting out to revitalise Gemfields at sole owner - Martin Creamer

Owning 100% of GEMFIELDS will allow PALLINGHURST to revitalise the coloured gemstones mining and marketing company and to unlock synergies, PALLINGHURST CEO ARNE FRANDSEN said yesterday. "This will in turn strengthen and improve GEMFIELDS' operational and financial position", FRANDSEN added. PALLINGHURST has secured an overwhelming 92.38% acceptance for the acquisition and will be seeking further investment in the operations to secure profitable expansion and growth for GEMFIELDS, the shareholders of which will receive 1.91 PALLINGHURST shares for each GEMFIELDS share. Following its restructuring and the acquisition of GEMFIELDS, PALLINGHURST will begin preparatory work to obtain a listing on the LSE and GEMFIELDS will delist from the Aim by month-end. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chile approves expansion at BHP's Spence mine - Reuters

Chilean authorities have approved the $2.5bn expansion of BHP's Spence copper mine, local newspaper El Mercurio rep0roted yesterday, though the company has not yet decided whether to proceed with the project. Chile's Environmental Evaluation Service has unanimously approved the project, which is the second-largest mining investment under evaluation in the country. BHP declined to comment, while the SEA did not immediately respond to request for comment. The proposed expansion at Spence, which produced 167 000t of copper in 2016, would include the construction of a concentrator that would allow the mine to increase output while extending its useful life by two decades. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Peru miners start nationwide strike - Reuters

Unionised workers at mines in Peru started a nationwide strike yesterday to protest the government's proposed labour reforms. Workers at 56 mining unions in the country are striking, said RICARDO JUAREZ, head of the National Federation of Mining, Metallurgical and Steel Workers of Peru. JUAREZ said the stoppage has likely curbed copper output at some of Peru's largest mines, including BHP's and GLENCORE's Antamina, FREEPORT-MCMORAN's Cerro Verde and SOUTHERN COPPER's Cuajone and Toquepala deposits. A spokesperson for the National Society of Mining, Oil and Energy said the vast majority of workers at medium and large mining companies went to work and output would likely not be significantly impacted on. JUAREZ said miners want President PEDRO PABLO KUCZYNSKI to drop proposed labour reforms that the union leader said would loosen safety rules, make it easier to fire workers and shift the burden of paying into an unemployment fund to workers from employers. The strike did not appear to pressure copper prices, which ended 0.2% lower on the LME after a recent rally on strong Chinese economic data. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane seeks to restrict granting of new prospecting, mining rights - Creamer Media Reporter

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE yesterday gazetted a proposal to restrict the granting of any new applications for prospecting or mining rights and the processing of applications for the renewal of prospecting or mining rights. The proposal is aimed at restricting the transfer of mineral rights between companies. In the Government Gazette of Jul. 19, ZWANE called for representations from relevant stakeholders regarding the proposal, stating that it was in the national interest and promoted the sustainable development of SA's mineral resources. The Department of Mineral Resources noted that this was a moratorium that was necessitated by the urgent interdict lodged by the Chamber of Mines to have the third iteration of the Mining Charter set aside. The deadline for written representations is Aug. 4. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ivanhoe appoints two more financiers to find funds for Platreef - Samantha Herbst

IVANHOE MINES has appointed KFW IPEX-BANK and the SWEDISH EXPORT CREDIT CORPORATION to arrange project financing for the development of the Platreef project in Limpopo. The German government-owned KFW IPEX-BANK and SEK will join EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CANADA, NEDBANK and SOCIETE GENERALE CORPORATE AND INVESTMENT BANKING, all appointed earlier this year, as initialy mandated lead arrangers. The IMLAs have committed to raising a total debt financing of up to $1bn for the development of Platreef's first phase, 4mt/y, with preliminary expressions of interest currently received for about $900m of the targeted $1bn in financing. This funding will be contingent on a successful due diligence process, including benchmarking the project against the INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION's environmental and social performance standards. Platreef is a tier-one PGM, nickel, copper and gold discovery on the northern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shanta to review cost base in light of new legislation, higher royalties - Creamer Media Reporter

SHANTA GOLD is undertaking a business review of its operational and cost base in Tanzania, where it operates the New Luika mine, following the introduction of new legislation and higher royalty rates. Tanzania's government earlier this month enacted various bills allowing the government to force miners to renegotiate contracts. The Bills cover natural resource contracts and sovereignty and would amend existing laws to allow the government to renegotiate or dissolve contracts with multinational companies. SHANTA said it expects its royalty rates to rise to 6% with its next gold shipment. The company expects to provide further details of the business review during Q3. It does not expect its gold production forecast for the year to be affected. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP invests A$350m in Olympic Dam - Esmarie Swanepoel

BHP will invest A$350m into its Olympic Dam operations in South Australia, in a smelter maintenance campaign. Olympic Dam asset president JACQUI MCGILL said the smelter maintenance campaign was the largest planned shutdown by BHP in South Australia. Some 1 300 contractors will be employed during peak construction as teams work around the clock to dismantle, rebuild and upgrade integral components of the facility. The rolling shutdown starts in Aug. with the maintenance campaign running fore more than 100 days in total. Olympic Dam is also using the planned downtime to undertake further refinery asset maintenance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Newcrest restarts output at Cadia East - Esmarie Swanepoel

NEWCREST MINING has restarted output at the Panel Cave 2 at its Cadia East mine in New South Wales. The company in Jun. started the testing phase at PC2 after operations were suspended in Apr. due to a seismic event. NEWCREST yesterday said the test and response phase involved drawing around 480 000t of ore, while monitoring ongoing seismic response levels to ensure they remained within expected range and limits. NEWCREST said the remediation and upgrade work on ground support continued at Panel Cave 1 and mining was on track to start in the Sep. quarter. The PC1 crusher remains the subject of a prohibition notice, pending the completion of the work outlined in the restart plan as part of the start-up of PC2. The group invested around A$25m to rehabilitate and upgrade the Cadia East operation following the seismic event. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Why RIN wants to increase stake in IHL - Business Report

REDEFINE INTERNATIONAL yesterday announced the submission of its proposal to INTERNATIONAL HOTEL PROPERTIES LIMITED to increase its shareholding in the latter from 17.24% to 50%. IHL is listed on the Euro MTF market of the Luxembourg bourse and on the AltX. RIN intends to increase its current stake in IHL to 50% by acquiring 18 343 166 IHL shares from the minority shareholders by way of a scheme of arrangement under the BVI Business Companies Act of 2004. The consideration for the IHL shares will be made through the issuing of 2.5m RIN shares for every one IHL share held, for which an additional 45 857 915 new RIN shares will be allocated and on implementation of the scheme, the listing of IHL's shares on the JSE and LuxSE would be terminated. Following this transaction, IHL would then be expected to comprise around 19% of the company's gross assets, up from 16% at Feb. 20. It is anticipated that material savings will be generated via the integration of the hotel assets into RIN's existing hotel portfolio and REIT status. RIN will only proceed with the transaction if it is satisfied that it has sufficient support from IHL's minority shareholders, is in compliance with Chapter 11 of the UK Listing Rules and has final ratification by the RIN board. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Severe storm lowers South32 SA coal exports - David McKay

SOUTH32's coal production for FY2017 fell 9% due to adverse weather conditions and a delay in development at Wolverfontein-Middelburg Complex. Commenting on its 2017 production report, the company said there had been an improvement in SA coal output rates in Q4 to end-Jun. 2017. Other notable aspects of the production report was record aluminium production, up 2%, at Mozal, and a 19% lift in manganese ore output from SA. South Africa energy coal saleable production fell by 9% to 2.8mt to 28.9mt, despite an 11% improvement in performance in the Jun. quarter as throughput rose at WMC. "Export sales in the June quarter were impacted by a severe storm that affected the Richards Bay Coal Terminal and deferred shipments into FY18", SOUTH32 added. Export sales from SA fell 22% y/y to 11.8mt, from 15.2mt previously. It will report financial figures in Aug. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom to take action against Koko, seek new funding sources - Mfuneko Toyana

The board of ESKOM will pursue disciplinary action against former acting CEO MATSHELA KOKO, who allegedly violated procurement rules, it said yesterday. Executives also denied at its annual results presentation that it was financially stressed and said it would seek funding options without the traditional government guarantees it has enjoyed. ESKOM said it has secured 53% of the funding needed for its 2017/18 FY to end-Mar. Net profit fell by 83% in FY2017 to R1bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's retail sales up 1.7% y/y in May - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

South African retails ales rose by 1.7% y/y in May, beating forecasts, after increasing by a revised 2% in April, Statistics SA said yesterday. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.3% y/y contraction in retail sales in May. On a m/m basis, sales rose by 0.9% and were up 1.5% in the three months to end-May y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodacom Tanzania extends deadline for IPO - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

VODACOM TANZANIA has extended the offer period for its IPO for a second time to allow foreign investors to take part, the company said yesterday. The operator said it had received approval from Tanzania's capital markets regulator to extend the offer period until Jul. 28 after the country changed its laws to allow foreigners to buy telecoms shares. "This extension will help ensure participation by international investors", VODACOM TANZANIA said. A listing on the Dar es Salaam bourse was tentatively set for Aug. 15, the company said. The government lifted a ban on foreigners participating in telecoms IPOs last month, a move expected to widen the pool of possible investors for several major companies. VODACOM plans to raise 476bn shillings by selling 560m shares at 850 shillings apiece. Traders said purchase of the shares by locals was slow even after the offer period was extended twice due to concerns about liquidity in the local market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Skye Bank shares rise after c.bank extends support - Oludare Mayowa

Shares in Nigeria's SKYE BANK rose 5% yesterday after the lender said it had secured central bank guarantees for another year and submitted its recapitalisation proposal to the regulator for approval. The banks shares rose to 0.63 naira on the stock market. Last year, the central bank injected 100bn naira to shore up SKYE's capital, after sacking its management team for failing to meet minimum capital requirements, and appointed a new team to oversee the lender's affairs. SKYE this week said it had recovered 60bn naira in bad loans, closed some branches and sold four subsidiaries to boost capital in the past year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria regulator approves Etisalat Nigeria name change - Chijioke Ohuocha

The Nigerian Communications Commission has approved ETISALAT NIGERIA's name change to 9MOBILE, the mobile service provider said yesterday, adding that it had started the process of rebranding. "ETISALAT NIGERIA wishes to inform its over 20m subscribers, government, regulatory agencies... the telecommunications company has changed its name to 9MOBILE", it said in a statement. The move was to ensure business continuity of Nigeria's 4th largest telecoms operator. ETISALAT NIGERIA had been in talks with its lenders to restructure a $1.2bn debt after it missed repayments but the talks failed to produce a deal, forcing the banks to step in. ETISALAT terminated its management agreement with the Nigerian business in Jun. and gave it three weeks to phase out the brand after it had to surrender its 45% stake to a trustee due to a debt crisis. ETISALAT NIGERIA's lenders have now taken control and appointed a new team to manage the company with a focus on getting it back to profitability while working to eventually raise new capital. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 20/07/2017

At 08h58 on 20 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.96 ZAR/EUR 14.93 ZAR/GBP 16.87 Gold 1238.99 Platinum 913.50 Brent Crude Oil 49.56 All Share 54091.11

GFG confirms bid for Glencore's Tahmoor mine - Jamie Smyth

GFG ALLIANCE is bidding for coking coal assets to feed the Australian steel plant it has acquired amid a flurry of dealmaking by the UK-based company. SANJEEV GUPTA, the metals tycoon whose family owns GFG, confirmed the company had lodged a bid for GLENCORE's Tahmoor mine in Australia and is considering other coking coal opportunities in that country. This follows GFG's acquisition of ARRIUM, an embattled Australian steel and mining outfit, in which GUPTA plans to invest $1bn over two years to upgrade equipment and transform the company into a major steel exporter. He said the Australian government was providing loan guarantees for part of the investment, which is the first phase of a longer-term strategy that includes plans for a renewable energy and pump storage facility. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

McCormick to pay more than $4bn for Reckitt's foods business - Arash Massoudi

MCCORMICK & COMPANy has agreed to buy the foods business of RECKITT BENCKISER for $4.2bn. The deal will see MCCORMICK, a maker of spices, herbs and flavourings, add staple food brands such as French's mustard and Frank's Red Hot Sauces. The transaction will help boost the US group's net sales to about $5bn a year in 2017, and improve margins. By sellign the foods business RECKITT can focus on its newly acquired infant nutrition unit after its $18bn purchase of MEAD JOHNSON earlier this year. The food division's operating profit margins, which were 28.7% in 2016, are high by industry standards, and revenues were up 5% to £411m last year. RECKITT said that in 2016 the division contributed £152m in EBITDA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China holding of US Treasuries climb to $1.1tn - Eric Platt

China's holdings of US Treasuries rose to the highest level since the country ceded its status as America's largest creditor nation to Japan last year. China's ownership of US government bills, notes and bonds rose by $10bn m/m to $1.1tn in May. That figure remains more than $140bn below year-ago levels. The rise helped close the gap with Japan as the largest US creditor to $9.1bn, its lowest since Sep. 2016. Japan's holdings of Treasuries rose by $4.4bn m/m to $1.11tn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP iron ore output up 4% in 2017 - Alice Woodhouse

BHP BILLITON today reported iron ore output up 4% for FY 2017 and said it expects to book charges of $546m following industrial action at its Escondida copper mine in Chile. The company said total iron ore production for FY2017 rose to 268mt, while production in Q4 to end-Jun. rose 8% to 60mt. It forecasts output for FY2018 at between 275mt and 280mt. BHP reported average realised prices for the HY to end-Jun. for iron ore at $62/wet tonne. Copper production for the period fell 16% due to the Escondida strike and unplanned maintenance at Olympic Dam in Australia. Total petroleum production for the FY fell 13% and this is forecast to decrease further in FY2018. BHP said it plans five further shale rigs in the US with capex for FY2018 expected to be around $1.2bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 19/07/2017

At 11h07 on 19 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.92 ZAR/EUR 14.90 ZAR/GBP 16.85 Gold 1239.00 Platinum 918.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.65 All Share 53820.33

Akzo Nobel CEO steps down - Michael Pooler

TON BUCHNER, CEO of Dutch paint maker AKZO NOBEL has resigned with immediate effect for health reasons just weeks after fending off a €27bn takeover assault from US rival PPG INDUSTRIES. BUCHNER spent five years turning the group into a leaner and more profitable proposition but came under pressure earlier this year when PPG sought to acquire the Dutch group. The company has named THIERRY VANLACKER as its new CEO. VANLACKER joined DUPONT in 1988 and held a number of senior positions both in Europe and the US before joining AKZO NOBEL in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA inflation falls to lowest since Nov. 2015 - Nicholas Megaw

SA's inflation rate fell further than expected in June to its lowest level since Nov. 2015, taking pressure off the SARB. CPI came in at 5.1% in June, down from 5.4% the previous month and slightly lower than the 5.2% forecast by analysts. The central bank is due to make its next ratings decision tomorrow. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US House Republicans plan $203m in 'mandatory' spending cuts after healthcare collapse - Adam Samson

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday unveiled an outline of their budget proposals that calls for $203bn in spending cuts to mandatory programmes, as well as "deficit-neutral tax reform". "With $20tn in debt and climbing, the opportunity to sit idly by has long since passed. We have a moral responsibility to leave the next generation better off, but so far, we area failing", the blueprint published by the House budget committee says. The plan would cut the corporate tax rate, and lower taxes for individuals. However, making the reforms deficit neutral could put pressure on lawmakers' ability to make the changes as deep as some had wished when DONALD TRUMP was elected president. Overall, the draft 2018 budget plan calls for a balanced budget over the next decade. It claims to provide $6.5tn in deficit reduction by 2027. The plan calls for $621.5bn in defence spending in 2018, with $511bn in non-defense spending. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lending margin disappoints at BofA despite rate rises - Alistair Gray

BANK OF AMERICA benefited less than expected from rising interest rates even as higher revenues from its retail banking business offset a slowdown in capital markets. The US lender yesterday reported net income of $5.27bn for Q2, a tenth more than a year ago. Revenues rose 7% to $22.8bn. BOFA did not get a boost from the Federal Reserve's tightening of monetary policy, with its net interest yield rising from 2.23% y/y to 2.34%. However, the margin ticked down from 2.39% in Q1. BOFA's sales and trading revenue fell 9% to $3.4bn, including a 14% drop in fixed income, currencies and commodities. Chair and CEO BRIAN MOYNIHAN said that "against modest economic growth of 2%", the bank "had one of the strongest quarters in our history". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

J&J lifts earnings guidance - Mehreen Khan

JOHNSON & JOHNSON boasted rising quarterly sales and lifted its FY earnings guidance after completing a $30bn deal for Swiss rival ACTELION earlier this year. The company yesterday said its Q2 sales rose 1.9% to $18.8bn y/y. Adjusted FY EPS came in at a better than expected $1.83 in the period, leading it to raise its FY adjusted EPS to $7.12-$7.22/share. Sales guidance for 2017 was also raised to a range of $75.8bn-$76.1bn from a previous $74.5bn-$76.1bn. J&J said international sales were up 2.3%, with US sales rising 1.9% in the quarter. Profits in the quarter slipped, falling to $3.83bn from around $4bn y/y. The company said it took an $800m hit for "after-tax special items" in the quarter. "We are optimistic that the investments we are making will accelerate our sales growth in the second half of this year", chair and CEO ALEX GORSKY said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Goldman quarterly trading revenues down 40% - Laura Noonan

GOLDMAN SACHS suffered a 40% drop in revenues from fixed income, currencies and commodities trading in Q2 2017. However, it still managed to top analysts' forecasts, with firm-wide EPS of $4.00, against the $3.505 expected by analysts polled by Bloomberg. Pre-tax earnings rose 2% y/y to $2.51bn. CEO LLOYD BLANKFEIN said a mixed operating environment persisted into Q2 "as conditions continued to support underwriting and M&A, while constraining certain market-making activity". In fixed income, GOLDMAN blamed the result on "significantly lower net revenues in interest rate products, commodities, credit products and currencies, partially offset by higher net revenues in mortgages." The lender described the environment as "challenging... characterised by low levels of volatility, low client activity and generally difficult market-making conditions". Brighter spots included a 42% rise in investing and lending revenues, driven by significant net gains from private equities, which were positively impacted by corporate performance and company-specific events. That investing and lending division returned net revenues of $1.58bn - well ahead of the $1.16bn from fixed income, currencies and commodities. GOLDMAN also missed out on the Q1 fixed income boom enjoyed by rivals, keeping fixed income revenue essentially flat at $1.69bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oil consultant says Saudi Arabia considering 1m bpd export cut - David Sheppard

Veteran oil consultant BILL FARREN-PRICE has said Saudi Arabia is weighing a unilateral 1m bpd cut to exports as the recovery in output from OPEC members not bound by the company's supply deal risks derailing attempts to balance the oil market. FARREN-PRICE, a consultant at PETROLEUM POLICY INTELLIGENCE, said in a note to clients late last week that sources inside and outside the cartel had told him a 1m bpd export cut by Saudi "was on the table" among other options, though no decision had yet been made. "The possible Saudi cut is a response to the second measure under discussion - Russia's demand that supply caps be introduced for Libya and Nigeria, whose growth during the first half of the year has undermined the impact of the cuts". FARREN-PRICE said an "adjusted strategy" could emerge at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting in Russia on Jul. 24, where cartel members will review the production cuts so far. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Daimler to spend €220m to reduce diesel engine emissions - Patrick McGee

DAIMLER will spend €220m to reduce emissions on 3m diesel-engine vehicles across Europe as it responds to scrutiny in the wake of the 2015 diesel emissions scandal at VOLKSWAGEN. The MERCEDES-BENZ parent said it will offer customers a voluntary software upgrade that will take an hour. CEO DIETER ZETSCHE said DAILMER was offering the update "to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology". Carmakers across Europe have been under pressure since Sep. 2015 to be more transparent about their diesel-engine technology, after US regulators exposed how VW was cheating emissions tests with software that entered an illegal low-emission mode during tests but spewed excess nitrogen oxide in real-world conditions. DAIMLER reiterated that it sees a future for diesel engines, which make up about half of car sales in Europe. With a €3bn investment it has already developed a new generation of diesel engines "whose exemplary emissions have been confirmed by measurements carried out by independent institutes". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's hands Barclays Africa foreign-currency junk rating - Hanna Ziady

MOODY's yesterday said it had assigned a first-time rating to BARCLAYS AFRICA GROUP's long-term and short-term foreign currency debt at one notch below investment grade, or Ba1. This is in line with SA's sovereign credit rating. BAG's local currency rating remained investment grade at Aa3, MOODY's said. The agency said the rating assigned to BAG captured its good capital buffer, healthy equity-to-asset ratio, solid profitability and liquidity metrics, and the company's diversified operations. "However, the rating also captures the challenging operating conditions, in both SA and the wider sub-Saharan Africa region, which expose [BARCLAYS AFRICA] to asset quality pressures". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steinhoff taps into euro bond market - BDpro

STEINHOFF yesterday said it had successfully debuted in the euro bond market, placing a senior, unsecured, fixed-rate corporate bond with an aggregate principal amount of €800m. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the issuance of the bond primarily to repay existing financial indebtedness, and for general corporate purposes. The bond will bear an annual coupon of 1.875% and will be admitted to trading on the regulated market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The bond was offered to institutional investors after a pan-European road show and as met with strong interest in STEINHOFF's business model and high investor demand, resulting in an upsize from the initial target of €500m to €750m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Construction on Exxaro's new offices to start in Sep. - Anine Kilian

GROWTHPOINT PROPERTIES has started the development of a new head office for EXXARO RESOURCES. The miner's new corporate headquarters will consolidate its current offices in Pretoria and Johannesburg into a single workspace, located at a convenient midpoint. EXXARO will occupy all of the new building's 18 500m² of gross lettable area on a long lease. Construction will begin in Sep., and the building will be ready for occupation in early 2019 when it will be able to accommodate up to 1 400 staff members. The building is designed for a 4 Star Green Star SA certification from the Green Building Council SA, which is also in line with GROWTHPOINT's high environmental standards for its office developments. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EOH shares fall over graft allegations - Reuters

Shares in EOH HOLDINGS fell nearly 10% yesterday after allegations of corruption, which the company has denied. An opinion piece published in Business Report on Monday accused EOH of being involved in corruption based on a report by amaBhungane. AmaBhungane alleged in Apr. that EOH was involved in impropriety in its contracts with SASSA, which makes monthly welfare payments to as many as 17m South Africans. On Monday, Business Report's editor wrote that "if your transactions are squeaky clean, open your books for a full audit, disclose all government contracts and disclose your delivery to government against payment of these contracts". EOH yesterday denied the allegations saying they were "false and unfounded". Shares in EOH were down 8.4% at R116.36 yesterday afternoon after falling more than 10% earlier. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vukile raises R900m after heavily oversubscribed placement - Samantha Herbst

VUKILE PROPERTY FUN has raised R900m after closing a same-day heavily oversubscribed bookbuild, initially aimed at raising R500m. Seeing robust demand for shares, the REIT raised the capital through the placement of around 48m new shares. Of the R900m raised, R578.75m was raised pursuant to the accelerated bookbuild process at R18.80/share, while R71.25m was raised by way of placement with management at R18.80/share, and R250m was raised by way of placement with the ENCHA SPV at R18.53/share, in terms of the ENCHA equity funding platform arrangements. Subject to approval by the JSE, listing and trading of the new shares is expected to commence at the start of trading on Jul. 26. The new shares, when issued, will be credited as fully paid and will be equal in all respects to existing shares. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ellies to narrow FY loss - Creamer Media Reporter

ELLIES expects to narrow its LPS to 38c-47c/share for the FY to end-Apr., from a loss of 87.78cps y/y. The loss is made up of a 5cps-10cps loss in the infrastructure segment, a 6c-11c loss in the consumer segment and a 25c-30c loss a share in the group segment. Meanwhile, ELLIES expects to post an HLPS of 5cps-11cps for the FY, compared with the headline loss of 57.35cps reported y/y. Results will be published on Jul. 28. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Minister questions Eskom's truthfulness - Yolandi Groenewald

Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN has asked the new interim ESKOM board to conduct short-term investigations and report back to her with recommendations. This comes a day before the utility is set to announce its FY results. "Let me just say that as the shareholder's representative, reliant on the company's board and management for accurate information, I have recently had reason to question the veracity of some of the answers I have been given", BROWN told an energy conference in Sandton. "I have therefore instituted various measures including changing the board, and establishing a deep dive investigation (to be conducted by the Special Investigations Unit) into all allegations of impropriety that have surfaced at ESKOM over the past ten years", BROWN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Volatile currencies hit Shoprite's sales growth - Lameez Omarjee

SHOPRITE managed to grow turnover by 10.4% over the 52 weeks ended Jul. 2, despite challenging trading conditions both locally and in non-domestic markets. Turnover for the period rose 8.2%. Operations in SA rose by 10.1% over the past 52 weeks, and by 7.7% on a 53-week basis. Internal inflation slowed to 5.9% from 7.4% reported in Dec. 2016. Non-South African operations reported sales growth of 13.5%, and 11.7% on a 53-week basis. Lower commodity prices and the devaluation of certain currencies had a material impact on prices of imported products during th latter part of the year. At constant currencies, sales grew 33.8%, or 31.6% on a 53-week basis. SHOPRITE's furniture division grew sales by 6.2%, or 4.3% on a 53-week basis. It faced industry challenges around affordability requirements of the National Credit Act, and durable purchases by consumers were also limited. Other operating segments posted growth of 7.7%, or 7% on a 53-week basis. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUMSA warns of more Medupi, Kusile delays - Matthew le Cordeur

NUMSA yesterday warned that further construction delays at ESKOM's Medupi and Kusile power plants could occur if they go on strike in the metals and engineering sector. Construction of the projects started in 2007 and 2008 but will only be fully completed by 2022. The stations have endured time and cost overruns, caused by strikes, mismanagement and poor governance. NUMSA yesterday said it is preparing to go on strike within 48 hours when it gives final notice. It is seeking a 15% wage hike, far higher than the 5.3% offer currently on the table. "Employers in the metals and engineering industry will have to take full responsibility for the repercussions that this strike will have on the economy as a result of their intransigence", the union said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fraud costs private healthcare R22bn - Liesl Peyper

At least 7% of all medical claims in SA are fraudulent, costing their members annually between R2 500 and R2 800 to cover fraudulent expenditure, said ANDY MOTHIBI, CEO of the Special Investigating Unit. Addressing delegates on the second day of the Board of Healthcare Funder's annual conference in Cape Town, MOTHIBI shed light on the incidence of fraud in the local healthcare sector. The total fraud costs in the private healthcare system is estimated at around R22bn annually. Estimates by the Healthcare Forensic Management Unit and the BHF find that at least 7% of all medical aid claims in SA are fraudulent and the figure could go as high as 15%. Fraud is also rife in the public healthcare sector, with R24bn of provincial health departments' expenditure between 2009 and 2013 being irregular. In a separate presentation on fraud, GREGORY PRATT, senior clinical advisor at MEDSCHEME's forensic unit warned that the proposed National Health Insurance scheme stands to be plundered with billions of rand unless there is substantial investment in protective anti-fraud technology. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Armyworm influx risks worsening S Sudan hunger - Okech Francis, Bloomberg

An invasion of fall armyworms may further damage South Sudanese farming, worsening shortages in the war-ravaged country where half the population is already facing hunger, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said. The pest has destroyed corn, sorghum and pasture in South Sudan, according to FELIX DZVURUMI, the head of the FAO's agriculture department in the country. The government and the UN agency are seeking $1m from donors to investigate the effects of the outbreak in the country, he added. An estimated 6m people are facing severe food shortages in the country. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Seacom begins fibre rollout in Jhb - Fin24

SEACOM has begun rollout of high-speed fibre internet access services to business and home users in Johannesburg, starting with the south. The company announced it would roll out 8km of fibre in Meyersdal, Alberton. The last-mile fibre network will pass several businesses, residential developments and shopping malls in the area. This marks the first phase in SEACOM's plan to roll high-speed fibre services out in the greater Johannesburg area. The company will partner with various resellers to address the home, retail and business markets across the region. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazilian judge suspends Samarco civil claim indefinitely - Henry Lazenby

A Brazilian judge of the Federal Court of Minas Gerais has for an indefinite period suspended a public civil lawsuit against SAMARCO over the latter's tailings dam collapse in Nov. 2015, the company said yesterday. VALE said the judge's decision on Monday did not change the terms of a court decision that extended the deadline for SAMARCO parent companies VALE and BHP to negotiate a settlement to Oct. 30. The court had on Jun. 30 granted the companies an additional four months to negotiate a settlement of civil claims relating to the dam failure. BHP and VALE must negotiate a settlement of the $47.5bn and $6.1bn public civil claims relating ot the dam failure. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rockwell business rescue to be published by Sep. 30 - Natasha Odendaal

The business rescue plan of ROCKWELL DIAMONDS will be published by Sep. 30, with the business rescue process for its three South African subsidiaries - ROCKWELL RESOURCES, HC VAN WYK DIAMONDS and SAXENDRIFT MINE - ongoing. ROCKWELL said the appointed business rescue practitioners are actively working alongside management to prepare a business rescue plan "which will deal with all claims against the subsidiaries". The process currently allowed the ramp-up of the flagship Wouterspan operation. During the quarter to end-May, volumes mined from the Wouterspan ramp-up operation totalled 166 328 cubic metres. A total of 359ct were recovered, including eight stones larger than 10ct. ROCKWELL reported a total comprehensive loss of $2.7m for the quarter to end-May, mainly driven by no completed operations being conducted during the period and resulting in very few diamonds recovered to cover operational costs and overheads. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibali continues to deliver steady performance as it finalises full commissioning - Creamer Media Reporter

The two remaining components of RANDGOLD RESOURCES' Kibali mine - its underground shaft system and a third hydropower plant - are both on track. The shaft system is expected to be commissioned this quarter, with the underground mine to produce around 2.2mt of ore this year. A third hydropower station is expected to be commissioned next year. RANDGOLD CEO MARK BRISTOW said that while Kibali was working towards delivering the underground mine, it was also maintaining steady output and was well positioned to meet its production target of 610 000oz of gold this year on the back of better grades forecast from the underground ramp-up, particularly in Q4. BRISTOW also noted ongoing brownfield exploration that was showing potential to add resources and reserves going forward. He reiterated that open and inclusive consultation with the mining industry is needed as the DRC embarks on a review of its mining code. Kibali, which is a JV between RANDGOLD, ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI and SOCIETE MINIERE DE KILO-MOTO started production in 2013 and has repatriated more than 40% of its gold sales revenue since first production in 2013, meeting and exceeding the requirements of the country's mining code. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PTM suspends mining at Maseve as it moves to new mining method - Natasha Odendaal

PLATINUM GROUP METALS has suspended active mining at its Maseve mine as it transitions the operation to a more hybrid mining method with a smaller labour force. Over the next few weeks, PTM will be focused on restructuring the mine's contractor activity and labour and undertaking equipment and mobile machinery maintenance and underground infrastructure improvements. The successful transition of Maseve will be key to achieving positive cash flow and reducing ongoing costs, leveraging the established infrastructure currently in place. In the near term, PTM's liquidity will be constrained as the development continues to use a majority of the company's cash on hand until positive cash flow is achieved. Mining is expected to resume in the next few weeks. For the nine months to end-May, PTM widened its net loss to $287m, from the net loss of $1.6m y/y. During the period under review, the company posted a $ 280m impairment - $225m in the quarter to end-May - of the Maseve mine, mostly due to missed output targets and the transition to a more gradual production rate from the hybrid mining method. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Yanfolila on track for first gold pour by year-end - Anine Kilian

HUMMINGBIRD RESOURCES' Mali-based Yanfolila mine is progressing on schedule and within budget, with several aspects of development now complete. Updating shareholders on developments at the mine during the quarter to end-Jun., HUMMINGBIRD said construction was 56% complete, with 73% of the estimated capex spend committed, as it continued to target first gold pour by the end of 2017. At a gold price of $1 250/oz, the company anticipates free cash flows of around $70m in the mine's first FY of output. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petropavlovks achieves 19% rise in H1 gold production - Anine Kilian

PETROPAVLOVSK's gold production rose by 19% y/y to 232 400oz in the HY to end-Jun. The increase is supportive of the Russian miner's aim to produce between 420 000oz and 460 000oz for the FY. The company also posted a drop in net debt, which fell 5% to $570m from $599m at end-Dec. 2016. The increase in output was due to operational efficiencies, nonexecutive chair IAN ASHBY said, adding that the range in the production forecast for the FY reflected the company's conservative approach to the development of underground mines at Pioneer and Malomir. Sales volumes in H1 amounted to 231 800oz, 19% higher than the 195 400oz sold y/y. At the end of June, PETROPAVLOVSK had hedging contracts in place for 500 000oz of gold at an average price of $1 252/oz. Interim results will be published in the week starting on Sep. 11. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oyu Tolgoi output remains steady q/q - Samantha Herbst

Q2 output at TURQUOISE HILL RESOURCES' Oyu Tolgoi gold/copper mine proceeded as planned and remained steady q/q, the company said on Monday. Ore treated in the period was impacted by a scheduled five-day maintenance shutdown in May, which was successfully completed. Material mined in Q2 rose by 3.5% q/q, though grades remained flat q/q. Copper and gold production in Q2 was in line with Q1 output, despite the planned maintenance shutdown. Meanwhile, copper sales in Q2 fell by 5.6% q/q, owing to lower concentrate volumes, while gold sales in the period under review fell by 28.1% q/q as sales in the first quarter included higher-grade concentrate from Q4 2016. The company expects Oyu Tolgoi to produce between 130 000t and 160 000t of copper this year, and between 100 000oz-140 000oz of gold. Openpit operations are expected to mine in Phases 4 and 6 during the year. In addition, stockpiled ore will continue to be processed during 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fortescue lifts lid on Eliwana production plans - Esmarie Swanepoel

FORTESCUE METALS has applied for environmental approval for new capacity of 50mt/year in the Pilbara, but was quick to note that the application does not reflect a production guidance. FORTESCUE has lodged an environmental application with the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority for the development of the Eliwana mine. The company said it would produce around 30mt a year from the project over an estimated mine life of 24 years, but that infrastructure would be constructed to reflect peaks in production of up to 50mt/year. FORTESCUE said the environmental application for the mine was consistent with normal approval processes and would allow future flexibility. Eliwana will replace the firetail operation, which will be depleted by 2019 or 2020. Firetail produces around 27mt/year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 19/07/2017

At 07h28 on 19 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.91 ZAR/EUR 14.89 ZAR/GBP 16.82 Gold 1240.93 Platinum 921.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.70 All Share 53261.64

Vodacom moves closer to finalising R35bn acquisition - Kabelo Khumalo

VODACOM's multi-billion rand acquisition of Kenya's SAFARICOM yesterday received a shot in the arm after a minority shareholder gave the deal the green light. Earlier this year, the telecoms giant announced it had agreed to buy a 35% stake in SAFARICOM in a deal worth R35bn. VODACOM CEO SHAMEEL JOOSUB says the deal will further enhance its position as a leading African mobile telecoms company and acquiring SAFARICOM provides VODACOM with a unique opportunity to diversify its financial profile in a single transaction. "The vote of confidence from VODACOM's minority shareholders is an important milestone in our journey to become a leading digital company and empowering a connected society. This is an exciting deal that provides VODACOM shareholders with access to a high growth, high margin and high cash generating business in the attractive Kenyan market", JOOSUB said. The transaction remains subject to certain regulatory approvals and conditions precedent in both Kenya and SA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN HY earnings up by 20% - ANA

MTN has announced it expects to report an improvement of at least 20% in both HEPS and EPS for the HY to end-Jun. This would be a significant improvement in the company's interim results compared with the HLPS of 271cps and attributable LPS of 301cps reported y/y. MTN said the negative performance in the y/y period was mainly as a result of nonrecurring costs, including the Nigeria regulatory fine of 474cps. MTN will publish interim results on Aug. 3. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana president says will not extend 3-yr IMF aid programme - Kwasi Kpodo

Ghana will not extend its three-year aid programme with the IMF beyond Apr. 2018, President NANA AKUFO-ADDO said yesterday, despite continuing fiscal difficulties. The president's announcement is a surprise turnaround after government officials last month said the country was considering a request by the Fund to extend the programme to Dec. 2018. An extension would have reassured markets of the government's commitment to fiscal discipline, analysts say. But AKUFO-ADDO said the government was on target with its policy to restore growth and create private sector jobs. "There is no question about the IMF programme being extended beyond Apr. 2018. We want to complete it and move on", he told reporters. The $918m agreement was signed in Apr. 2015 to address problems of slow growth and high public debt. The IMF in May said an extension was needed after Ghana failed to meet certain deal requirements on schedule. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's Skye Bank says c.bank support extended - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's central bank has extended guarantees to SKYE BANK for another year while it considers the bank's recapitalisation proposal, the lender said in a statement. The central bank shored up SKYE last year with a 100bn naira capital injection, after sacking its top management for failing to meet minimum capital requirements. It then appointed a new management team. The bank said it had recovered 60bn naira in bad loans, closed some branches and sold four subsidiaries to boost capital in the past year. "The bank continues to require assistance from central bank and government as it repairs the damage inflicted on the institution in the past and charts a sustainable path forward for the bank", SKYE said. It said it had reached restructuring agreements with many of the chronic bad debtors resulting in improved payments and prospects of future recoveries. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRC c.bank announces penalties for miners that fail to repatriate revenue - Aaron Ross

The DRC central bank has announced stiff new financial penalties for companies that fail to repatriate at least 40% of their revenues from mineral exports, a decree seen by Reuters showed yesterday. The country has been hit hard by low commodity prices over the last two years and is seeking emergency financial support from international donors to contain inflation expected to top 30% this year. The decree, signed by central bank governor DEOGRATIAS MUTOMBO, imposes a penalty of 1% of the non-repatriated sum for each day that it is not repatriated. It also decrees a fine of up to 200m Congolese francs for failure to communicate to the central bank details of a foreign bank account. MUTOMBO said the action was taken due to "the manifest failure by certain economic operators (to) respect legal and regulatory dispositions". The country's oil and mining sectors account for around 95% of its export revenues. The government has long complained that mining companies do not pay enough in taxes and is trying to revise the country's 2002 mining code to raise taxes and royalties. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Holcim to wind up Nigerian company next month - Chijioke Ohuocha

HOLCIM NIGERIA plans to pass a resolution next month to dissolve the company after its Swiss parent firm merged with LAFARGE two years ago, the cement maker said this week. HOLCIM NIGERIA is now part of LAFARGE AFRICA following a mega merger in 2015 to create the world's largest cement maker, LAFARCEHOLCIM. The company said it will present the final accounts of HOLCIM NIGERIA as part of the voluntary winding-up process at a meeting of shareholders on Aug. 21. LAFARGE AFRICA expects to generate cost saving synergies of 9bn naira by 2018 in Nigeria, following the merger. The Nigerian-based business of the cement maker is in the market to raise 140bn naira in fresh equity and convert some loans into shares as part of a planned rights issue after it reported losses last year. LAFARGEHOLCIM has said it will take part in a capital increase of the Nigerian unit to avoid diluting its nearly 73% stake, in a move which would also help simplify the ownership structure in Nigeria. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Amplats expects lower H1 profits - Tanisha Heiberg

ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM expects H1 profit to fall by as much as 67% due to a stronger rand, lower sales and post-tax impairments, the company said this morning. The company forecast HEPS at 210cps-335cps for the HY to end-Jun., down 47%-67% from the 629cps reported y/y. "Expected headline and basic earnings are lower due to a significant strengthening of the rand in H1 2017 compared to H1 2016, as well as lower sales volumes. Headline earnings and basic earnings were also hurt by an attributable post-tax impairment of R2.2bn, AMPLATS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba shares leap after court delay over memory chip business - Peter Wells

TOSHIBA shares jumped more than 22% this morning as investors digested a series of developments influencing the planned sale of its prized memory chip business. Late on Friday, the Superior Court of San Francisco delayed a ruling on WESTERN DIGITAL's attempt to block the $18bn sale and proposed an order requiring TOSHIBA to give the US chipmaker two weeks' notice before completing a sale of the chip business. TOSHIBA is desperate to close the sale in a bid to plug a Y600bn hole in its shareholder equity and prevent being forcefully delisted from the Tokyo bourse. With the next court case hearing slated for Jul. 28, TOSHIBA acknowledged in a statement today that "there is no chance of closing the deal within the next two weeks". It added that in the meantime it "can and will continue to negotiate and sign an agreement with bidder for the deal". TOSHIBA shares closed 19% higher as investors in Tokyo returned from a long weekend. The stock was up by 22.2% at one point. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Novartis confirms 2017 outlook as profit dips - Alice Woodhouse

NOVARTIS re-confirmed its outlook for FY2017 as its Q2 earnings showed a dip in core profit. Core net income fell 2% in the quarter to $2.85bn, from $2.93bn y/y. That still came in above a median of analysts' forecasts compiled by Reuters of $2.67bn. Sales also fell 2% y/y to $12.24bn as cancer drug Gleevec was hit by competition from generics. Sales from the company's ALCON eye unit provided a bright spot, growing 3% y/y to $1.5bn and pushing the company to revise its FY guidance for the unit to low-single digit. NOVARTIS said it expects net sales to be broadly in line with the prior year in constant currencies, while core operating income is expected to be in line with the previous year or to see a low single-digit decline. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto lowers iron ore guidance - Alice Woodhouse

RIO TINTO today said it expects iron ore shipments to come in at the lower end of its target for 2017 at 330t amid further rail maintenance in the second half of the year. The company's previous guidance was for 330mt-340mt, but it said the lower target takes into account production in H1 and continued rail maintenance in the latter half of the year. Iron re shipments from the Pilbara region were reported at 77.7mt for the quarter to end-Jun., down 6% y/y, as shipments were hit by rail track maintenance. RIO revised down its expected share of 2017 hard coking coal production to 7.2mt-7.8mt, from 7.8mt-8.4mt previously on the impact of Cyclone Debbie, which hit Queensland in March, damaging the rail lines connecting mines to ports. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Netflix beats Wall St estimates for subscriber growth - Tim Bradshaw

New seasons of old favourites and its latest hit, 13 Reasons Why, drove NETFLIX's subscriber base to 104m in Q2, with net additional subscribers of 5.2m exceeding analysts' forecasts. Shares in the company rose by 9% in after-hour trading to $176.19. Overall revenues grew 32% to $2.79bn, just aheat of Wall Street's $2.76bn estimate, with net income up 60% to $66m. At 15cps, earnings were 1c below forecasts but in line with the company's own guidance. NETFLIX recorded 1.07m net adds in the US and 4.14m internationally. That meant the group's 52m international subscribers overtook its 51.9m domestic members for the first time. NETFLIX also said its international business would make a positive profit contribution this year. The company is forecasting continued momentum into Q3. It said that it expects 4.4m net additional subscribers, with revenues of $2.96bn, net income of $143m and earnings of 32cps ahead of Wall Street's current consensus. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FedEx says cyber attack likely had material impact as effects linger - Adam Samson

FEDEX yesterday disclosed that the cyber attack against subsidiary TNT EXPRESS "likely" had a material impact, with customers "still experiencing widespread service and invoicing delays". The company said it had experienced a loss of revenue due to decreased volumes at TNT and incremental costs associated with the implementation of contingency plans and the remediation of affected systems. "We cannot yet estimate how long it will take to restore the systems that were impacted, and it is reasonably possible that TNT will be unable to fully restore all of the affected systems and recover all of the critical business data that was encrypted by the virus", FEDEX said, adding that it dies not have "cyber or other insurance in place that covers this attack". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore to spin off mining royalties into new company - Neil Hume

GLENCORE is preparing to spin-off its portfolio of mining royalties into a new company later this year in a bid to attract outside investors with an eye on an eventual stock market listing, according to sources. The plan will see GLENCORE seed the new company with royalty agreements worth in excess of $300m, while looking to attract a strategic partner to fund further deals that see the mining and trading house provide financing to junior miners in return for a slice of their revenue and exclusive marketing deals. In order to finance new royalty agreements, GLENCORE would sell a stake in the new vehicle to a strategic investors, possibly a pension fund of sovereign wealth fund. The royalty agreements would help GLENCORE secure additional supplies of copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc producers for its giant trading division, which has long set it apart from rivals in the mining industry. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investors brace for accelerating EM currency rally - Nicholas Megaw

The recent rally in emerging market currencies paused yesterday as the dollar regained some ground, but with recent data reinforcing views that the Fed will keep to its path of "dovish" rate hikes, analysts are predicting the EM march will restart soon. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index rose 1.24% last week, its biggest weekly gain for four months, helped by weak US inflation and consumer sentiment figures and dovish comments from Federal Reserve chair JANET YELLEN. The dollar index picked up in European trading after hitting a 10-month low overnight, but that has done little to discourage EM bulls. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barclays criminal trial set for 2019 - Jane Croft

The criminal trial of former BARCLAYS CEO JOHN VARLEY and three other former colleagues has been set for Jan. 2019. The four men and BARCLAYS PLC face allegations relating to the bank's capital raising at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 that enabled it to avoid a UK government bailout. The men made their first appearance at Southwark Crown Court yesterday following a magistrates court hearing earlier this month. VARLEY, who was CEO at the time of the 2008 financial crisis and three ex-colleagues includign ROGER JENKINS, the former head of the bank's middle east operations, all stood in the glass panelled dock at Southwark to identify themselves in the hour-long hearing before Mr Justice Edis. VARLEY and JENKINS face two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation over two emergency cash calls when Qatar invested £6.3bn to keep the bank out of UK government control. BARCLAYS entered an "advisory services agreement" with Qatar worth £322m at the time. They are also charged with a count of unlawful financial assistance over a £3bn loan the bank made to Qatar's finance and economy ministry just as the second cash call was closing. The men remain on bail. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ericsson issues revenue warning - Nic Fildes

Shares in ERICSSON have dropped over 8% in early trading after the company issued another damaging warning on the back of weak Q2 results when sales fell 8% and its operating loss widened to SKr1.2bn. The company said the ration access network equipment market is expected to decline this year by a "high single-digit percentage" compared to its previous estimate of a fall of 2%-6%. It also said it sees an increased risk of further market and customer project "adjustments' that could hit operating profit by SKr3bn-SFr3bn, 30% of which would hit its cashflow. The company said it would accelerate its cost-cutting plan immediately as a result, with at least SKr10bn in annual savings to be achieved by mid-2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 18/07/2017

At 12h14 on 18 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.94 ZAR/EUR 14.96 ZAR/GBP 16.88 Gold 1237.14 Platinum 922.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.35 All Share 53577.23

Vodacom fined in Tanzania - Dineo Faku

VODACOM has been fined 945m Tanzanian shillings for registering SIM cards without demanding identity cards, among others, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority said. The fine was also as a result of the company registering SIM cards with unauthorised identity cards, registering SIMs without taking photos of subscribers, registering SIM cards without the subscriber's confirmation of particulars by signing, and for registering SIM cards using another person's identification documents. AIRTEL TANZANIA, TIGO and HALOTEL were also fined following an investigation in December. The companies have until Oct. 14 to make the payments. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PIC ups stake in Group Five - Fin24 with Bloomberg

The PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION has raised its stake in GROUP FIVE to 20.135%, the construction company said yesterday, edging closer to majority shareholder ALLAN GRAY's 25% stake. This comes as a battle emerges between ALLAN GRAY and the PIC (along with MAZI CAPITAL) about which nonexecutive directors should replace departing ones. GROUP FIVE told shareholders that ALLAN GRAY had punted bringing back former GROUP FIVE CEO MIKE UPTON. GROUP FIVE chair PHILISIWE MTHETHWA said the fight between the GROUP FIVE board and ALLAN GRAY was ultimately a battle against transformation, and in particular against the appointment of a black CEO, THEMBA MOSAI, to head the company. GROUP FIVE said ALLAN GRAY nominated UPTON to the board as a non-executive director and has proposed that the company be broken up. The company said UPTON's return would be "inappropriate" as he led GROUP FIVE "at a time when historical industry behaviour was severely criticised". The board also disagrees with ALLAN GRAY's breakup plan and has the support of other investors. ALLAN GRAY chief investment officer ANDREW LAPPING said the firm "does not have an agenda with regards to GROUP FIVE's strategy, we want an independent board with the relevant skills that will protect and grow value for all stakeholders". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Buthelezi under pressure to reveal SAA's skeletons - Fin24

The DA has given Deputy Finance Minister SFISO BUTHELEZI five days to release several forensic reports believed to contain damning details of gross mismanagement at the embattled SAA. "What we looking at is some kind of legal action to force him to deliver those reports", DA MP ALF LEES said. City Press revealed that SAA coughed up R4.5bn to overseas contractors. It details how SAA Technical flouted procurement regulations and extended contracts several times without going to tender. The first forensic report that looked into long-term contracts at SAAT showed that SA and its technical division extended a tyre contract, involving BRIDGESTONE AIRCRAFT TIRE EUROPE SA (BAE), several times over 15 years, without public tender. The second report shows that a five-year components and logistics contract with AIR FRANCE, worth R240m/year, was summarily extended on a q/q basis in 2013 by the SAAT board without going to tender. Both reports are expected to be processed by the new SAA board. LEES said the DA has been pushing for the release of at least 18 reports, conducted over the last two years at the national carrier. He said BUTHELEZI had promised to release the forensic reports to the finance committee, but has failed to make good on his promise. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FIC will be costly for banks, customers - Lameez Omarjee

Complying with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act will be costly for banks, the Banking Association of SA said yesterday. The Act introduces a risk-based approach as opposed to a rules-based approach followed previously. This gives banks more discretion to determine how to meet the standards. The risk-based approach supports the use of technological innovation for customer identification and verification to help with financial inclusion objectives. There is a "huge" cost of compliance and it will have a significant impact on administration to implement. This will feed into the cost of banking and impact customers, BASA market conduct head RAKSHA SEMNARAYAN said. The full cost of implementing FICA is not yet known as the full ambit of the regulation has not yet been determined. "It will impact on consumers. We can't say exactly how much... A whole host of regulatory costs have an impact on banks... It requires a shift in approach of banking which will be a challenge", SEMNARAYAN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN urges customers to be vigilant of new SIM swap scam - Fin24

MTN has warned customers of a SIM swap scam which seeks to obtain people's private information. "In this scam, a supposed MTN call centre agent requests the customer's security details under the pretext that they are blocking the processing of a SIM swap request that is being made on the subscriber's number without their knowledge or authorisation", MTN said. It explained that the scammers will then proceed to use the customer's responses that they obtained during the call to perform a fraudulent SIM swap. "It is important for customers to know that MTN will not contact customers from its call centre to block the processing of a SIM swap request", MTN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fewer medical schemes in store for SA - Liesl Peyper

Government hopes the number of private medical schemes and the options they provide will decrease under the National Health Insurance. Speaking at the annual conference of the Board of Healthcare Funders in Cape Town, Department of Health DG MALEBONA MATSOSO outlined some elements of the NHI which includes plans for the public and private healthcare sector. Government intends to implement the universal healthcare plan in full in 2025. MATSOSO said risk-pooling and cross-subsidisation will be critical elements to finance universal healthcare under the NHI. This funding system should aim to spread the financial risk of illness across the broader population and collect large pools of prepaid funds that people can draw on to cover their healthcare costs when they need it. Government will also look at introducing a single service benefits framework to the private healthcare industry as well as a new set of prescribed minimum benefits that are more closely aligned to common care pathways under the NHI. The number of medical schemes in the private sector will also have to come down and they will have to provide fewer options per scheme. BARRY CHILDS, CEO at INSIGHT ACTUARIES AND CONSULTANTS, yesterday said regulations need to be relaxed so that medical aids can be allowed to pool common benefits and have better cross-subsidies across different risk categories. "This will most likely result in fewer scheme options. But currently, regulation requires that each risk pool within a medical scheme must be self-sustaining and no pooling across risk categories are allowed", CHILDS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Allowing SAPO to extend credit is inherently risky - Robert Laing

Allowing the SA POST OFFICE, via POSTBANK, to extend credit is likely to make it yet another SOE in need of a hefty bail-out, BMI RESEARCH warned this morning. The government recently decided to step up its activity in the banking market by expanding the POST OFFICE's licence to allow the POSTBANK to offer credit. Historically, it was only permitted to offer savings accounts, not extend loans. Only 12.1% of the population accessed credit via a financial institution as of 2014. This is probaby the symptom of too little competition in SA's banking industry, BMI said. "Competition is limited, encouraging banks to maintain high lending rates. That said, we see a number of inherent challenges associated with the creation of a new state bank in SA. In the near term, the biggest risk is that the bank will lack the assets to have a significant impact on financial inclusion", BMI said. "The POSTBANK will likely attract far riskier borrowers, suggesting potential for notably weaker average asset quality than commercial banks. In a time of economic strain or exogenous shocks, this could see the government forced to step in with a bail-out. With SA already faced with elevated risks of contingent liabilities from the sizeable guarantees to state-owned enterprised, this could risk exacerbating the state's challenges". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AECI expects higher interim earnings - Sens

AECI LIMITED yesterday said it expects to report HEPS of between 381cps and 396cps for the HY to end-Jun., up 30%-35% on the 293cps reported y/y. EPS will be between 380cps and 394cps, also 30%-35% higher than the 292cps reported y/y. Interim results will be published on Jul. 26. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PPC, Afrisam still in merger talks - Karl Gernetzky

Formal talks on a potential merger between PPC and AFRISAM are continuing, PPC said yesterday. The company's share price gained 0.63% to R4.80 in midmorning trade after the cautionary announcement. PPC and AFRISAM in Feb. announced that they had restarted talks to potentially merge their operations, nearly two years after previous talks were abandoned. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oando confirms probe but disputes 'defamatory' claims - Robert Laing

OANDO issued a statement yesterday confirming reports that it was under investigation by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission. The company's JSE-listed shares rarely trade, and no shares changed hands after yesterday's announcement, leaving the price at 25c. OANDO's Lagos-listed shares fell 9.6% to 7.55 naira. "The company understands that the SEC is in receipt of correspondence containing (in our opinion) unsubstantiated, misleading and defamatory claims with respect to various matters that had already received board, shareholder and where required SEC approval", the company said. The complaint relates to OANDO's acquisition of CONOCOPHILLIPS' Nigerian assets in 2014 for $1.65bn. Foreign investors who have seen the value of their OANDO shares plunge to a tenth of their 2014 peak petitioned the SEC to investigate, according to Nigerian media. OANDO said it is co-operating with the SEC by providing all appropriate clarifications and rebuttals on the matters raised in the said correspondence. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Social Development debt fires SASSA CEO - Linda Ensor

The work contract of SASSA CEO THOKOZANI MAGWAZA has been terminated, the Department of Social Development said yesterday. Social Development Minister BATHABILE DLAMINI and MAGWAZA had reportedly agreed to the termination "after a consultative process led by the head of legal services, adv NKOSINATHI DLADLA, in terms of the provisions of his contract of employment". MAGWAZA's leaving SASSA comes amid reports that his life was under threat. He is due to testify against DLAMINI in a public inquiry about her role in the SASSA pension payment debacle. MAGWAZA clashed very publicly with DLAMINI over the handling of the payment of social grants as the contract with CASH PAYMASTER SERVICES was nearing its end earlier in 2016. He also cancelled "work streams" set up by the minister to find the best solution for the payment of grants after the Treasury indicated that the R47m spent on them was irregular. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Impending strike could lead to more retrenchments in steel industry - Solidarity - Anine Kilian

Solidarity yesterday warned that the impending strike in the steel industry would have a negative impact, both on the local steel industry and the country's economy, as well as on job opportunities in the sector. This comes after the South African Federation of Trade Unions earlier pledged its support to NUMSA as far as the latter's planned strike action in the metals and engineering industry is concerned. Solidarity metals and engineering industry DG MARIUS CROUCAMP said the impending strike is a consequence of a lack of commitment from employers and unions alike to find a solution to the wage dispute. The union said it received a retrenchment notice from the MACSTEEL GROUP stating that it intends to cut its workforce by around 310 people. CROUCAMP warned that the ongoing crisis in the wage negotiations could lead to even more retrenchments. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Heriot to list on AltX - Anine Kilian

The JSE has granted REIT HERIOT a listing of all its issued ordinary shares in the diversified REIT's sector on the AltX, effective Jul. 24. HERIOT is a newly incorporated company and has been established for the purposes of creating a listed property fund that will acquire and develop properties either directly or via subsidiaries in JVs. It may also invest in listed property shares. HERIOT holds 20 industrial properties valued at R1.58bn, as well as 12 retail centres with a gross lettable area of 119 981m² in CBDs, townships and rural areas that focus on the mass market. The centres, valued at R2.09bn, are anchored by a high percentage of national tenants with long-term leases and high trading densities that ensures the sustainability of HERIOT's cash flows. The company's primary objective is to identify value-enhancing opportunities within the commercial, industrial and retail sectors in SA to create a stable and diverse portfolio of assets capable of generating secure and escalating free cash flows. HERIOT is confident it will deliver a distribution of 72cps for the FY to end-May 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hulisani encouraged by moves to restore IPP policy certainty - Terence Creamer

HULISANI CEO MARUBINI RAPHULU says he is encouraged by the framework outlined by Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA for re-establishing policy certainty for the electricity sector and for independent power producers. As part of government's 14-point economic stimulus plan, GIGABA said a review into the pace and scale of adding new generation capacity would be finalised by Aug. He also indicated that the review would take account of ESKOM's current financial "hardship" and the expectation of there being surplus capacity until 2021. RAPHULU said while only a skeletal outline has been provided for addressing the prevailing policy uncertainty, he is nevertheless encouraged by the fact that commitments have now been made to timeframes, we well as to the principle of pursuing the lowest-cost electricity mix. "Once there is certainty across government departments, you give us as business the confidence to continue to invest", he said, adding that HULISANI is aiming to raise a further R4bn in coming months to support its strategy of developing a diversified portfolio of energy assets in SA and sub-Saharan Africa. HULISANI's immediate deal pipeline is estimated at R40bn and is underpinned primarily by moves by domestic and international project developers to liberate capital associated with the REIPPPP plants in order to pursue new project opportunities. HULISANI currently has holdings in two IPPs - a 6.67% stake in REDDCAP's 80 MW Kouga Wind Farm, and 66% of the 7 MW Rustmo solar photovoltaic plant. RAPHULU said the company has assessed a further 30 renewables and conventional projects in SA and the rest of the region and that it is close to concluding its third transaction. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Massmart reports sluggish rise in H1 sales - Anine Kilian

MASSMART's sales in the HY ended Jun. 25 grew by 0.5% y/y to R42.5bn. Comparable store sales fell by 1.6% and product inflation was estimated at 3.2%. At group level, sales growth in food was 3%, while growth in non-food items contracted by 2.9%. Total and comparable sales growth from the group's South African stores were 1.7% and -0.2%, respectively. Total and comparable sales growth from its African store, excluding South African stores, measured in the local African currencies were positive, while in rand terms, sales contracted by 11.9% and 14.1% respectively. Interim results will be published on Aug. 24. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CompCom launches inquiry into public transport sector - Anine Kilian

The Competition Commission has launched a market inquiry into the public passenger transport sector following various complaints relating to public transport in SA. The Public Passenger Transport Market Inquiry was recently published in the Government Gazette and the commission is now calling for submissions. The Commission noted it had identified road and rail public passenger transport, including minibus, localised and metered taxis, app-based taxi services, Metrorail and the Gautrain, as relevant for the probe. The Commission has also published a call for submissions for stakeholders and the public to provide evidence and information that will assist it to formulate sound recommendations. Submissions, which close on Aug. 24, should be detailed and view or opinions should be substantiated. Stakeholders are also invited to submit data and information that is relevant in assessing t he state of competition in the industry. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

OUTA lays treason charges against Muthambi - ANA

OUTA yesterday announced it had laid treason charges against former communications minister FAITH MUTHAMBI. Based on information contained in the GuptaLeaks shoing MUTHAMBI had purportedly sent confidential cabinet documents to the GUPTA family and their associates, OUTA said this merited treason charges. "FAITH MUTHAMBI knowingly and deliberately shared three confidential Cabinet memoranda, through emails with TONY GUPTA, DUDUZANE ZUMA and SAHARA's CEO ASHU CHAWLA. These people should never have been privy to any ministerial communication and policy discussions", OUTA portfolio director for special projects DOMINIQUE MSIBI said. Charges were laid at the Brixton police station in Johannesburg. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Giyani Gold changes name - Anine Kilian

GIYANI GOLD has changed its name to GIYANI METALS. GIYANI METALS will begin trading its shares on the TSX-Venture Exchange on Monday and the common shares of GIYANI GOLD will be delisted. The company is now classified as a mineral exploration and development company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Divisive potash plan to test new BHP chair - Bloomberg

BHP's plan to enter the potash market with a contentious $13bn project in Canada is adding to challenges facing incoming chair KEN MACKENZIE. MACKENZIE, who takes up the role in Sep., currently is on a global tour to meet investors in the wake of an activist campaign in recent months spearheaded by ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT. Issues of concern for some investors include the company's US onshore oil and gas assets and its plans to accelerate the Jansen potash venture. Proceeding with Jansen risks a "severe strategic misstep", according to SANFORD C. BERNSTEIN analyst PAUL GAIT, as the new supply would risk depressing prices by delaying to about 2036 the ability of the potash market to work through overcapacity. "Potash is going to be a big, big decision and I get the feeling most people in the market are fairly cautious", said ANDY FORSTER, senior investment officer at ARGO INVESTMENTS. Investors are looking to MACKENZIE to show he'll be "nore disciplined in the capital-allocation process", he added. BHP declined to comment on talks with investors on Jansen. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Firestone Diamonds' Liqhobong mine reaches quarterly targets - Anine Kilian

FIRESTONE DIAMONDS' Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho treated 925 000t of material in the quarter to end-Jun. That brings the total for the FY to 1.97mt, the company said yesterday. "The commissioning and ramp-up process at Liqhobong has been very successful, particularly in terms of mining and treatment. To have achieved commercial production within eight months of start-up is an exceptional record", CEO STUART BROWN said. The company noted that the tonnage achievement was at the top end of guidance and confirmed that Liqhobong completed its commercial production testing programme. Of the 1.97mt treated for the year, 80% came from the lower-grade K2 material in the pit with some dilution, while 7% of the tonnage came from the K4 material, also with some dilution. During the quarter to end-Jun. 204 000ct were recovered at a grade of 22ct/100t. FIRESTONE noted that it had $17.3m cash on hand at the end of the quarter, which included the compulsory drawdown of the $5m from the extended $15m standby facility. Also, post the quarter end, the second ABSA debt repayment of $4.1m was made as scheduled. For the FY, 310 376ct were sold, generating proceeds of $27.8m, achieving an average price of $90/ct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana Diamonds' Vutomi licences extended adjacent to Frischgewaagt - Natasha Odendaal

BOTSWANA DIAMONDS has been granted a prospecting licence over an additional 1 000ha immediately east of and contiguous to its Frischgewaagt project in SA. The company's current drilling programme, which is expected to start within weeks, will be extended into the new area, after geophysics studies indicated that the kimberlite dyke/pipe system being studied extended into the adjacent property. "Initial results are encouraging, but we do not yet know where the richest mineralisation will be confirmed. Work so far strongly indicates that the system containing diamonds extends eastwards, adjacent to our Frischgewaagt property", BOTSWANA DIAMONDS chair JOHN TEELING said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Two injured in electrical fire at Tenke mine in DRC - Reuters

Two employees at the Tenke copper mine in the DRC suffered minor injuries in an electrical fire at the weekend, majority owner CHINA MOLYBDENUM CO said yesterday. The mine "experienced an electrical short in a single transformer that supplies the SAG Mill at the Kwatebala plant, resulting in a small localised fire, which was quickly extinguished", the company said. "We anticipate that normal operations will resume shortly". CHINA MOLYBDENUM purchased its 45% stake in the mine last year from FREEPORT-MCMORAN. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Servest grows cleaning business at Clicks - ANA

SERVEST GROUP yesterday completed a contract to clean 40 additional CLICKS stores in the Western Cape. The contract means SERVEST will now provide cleaning services to all 500 CLICKS stores in SA. SERVEST is a 51% majority black-owned facilities management firm with a footprint in 10 African countries. The company employs more than 4 500 workers in the Cape Town area. Planned expansion was likely to see the number of workers double in the next 3-5 years. SEVEST CEO STEVE WALLBANKS said the company's partnership approach and cleaning practices had been critical factors in clinching the deal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vitol pulls out of deal to buy RBCT stake from Tegeta - David McKay

VITOL has walked away from a deal first proposed in 2016 to buy coal export entitlement via the Richards Bay coal Terminal, it said yesterday. "The consortium comprising BURGH GROUP HOLDINGS and VITOL will not be proceeding with the acquisition of OPTIMUM COAL TERMINAL PTY from the TEGETA GROUP", it said. OPTIMUM holds a 7.5% stake in the RBCT which would be equivalent to an annual export quota of 6mt of coal at a total annual terminal throughput of 81mt. The company obtained that quota via a BEE deal when it was created as a separately listed company by BHP BILLITON as part of the latter's effort to meet BEE requirements. The prospect of VITOL taking a stake in RBCT worried existing members of the RBCT as they hold pre-emptive rights to use OPTIMUM's export allocation in the event that OPTIMUM is not able to supply the coal from its own operations. RBCT members also don't want a pure commodity trading firm as a member of the terminal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold may suspend Geita underground project - David McKay

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI was unlikely to suspend the underground development project at its Geita mine in Tanzania and redeploy the capital to other low-cost mines in its portfolio, MOODY's said. This was following legislative changes in the country which raised the prospect it could renegotiate a Mine Development Agreement in existence for 20 years. Some of the changes enacted in Tanzania's parliament earlier this month include installing government as a 16% shareholder in certain mining assets on a free-carry basis and handing it the right to buy the balance up to a maximum of 50%. There is also a law change increasing the revenue-based royalty to 6% from the previous 4% level as well as imposing a 1% clearing fee on exports. ANGLOGOLD said it would seek arbitration through the UN. MOODY's analyst DOUGLAS ROWLINGS suggested the miner would also seek direct negotiation with the government, but would assess whether it was worthwhile deploying more capital in Tanzania. "For the time being, the Geita mine remains profitable, with an all-in sustaining cost of production of $844/oz for 2016 and cash from sales continuing with no effect on gold production", ROWLINGS said. "We expect the uncertain operating environment in Tanzania to prompt AGA to redeploy capital expenditures earmarked for Geita, notably the development of an underground mine. This will allow AGA to shift capital towards fast-tracking low-capital-high-return brownfield opportunities at its other mines to counter any negative effects on Geita's contribution to overall EBITDA", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moz to default on another bond repayment - Ed Cropley

Mozambique will default on another eurobond repayment due this week due to economic and fiscal problems that gives the state "extremely limited" capacity to repay any money this year, the finance ministry said yesterday. The repayment on the 2023 eurobond - the disastrous $850m tuna bond - had been due on Jul. 18. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin cuts costs, builds cash in Q3 - Zandi Shabalala

LONMIN cut more costs and improved its mining performance in Q3, it said yesterday, but falling metal prices continued to weigh. In the quarter to end-Jun., a $146m impairment brought the company close to breaching its debt covenants as its liquidity shrank. In the quarter under review, unit costs fell 4.7% q/q, but costs rose 6.4% y/y. Total tonnes mined rose 3.8% to 2.7mt y/y and were up 13.2% q/q. Net cash improved to $86m from $75m q/q. "We continued to find levers to pull, in this 'lower prices for longer' environment and to make the improvement of our performance a priority", CEO BEN MAGARA said. The average basket price for the metals fell in the quarter, down 3% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Madagascar finance minister resigns - Lova Rabary

Madagascar's finance minister announced his resignation yesterday following media speculation over differences of opinion between him and the president. "The conditions enabling me to successfully complete my mission are not fulfilled", GERVAIS RAKOTOARIMANANA told reporters, without providing any further explanation for his decision. "That's why I handed in my resignation as minister of finance and budget to the president of the republic on Friday". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 18/07/2017

At 07h23 on 18 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.89 ZAR/EUR 14.87 ZAR/GBP 16.88 Gold 1237.78 Platinum 921.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.35 All Share 53827.41

Zim's agriculture authority to issue $80m in grain bills to buy maize - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's Agricultural Marketing Authority will next week issue $80m in grain bills to buy maize from farmers, the authority's financial advisor CBZ BANK said today. AMA will raise the money to buy the grain through another state entity, the Grain Marketing Board, CBZ said. Grain bills are bonds specifically meant for purchasing maize and are guaranteed by the Zimbabwean government. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mazda recalls further 19 000 cars in SA over airbag scare - Wendell Roelf

MAZDA MOTOR CORP. is recalling 19 000 cars in SA due to airbag safety concerns as the carmaker extends a global recall to cover a wider manufacturing period, it said today. The recall was prompted by investigations in the US and Japan for three different types of TAKATA CORP-manufactured airbags over safety concerns that inflators were defective. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this month said new testing was prompting TAKATA to declare 2.7m air bag inflators defective in FORD, NISSAN and MAZDA vehicles. The air bag inflators have been linked to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide, and the recalls will eventually cover about 125m inflators. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US drillers add rigs for 2nd week - Mamta Badkar

US drillers brought oil rigs back online for the second consecutive week, although the pace of additions slowed. Drillers added two rigs in the week to Jul. 14, bringing the total number of operational oil rigs to 765, BAKER HUGHES said on Friday. That was a slower pace of additions than the previous week, when drillers added seven rigs. Friday's data further showed that the number of horizontal rigs - the technology for extracting petroleum from shale - remained unchanged at 804. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US consumer sentiment darkens in initial Jul. reading - Jessica Dye

US consumer sentiment has edged lower in July as expectations of long-term future economic prospects continued to drop despite growing confidence in the current state of affairs. The University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers preliminary readings for July clocked in at 93.1 on Friday, below the 95 expected by analysts. Last month the figure stood at 95.1. The current consumer sentiment reading is consistent with GDP growth of just above 2% in 2017 and an annual gain in personal consumption of 2.4% for the year, according to Surveys of Consumers chief economist RICHARD CURTIN. Sentiment on current economic conditions picked up to 113.2, from 112.5 the previous month. Consumer expectations, by contrast, sat at 80.2, down from 83.9 the prior month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin shares spike after 'much improved' performance - Nicholas Megaw

Shares in LONMIN picked up from their recent lows this morning as the company reported a "much improved mining performance" in its third quarter. Shares rose 12% this morning as the group reported a 3.8% y/y rise in output in Q3 to end-Jun. Production was 13.2% higher than the prior quarter, while costs were at the lower end of forecasts and the company's net cash improved. The shares subsequently erased some of the gains and were up just 4% in mid-morning trade in London. LONMIN CEO BEN MAGARA said: "Despite the difficult global macro-economics and the complex and challenging socio-political operating environment, we are still able to find common ground for LONMIN to deliver this sustained improved performance". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 17/07/2017

At 11h07 on 17 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.99 ZAR/EUR 14.88 ZAR/GBP 16.98 Gold 1230.00 Platinum 922.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.01 All Share 53674.26

China GDP grows 6.9% in Q2 - Gabriel Wildau

China's economy grew 6.9% in Q2 2017, still comfortably above the government's target of "around 6.5%". After posting 6.9% growth in Q1, the economy is now on pace for its first y/y acceleration since 2010. Growth was 6.7% last year. In the medium term, risks from rising debt and overcapacity in large swathes of the manufacturing sector still loom over the economy. Many worry that the property market is in a bubble, particularly in the biggest cities. Following the strong start to the year, many predicted growth would slow markedly as Beijing tightened monetary policy and the property market lost momentum. The slowdown came but was milder than feared. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Singapore exports firm in June - Alice Woodhouse

Singapore's non-oil domestic exports grew at a faster pace than expected in Jun. as outbound shipments of petrochemicals rose. Non-oil domestic exports rose 8.2% y/y, according to International Enterprise Singapore. Analysts had forecast a 5% rise. The figure for May was revised to 0.4% growth in exports, from a previous 1.2% decline. Outbound shipments of electronics grew 5.4% y/y in June, while exports of non-electronic products grew 9.3% y/y. An initial reading of Singapore's GDP for Q2, published on Friday, showed the country's economy grew 2.5%, falling short of a median forecast of 2.8% growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FCA launches review into online investment market - Aime Williams

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has launched its sweeping review of the online investment market after raising concerns about a lack of competition and value for money in the sector. The FCA announced plans to investigate the so-called investment "platforms", which allow retail investors to buy and sell funds online, in its recent asset management market study. Today, the FCA set out the scope of its probe, and said it would focus on whether the platforms help customers make good investment decisions, alongside considering the value of money on offer and whether platforms are fully using their bargaining power to make sure investors get a good deal from fund managers. The watchdog said it would look at both websites that sell funds straight to retail investors and those that provided services to financial advisers. The FCA is accepting feedback on its plans until Sep. 8, and said it aims to publish an interim report in summer 2018 setting out preliminary conclusions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jump in oil, gas output pushes US industrial production up - Pan Kwan Yuk

US industrial production rose in June as mining and oil and gas output posted a solid increase for a third consecutive month. Industrial production rose 0.4% in June m/m, and was revised up to 0.1% for may from a flat reading previously, the Federal Reserve said. The gain was better than the 0.3% rise analysts had forecast. Much of the gain was driven by the 1.6% jump in production from the mining sector. This underscores how America's shale-oil producers are ramping up production and the challenge facing OPEC's efforts to boost oil prices by limiting members' output. Manufacturing output remained subdued, eking out a 0.2% rise. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US retail sales miss forecasts - Adam Samson

US retail sales unexpectedly contracted in June m/m, underscoring the economy's patchy performance of late. Retail sales fell 0.2% m/m, he Commerce Department said on Friday. Excluding the volatile vehicles component, sales dipped by the same margin. Both figures missed forecasts of a rise of 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Wells Fargo clocks first profit growth in seven quarters - Alistair Gray

WELLS FARGO's profits have risen for the first time in seven quarters as support from higher interest rates helped the US lender overcome pressures from its sham accounts scandal. The bank on Friday said higher margins from lending and lower charge-offs on soured loans helped total net income rise 5% y/y to $5.8bn, or $1.07/diluted share. The results showed weakness in lending volumes that have been seen across the US banking industry in recent months. WELLS had $957bn worth of loans outstanding at the end of the quarter, down $982m from Mar. Car loan originations slumped 45% y/y as the lender tightened underwriting standards. Total revenues were little changed at $22.2bn, and traders looked past the better-than-forecast profit figures to send shares in WELLS down 1.9% in pre-market trading. Higher interest rates helped the lender offset the financial costs of the fake accounts scandal. WELLS was able to push up charges for borrowers while remaining "disciplined" on deposit pricing, helping the net interest margin rise 3 basis points from Q1 to 2.9%. Credit quality remains solid - net charge-offs for bad debt came to just 0.27% of the bank's loan book, down from 0.39% y/y. The figures come two weeks after the Federal Reserve cleared WELLS last month to return $19.1bn in capital to investors in the coming year, 17% more y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Citigroup revenues up on 'broad based' loan growth - Martin Arnold

CITIGROUP on Friday announced "broad based sequential loan growth across regions and products", as revenues rose 2% to $17.9bn. Overall net income fell 3% to $3.87bn, but still beat consensus forecasts, and recent share buybacks helped to lift EPS by 3% to $1.28. CITI's large fixed-income trading business defied fears of a steep fall as its revenued fell only 6% - outperforming most rivals, including JPMORGAN CHASE - while its equities trading unit posted an 11% drop. These declines were offset by growth in other parts of its institutional business including treasury and trade solutions, and private banking. CITI said it generated $4.7bn of regulatory capital and returned $2.2bn to shareholders in Q2. Its common equity tier one ratio had increased from 12.8% to 13% in the quarter under review. Net credit losses rose 6% to $1.7bn, and CITI reduced the amount of prior loan loss reserves it recouped by 94%. Despite the improved performance, CITI continues to earn less than its cost of capital. The bank's return on tangible common equity slipped to 7.8% in Q2, down from 8% in the comparable period y/y. CITI said it was on track to increase both the return on capital and return of capital over time. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JPMorgan profits bolstered by lending business despite trading revenue fall - Laura Noonan

JPMORGAN on Friday reported its best ever quarterly net income and EPS of $1.82 that were well above analysts' forecasts of $1.59, despite a sharp fall off in some of its markets businesses. Overall revenue came in at $26.4bn for Q2, against the $25.4bn expected by analysts. Quarterly net income came in at $7bn, up 13% y/y. Core loans rose 8% y/y, while net interest income increased by 8% to $12.5bn, "primarily driven by the net impact of rising rates and loan growth". In the investment bank, fixed income re venue was down 19% y/y, worse than the 15% drop analysts expected to see across Wall Street banks for the quarter. The lender attributed the fall to "reduced flows driven by sustained low volatility and tighter credit spreads". Its overall corporate and investment bank revenue fell 3% y/y to $8.9bn, while corporate and investment bank net income rose 9% to $2.7bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ireland Q1 contraction masks robust domestic demand - Nicholas Megaw

Distortions caused by the dominance of multinational companies in Ireland caused the economy to contract in Q1 2017, according to official data, but indicators of domestic demand suggested the underlying health of the economy remained strong. GDP contracted faster than expected at the start of 2017 after heightened activity in the aircraft leasing industry at the end of 2016 made for a tough q/q comparison according to the Central Statistics Office. On a seasonally adjusted basis, output shrank by 2.6% over the first quarter of 2017, in contract to forecasts of a 0.4% decline. The fall was from a higher base than previously thought, as the previous quarter's growth was revised up from 2.5% to 5.8%. On a y/y basis, output growth fell to 6.1% in Q1, from an upwardly-revised 9.9% in Q4. While Ireland's growth rate is expected to slow this year, the quarterly contraction is unlikely to be a sign the economy is running into more serious trouble. The large number of multinational firms active in Ireland's economy has made GDP figures an unreliable measure of the economy's true health. Personal consumption of goods and services - which accounts for a large part of the headline figure and is used as one proxy for domestic activity - rose by 1.2% in the first quarter of 2017, unchanged q/q. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Germany pushes up eurozone trade surplus in May - Mehreen Khan

The eurozone's trade in goods surplus rose in May as import and export values both grew on the back of another bumper performance in Germany. Official trade figures from Eurostat on Friday showed the bloc's seasonally adjusted surplus in goods rose 2.1% from €18.6bn to €19.7bn in May. That was just below an average forecast of €20bn. The eurozone's trade balance has been in surplus since 2010 as governments have driven themselves to become more competitive. Of the 19 countries in the single currency area, Germany easily boasts the largest surplus at 14.7% of GDP. The overall value of the eurozone's seasonally adjusted exports was €183.7bn in May, while imports were €164bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sistema suffers technical bond default after court order - Henry Foy

Russian conglomerate SISTEMA has announced it has suffered a technical default on Rbs3.9bn worth of debt, after a court froze more than $3bn worth of its assets as part of a legal battle with ROSNEFT. SISTEMA noted that the technical default was "driven exclusively" by the asset freeze. "SISTEMA is servicing its credit and financial obligations in a timely manner and in full, and plans to continue doing so in the future", it added. ROSNEFT has accused the conglomerate of stripping assets from BASHNEFT, an oil producer now owned by ROSNEFT but previously held by SISTEMA. The legal battle has contributed to a chilling of investor sentiment in Russia's equity market. After ROSNEFT brought a case against SISTEMA demanding Rbs170.6bn in damages, a regional court ordered that SISTEMA's shares in mobile phone company MTS and other holdings be frozen. SISTEMA has appealed the asset freeze and denies the asset-stripping charges, saying its actions were legal and public. The next hearing will take place on Wednesday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China growth gauges point to pickup in June - Hudson Lockett

The pace of expansion for China's retail sales and industrial output picked up markedly in June, while deceleration in fixed asset investment appeared to halt as private spending rose for the first time in Q2. Retail sales grew 11% y/y in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said, up from May 's 10.7% rate. Online sales growth for the year to date accelerated to 28.6% in May, compared to growth of 26.5% for the five months to end-May. Year-to-date sales growth at larger enterprises slowed by two percentage points m/m to 10.7%. Urban fixed-asset investment grew 8.6% y/y during the HY to end-Jun., unchanged from May's reading and coming in a hair above expectations of 8.5% growth. Investment by state-owned firms slowed to growth of 12% for H1 2017, down from a pace of 12.6% at end-May. Private investment growth picked up to 7.2% y/y, marking the first acceleration since Mar. Industrial output was up in May as well, rising 7.6% y/y and beating a median forecast predicting it would remain at 6.5% from the previous month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom mum on bonus bonanza for Molefe, Koko and Singh - Fin24

Although ESKOM rejected reports of it facing a cash crisis, the utility is tight-lipped on bonuses for three of its most controversial former and current executives. The Sunday Times yesterday reported that the utility wants to pay short-term bonuses totalling R5.5m to axed CEO BRIAN MOLEFE, suspended acting CEO MATSHELA KOKO and CFO ANOJ SINGH. The utility fell short of commenting on the alleged bonus payments of R2.1m to MOLEFE, R1.5m to KOKO and R1.9m for SINGH. ESKOM said its operational and financial performance will be announced on Wednesday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mokonyane seeks new guide for mining in sensitive areas - Liesl Peyper

The Department of Water and Sanitation wants an Integrated Master Plan to regulate future mining developments in SA and protect water resources. In a policy position paper published in the Government Gazette, Minister NOMVULA MOKONYANE said the Department of Mineral Resources' mandate to promote minerals development appears to be incompatible with that of her department, namely to protect and use water resources sustainably. "Mining authorisations appear to be granted on an ad hoc basis without the necessary consultations among the Department of Mineral Resources, Water and Sanitation and Environmental Affairs", the policy paper reads. In the paper it is recommended that mining should be prohibited in water-sensitive areas and that planning for mining should take cognisance of vulnerable water resource areas. "Where necessary such areas should be demarcated as 'no go' areas". The DWS also recommends that the ultimate socio-economic benefit of mining be measured against the potential impact mining activity could have on water resources over the long term. "This should guide the decision on whether to authorise mining activity in sensitive areas". The policy paper further addresses the issue of mine closures and ensuring that the onus doesn't fall on government to manage liabilities such as acid mine water drainage post-closure. It is recommended that a trilateral agreement be drawn up between the DMR, DWS and DEA through which a regional mine closure plan be developed for each mine. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kganyago tears into 'reckless' Public Protector - Yolandi Groenewald

SARB governor LESETJA KGANYAGO on Friday castigated Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE, calling her actions reckless and incompetent. KGANYAGO filed his searing affidavit in the North Gauteng High Court on Friday after MKHWEBANE announced earlier in the week that she would not oppose the review application of the SARB , relating to its mandate, following her report in which she called for the constitutional mandate of the central bank to be changed. KGANYAGO said MKHWEBANE had a "fundamental lack of understanding of the monetary system and the role of central banks". He said her report was reckless and her explanation of it "based on a clear lack of understanding of the Constitution. It perpetuates a fundamental misunderstanding of the Bank's powers and functions". "Despite the public protector now conceding the merits of the case, she has filed an affidavit in which she seeks to explain 'how and for what reasons' she arrived at the remedial action", KGANYAGO said. He added that her explanation also shows that she failed to take into account detailed submissions the bank had provided to her in Feb. KGANYAGO's scathing affidavit will increase pressure for action against MKHWEBANE, whose credibility has plummeted since her SARB recommendation last month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA said to consider state internet company merger - Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

SA is considering a merger of state-owned BROADBAND INFRACO and SENTECH to help accelerate the roll-out of high-speed internet to the population within three years, according to sources. The combined entity will be expected to extend broadband to rural areas, the sources said. BROADBAND INFRACO is the country's second-largest fixed-line operator after TELKOM, while SENTECH has wireless broadband assets and operates signals for local broadcasting companies. Telecommunications Ministry spokesperson SIYABULELA QOZA said the government is "pursuing the rationalisation of state broadband assets to reduce the duplication of infrastructure and mandates of state-owned companies". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Platinum's plight under Ministerial spotlight - Martin Creamer

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE on Friday received a presentation from the Platinum Leadership Forum, led by CEOs of platinum mining companies in SA. According to a Department of Mineral Resources release, the CEOs presented on the current state of the platinum sector and proposed possible solutions and areas of collaboration with the Department. The aim of the meeting is to support forward momentum for the struggling platinum industry. "We're encouraged that the sector is taking advantage of our open-door policy and coming forward to engage constructively", ZWANE said. The current $902/oz platinum price is unsustainable for deep mines. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Long4Life buys beauty salon chain - Reuters

BRIAN JOFFE's LONG4LIFE will buy beauty salon chain SORBET in a cash-and-share deal, it announced on Friday. L4L said the deal values SORBET, which has nearly 200 outlets, at R116m and underlines the company's strategy of seeking investments with a lifestyle focus. LONG4LIFE has also offered to buy out sporting and outdoor goods retailer HOLDSPORT in an all-share deal that values the target at nearly $2-m. Under the deal, HOLDSPORT shareholders will receive 10.44 shares in L4L for each one held, valuing HOLDSPORT at R2.6bn, or around R64/share. The exchange ratio is about 11% premium to HOLDSPORT's closing price on the day before the deal was announced on Jul. 3. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Solidarity seeks govt collaboration on solution to high winter power rates - Creamer Media Reporter

Solidarity has requested industry players, government and ESKOM to convene a roundtable to discuss winter's high power tariffs and the negative impact this has on the steel and chrome industry. Under the Save Our Steel Campaign, Solidarity metal and engineering deputy general secretary MARIUS CROUCAMP said it had sent a letter to government requesting an urgent high-level meeting to delve into the matter. "Companies close plants and shut down smelters owing to the higher power rates that apply in June, July and August. When production is halted at companies, no economic growth takes place, which could result in retrenchments at the companies in question", CROUCAMP said. In light of this, the union suggests that a model allowing for flexibility must be found to assist and support companies during the increased winter power tariff period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ansys acquires Profitek - Creamer Media Reporter

ANSYS is in the process of acquiring industrial equipment supplier PROFITEK INDUSTRIAL COMMUNICATIONS, the AltX-listed firm said on Friday. The deal will see ANSYS pay an upfront R40m - 30% in cash and the balance settled in ANSYS shares - with a R10m earn-out or claw-back option in place, ensuring a minimum purchase price of R30m and a maximum purchase price of R50m. The price will remain subject to the performance of PROFITEK during its 2018 and 2019 financial years. The deal remains subject to the completion of detailed financial, tax and legal due diligence; the commitment of selected senior staff and management to continue their employment with PROFITEK during the earn-out period' the approval of the deal by the boards of both companies; and all other statutory and regulatory approvals and requirements required, among others. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Merafe expecting sharp earnings rise - Martin Creamer

MERAFE is expecting a sharp rise in earnings for the HY to end-Jun. The company on Friday said its basic EPS and HEPS were expected to be between 17.9cps and 20.9cps, up from 2.3cps y/y, mainly due to higher ferrochrome and chrome ore prices. Attributable ferrochrome production from the GLENCORE-MERAFE CHROME VENTURE for the HY under review rose by 10% y/y, mainly due to more furnaces being operational y/y, coupled with pleasing furnace performances. Attributable ferrochrome production of 216 000t was produced in the HY, up on the 196 000t output y/y. MERAFE had net cash of R122.4m at end-Jun., compared with R263.3m y/y, and net debt of R207.8m, compared with R409.3m y/y. Interim results will be published on Aug. 7. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibo unaffected by Tanzania mining legislation changes - Anine Kilian

KIBO MINING's Mbeya coal-to-power-project will not experience any adverse developmental impacts due to recent changes in Tanzania's legislative mining environment. KIBO on Friday reiterated that the completion of the Mbeya Coal special mining right application remains on schedule, as does the environmental certification of the Mbeya coal mine and Mbeya power plant. "As far as continued progress in the development of the MCPP is concerned, we have not seen any slowdown or hesitation from the Tanzanian government or regulatory authorities because of the recent legislative changes", KIBO CEO LOUIS COETZEE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kumba expects 20% headline earnings increase - Anine Kilian

KUMBA IRON ORE on Friday said it expects its HEPS basic EPS for the period to end-Jun. to be at least 20% higher than the comparative period. Headline earnings for the period are likely to be between R4.37m and R4.74m, with basic earnings for the period expected to be between R4.36m and R4.72m. HEPS is likely to be between 1 370cps and 1 485cps - an increase of 46% and 58% y/y. Basic EPS is expected to be between 1 364cps-1 479cps, up 47%-59% y/y. The increase in earnings for the period is largely attributable to higher iron ore exports, partially offset by the stronger rand/dollar exchange rate. Results will be published on Jul. 25. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia to meet higher Tanzania royalty rates on metal exports - Reuters

ACACIA MINING on Friday said the company would meet the increased royalty rate of 6%, imposed on metals such as gold, copper and silver under new Tanzanian natural resources legislation. The rate has been raised from 4% and is in addition to the recently imposed clearing fee of 1% on exports out of the country. Tanzanian President JOHN MAGUFULI sent shock-waves through the mining community with a series of actions since his election in 2015 that he says would distribute revenue to the Tanzanian people. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA puts new mining charter on hold - Tanisha Heiberg

SA has suspended implementation of the new Minig Charter pending a court ruling, the Chamber of Mines said on Friday. The Chamber said Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE had given a written undertaking that the new code would not be implemented until a court ruled on a case against the move brought by the chamber. It said the court would likely hear the interdict application in Sep. The Charter aims to widen ownership in SA's economy, which has yet to shake off the legacy of white rule more than two decades after the end of apartheid. The CoM applied to the high court to prevent implementation of the Charter, saying it risked "vast and systemic damage" to the industry. MOODY's said the new rules seeking to accelerate black ownership in the local mining industry would deter investment, raise costs and diminish cashflow generation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria budget, despite being signed into law, still being amended - Paul Carsten

Nigeria's 2017 budget, signed into law by Acting President YEMI OSINBAJO a month ago, has still not been finalised and is being amended due to disagreements between parliament and the presidency, sources said. Any delays to government spending could hobble recovery in the economy, now in its second year of recession. The 2017 budget was meant to spark that return to growth after the first downturn in 25 years. The presidency and lawmakers had also promised it would avoid the severe delays in passing the previous year's budget, which was signed off in May 2016 - five months into the budget year. The delays for the 2017 budget come as the presidency locks horns with the National Assembly over projects added to the document in a practice known as "padding" - lawmakers' efforts to funnel money and development to their local juridsictions at the expense of the federal government. "Before the budget was signed it was agreed between the executive and the lawmakers that those insertions of some new projects into the budget made by the National Assembly should be removed and replaced with the priority projects of the federal government which the lawmakers removed", a presidency spokesperson said. OSINBAJO signed this year's budget, despite it not being finalised, because the process had already dragged on for too long, the official added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAP names acting executive team, law firm for SA probe - Eric Auchard

SAP named a new executive team in SA on Friday, two days after it put four senior managers on leave pending a probe into allegations that it was involved in a government bribery scheme. SAP said company veteran CLAAS KUEHNEMANN will step in to the role of acing MD for Africa, in charge of the company's business in 51 countries, and PETER DAVID, its finance head for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will become acting CFO, SAP AFRICA. The company added that it had hired Chicago-based international law firm BAKER MCKENZIE to conduct an external probe. SAP last week said it would run its own, internal investigation using its own compliance organisation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US seeks to recover $144m in Nigeria oil industry bribery case - Nate Raymond

The US Department of Justice on Friday filed a lawsuit seeking to recover assets that include a $50m Manhattan apartment and an $80m yacht that it said were acquired using money generated from a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to a former Nigerian oil minister. The civil lawsuit alleged that two Nigerian businessmen conspired with others to pay bribes to the minister, DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE, who oversaw the NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORP. The lawsuit said that in return, ALISON-MADUEKE steered lucrative contracts with a subsidiary of NNPC to companies owned by the two businessmen, KOLAWOLE AKANNI ALUKO and OLAJIDE OMOKORE. Despite being unqualified and in some instances failing entirely to perform services under the contracts, these companies received more than $1.5bn in revenues via the sale of crude oil. The DoJ said that ALUKO and OKOKORE then laundered their illicit revenues through the US and used the money to buy $144m in assets including the Manhattan condominium and the $80m yacht, the Galactica Star. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom refutes cash-crunch reports - TJ Strydom

ESKOM is not facing liquidity challenges, the utility said on Sunday after media reports alleging it would be unable to pay salaries by Nov. The utility is backed by more than $10bn in government guarantees. "ESKOM refutes the notion that it is facing a cash crisis, and that it has only enough cash to last for the next three months", it said in a statement. The parastatal last week postponed the publication of its annual results without giving reasons, but said later that external auditors had raised "reportable irregularities". The Sunday Times yesterday reported that the utility "is sitting on its last 20 billion rand. This means that unless something is done urgently, the parastatal could find itself unable to pay November salaries". ESKOM is due to publish its financial results on Wednesday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigerian banks seek Etisalat Nigeria cash flow clarity before results - Chijioke Ohuocha

ETISALAT NIGERIA's rescue has put the country's banks in a quandary as they prepare for HY results due this month as they do not know whether to provision for loans to the company until they can work out its value. A banking source said the lenders first wanted to determine ETISALAT NIGERIA's free cash flow to help them value the company before deciding on whether to impair the assets or hold on to find new investors. "No bank is talking about restructuring now, but it might get to that later once we are able to ascertain the true value of the company", the source said. Nigerian regulators intervened recently to save ETISALAT NIGERIA from collapse and prevent lenders placing the firm in receivership, prompting a board and management shake-up. On Thursday, the operator changed its name to 9MOBILE. The company took out a $1.2bn loan four years ago from 13 local lenders to refinance an existing debt and expand its mobile network, but it struggled to repay due to a currency crisis and recession in Nigeria. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Okavango H1 diamond sales up - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

OKAVANGO DIAMOND COMPANY sales rose 9% to $309m in H1 2017 as demand improved, deputy MD MARCUS TER HAAR said on Friday. TER HAAR said the company had sold 1.8m ct in five auctions held since Jan. "The volumes of carats sold were 3% higher than the same period in 2016", he said. ODC, which plans to have 10 tenders this year, sells 15% of the output of DEBSWANA, a JV between DE BEERS and the Botswana government, which is targeting output of 20.5m ct this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 17/07/2017

At 07h37 on 17 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.04 ZAR/EUR 14.95 ZAR/GBP 17.08 Gold 1230.41 Platinum 921.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.01 All Share 53597.96

21st Century Fox won't offer new deal on Sky News - David Bond

RUPERT MURDOCH's 21ST CENTURY FOX has declined to table a new offer to protect the editorial independence of SKY NEWS, almost certainly triggering a full inquiry by the British competition authorities into the US group's £11.7bn takeover of SKY. Culture Secretary KAREN BRADLEY set FOX a deadline of 5pm today to come up with fresh undertakings aimed at removing concerns that the takeover would hand MURDOCH too much power over the UK media. However, various sources close to the situation have confirmed that FOX will not be offering a new deal on the future of SKY NEWS, opting instead to let the matter move to the Competition and Markets Authority. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JLR to build new SUV outside UK - Peter Campbell

JAGUAR LAND ROVER will build its latest car in two locations outside of the UK, as the company contents with lack of capacity at its British plants. The carmaker will build its new SUV, the Jaguar E-Pace, in Austria and China. JLR has several manufacturing sites in the UK but these are either at or close to full capacity. The company is building a site in Slovakia to manufacture future generations of LAND ROVER vehicles, and also has smaller plants already in operation in India and Brazil. JLR made 604 009 vehicles in the FY to end-Mar. and has ambitions to make 1m by 2020. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's Temer scores early win on corruption charges - Joe Leahy

Brazil's President MICHEL TEMER won an early victory yesterday in his effort to prevent an attempt by the public prosecutor's office to try him for corruption. The constitution and justice commission of the lower house of congress rejected a report recommending that lawmakers accept the indictment, with 40 votes against the report, 25 in favour and one abstention. The public prosecutor's office had indicted TEMER in the Supreme Court for corruption after he was taped discussing bribes with former JBS president JOESLEY BATISTA. But under Brazil's constitution, a sitting president can only be tried in a criminal case if two-thirds of a full session of the lower house of congress gives its approval. Yesterday's vote was largely a symbolic victory for TEMER, demonstrating that the president was able to muster the support necessary to thwart the indictment in its first phase. He is also expected to be able to garner enough support to thwart the indictment in the full session of congress, which is slated to occur next montH. He would only need to muster slightly more than a third of congress to win the vote. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S&P downgrades Chile's rating over 'subdued' growth - Jessica Dye

S&P has lowered its rating on Chile's long-term foreign currency by one notch, citing "prolonged subdued economic growth" that has dented the country's fiscal revenues and contributed to its growing government debt load. S&P downgraded its rating on Chile's sovereign debt to A+ from AA- with a stable outlook. "We expect the Chilean economy to grow only 1.6% in 2017, unchanged from last year. We expect GDP growth to rise only modestly to 2% in 2018 and to 2.4% in 2019", the ratings agency said. Also yesterday, the central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at 2.5%, as widely expected. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Peru c.bank cuts reference rate - Hudson Lockett

Peru's central bank cut rates yesterday for the second time in 2017. The Central Bank cut its reference rate by 25 bps to 3.75%. The move comes just two months after a cut in May that brought the rate down from 4.25%, where it had been for 14 months. It also follows the resignation of Finance Minister ALFREDO THORNE, who stepped down after losing a vote of no-confidence in Congress triggered by accusations that he peddled influence to try to get a major infrastructure contract approved. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Infosys Q1 nt income, revenue outperform estimates - Hudson Lockett

India's INFOSYS beat forecasts for Q1 net income and revenue ahead of its launch tomorrow of a national online tax filing system it expects to handle billions of invoices every month. Adjusted net income was up 1.3% y/y at Rs34.8bn, coming in above an average analyst forecast of Rs34.3bn. Revenues for the quarter to end-Jun. rose 1.8% y/y to Rs178.9bn. In its FY outlook, INFOSYS forecast revenue growth of 6.5%-8.5% in constant currencies at an exchange rate of Rs64.58/$. The company will tomorrow launch the Goods and Services Tax Network, an online platform for filing returns under India's new national sales tax, which came into force on Jul. 1. and replaced a morass of locally set levies. INFOSYS expects to handle 3.2bn separate invoices from companies every month when the system is running at full capacity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India wholesale price inflation softens to 11-month low - Alice Woodhouse

India's wholesale price index rose at its slowest pace in almost a year in Jun. as fuel and non-food articles declined. The country's wholesale price index rose 0.9% y/y in June, missing forecasts of a 1.4% rise. The reading showed the slowest pace of price gains since Jul. last year. Wholesale prices rose 2.17% in May. The sub-index for non-food articles fell by 1.7% due to lower prices for floriculture, while the index for crude petroleum and natural gas fell 2.4%. Food prices rose 0.9% on higher fruit and vegetable prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cargill profits boosted by growing global appetite for meat - Gregory Meyer

CARGILL has raked in its highest annual profit in years with results propelled by the world's deepening appetite for beef, chicken and other protein sources. Net profit was $2.84bn in the FY to end-May, up 19% y/y. Adjusted for one-time items, earnings rose to $3bn, 85% more y/y. CARGILL said its animal nutrition and protein division was the largest contributor to profits in both Q4 and the FY, "lifted by exceptional performance in global protein". This was helped by robust demand for beef in North America, where CARGILL operates a network of meatpacking plants. CARGILL's three other reporting units - food ingredients and applications, industrial and financial services, and origination and processing - also reported improved results in both Q4 and the FY. In Q4, net profit was $347m, while adjusted operating earnings were $460m, compared to a $19m loss y/y. For the FY, revenue was 2% higher at $109.7bn, lifted by greater sales of grain, oilseeds and metals. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK ONS plans to release monthly GDP numbers - Mehreen Khan

The UK's Office for National Statistics plans to release monthly figures on GDP to deliver earlier estimates on the state of the economy. As it stands, the ONS releases quarterly GDP growth estimates, and monthly figures on inflation, the labour market, retail sales, industrial output and public sector finances It said monthly GDP estimates would help "complement" its existing quarterly release schedule. A first estimate of three month GDP is currently published four weeks after the end of the quarter and is followed up by two further estimates. The numbers are often subject to revision. GDP numbers are being closely scrutinised in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum to reveal signs of any impact from the vote. Quarterly growth slowed significantly from 0.7% to 0.2% at the start of 2017. As part of the ONS's new release schedule, there will only be two quarterly GDP estimates released six and 13 weeks after the end of the quarter. The plans are subject to public consultation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK govt publishes landmark Brexit repeal bill - George Parker

British PM THERESA MAY has published the landmark repeal bill that ends the supremacy of EU law in the UK, amid warnings that she faces "hell" at Westminster and a battle with the Scottish government to get the legislation through. MAY needs to enact the repeal bill in a hung parliament before Brexit can happen in Mar. 2019. The repeal bill is a largely technical measure that copies and pastes EU laws into UK legislation, ensuring legal continuity after Brexit, but it will become a legislative quagmire when MPs start debating it in the autumn. The Labour opposition said it would oppose the repeal bill unless six tests were met, including the inclusion of the EU's charter of fundamental rights in British law. The government opposes such a move. In theory only seven pro-European Tory MPs would have to join opposition parties to defeat MAY. Meanwhile, Scottich first minister NICOLA STURGEON and her Welsh counterpart CARWYN JONES warned they could try to frustrate the repeal bill, which was "a naked power grab" by the UK government at Westminster. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tiffany appoints new CEO - Nicholas Megaw

TIFFANY has appointed luxury industry veteran ALESSANDRO BOGLIOLO as its new CEO as the company looks to reverse a prolonged sales decline. BOGLIOLO is currently CEO of DIESEL, having previously spent 16 years at BULGARI. "It is my goal to continue to delight our customers with compellign product offerings, supported by best-in-class operations. I am committed to strengthening the company's position as one of the world's most important luxury brands and delivering value for all of our stakeholders", BOGLIOLO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 14/07/2017

At 11h16 on 14 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.17 ZAR/EUR 15.03 ZAR/GBP 17.07 Gold 1218.76 Platinum 905.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.36 All Share 53363.68

Richemont luxury watch chief resigns - Fin24

RICHEMONT today announced the resignation, with immediate effect, of GEORGES KERN, head of watchmaking, marketing and digital at the luxury group. "He has stepped down from the senior executive committee and the group management committee and will no longer be standing for election to the board of directors of COMPAGNIE FINANCIERE RICHEMONT SA at the forthcoming annual general meeting of shareholders". RICHEMONT chair JOHANN RUPERT said KERN 'has been offered an interesting opportunity to become an entrepreneur. He has had a very successful career at IWS SCHAFFHAUSEN and we wish him well". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Echo Polska acquires further assets in Poland - Sandile Mchunu

ECHO POLSKA PROPERTIES said it had concluded an acquisition agreement for another retail asset, Galeria Solnatin north-central Poland. The purchase consideration was R343m. EPP CEO HADLEY DEAN said: "We are excited to add another regionally dominant centre to our portfolio, which advances our claim of building a Polish retail property champion". The company said in line with its strategy, the 24 000m² centre was located in a regionally growing Polish city with a large catchment area and a proven track record since opening in 2013. The acquisition is a further step in realising EPP's strategy of becoming a pure retail property fund by 2019. Galeria Solna boasts 100% occupancy with 92 shops and anchor tenants including TESCO, MCDONALD's, H&M and others. EPP said Poland's solid macroeconomic fundamentals as well as initiatives such as the state child allowance were expected to continue impacting positively on purchasing power. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deneb having Fun with R40.5m - Sandile Mchunu

DENEB INVESTMENTS informed shareholders it had entered into a sale agreement with MAIN STREET HOLDINGS to acquire a 100% stake in NEW JUST FUND for a cash consideration of R40.5m. DENEB is a diversified investment holding company, controlled by HOSKEN CONSOLIDATED INVESTMENTS, with interests in property, branded product distribution and manufacturing. NEW JUST FUN is a South African toy distributor holding exclusive distribution rights to some of the world's leading toy brands. DENEB's PRIMA GROUP segment had a very strong year with operating profit up 47% for the year. It will house NEW JUST FUN. DENEB said the acquisition was subjec to the fulfilment of certain conditions, which include the approval of both DENEB and MAIN STREET HOLDINGS boards and Competition Commission approval. The value of the net assets of NEW JUST FUN for the FY to end-Mar. was R24.5m, while turnover was R201m and profit after tax R11.9m. In DENEB's results for the FY to end-Mar., EPS were up 46%, HEPS rose by 22% and NAV/share rose by 20% to 415cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba's 14-point action plan to revive economy - Lameez Omarjee

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday unveiled a 14-point action plan to revive the economy. The plan comes after a meeting with President JACOB ZUMA and other ministers on Jun. 28. Each action plan has a minister assigned to it as well as a deadline. Further details will be unpacked in the mini budget in Oct. Areas to be addressed include SOEs, with SAA being an action plan on its own. The Mining Charter, telecoms, public procurement and fiscal policy are other areas. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Recession, junk rating dampen trade conditions - Fin24

Local trade conditions stayed in negative territory in Jun. with the Trade Activity Index still below 50 at 48, SACCI said yesterday. SACCI said the recently announced recession and ratings downgrades are still affecting already subdued trade conditions. Apart from the prevailing depressed economic conditions, TAI respondents cited currency volatility, political uncertainty, red tape, corruption, lack of fixed investment and unpredictable economic policy as impediments to trade. The seasonally adjusted TAI improved by two index points to 49 between May and June. In June, the seasonally adjusted Trade Expectations Index also remained in negative territory at 48. The TEI was at around 60 during Jan. and Feb. this year, but fell to 48 in June. SACCI said sales volumes recovered, with the sales volumes index improving to 55 in Jun. 2017. The new orders index fell to 46. Expected sales volumes slowed, with the index dropping by 2 points to 52 in June. Expectations for new orders also decreased fo 47 from 49 in May. The inventory index rose marginally to 43 from 42 in May 2017 due to continuing restrained trade conditions. The employment sub-index fell to 47 in June - 2 index points lower m/m, while the employment outlook for the next six months improved by 5 index points to 46. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Port users to have their say on new tariff hike applications - Fin24

TRANSNET NATIONAL PORTS AUTHORITY will submit its tariff application for 2018 to the Ports Regulator of SA on Aug. 1, Maritime Review Africa said on its Facebook page yesterday. Port users can find copies of the application on the websites of the TNPA and Ports Regulator. The regulator granted the National Ports Authority a tariff hike of 5.79% for 2017, after the TNPA applied for an 8.02% tariff hike in Aug. 2016. Since 2009, TNPA has been required to apply for tariff adjustments from the Port Regulator. The regulator in turn calls for stakeholders' submissions and comments on TNPA's proposed port tariff application. The TNPA and Ports Regulator will host public hearings in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban to receive input and comments on the proposed tariff applications. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mining output climbs 3% y/y in May - Fin24

Mining production rose by 3.6% y/y in May 2017, but the rest of the quarter may be disappointing on the back of softer commodity prices. Statistics SA yesterday said seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 0.2% in May 2017 m/m. This followed m/m changes of -1.4% in Apr. 2017 and 3.7% in Mar. 2017. Mineral sales rose by 11.2% y/y in April, while seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices fell by 1.8% in Apr. 2017 m/m. This followed m/m changes of 2.1% in Mar. 2017 and -4.1% in Feb. 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Popular clothing stores shut down in SA - Nellie Brand-Jonker

All standalone MANGO clothing stores and NINE WEST shoe stores have closed down, while other international groups such as RIVER ISLAND are busy shutting down as well. Many retailers that operate in SA have reviewed their strategies amidst trying operating conditions, greater international competition and new online shops that are eating into their market share. NINE WEST and MANGO's licences are both held by THE HOUSE OF BUSBY. THB CEO MARK SARDI said the company decided to close down the two brands after considering their financial performance. "We constantly review the performance of our brands, based on how relevant the products still are, and based on the partnership model with the international brands, as well as economic factors, we then decide whether we should invest or divest". SARDI said MANGO and NINE WEST's sales contributed less than 5% to THB's turnover. EDCON recently announced it had made a strategic decision to stop stocking certain international brands in its EDGARS shops. Brands that will be discontinued include EXPRESS, GEOX, LUCKY BRAND, ONE GREEN ELEPHANT, TOM TAILOR, RIVER ISLAND and VERO MODA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold initiates arbitration proceedings over new Tanzania legislation - Ilan Solomons

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI is seeking "constructive dialogue" with the government of Tanzania to gain assurance that its operations will not be affected by newly enacted legal and fiscal changes to the country's mining legal regime. ANGLOGOLD yesterday noted that its indirect subsidiaries, SAMAX RESOURCES and GEITA GOLD MINING, were parties to a Mine Development Agreement in relation to the development and operation of the Geita gold mine, which governs the relationship between the subsidiaries of the Tanzania government in relation to Geita mine. ANGLOGOLD said it had "no choice" but to take the precautionary step of safeguarding its interests under the MDA by commencing arbitration proceedings under the rules of the UN Commission of International Trade Law, as clearly provided for in the MDA. It said the MDA was instrumental in the decision to make the investment in the development of Geita when Tanzania was an untested jurisdiction for new mine development. It noted that, since starting production almost two decades ago, Geita had been a source of "significant benefit" to all stakeholders, yielding more than $1bn in monetary benefit to the Tanzania government. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tshipi now SA's largest manganese exporter - Martin Creamer

In the five months to July, the Tshipi manganese mine in the Northern Cape exported more than 1.3mt of manganese ore, making it the largest exporter of manganese ore from SA, JUPITER MINES said yesterday. The mine remains on track to achieve its record production target of 3mt for FY2018, the PALLINGHURST group company added. Should the existing production levels and manganese prices continue, TSHIPI will deliver a R500m distribution to its shareholders in Sep. 2017. As a result, JUPITER will distribute a further $25m to shareholders, CEO PRIYANK THAPLIYAL said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pallinghurst seeks London listing - David Oliveira

Following PALLINGHURST's restructuring and successful acquisition of GEMFIELDS, the JSE-listed company will now commence with the preparatory work to potentially obtain a premium listing on the LSE, with GEMFIELDS delisting from the Aim stock exchange by month-end. Following the takeover offer by PALLINGHURST in May to acquire the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of GEMFIELDS, almost 90% of GEMFIELDS' shareholders have accepted the offer. This will extend the company's life by 50 years, enabling PALLINGHURST to develop GEMFIELDS into "the DE BEERS of coloured gemstones", according to CEO ARNE FRANDSEN. "With debt levels at GEMFIELDS at an all-time high, the need for conservative financial management is evident. That said, further investments in the operations will be sought to secure profitable expansion and growth, as stated in our offer document", FRANDSEN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye appoints Southern Africa executive VP - David Oliveira

SIBANYE GOLD has appointed ROBERT VAN NIEKERK as the company's executive VP for the Southern Africa region. VAN NIEKERK joined the company in Feb. 2013 as part of the executive team, fulfilling various roles within the company. He has been involved in the mining industry for over 30 years, operating within SA and internationally. "With the significant increase in size and geographical spread of the company, this regionalised organisational structure will provide effective leadership, ensuring appropriate focus and skills allocation in well-defined geographical regions and corporate functions", SIBANYE CEO NEAL FRONEMAN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Harmony achieves fatality-free quarter - Mia Breytenbach

HARMONY GOLD's operations in SA and Papua New Guinea achieved a fatality-free quarter in the three months to end-Jun. Gold production for the FY to end-Jun. is estimated to be 1.09moz, which exceeds the company's production guidance of 1.05moz. Underground recovered grade rose for a fifth consecutive year to 5.07g/t. "We will continue to focus on increasing cash margins through safe, predictable and profitable production", CEO PETER STEENKAMP noted yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rusal resumes Taishet aluminium project - Reuters

RUSAL has resumed construction of its long-stalled Taishet aluminium smelter project in Siberia in expectation of a widening global aluminium deficit, the company said yesterday. The group needs a further $700m to complete the project, having invested some $800m in Taishet before it was halted because of falling aluminium prices. Prices have jumped by 12% to $1 887/t since the start of Jan. and RUSAL expects them to climb above $1 900 by the end of 2017, deputy CEO OLEG MUKHAMEDSHIN said, citing the company's believ that the global deficit will reach 1.8mt in 2018, up 500 000t this year. The first line of the smelter, with annual capacity of 430 000t, will be built by 2020 and RUSAL is on track to agree financing with banks including state-run VNESHECONOMBANK by the end of the year. MUKHAMEDSHIN added that RUSAL is also in talks to create a 50/50 JV for the project with state-controlled company RUSHYDRO. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

May mining output falters on uncertain commodity prices - Martin Creamer

Mining production data published by Statistics SA showed a second consecutive month of production contraction. The -0.2% contraction in Apr. and the -1.4% contraction in Mar. are viewed as concerning by the Chamber of Mines due to their erosion of the 5% production improvement of the first five months of the year. Output was now stuck at 2016 levels, which were 5% down on 2015, with the decline largely attributable to a combination of commodity price uncertainty and a stronger rand. Although the average prices of the four important export commodities were higher in the HY to end-Jun. y/y, Jan. 2017 seemed to indicate a turning point, with production starting to falter shortly thereafter. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US gold output down in May - Henry Lazenby

US-based gold producers recorded less output in May m/m, yet production was 12.6% higher y/y. Analysis by the US Geological Survey shows that gold mines in the US produced about 20 300kg of the yellow metal in May. Based on unrounded data, the average daily gold output was 655kg in May, about 685kg in Apr., and 643kg for the year-to-date, indicating a higher production rate so far this year when compared with the daily output of some 607kg for the full year of 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN in hot water - Dineo Faku

MTN yesterday confirmed it was in talks with Rwandan authorities on how it would pay a R111m fine for non-compliance. The company earlier this week confirmed it had accepted the decision of the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority to impose a fine of $8.5m for non-compliance relating to MTN RWANDA's involvement in the MTN IT Shared Services Hub, based in Uganda. "We have taken the necessary steps to address the regulator's non-compliance concerns of the year 2014. We are currently in discussions with the regulator to agree on the terms of settling the fine", MTN RWANDA CEO BART HOFKER said. The operator landed itself in trouble for failing to comply with a directive precluding it from including its operation in that country into the IT hub it runs in Uganda. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba sets Dec. deadline for MPRDA, re-opens Charter talks - David McKay

SA has set itself six months to agree on amendments to the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, and would formally re-open talks on a redraft of the Mining Charter, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said yesterday. GIGABA said government had targeted Dec. for completion of the MPRDA, which has been stuck in a parliamentary process for more than two years. Unveiling his plans, GIGABA charged his counterparts in the mines ministry, MOSEBENZI ZWANE, to "finalise the MPRDA Amendment Bill in a manner that reflects the inputs civil society, labour and industry solicited through the public consultation process". Amendments to the Bill are currently being heard in the National Council of Provinces. One of the important amendments in the MPRDA is thought to be to give the force of law to the Mining Charter. Currently the Charter is policy whilst the MPRDA is law. In addition, it does not allow for changes to be made to the Mining Charter such as those gazetted on Jun. 15. But even the permanence of those changes has been thrown into doubt because GIGABA's plan to improve the local economy has called for negotiations on the document to resume by conducting "further engagements with civil society, labour and industry". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pallinghurst non-execs quit as pay resolution gets nod - David McKay

PALLINGHURST RESOURCES would "promptly engage" with shareholders after two of its long-standing non-executive directors resigned from the company ahead of yesterday's AGM that may otherwise have been stormy. CLIVE HARRIS and STUART PLATT-RANSOM stepped down as independent non-executive directors of the company following opposition to their re-election. Resolutions for their re-election were subsequently withdrawn from the AGM which proceeded smoothly as other resolutions, including adoption of the remuneration policy, were passed. Around 22% of shareholders voted against the proposed remuneration policy with 78% voting in favour. HARRIS and PLATT-RANSOM will be replaced by ERICH CLARKE and KWAPE MMELA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA considers privatisation to counter recession - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday laid out an ambitious 14-point plan to wrench the economy out of recession that included the sale of non-core assets and partial privatisation of SOEs. The plans appear to represent an ideological shift by the ANC, whose political alliance with unions has tended to make privatisation a dirty word. The government has set a date - Mar. 2018 - by which to roll out a "private sector participation framework". GIGABA said the government would also reduce the number of debt guarantees to SOEs, especially those extended for operational purposes. Analysts said the minister's plan could face opposition. "I'm not sure how far he is going to be able to get with this because I think ideologically there's a lot of opposition", NKC AFRICAN ECONOMICS analyst GARY VAN STADEN said. Many of SA's 300-odd SOEs are a drain on the government's purse. Ratings agencies have singled out some as a threat to its overall investment grade rating. GIGABA did not say what would be going under the hammer first, saying that would be determined by an audit. BNP PARIBAS SA economist JEFF SCHULTZ said investors would want to see more details before endorsing it as a viable turnaround strategy. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barclays Africa challenges findings on Bankorp bailout - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

BARCLAYS AFRICA yesterday launched a court challenge to the Public Protector's findings that the lender's South African unit unduly benefited from an apartheid-era bailout. Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE last month said her investigation had found the apartheid government and the SARB breached the constitution by supplying BANKORP with a series of bailouts from 1986 to 1995. She said ABSA must repay R1.1bn to the state. "In reaching her finding that ABSA benefited from the South African Reserve Bank financial support, the Public Protector appears to have impermissibly ignored facts and disregarded evidence provided to her", ABSA said. The lender said in court filings that it had not benefited from the SARB bailout of BANKORP as the price it paid for it took into account the central bank's financial assistance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Woolworths sees up to 10% drop in profit - TJ Strydom

Annual profit at WOOLWORTHS could fall by as much as 10% due to increasingly difficult conditions at home and in Australia, the company said yesterday. WOOLWORTHS expects HEPS to fall by 5%-10% y/y. "Growth in the second half was impacted by increasingly difficult trading conditions, in both South Africa and Australasia", the retailer said. WOOLWORTHS last posted an annual profit drop in 2009, when SA was in its previous recession. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Outlook for Moz restructuring better next year - diplomat - Alexander Winning

The outlook for a restructuring of $2bn of controversial borrowing by Mozambique state firms will be better next year as the country receives more earnings from its energy resources, a senior diplomat said this week. An IMF delegation has landed in the country to follow up on a damning external audit into loans which were not cleared through parliament. The discovery of the loans prompted the IMF and Western donors to end budgetary support for Maputo, leading to a collapse of its currency and defaults on its debt. "It is important that we restructure MOZAMBIQUE's debt to [Russian lender] VTB. I think that next year thing will be different", said MARIO SARAIVA NGWENYA, Mozambique's ambassador to Russia. VTB said it was open to dialogue with Mozambican officials with the aim of reaching a settlement that met conditions imposed by the IMF for debt sustainability. NGWENYA said there had been preliminary talks between officials from Mozambique's finance ministry and VTB CAPITAL, but that negotiations were yet to begin in earnest. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rosneft plans to open Moz office - Alexander Winning

Russia's ROSNEFT is preparing to open an office in Mozambique, Mozambique's Ambassador to Russia MARIO SARAIVA NGWENYA said this week. Mozambique also expected to sign an agreement on the development terms of blocks that ROSNEFT and EXXONMOBIL were awarded in 2015 by the end of this year. In 2015, Mozambique awarded the two oil companies three contract areas - A5-B in the Angoche Basin, as well as Z5-C and and Z5-D in the Zambezi Delta. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria to put off deciding whether to join OPEC cuts - Paul Carsten

Nigeria supports OPEC's efforts to stabilise oil prices but wants to wait before deciding whether to join the cartel's production cuts, oil minister EMMANUEL IBE KACHIKWU said this week. "Hopefully, in the next two to three months we can see how predictable the production return has been and then can say we feel stabilised and need to make the corresponding cuts", KACHIKWU said. Nigeria and Libya are current exempt from the OPEC agreement. Nigeria's benchmark level to join the OPEC cuts is production of 1.8m bpd - its current production is around 17m bpd, excluding condensates. Nigeria's output had improved in recent months, after the government managed to end militant attacks on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta by opening peace talks with leaders in the restive oil hub. KACHIKWU also said he would not attend a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC nations on Jul. 24 in Russia as he would be hosting a meeting of African oil producers in Abuja on the same day. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 14/07/2017

At 07h57 on 14 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.19 ZAR/EUR 15.06 ZAR/GBP 17.11 Gold 1217.22 Platinum 905.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.36 All Share 53300.96

White House nominee for FDIC chair withdraws from consideration - Barney Jopson

The TRUMP administration has been knocked back in its efforts to install a new cohort of financial regulators as the White House's nominee to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation withdrew his name from consideration. JIM CLINGER, who was nominated as FDIC chair in June, said he was pulling out for family reasons, the second time in two months that a senior TRUMP nominee has withdrawn citing similar factors. In May, JIM DONOVAN, a former GOLDMAN SACHS banker tapped by President DONALD TRUMP to serve as deputy treasury secretary, withdrew his name from consideration to "focus on [his] family". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China exports end Q2 on high note - Hudson Lockett

China's exports finished Q2 with the fastest pace of monthly growth since Mar., helping to push the country's trade surplus to the second-highest level for 2017 in spite of unexpectedly robust growth in inbound shipments. Exports rose 11.3% y/y in dollar terms in June, according to China's General Administration of Customs, accelerating from a rise of 8.7% in May and easily besting a median forecast from economists surveyed by Reuters predicting growth would hold at that level. Imports rose 17.2% y/y, blowing past expectations growth would slow to 13.1% from a pace of 14.8% in May and marking an eighth straight month of growth. Those flows resulted in China's trade surplus edging upwards from a revised May level of $40.79bn to $42.8bn in June, coming in above a median forecast of $42.6bn. In renminbi terms exports grew 17.3% y/y in June, while imports rose 23.1% y/y, resulting in a trade surplus of Rmb294.3bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 13/07/2017

At 11h34 on 13 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.14 ZAR/EUR 15.00 ZAR/GBP 17.00 Gold 1221.80 Platinum 917.00 Brent Crude Oil 47.70 All Share 53218.67

New FCA rules open door to London Saudi Aramco listing - Caroline Binham

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority is making it easier for SOEs to list their shares on what is a boon for those lobbying for SAUDI ARAMCO to choose London for its IPO. The watchdog today said it is planning to create a new category for sovereign-owned companies that are looking to privatise. The move is part of broader plans by the FCA to reform equity and debt markets in a bid to keep the UK open for business after Brexit. The plans involve creating a new category within the "premium" listing rules for companies controlled by sovereign entities rather than by oligarchs or other private companies. "Sovereign owners are different from private sector individuals or companies - both in their motivations and in their nature. Investors have long recognised this and capital markets are well adapted to assess the treatment of other investors by sovereign countries", FCA CEO ANDREW BAILEY said. The FCA today proposed not to treat a sovereign shareholder as a related party, meaning it would not have to seek prior shareholder approval for a transaction between the state and the company, such as the purchase of other state-owned assets, for instance. Directors and officers of the company would still be treated as related parties under the proposals. The regulator also proposes that the new sovereign segment of the premium leisting regime would also apply to depositary receipts, allowing the state-backed company to have a primary listing in its domestic markets, and then achieve a premium UK listing through the sale of such secondary securities, provided there is a pass through of underlying voting rights to the UK investor. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Premier cuts capex guidance as operating costs fall - Katie Martin

PREMIER OIL has reported a significant leap in output in H1 2017, heightening expectations that the independent oil producer is likely to raise its FY guidance after the summer. The company also announced a reduction in its capex guidance for 2017 and an 11% drop in operating costs during H1 2017. Production in H1 exceeded expectations at 82 100 boe/day, up nearly 35% y/y. The group has maintained itS FY guidance at 75 000 bpd, but repeated that this would be reviewed once maintenance work had been completed on its assets over the summer. Operating costs fell to $14.7/barrel and FY capex guidance has been reduced from $350m to $325m. After a year of wrangling with lenders and bondholders, PREMIER said the refinancing is due to take effect on Jul. 28. Its net debt at the end of the HY period stood at $2.7bn, down from $2.8bn at the end of Dec. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Daimler shares dip on emissions cheating report - Patrick McGee

DAIMLER shares slipped over 1% at the start of trading today after German media reported that emissions test cheating allegations against the carmaker are "more serious and comprehensive than previously known". The Sueddeutsche Zeitung yesterday reported that it had seen a search warrant issued by a court in Stuttgart, where DAIMLER is headquartered, to prove excessive emissions on more than 1m cars sold between 2008 and 2016 in the US and Europe. The report mentions two diesel engine types - OM 642 and OM 651 - and says prosecutors believe the cars with these engines may be equipped with impermissible devices that shut down emissions controls in certain situations. A DAIMLER spokesperson yesterday said the company sees no risk of "decommissioning", or losing type-approval to sell the cars. The company opened an internal probe into possible emissions irregularities in the wake of the VOLKSWAGEN scandal in Sep. 2015. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shell sells stake in Irish gas project - Joel Lewin

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL has struck a Ç1.1bn deal to sell its stake in a gas project in Ireland as it continues its divestment programme. The sale to a subsidiary of CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD consists of an initial payment of €830m with additional payments of up to €250m to follow depending on gas prices and production. With SHELL's sale of its 45% stake in the Corrib gas venture, the company is exiting exploration and production in Ireland. The move is part of a plan to raise $30bn via asset sales by the end of next year. SHELL said it has already struck deals worth more than $20bn as it looks to rejig its portfolio to focus on more profitable, lower-cost projects and to cut debt. SHELL said it will take a $350m impairment charge on the Corrib deal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Saudi June oil output slightly above target - OPEC - David Sheppard

Saudi Arabia told OPEC it pumped slightly above its oil production target last month for the first time since output curbs were introduced in Jan. The kingdom said it raised output to 10.07m bpd ahead of its peak domestic demand period, when more oil is directed towards power plants to meet soaring air conditioning demand in the summer months. The move is not expected to signal it has abandoned attempts to tighten the market, but may attract scrutiny from other cartel members it has pushed hard to adhere to the cuts. The 10.07m bpd pumped in June was 190 000 bpd higher m/m and about 12 000 bpd above a target t pumped well below in the first five months of 2017. Total OPEC output jumped 393 500 bpd from last month, led by Libya and Nigeria and the inclusion of Equatorial Guinea, who joined the group in May. Iraq, Angola and Saudi Arabia all saw production rise. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Yellen acknowledges inflation uncertainty as Fed plans policy tightening - Sam Fleming

Federal Reserve chair JANET YELLEN has acknowledged that the central bank is facing uncertainty as to when US inflation will finally pick up in response to the strengthening economy, even as she continued to chart out a course towards gradual rate rises and the unwinding of the central bank's QE programme. The Fed chair gave a broadly positive take on the economy's recent performance in prepared testimony to Congress yesterday, stressing there had been a rebound in household spending over recent months and that manufacturers were getting support from stronger growth overseas. But YELLEN also stressed that the Fed's rate setters were watching inflation very closely given its failure to pick up to the central bank's target. Core inflation, measured by the Fed's preferred gauge, retreated to 1.4% in May, defying predictions from some rate-setters that price growth will be buoyed by America's robust jobs recovery. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Landis unveils plans for flotation - Ralph Atkins

Swiss metering company LANDIS + GYR has said it wants to break free as quickly as possible from ownership by TOSHIBA after announcing plans for a stock market listing which would value it at up to SFr2.4bn. The company has been put up for sale as part of TOSHIBA's scramble to raise funds and avoid financial collapse. Chair ANDREAS UMBACH did not rule out a trade sale even at this late stage, saying: "There is still an ongoing process". But he did indicate to journalists that the company's top management and board regarded the proposed IPO on Switzerland's Six exchange as the best option for the company. LANDIS + GYR set a price range yesterday for the IPO of between SFr70 and SFr82/share, which would value the company at SFr2.1bn-SFr2.4bn. If it goes ahead, trading would start on Jul. 21. TOSHIBA owns 60% of LANDIS + GYR, with the balance held by INNOVATION NETWORK CORPORATION OF JAPAN, a Japanese state-backed investment fund. L+G had net revenues last year of $1.66bn, and adjusted EBITDA profits of $212.0m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oil extends gain on bigger-than-expected drop in US inventories - Pan Kwan Yuk

Inventories of US crude fell by a bigger-than-expected 7.6m barrels last week, the latest data from the Energy Information Administration showed yesterday. That was nearly three times more than the 2.2m barrel draw-down analysts had forecast and marks the biggest one-week drop in four months. The report further showed that inventories at the Cushing delivery hub in Oklahoma fell 1.9m barrels - a rate last seen in Mar. Stockpiles of gasoline fell 1.6m barrels, also topping forecasts for a smaller decline of 681 800 barrels. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Google wins challenge to French tax bill - Harriet Agnew

Paris judges yesterday ruled that GOOGLE did not illegally dodge French taxes by directing sales in the country out of Ireland, meaning that the tech giant will not have to pay €1.12bn in back taxes. The tribunal decided that GOOGLE's Irish subsidiary responsible for its European operations was not taxable in France. The decision will come as a relief to GOOGLE, which last month was hit with a €2.42bn antitrust fine by the European Commission for abusing its dominance in search. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Former Brazil president found guilty of corruption - Joe Leahy

Brazil's former president LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison on corruption charges yesterday in a decision that promises to send shockwaves through the country's political establishment. The once popular leader of the Workers Party was accused of accepting favours from construction companies in exchange for helping them secure business with government companies. He will remain free on appeal. LULA DA SILVA was accused of receiving the use of a beach-side luxury apartment from construction company OAS. While the apartment was never held in his name, prosecutors allege it was meant for his use. The former president has denied the charges, and will appeal the conviction. If the ruling is confirmed by the appeals court before the 2018 elections, LULA DA SILVA would face jail and would be barred from competing in the poll. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dangote invests $4.6bn in Nigeria farming - Emele Onu

DANGOTE GROUP plans to invest $3.8bn in sugar and rice and $800m in dairy production in the next three years as the company seeks to expand and deal with a shortage of dollars in its home market of Nigeria. The conglomerate plans to increase its production of sugar to 1.5m metric tonnes a year by 2020, from 100 000t at present, and is seeking to add 1mt of rice, EDWIN DEVAKUMAR, executive director of DANGOTE's industry unit said this week. The company also plans to have 50 000 cattle producing 500m litres of milk a year by 2019. A lack of forex means companies are struggling to pay for imported goods, increasing the burden on local agriculture to meet demand for food from Nigeria's population of more than 180m. The company has established DANGOTE RICE and will list the unit on the Nigerian bourse "at the appropriate time", DEVAKUMAR said. It plans to cultivate 350 000ha of land for sugar cane and add 200 000ha for rice. It has ordered five plants for sugar milling and 10 for rice from Switzerland to be located in the north of the country. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Capital outflow: R350bn has left SA - Vaisen Soobramoney

More than R350bn has left SA over the past 18 months, representing a significant capital outflow. PSG WEALTH regional director AMELIA MORGENROOD yesterday said she believed a combination of factors had prompted the outflow. She noted that a recently conducted survey ranked the JSE as the number one in terms of returns over the past 100 years. "Simply put, it was the best-performing stock exchange on earth. However, that has changed. What we have seen is that around R270bn has flown out of the JSE in the past 18 months. We have also seen average South Africans preferring to invest their capital outside the country in the region of around R80bn". MORGENROOD cited a lack of economic leadership and the absence of proper economic policy as key reasons for the capital outflow. Other reasons could be that investors were scared of radical economic transformation and the economic downturn in the country. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Famous Brands sheds more than 28% - Sandile Mchunu

FAMOUS BRANDS saw its share price slide more than 28% since the start of 2017, despite the company making six good acquisitions last year. The share traded at R153.31 on the JSE on Jan. 3, but by yesterday afternoon it had fallen to R119, losing 28.83% in just more than six months. ASHBURTON INVESTMENTS fund manager JASON FORSSMAN said at the end of last month FAMOUS BRANDS posted a decline in headline earnings of 21%. "If you exclude the acquisition costs related to the R2.1bn acquisition of UK-based burger chain, GOURMET BURGER KITCHEN, earnings a share would have shown a decline of 4.1%. This is in contrast to multiple years of double-digit earnings growth which endeared the company to South African shareholders". FORSSMAN said the recent decline in the share price reflected risks in the change of the company's strategy from a pure franchise model to include company-owned restaurants, as well as a depressed underlying economic environment squeezing the target consumer's discretionary spend. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAP suspends SA executives over Gupta front kickbacks - Matthew le Cordeur

SAP has suspended SA's management team following a GuptaLeaks expose revealed it allegedly paid a GUPTA front R100m in 'kickbacks' for state business. The software giant has also initiated an independent external probe as well as an internal investigation into the matter. The current management team has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the review, SAP said yesterday. This team includes BRETT PARKER (MD Africa), LAWRENCE KANDASWAMI (MD SA), DEENA PILLAY (CFO SA) and MEHMOOD KHAN (COO Africa). "SAP has initiated an independent investigation spearheaded by a multinational law firm and overseen by executive board member ADAIRE FOX-MARTIN to vigorously review contracts awarded by SAP SOUTH AFRICA", the company said. "Full transparency and integrity are imperative at our company, and we will not tolerate any misconduct", said FOX-MARTIN, who is coming to SA to address the concerns of customers, partners and employees. AmaBhungane and Scorpio this week revealed that in Aug. 2015 SAP signed a "sales commission" agreement with CAD HOUSE, what the units call "a small GUPTA-controlled company that specialises in selling 3D printers". In the view of the investigative units the terms suggested "a thinly-disguised kickback agreement: If the GUPTA company were the 'effective cause' of SAP landing a TRANSNET contract worth R100m or more, it would get 10%". SAP ended up paying CAD HOUSE R99.9m, which to the units suggest that SAP "used the GUPTA influence network to drive sales of a billion rand to TRANSNET and other state-owned companies." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Atlantic Leaf pleased with solid platform for growth - Fin24

ATLANTIC LEAF PROPERTIES this week reported that it had a total of £303m in assets under management as at end-May 2017, compared to £270m in 2016, with continued 100% occupancy and strong cash flows from rental income collected. Commenting on the results, CEO PAUL LEAF-WRIGHT said the results reflect a solid performance for the quarter where the company achieved its forecast earnings target and is on track for the FY forecast distribution of 9pps. The company's total portfolio consists of 48 properties, each of which has long-term single-tenant leases with blue chip occupiers, with an average yield of 7.3% and a weighted average unexpired lease term of around 11 years. For the quarter, the weighted average adjusted HEPS was in line with management forecasts at 2.31pps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CT pleased with success of first green bond - Fin24

The City of Cape Town's inaugural green bond of R1bn went on auction yesterday morning in a closed bidding process. Within two hours, 29 investors made offers totalling R4.3bn in response to the R1bn that was being sold. The R1bn cleared at 133 bps above the R186 government bond. Cape Town executive mayor PATRICIA DE LILLE said the response from the market was overwhelmingly positive and demonstrates the great appetite among investors to invest in sustainable projects. The City's green bond has been certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative, while MOODY's also awarded the bond a GB1 rating. This means they have been impressed enough with the green credentials and controls around the bond to name it "excellent", DE LILLE said. Projects to be funded by the bond are a mix of adaptation and mitigation initiatives, all of which are aligned with the City's Climate Change Strategy. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim frets over declining tourist arrivals from SA - Malcom Sharara

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority flagged concern over the declining levels of tourist arrivals from SA in a recent report. According to the 2017 Q1 Tourism Performance report released by the authority, SA registered a 27% decline in arrivals, from 132 495 during the same quarter in 2016 to 96 587. SA accounted for 30.7% of Zimbabwe's tourist arrivals during the quarter. "This calls for serious consideration in addressing facilitation issues, especially at Beitbridge. There is also a need to seriously look at upgrading roads, especially the Harare Beitbridge highway", the ZTA said. Overall tourist arrivals into the country were up, with a 6% rise in tourist arrivals in Q1 of the year as 479 718 tourists entered the country compared to 450 572 y/y. Arrivals from mainland Africa registered 400 290 foreign tourist arrivals, up 5% from 380 790 in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Comair reports its diversification strategy is working - Keith Campbell

COMAIR's strategy of countering weak local air passenger market by diversifying its business is proving successful, CEO ERIK VENTER said yesterday "About 20% of our profits are coming from our non-airline businesses and we're hoping to get this to 50%, probably over the next five years", VENTER said. He stressed that the airline business "will remain our core business... If, when, we see the economy recover, then I think we will see the airline profits taking off again". Apart from the airline business, COMAIR now also consists of airline catering business Food Directions, the Comair Training Centre, Kulula Travel and the Slow Lounges, airport lounges at various South African airports. These all operate as separate business units, although not all are subsidiary companies. "The four sectors we're now in have a lot of scope for future growth. There is huge scope on the hospitality side, lots of place for growth in training, and also on the travel agency side", VENTER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Commission enters Esor companies into competition complaint - Anine Kilian

The Competition Tribunal has approved an unopposed joint application by the Competition Commission to include ESOR AFRICA and ESOR CONSTRUCTION as the seventh and eighth respondents in a complaint of collusive tendering, market division and price fixing. The other construction and engineering companies listed as respondents are ESORFRQANKI, RODIO GEOTECHNICS and DIABOR, as well as two companies who have settled with the commission - GEOMACHANICS and DURO SOLANCHE BACHY. GRINAKER is the conditional leniency applicant in the matter. The alleged markets form contravention are piling, lateral support, grouting and geotechnical drilling. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South African IT spending to grow by 2.4% this year - Gartner - Anine Kilian

IT spending in SA is forecast to grow by 2.4% y/y to R266bn for 2017, technology research firm GARTNER has said. Software is predicted to be the best-performing segment, with a 13.2% y/y rise. "South Africa has traditionally underinvested in IT and South African organisations continue to prioritise investments in software, as software spending is how they will catch up with the rest of the world", GARTNER VP JOHN DAVID LOVELOCK said. He noted that spending on devices in SA is forecast to decline by 4.6% in 2017. Currency fluctuations against the dollar can have a deleterious effect on IT spending in SA. The cost of most IT products is based in dollars, which means that local prices in rand must increase enough to cover costs and margins in dollars. "South African organisations should learn from their European counterparts. They should embed currency risk into all IT contracts, ensure long-term contracts are priced in rand and seek local delivery, where possible", LOVELOCK said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Labat acquires stake in Kufika Transport - Creamer Media Reporter

LABAT has acquired a 55% stake in privately owned transport and logistics company KUFIKA TRANSPORT. "Teaming up with KUFIKA will further enhance and strengthen LABAT's ability to meet the challenges in respect of delivery", LABAT CEO BRIAN VAN ROOYEN said. KUFIKA director ADRIAAN AUCAMP said the deal will give the company the "much-needed BEE credentials to grow the business significantly". It is envisaged the deal will secure a core owned fleet of around 100 vehicles to service existing and new business. The deal will also provide the platform to consolidate operations in the areas of agriculture, petrochemicals, dry bulk and certain fast-moving consumer goods areas that are currently undertaken by both companies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Coal export line shuts for planned maintenance - Creamer Media Reporter

TRANSNET FREIGHT RAIL has confirmed that the export coal line from Ermelo to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal was closed for its annual maintenance shutdown on Tuesday and will remain closed for planned maintenance until Monday Jul. 17. The major projects to be executed during the shutdown period include rail replacement, universal sleepers replacement, overhead traction component replacements, sets replacements and the refurbishment of midpoint traction substations. In 2016/17, TFR railed 73.8mt of coal along the corridor, a 2.4% increase in volumes y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SSA mobile users to exceed 500m by 2020 - Anine Kilian

More than 500m people across sub-Saharan Africa will be subscribed to a mobile service by the end of the decade, according to a report published by GSMA this week. The report forecasts that the number of unique mobile subscribers in SSA will grow from 420m at end-2016 to 535m in 2020, making it the fastest-growing region in the world over this period. The report notes that SSA will be a key engine of subscriber growth for the world's mobile industry over the next few years. "The mobile industry is also offering sustainable solutions that address the lack of access to services such as health, education, electricity, clean water and financial services, which still affect large swathes of the population", GSMA DG MATS GRANRYD said. Subscriber growth is expected to be concentrated in large, underpenetrated markets such as the DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, which together will account for half of the 115m new subscribers expected to be added in SSA by 2020. Mobile technologies and services generated $110bn of economic value in SSA in 2016, equivalent to 77% of regional GDP - a figure that is expected to grow to $142bn by 2020. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bird Flu confirmed on new locations in SA - ANA

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 virus has been confirmed on two new locations on farms in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said on Tuesday. "The new locations involved commercial layer chickens on farms in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. The two farms were immediately placed under quarantine by the state Veterinarian", the DAFF said. Forward tracing was done and cull chicken depots were identified, which had received live cull chickens from one of the affected farms in the last 21 days. The records of these cull depots are being followed up to trace as many of these chickens as possible. The department said the new Poultry Disease Management Agency system, which registers people buying and selling live chickens, made it possible to trace the culls. The new discovery brought the total number of affected properties to four. The depopulation of the two poultry sites affected in June has been completed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RH Bophelo lists on JSE, aims to increase access to healthcare - Creamer Media Reporter

Black-owned investment company RH BOPHELO yesterday listed on the JSE as a special purpose acquisition company. The firm aims to increase access to quality healthcare among people in the lower to middle income brackets who cannot afford private healthcare as it is currently structured in SA. To achieve this, the company will invest in hospitals that are already in operation, brownfield projects where licences to operate are already in place and other healthcare funds and related subsectors. "RH BOPHELO will further provide investors with access to a highly sought after asset class associated with high growth, cash generative returns and direct real asset exposure to the defensive healthcare sector", RH BOPHELO CEO QUINTON ZUNGA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dangote Cement aims to double size of Africa plants in three years - Reuters

DANGOTE CEMENT plans to invest around $4bn in the next 2-3 years to nearly double its production capacity in Africa, a senior executive said yesterday. EDWIN DEVAKUMAR said the company was seeking to expand across the continent to hit annual output of some 80mt within the next three years. DANGOTE has an annual output capacity of 45mt. "Our focus in the next three years is that we should be going towards 80m metric tonnes of cement production", DEVAKUMAR said, adding that the expansion would be funded via loans from Chinese and Indian banks and cash flows. It plans to build a 1.5mt cement plant in Congo in six weeks' time, DEVAKUMAR said, adding that the company planned to sign an agreement for three more plants in some West African countries. He said the company was adding 3mt to its single biggest plant located in Nigeria, which has a capacity of 13mt, within the next two years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Collahuasi copper mine cuts 115 jobs - Reuters

Chilean copper mine Collahuasi, a JV between ANGLO AMERICAN and GLENCORE, yesterday said it will cut 115 jobs, including executives, as part of a plan to boost efficiency amid low prices for the metal. Collahuasi said its staff had been structured when the mine was planning an expansion that never came about, necessitating the cutbacks. "Under the framework of our optimisation and efficiency strategy, a personnel adjustment of 115 people has begun today, including for executives, supervisors and operators", the mine said. Collahuasi had a total of 6 500 employees as of 2015. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA, Chile ink mining cooperation MoU - Creamer Media Reporter

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chilean counterpart AURORA ELVIRA WILLIAMS for the countries to cooperate in the mining and minerals field. The MoU commits the two countries to cooperate in mineral processing and beneficiation; share experiences in underground mining, with a particular emphasis on technology and health and safety; and cooperate in mineral development, technology and skills transfer. The countries will also share experiences in policy formulation and the regulatory framework, share knowledge in geology, and share experiences in environmental regulations. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Universal buys interest in project adjacent to Kangala colliery - Esmarie Swanepoel

UNIVERSAL COAL has unveiled plans to expand its Kangala colliery with the acquisition of a 29% stake in the adjacent Eloff project. UNIVERSAL yesterday said the company, through 49%-held subsidiary UNIVERSAL COAL DEVELOPMENT IV, had taken a 29% stake in ELOFF MINING COMPANY for A$4.35m. The Eloff project is contiguous to the existing Kangala Colliery and hosts a mineral resource of 242mt. UNIVERSAL noted that the Eloff deposit was a direct extension of Kangala's current pit and that it would require limited future development capital, resulting in significant cost savings in monetising the project. UNIVERSAL plans to fund its share of the project's funding requirements from the operating cash flow generated from existing projects. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya's Bamburi Cement to increase grinding capacity by 40% by mid-2018 - George Obulutsa

BAMBURI CEMENT of Kenya plans to increase its cement grinding capacity by 900 000t as one of its two plants by mid-2018 and lift total annual output capacity to 3.2mt. The company, controlled by LAFARGE HOLCIM, began work on a new mill at its Athi River plant in Jan., with proper construction expected to start next month. The expansion will be carried out at a cost of 4bn shillings. BAMBURI posted a pretax profit of 8.27bn shillings in 2016, up from 8.46bn y/y. Its second plant is located in Mombasa. Latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows cement production rose 1.6% in the first quarter of 2017 to 1.6mt y/y. Production rose to 6.71mt in 2016 from 6.35mt y/y, data showed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim looks to issue more bond notes as cash shortages bite - MacDonald Dzirutwe

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is looking to increase the amount of domestic bond notes in circulation beyond an initial $200m cap, governor JOHN MANGUDYA said yesterday, as the economy continues to grapple with shortages of US dollars. "We are in the process of negotiating those facilities and then we'll come back to yourselves after we have made significant progress", MANGUDYA told reporters on the sidelines of a lecture at the University of Zimbabwe. He declined to give further details of the new currency issuance plans. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRC to double capacity of Inga 3 in bid to cut costs - Aaron Ross

The DRC has decided to more than double the size of its planned Inga 3 hydroelectric plant to make it more economical, after the $14bn project was hit by financing problems. Inga 3 is part of a $50bn-$80bn project to expand hydroelectric dams along the Congo River, but the project has repeatedly been delayed by red tape and disagreements between Congo and its partners on the project. A consortium led by CHINA THREE GORGES CORPORATION and another consortium that includes Spain's ACS have been vying to develop the project. They will now submit a joint bid on the expanded project in Sep., project director BRUNO KAPANDJI said yesterday. KAPANDJI said the plant would be built to produce 10 000MW-12 000MW of power, more than double the originally planned capacity of 4 800MW. The original $14bn project struggled to attract financing and the World Bank last year suspended funding after the president's office took control of the project, raising transparency concerns at the bank. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Consumer confidence slips as growth concerns weigh - Noor Zainab Hussain

SA's consumer confidence slipped deeper into negative territory in Q2, highlighting households' concerns about the weak outlook for the economy, a survey showed yesterday. The FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index slumped to -9 in Q2 after registering -5 in Q1. "Despite the recent deceleration in food inflation, food prices remain very high and will continue to dampen the real purchasing power of consumers, especially for low income households, FNB senior economic analyst JASON MUSCAT said. "Per capita real disposable income is set to deteriorate further on the back of exceedingly poor economic growth, little to no job creation, and substantial increases in personal income taxes for middle and high-income earners", MUSCAT added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Prudential enters Nigeria via insurance buy, Zenith Bank deal - Noor Zainab Hussain

British insurer PRUDENTIAL said it had acquired a majority stake in Nigeria's ZENITH LIFE to give it access to the country's fast-growing insurance market. It said it had also signed a deal with the Nigerian insurer's parent ZENITH BANK PLC to sell life and other insurance products via the bank in Nigeria and Ghana. ZENITH LIFE, which had gross written premiums worth 3.3bn naira at end-2016, will be rebranded as ZENITH-PRUDENTIAL LIFE INSURANCE. PRUDENTIAL did not say what size stake it had bought or how much it had paid. The British insurer already has operations in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Transnet second SOE to flag accounting irregularities - Ed Stoddard

TRANSNET yesterday announced it had suspended senior officials after external auditors flagged "reportable irregularities" to the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors. This comes a day after ESKOM said its auditors had raised similar issues with the regulatory body, highlighting growing governance concerns in SA's SOEs. "The reportable irregularities relate to non-compliance and non-adherence to stipulated internal procurement processes and requirements of law in procurement contracts entered into between TRANSNET and various service providers by a number of senior officials", TRANSNET said. "The irregularities are no longer taking place. The affected senior officials have been suspended, legal action has been taken where appropriate, and disciplinary actions are underway", it said without providing further details. TRANSNET added that the pricing on its bonds was stable. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 13/07/2017

At 07h28 on 13 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.25 ZAR/EUR 15.16 ZAR/GBP 17.09 Gold 1222.88 Platinum 918.00 Brent Crude Oil 47.70 All Share 52905.98

Premier Oil shares leap after 'historic' discovery - Joel Lewin

Shares in PREMIER OIL have surged as much as 33% this morning after it announced a "historic and significant" discovery in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The explorer said the find is the fifth-biggest discovery anywhere in the world in the last five years. Shares were up 30% at 60.2p in morning trade. The discovery was made by an international consortium of which PREMIER is a part, alongside TALOS ENERGY of the US and Mexico's SIERRA OIL & GAS. PREMIER CEO TONY DURRANT said the discovery, which suggests the presence of more than 1bn barrels of oil, "adds materially to PREMIER's portfolio of assets worldwide". JEFFERIES analyst MARK WILSON said the announcement about the discovery "appears about as material as we could possibly imagine at this early stage". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Burberry boosts sales thanks in part to China social media drive - Mark Vandervelde

BURBERRY reported 3% revenue growth in Q1 after adjusting for the weaker pound, buoyed by increased spending by Chinese consumers and a steady performance in the UK. Same-store sales grew at 4%, double the rate expected by analysts, helped by a popular range of leather goods that notched up mid-teens percentage growth. In the Americas, revenue suffered a "low single-digit percentage decline" as US consumers took advantage of the strong dollar to do more of their shopping while overseas. Online sales in China have more than doubled since 2016, BURBERRY said, crediting a social media drive that the brand said had more than tripled the number of consumers who encountered its marketing material on WeChat. BURBERRY said it was on track to make £50m of cost savings this year. A new Leeds-based business support centre, designed to take work away from the company's costly London head office, will open in Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CMA warns of competition impact from Tesco-Booker merger - Nicholas Megaw

TESCO's £3.7bn purchase of BOOKER could damage competition in more than 350 local areas, according to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, which today confirmed that the tie-up will face an in-depth investigation. TESCO has attempted to portray the deal as an expansion into the wholesale market where it currently has little presence. BOOKER supplies services to over 5 000 so-called "symbol" stores, independent retailers operating under brands such as LONDIS and BUDGENS. The CMA warned that in areas where there is an overlap between symbol stores and TESCO shops, BOOKER could reduce the wholesale services or terms it offers the independent retailers "in order to drive customers to their local TESCO". The move to a phase 2 investigation, which will take up to 24 weeks, was likely after TESCO and BOOKER last month pushed for the process to be sped up. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sovereign debt 'a threat to stability' as public appetite for austerity wanes - Fitch - Kate Allen

High and rising government debt levels are the biggest threat to countries' financial stability as political support for austerity wanes, FITCH has warned. Globally, sovereigns' finances have improved for four years in a row but that is set to slide into deterioration this year as the public appetite for spending cuts wanes, while emerging markets continue to grapple with the drop in commodity prices over the past two years. Three-quarters of developed-market sovereigns rated by FITCH are expected to run weaker primary balances in 2017 relative to 2016, the ratings agency said. As a result of the levels of debt they carry, both developed and EM sovereigns are "exposed to a change in the global interest rate environment", according to JAMES MCCORMACK, FITCH's global head of sovereign and supranational ratings. Globally, sovereign credit ratings have improved thanks to "a synchronised pick-up in world GDP growth, a recovery in cross-border trade volumes, the stabilisation of commodity prices albeit at a lower level, and a global macroeconomic policy backdrop that remains broadly accommodative", MCCORMACK said. However, the biggest constraint on governments around the world was "high and still-rising debt levels", he said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US oil exports set to lengthen OPEC's struggle - Gregory Meyer

The US crude oil export boom is set to kick into a much higher gear. By 020, exports of US crude would reach 2.25m bpd, according to consultant PIRA ENERGY. By comparison, last year Kuwait exported 2.1m bpd, Nigeria 1.7m bpd and the US itself 520 000 bpd. The forecast suggests the OPEC cartel faces a drawn-out struggle as it tries to raise crude prices by curtailing output in the face of the US shale oil industry. Other analysts have more modest targets - ISH MARKIT sees US crude oil exports reaching 1.4m bpd by 2020, while the most bullish scenario from the US Energy Information Administration does not envisage exports surpassing 2m bpd for a quarter of a century. The US still depends on crude oil imports, having bought 7.9m bpd last year. But the type of high quality crude flowing from fields in Texas and North Dakota has a limited appetite from US refineries configured to run heavier grades of crude. This mismatch favours exports of some domestic oil and continued imports from countries including Canada and Saudi Arabia. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

French PM confirms wealth-tax cuts, flat tax on dividends for 2018 - Anne-Sylvaine Chassany

French PM EDOUARD PHILIPPE yesterday confirmed the government will speed up the implementation of tax cuts for the wealthy ahd investors as soon as next year. PHILIPPE said the government will exclude all financial assets from the wealth tax and levy a flat tax on dividends and other investment earnings of around 30% in 2018. Those measures were pledged by President EMMANUEL MACRON during his campaign earlier this year. PHILIPPE told French publication Les Echos that MACRON had been involved in the decision to accelerate the tax breaks. He insisted that France would still be committed to meeting the EU deficit limit of 3% of GDP for 2017 and 0218, by freezing public spending. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Abu Dhabi oil unit seeks IPO value of up to $14bn - Simeon Kerr

ABU DHABI NATIONAL OIL COMPANY plans to list its retail arm in an IPO that could value the business at around $9bn-$14bn. One source said ADNOC DISTRIBUTION, which operates hundreds of petrol stations across the UAE, is looking to appoint bankers as early as next week to handle the listing on Abu Dhabi's stock exchange later this year. Around 10 bans met with ADNOC officials last week to discuss the plan, a source said. The company earlier this week announced plans to sell off service businesses and launch co-investment opportunities with global companies across oil and gas production, energy infrastructure and refinery operations and petrochemicals production. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PepsiCo puts fizz back in earnings - Pan Kwan Yuk

PEPSICO delivered better-than-expected Q2 sales and profit as its North American beverages and snacks units both benefited from higher prices and productivity gains. For the quarter to Jun. 17, net revenue rose 2% to $15.7bn, ahead of the $15.57bn the market had forecast. Net income came in at $2.1bn, or $1.46/share and also easily topped the $1.39/share analysts were expecting. The company has been investing in reformulating products and developing new ones as consumers increasingly opt for healthier snacks, using gains from a broad cost-cutting programme to help pay for it. Revenue at PEPSI's North American beverage unit were up 2% at $5.2bn during the quarter. At Frito-Lay North America, sales rose 3% to $3.6bn. In both units, the ability to charge higher prices for its premium and better-for-you offerings helped offset the lack of volume growth. PEPSICO raised its guidance on core earnings for the year to $5.13/share, up from $5.09/share just three months ago, as renewed dollar weakness helped lessen the currency headwinds it was expecting to face. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK won't pay 'extortionate' Brexit bill - Boris Johnson - George Parker

British foreign secretary BORIS JOHNSON yesterday said Brussels can "go whistle" if it thinks it can persuade the UK to pay an "extortionate" bill before it leaves the EU. JOHNSON, referring to reports that the EU will seek a gross up-front exit settlement of €100bn, suggested that the government would not pay up. "I think that the sums that I have seen... seem to me to be extortionate and I think go whistle is an entirely appropriate expression", JOHNSON told MPs. He added that the government had not made any plans for a "no deal" brexit as the UK would get a "great deal" in the negotiations. Brexit secretary DAVID DAVIS had insisted that Britain was making contingency plans for leaving the EU without a trade deal, even though few in Brussels believe the UK would walk away from the negotiating table. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 12/07/2017

At 11h27 on 12 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.47 ZAR/EUR 15.43 ZAR/GBP 17.30 Gold 1218.83 Platinum 904.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.11 All Share 52696.08

Eurozone industry enjoys best month since Nov. 2016 - Mehreen Khan

Industrial output in the eurozone hit its highest level in six months in May, underscoring the bloc's brightening economic recovery as political risks have faded across the continent. Production in the bloc's factories grew 1.3% in May m/m, beating an average forecast of 1% and making May the best month since Nov. 2016. Germany, France, Italy and Spain all reported better than expected industrial output numbers in May. Year-on-year production in the eurozone rose from 1.2% to 4%, according to Eurostat. Overall eurozone GDP expanded by 0.6% at the start of 2017, with many economists hopeful growth will maintain its solid pace in Q2. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

'No guarantee' UK govt can deliver good Brexit deal - Moody's - Mehreen Khan

MOODY's has warned there is no certainty the British government will be able to deliver a "good outcome" in the country's EU exit talks. MOODY's highlighted the risks facing the UK's credit status as the chances of a "no deal" scenario in 2019 had gone up over the past 12 months. "The likelihood of an abrupt - and damaging - exit with no agreement and reversion to WTO trading rules has increased compared to our expectation directly after the referendum, with the government so far pursuing objectives that imply a 'hard' exit", MOODY's senior VP KATHRIN MUEHLBRONNER said. "It remains unclear whether the UK government can eventually deliver a reasonably good outcome for the UK", she added. Still, MOODY's base case remains a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU in two years' time. This outcome would lead to a rebound in the economy and return growth to its 2% historical average. MOODY's has lowered its medium-term growth forecasts for the UK. It now expects annual GDP to moderate to 1.5% this year from 1.8% in 2016. The economy is then expected to slow further to 1% in 2018, driven by risks to household spending and an uncertain business environment. MOODY's downgraded its outlook on the UK from stable to negative in the wake of last year's Brexit vote. It repeated that it would cut the country's rating if negotiations suggested the UK would not be able to preserve "core" access to elements of the single market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Foreign firms coin over R550m from SA's loss-making e-tolls - Liesl Peyper

International companies KAPSCH TRAFFICCOM AB and Q-FREE ASA have earned more than R550m for providing e-tags to and printing and distributing invoices for SA's e-toll system. The Swedish and Norwegian companies have been contracted for e-tag provision and maintenance. KAPSCH TRAFFICCOM received R167.2m (excluding VAT), while Q-FREE got R58.3m for providing e-tags. In 2010, KAPSCH, with MATEMEKU INVESTMENTS, a level 2 BBBEE company that was invested in TMT SERVICES AND SUPPLIES, won a R6.2bn tender from SANRAL for the design and operation of the e-toll system in Gauteng. Together they made up ELECTRONIC TOLL COLLECTIONS. MATEMEKU subsequently divested from ETC, which meant that KAPSCH gained full control of the collection company after acquiring three Cape Town-based firms, TMT SERVICES AND SUPPLIERS, BERRYDUST 51 and MOBISERVE. Transport Minister JOE MASWANGANYI earlier this month said that ETC received R2.2bn for full toll operations since the inception of e-tolls on Dec. 3, 2013. In addition to the R225m payment for e-tags provision, SANRAL has also paid a further R327.2m to KAPSCH SWEDEN and Q-FREE since Dec. 2013 for invoice printing and posting for e-toll collection. These amounts are also exclusive VAT. This brings the total amount paid to the two companies to R552.7m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Woolies, other retailers under increasing pressure - Nellie Brand-Jonker

Dreary results are expected from two of SA's major listed clothing retailers, WOOLWORTHS and TRUWORTHS, in the coming weeks, due to poor local market conditions. MVULA SEROTO, an investment analyst at CATALYST FUND MANAGEMENT, said the figures released by Statistics SA from the retail sector's April sales already indicate that barely any growth occurred on a y/y basis. "Many of the national retailers, especially the clothing retailers, are still feeling the pressure of a weaker economic environment and the increasing competition of international retailers like H&M and COTTON ON, which are expanding in the market", SEROTO said. EDCON has already closed down some of its stores, while STUTTAFORDS will permanently close shot in Aug. GOLDMAN SACHS analysts YULIA GERASIMOVA and MAXIM NEKRASOV said they expected WOOLWORTHS and TRUWORTHS to post poor results. "The year had a difficult start and headwinds for non-essential spending persisted, especially after consumer confidence plummeted amidst the country's credit downgrades", they said, adding that even the positive impact of a buoyant Easter weekend could not lift sales in Apr. WOOLWORTHS' share price has fallen by 10% to R60 over the past month. The share is 26% lower on a y/y basis. TRUWORTHS' share price is 7% lower for this month at R69, and down 15% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alstom completes first 20 trains for PRASA - Creamer Media Reporter

ALSTOM yesterday completed the manufacture of the first 20 trains as part of its €40bn contract with PRASA. The contract, inked in 2013, commits ALSTOM to supply 600 X'Trapolis Mega trains over 10 years, with only the first 20 arranged to be manufactured at the Lapa plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sixteen trains are already in commercial operation in SA. "To deliver the 580 remaining trains, GIBELA... is currently building a 600 000m² plant in Dunnottar", ALSTOM said, adding that the new plant will produce 62 trains a year. ALSTOM BRAZIL will continue transferring technology to GIBELA's technical staff until mid-2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Transnet not selling its property portfolio - Natasha Odendaal

TRANSNET yesterday dismissed claims that its request for proposals for the optimisation of its property portfolio was a R40bn business opportunity to be taken advantage of. Responding to a statement issued by DA MP NATASHA MAZZONE last week, TRANSNET spokesperson VIWE TLALEANE said the utility had issued a RFP for the development and implementation of a holistic and sustainable solution for its R4.1bn noncore property portfolio. "The property portfolio is not for sale", TLALEANE assured. MAZZONE last week raised the alarm on the possibility of attracting proposals with the intention of looting TRANSNET's property portfolio. TRANSNET dismissed the R40bn valuation as well as the possibility of looting, noting that its overall core portfolio was valued at R25.9bn, not R40bn, and that it is solely for supporting the company's core transactions and is not part of the tender. TLALEANE further clarified that the optimisation process related to investigating ways of enhancing returns on its noncore property portfolio, which was not for sale. "The respondents are required to provide a comprehensive business plan, including an in-depth financial model, which must clearly demonstrate how TRANSNET can achieve a revenue-generating property portfolio", she said. The RFP was issued in Apr. and closed on Jun. 13. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sygnia's assets under management increase to R162bn - Sandile Mchunu

SYGNIA yesterday reported a 1.89% rise in total assets under management to R162bn in the quarter to end-Jun., up from R159bn at end-Mar. Despite significant political and economic volatility, SYGNIA said it managed to grow its assets under management "largely on the back of institutional appointments". The company said it had also secured R3.7bn in institutional investment administration and asset management appointments, which were expected to move to SYGNIA in Q3 2017, as well as R2.4bn in SYGNIA UMBRELLA RETIREMENT FUND appointments, which, subject to regulatory approval, would be transferred to SURF in Q3 and Q4 2017. SYGNIA said it planned to broaden its range of ETFs with the launch of offshore and domestic ETFs planned for Q3 2017. "this will include the SYGNIA Itrix 4th Industrial Revolution Kensho ETF, which tracks an index comprising companies involved in the development of products and services in the fields of 3D printing, drone technologies, quantum computing and autonomous vehicles", the company said. SYGNIA wanted to launch these products with the lowest management and platform fees, in order to lower the cost of accessing the ETF market for retail and institutional investors, and to make that segment of the market more appealing to investors interested in index-tracking investment strategies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Adcorp adds new board members - Kabelo Khumalo

ADCORP HOLDINGS yesterday reshuffled its board, adding former ANC heavyweight SIDNEY MUFAMADI to its board, two weeks after VALUE CAPITAL PARTNERS acquired a 12.5% stake in the company. MUFAMADI would be joined on the board by GLORIA SEROBE as the new non-executive director. SEROBE has also been appointed chairperson of the board. She is a founding member and executive director of WIPHOLD and CEO of WIPCAPITAL, and serves on the boards of SASOL MINING, HANS MERENSKY and OLD MUTUAL EMERGING MARKETS. Meanwhile, MFUNDISO NJEKE, NONTOBEKO NDHLAZI and TIMOTHY ROSS have resigned as non-executive directors of ADCORP. VCP is run by former BRAIT heavyweights ANTHONY BALL and SAM SITHOLE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore said to draw Liberty House bid for Australian mine - Brett Foley, Bloomberg

LIBERTY HOUSE, fresh off a deal for Australian steel mill ARRIUM, is among bidders for a GLENCORE coal mine that could fetch as much as $380m, according to sources. LIBERTY HOUSE's GFG ALLIANCE JV submitted an indicative offer for the Tahmoor mine by the deadline last month, according to sources. It is among parties invited by GLENCORE to evaluate detailed data on the underground metallurigical coal mined ahead of second-round bids. GFG ALLIANCE, led by SANJEEV GUPTA, plans to study using output from Tahmoor to feed its newly acquired steel plant in South Australia state. The venture last week agreed to buy the assets of ARRIUM out of administration. A GLENCORE spokesperson said a number of bidders are moving to the second stage of the sale process, declining to comment further. A representative for GFG ALLIANCE declined to comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IDC millions at risk as Oakbay share valuation becomes tricky - Liesl Peyper

The severe fluctuations in the share price of OAKBAY RESOURCES & ENERGY in a period of just over two-and-a-half years will make it difficult to determine the true valuation of the company, according to MELANIE DE NYSSCHEN, corporate finance principal at BRAVURA CAPITAL. This raises concerns about the INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION's ability to recover funds following the conversion of the R256m loan to OAKBAY into equity. OAKBAY is in the process of delisting from the JSE and last night made a public announcement in this regard. DE NEYSSCHEN said there has been considerable noise about the real valuation of OAKBAY, as a company's market cap is determined by its share price. "It is puzzling that a company such as OAKBAY's share price could move from R10 to R50 and then again to R5 over the period of its listing. How do you trace it back to the valuation of the underlying assets of the company?" She noted that OAKBAY listed on the JSE in Nov. 2014 at R10.05/share. "The shares shot up on very thin trade from just over R11 in Apr. 2015 to R50 in May - in the period of one month". The share then gradually declined from May 20 2015 to about R30 in Feb. 2016, before dropping significantly from R30 on Feb. 9 2016 to R7.55 the next day. "In April this year there is a doubling of the share price on thin trading volumes... when the share price increased from R9.15 on April 6 2017 to R18 the next day". On May 5 it dropped to R10.50 and gradually started trading lower to R5.80 on the last day of trade on Jun. 23. The Financial Services Board this month said its probe into possible market manipulation related to OAKBAY was proceeding to "enforcement action". It noted though that the person under investigation is unrelated to OAKBAY. The IDC lent OAKBAY R250m in 2010 and later agreed to convert the interest OAKBAY had accrued into OAKBAY shares. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dawn signs nonbinding MoU for potential disposal of shares - Samantha Herbst

DISTRIBUTION AND WAREHOUSING NETWORK has signed a nonbinding MoU with the controlling shareholders of GROHE DAWN WATERTECH for the potential disposal of DAWN's 49% stake to GDW. If concluded, the deal may have a material effect on the price of DAWN's securities, it said, adding that no price had been agreed on as yet. DAWN noted that there was no certainty that the talks would lead to definitive and binding agreements and, therefore, no certainty that the deal would ultimately be concluded and implemented. The intention of both parties is that DAWN remains the long-term master distributor for the GDW product range in Southern Africa. DAWN's board believes the deal would be a positive step in the company's turnaround process. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alcoa to partially restart Indiana smelter - Reuters

ALCOA CORP yesterday said it would partially restart its Warrick smelter in Indiana, more than a year after closing the then-largest operating smelter in the US. The company expects the aluminium smelting capacity from the restart to supply its rolling mill at Warrick ahead of an expected rise in output, aluminium business head TIM REYES said. The rolling mill makes flat-rolled aluminum for the North American food and beverage can packaging industry. ALCOA will restart three of five potlines at the plant. The process is expected to be completed in Q2 2018. After the restart, ALCOA will have about 886 000t idled of its total smelting capacity of 3.4mt. It expects to incur after-tax costs of $30m to $35m in the third and fourth quarters of 2017 related to the restart. The company also said it would record an after-tax benefit of about $25m for the reversal of liabilities related to the original closure. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Argentina court orders suspension of Glencore's Alumbrera mine - Reuters

A federal court in Argentina has ordered the suspension of activities at GLENCORE's Alumbrera gold and copper mine as part of a pollution complaint, according to court documents seen by Reuters. The mine had been scheduled to shut down next year. GLENCORE owns 50% of the operation, GOLDCORP 37.5% and YAMANA GOLD 12.5%. The Federal Court of Tucuman ordered the suspension so on-site studies could be carried out and until the mine's operators could show they had insurance to cover repairs of possible damage from pollution, according to Monday's ruling. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Xtract subsidiary signs second contractor mining agreement for Manica - Creamer Media Reporter

XTRACT RESOURCES' subsidiary EXPLORATOR has completed a mining contractor agreement with SINO MINERALS INVESTMENT COMPANY for the exploitation of alluvial gold deposits at the Manica mining concession, in Mozambique. XTRACT and NEXUS CAPITAL in Feb. agreed that the Manica gold deposit would be developed jointly via the appointment of third-party contract miners. EXPLORATOR last month signed a mining contract agreement with OMNIA MINING and MOZ GOLD, which gained the exclusive right to mine unconsolidated alluvial deposits on t he western half of the permitted area of the mining concession for the next 10 years. Under the terms of the agreement signed between EXPLORATOR and SINO, the former will be entitled to 25% of the gold mine, with mining to start no later than Oct. 15. The contract is for 10 years, or the depletion of alluvials, and may be extended for a further five years if the alluvials are not yet depleted. The agreement includes performance targets, with SINO required to have a fully operational plant with a capacity of 200t/h in place from Oct. 15. Plant capacity will have to increase to 400t/h from Jan. 15 2018. XTRACT expects the initial monthly income under the agreement with SINO will be at least $160 000. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana Diamonds refines Frischgewaagt grade estimates - Natasha Odendaal

BOTSWANA DIAMONDS has refined its VUTOMI JV's estimate for the grade at its Frischgewaagt project, in SA. This followed the inclusion of the results of the bulk sample and an upgrade to the estimation analysis technique, which indicated a medium grade of 78ct per hundred tonnes (cpht) in a range of 64 to 110 cpht at a bottom cut off of +1 mm. A geophysics programme has been completed and evaluation is ongoing. The drilling programme will start late this month and will focus on testing the anomalies with the intention of having an initial inferred resource by the end of the year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Anglo said to opt for De Beers' historic London base as new HQ - Bloomberg

ANGLO AMERICAN plans to redevelop the historical premises of its DE BEERS diamond unit after choosing the building as its preferred option for a new London headquarters, according to sources. The company intends to modernise the Charterhouse Street property and then transfer staff there from its current premises near Buckingham Palace. The decision is subject to ANGLO winning planning and regulatory approvals for the project, sources said. The company has also examined relocating staff to a new building and selling the DE BEERS property. ANGLO moved its DE BEERS staff out of the Charterhouse property earlier this year. The relocation was part of a wider restructuring by the company as it sought to raise billions in asset sales to cut its debt burden. The Charterhouse Street building was the centre of the diamond industry for much of the 20th century, with the vast majority of the gems sorted and sold there during the firm's monopoly that ended around the turn of this century. ANGLO's current headquarters at Carlton House Terrace is owned by LASALLE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, which last year sought to sell the property. It was later withdrawn from the market. ANGLO's lease on the property expires in 2020. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

World energy investment drops for second consecutive year - Creamer Media Reporter

Global energy investment fell by 12% in 2016, the second consecutive year of decline, as increased spending on energy efficiency and electricity networks was more than offset by a continued decline in upstream oil and gas spending, according to the International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Investment report. Global energy investment amounted to $1.7tn in 2016, or 2.2% of the global GDP. For the first time, spending on the electricity sector around the world exceeded the combined spending on oil, gas and coal supply. The share of clean-energy spending reached 43% of total supply investment. China saw a 265% drop in coal-fired power investment in 2016 and is increasingly driven by clean electricity generation and networks, as well as energy efficiency investment. India was the fastest-growing major energy investment market, with spending up 7% thanks to a strong government push to modernise and expand the power sector. After two years of unprecedented decline, global upstream oil and gas investment is expected to stabilise this year. However, an upswing in US shale spending contrasts with stagnation in the rest of the world, signalling a two-speed oil market. Global electricity investment was nearly flat at $718bn, with growing network spending mostly offset by fewer coal-power additions. Investment in renewable-based power capacity fell 3% to $297bn. While renewable investment is also 3% lower compared with five years ago, it will generate 35% more power thanks to cost declines and technology improvements in solar photovoltaic and wind. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India's Jun. gold imports spike as buyers tried to beat higher sales tax - Reuters

India's gold imports in June more than tripled y/y as retail demand jumped ahead of the start of a new sales tax. June gold imports rose to an estimated 75t from 22.7t y/y, consultancy GFMS said yesterday. For H1 2017, imports rose to 514t, up 161% y/y. The rush of buying will likely lead to lower July imports, GFMS said. That would put pressure on global gold prices that are already trading near their lowest level since mid-Mar. As part of a nationwide sales tax regime that kicked in on Jul. 1, the goods and services tax on gold jumped to 3% from 1.2% previously. India's gold imports in July could be less than 35t, the lowest level in 11 months, one analyst said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tawana aims for first lithium shipment from Bald Hill in 2018 - Esmarie Swanepoel

A prefeasibility study into the Bald Hill lithium mine, in Western Australia, has estimat5ed that project construction would require a capital investment of A$42.2m to support output of 155 000t/y of spodumene concentrate over an initial mine life of 3.6 years. TAWANA RESOURCES yesterday said the project was also expected to deliver 260 000lb/y of tantalum pentoxide from a foltation circuit, based on a maiden lithium ore reserve of 4.3mt, at 1.18% lithium oxide and 208 parts per million tantalum pentoxide. The PFS estimated that the operation would deliver average EBITDA of around A$83m/year for the starter-pit, generating a net present value of A$150m and an internal rate of return of 185%. The company planned its first lithium shipment for Q1 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Indonesia seeks meeting with Freeport CEO to end Grasberg dispute - Reuters

Indonesia says it will invite the head of FREEPORT MCMORAN to Jakarta this month to try to settle a dispute over a new deal to operate the Grasberg copper mine. The company resumed copper concentrate exports from Grasberg in Apr. after a 15-week outage related to an argument over mining rights, but a permanent solution to the row is yet to be found. Any meeting with FREEPORT CEO RICHARD ADKERSON would be attended by Mineral Resources Minister IGNASIUS JONAN and Finance Minister SRI MULVANI INDRAWATI, a government spokesperson said this week. FREEPORT has maintained its request for a so-called 'investment stability agreement' to help replicate the legal and fiscal certainty it had under its existing agreement with the government. The company has also asked for a guarantee on rights to mine Grasberg up to 2041 before committing to billions of dollars of planned underground mine investments and a second Indonesian copper smelter. However, the government was only willing to extend the company's permit by 10 years to begin with, to 2031 from 2021. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria sees debt service of $483.4m on foreign loans in 10 years - DMO - Oludare Mayowa

Nigeria's Debt Management Office plans to use $483.4m to service its foreign debt over a 10-year period and make repayments starting from 2018 as its dollar debts begin to mature, it said in its annual report. The DMO projects debt service repayments to amount to a total of $4.47bn to be made in 2018, 2021 and 2023. Nigeria issued a debut eurobond in 2011 with a follow-up tranche in 2013. Between Feb. and Mar., the country issued $1.5bn due in 2032. The DMO report stated that Nigeria's debut $500m bond will mature in 2021, while $1bn will be due next year. The country expects a budget shortfall of 2.36tn naira this year as it tries to spend its way out of recession. It expects to raise money to cover the gap from domestic and foreign sources. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF says Congo assistance contingent on political progress - Aaron Ross

The IMF has told the DRC that "a credible path toward political stability" will be a condition of any assistance package, a letter seen by Reuters showed yesterday. In the letter, dated Jun. 29 and addressed to PM BRUNO TSHIBALA, IMF MD CHRISTINE LAGARDE also said that balance of payments support would require buy-in from traditional donors whose relations with President JOSEPH KABILA's government have soured recently. DRC has only enough forex reserves to cover about three weeks of imports and its franc currency has lost 40% of its value in the past year. Western donors are reluctant to aid the KABILA government after the president refused to step down when his mandate expired in Dec. They also accuse government forces of widespread human rights abuses - charges the authorities deny. LAGARDE proposed an Article IV visit by an IMF delegation for the second half of Sep. but cautioned that any assistance would come with strings attached. A spokesperson for TSHIBALA's office said the government was open to the talks proposed by LAGARDE but he did not know if the offer of a Sep. IMF mission had been accepted. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Etisalat Nigeria's new CEO targets profit after regulator rescue - Chijioke Ohuocha

ETISALAT NIGERIA is focused on getting the company back on track to make a profit after it was saved from collapse, while working on the paperwork to eventually raise new capital. "Our mandate is to make sure the business runs as profitably as it can. What is most important now is to... ensure that the business runs and meets its obligations", new CEO BOYE OLUSANYA said. Nigerian regulators last week intervened to save ETISALAT NIGERIA after talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2bn loan from 2013 with 13 local lenders failed. The company has 20m subscribers, making it Nigeria's number four mobile operator with a 14% market share. OLUSANYA said that while the business could run without an immediate recapitalisation, he would not rule one out completely. ETISALAT, whihc had a 45% stake inthe Nigerian business, has said its exposure to ETISALAT NIGERIA related to services worth $52m. In June, ETISALAT said it had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee after debt talks faltered. "We're still in negotiations with ETISALAT over the use of the brand name", OLUSANYA said, adding that the technical service agreement with the UAE company covered the brand name but the company was run by Nigerians. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF team visits Moz after damning debt audit - Ed Cropley

An IMF delegation landed in Mozambique yesterday to follow up on a damning external audit of $2bn of controversial borrowing by companies controlled by the country's intelligence services. The Fund had stipulated that an audit, by KROLL INC, be carried out for it to resume financial support to Mozambique. However, the audit's findings remain troubling, in particular that at least $500m had gone missing. Although the fallout from the debt, which was not cleared through parliament, has hammered the economy, IMF MD CHRISTINE LAGARDE singled out the deals as "clearly concealing corruption". As such it is hard for the IMF to resume its relationship as though nothing has happened. CREDIT SUISSE and Russia's VTB have come under scrutiny for their roles in negotiating the loans, one of which was a $500m eurobond issued ostensibly to build a state tuna-fishing fleet. The project has been a disaster, with most of the fishing boats sitting at anchor in Maputo. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Huawei joins WorldRemit in mobile money transfer deal for Africa - Tanisha Heiberg

Digital money transfer service WORLDREMIT has partnered with China's HUAWEI to enable the international transfer of money across HUAWEI's mobile services in Africa. "International remittance is a very important mobile money service in Africa, and our partnership with WORLDREMIT will bring international remittances directly to HUAWEI's customers across the continent", said DAVID CHEN, VP of HUAWEI Southern Africa. The partnership will allow London-based WORLDREMIT to connect to over 100m mobile accounts currently using HUAWEI's platform, which delivers basic banking transactions via its mobile money offerings on smartphones and basic handsets. The deal will reduce the barrier of technical integrations with new mobile money operators to offer international remittances for mobile network operators to enable all HUAWEI partners to swiftly switch on this service. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's manufacturing output down in May - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's manufacturing output fell 0.8% y/y in May, contracting less than expected after falling by 4.2% in April, Statistics SA said yesterday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected volumes to contract by 4.5% y/y in May. Factory output on a m/m basis fell by 0.3%, but was up 0.4% in the three months to May compared with the previous three months. The contraction was mainly attributable to the 3.4% decline in vehicle output and a 3.6% contraction in chemical production. There was also a 1.5% contraction in food and beverage production. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 12/07/2017

At 07h56 on 12 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.51 ZAR/EUR 15.52 ZAR/GBP 17.37 Gold 1219.55 Platinum 904..00 Brent Crude Oil 48.11 All Share 52376.38

Eskom pulls plug on annual results - Ziyanda Mbolekwa

ESKOM's annual results are set to be announced next week, Jul. 19. This follows the utility's decision to pull the plug at the eleventh hour due to "unforeseen circumstances". ESKOM on Monday said it had received a report from its external auditors after they raised concerns about alleged irregularities linking former CEOs MATSHELA KOKO and BRIAN MOLEFE. The utility said the irregularities were reported to the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors. "ESKOM's board has taken adequate steps to the satisfaction of the auditors that the irregularities were no longer continuing", the utility said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom coal supply uninterrupted despite Oakbay delisting - David McKay

OAKBAY RESOURCES & ENERGY was continuing to supply coal to ESKOM power stations in line with contracts, utility spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE said. This was despite evidence of difficulties in the running of OAKBAY, which is due to delist from the JSE on Jul. 24 following a notice on SENS yesterday. "Our coal supply contracts with OAKBAY remain enforceable until they expire, and therefore we expect them, as any other supplier, to inform us in writing should they anticipate any difficulties in meeting their contractual obligations", ESKOM spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE said yesterday. OAKBAY seems to be running into liquidity problems based on its annual financial statements, published last month. Cash and cash equivalents totalled R2.7m as of Feb. 28, compared to R225m y/y due to production losses and the repayment of a loan to Bank of Baroda. It also reported technical problems at its Brakfontein coal mine, bought in Feb. The mine produced 1.2mt in FY2016 after reaching steady state output in H2 of the year. OAKBAY said the lack of reliability and efficiency at the mine's opencast equipment affected planned output. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Director pay set to dominate Pallinghurst restructure vote - David McKay

Director remuneration and share option plans will be the focus of PALLINGHURST RESOURCES' AGM today, with the company facing possible shareholder revolt. BusinessLive last week reported that INVESTEC ASSET MANAGEMENT wants to vote down the re-election of certain non-executive directors, including CHRISTO WIESE, and the remuneration policy. The new remuneration policy relates to a proposal to restructure PALLINGHURST so it becomes an operating mining company. It is currently an investment vehicle with a management fee paid to its executive team. This move will see a group of five executives becoming salaried employees including executive chair BRIAN GILBERTSON, CEO ARNE FRANDSEN, CFO ANDREW WILLIS, and senior executives SEAN GILBERTSON and PRIYANK THAPLIYAL. According to a circular setting out the change in the company's structure, as well as the takeover of GEMFIELDS, these five executive directors will be paid $50 000 per month, or R8.12m annually. If the PALLINGHURST share price rises by more than 25% of the volume weighted average price of the preceding 30 days prior to final close, the directors will receive their annual salaries in bonuses. No bonuses are payable in the event the share price increases by less than 10%, or slides in value. Shareholders will also vote on a more than doubling in the annual fees of non-executive directors from $40 000 to a maximum of $100 000, which PALLINGHURST argues is necessary to attract skills to the company. BusinessLive quoted INVESTEC ASSET MANAGEMENT's JOHN BICCARD as saying the company may not see the benefit of the GEMFIELDS takeover as the company's executive might leave. This is because former GEMFIELDS management have allocation of 2% of the company in shares compared to 2% in locked-in equity for each of the five executive members of PALLINGHURST. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria 'cannot borrow anymore' - finmin - Felix Onuah

Nigeria must not borrow more to fund its budget and should instead raise the money it needs by other means, Finance Minister KEMI ADEOSUN said yesterday, calling into question planned foreign loans of $2bn from lenders including the World Bank. ADEOSUN's comments, made while speaking at a business forum in Abuja, suggest that Nigeria will no longer seek international loans, or an additional $1.5bn it had planned to raise from international debt markets. "We cannot borrow anymore, we just have to generate funds domestically enough to fund our budget. Mobilise revenue to fund the necessary budget increase", the minister said. In May, the head of Nigeria's budget office said the country' has a shortfall of $7.5bn for its 2017 budget expenditure, and said that would be addressed with $3.5bn from the aforementioned loans and debt. The government also planned to raise $4bn from the local debt market, he said at the time. The presidency recently signed off on its record 7.44tn naira budget for 2017 after numerous delays. The plan projects a deficit of 2.21tn naira, implying a deficit equivalent to 2.18% of Nigerian GDP. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Emirates cuts flights to Angola over revenue repatriation issues - Herculano Coroado

EMIRATES has scaled back its five weekly flights to the Angolan capital Luanda to three due to the difficulty of repatriating revenue earned in the country, the airline's president TIMOTHY CLARK said. "As I have previously indicated, the viability of our operations in Luanda is being severely impacted by limitations on the repatriation of our sale proceeds being accumulated in Angola on a daily basis", CLARK said in a letter dated Jul. 9 to transport minister AUGUSTO DA SILVA TOMAS. Angola has been depleting its forex reserves at a faster rate to fund imports and pay down government debt, and imposed capital restrictions including amounts travellers can take abroad. CLARK said the limitation of flights, which came into effect on Sunday, would also come under review very quickly if significant progress on the moving of its funds out of the country was not made in the coming days. EMIRATES also terminated a deal with Angolan carrier TAAG under which the former took operational control of the airline for 10 years and the two cooperated on commercial opportunities on the continent. The agreement was signed in 2014. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S&P warns of UK economic slowdown - Katie Martin

STANDARD & POOR's thinks the British economy is heading for a soft patch. Squeezed real wages and uncertainties relating to the manner in which the UK will leave the EU mean that growth will likely be 1.4% this year, and 0.9% in 2018, S&P said. That's a pullback from the 1.8% growth in 2016 and is "subject to considerable downside risks, stemming mainly from Brexit uncertainties". S&P does not expect a rise in UK interest rates until mid-2019. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Actis sets up Africa education platform - Javier Espinoza

UK-based private equity firm ACTIS has created a $275m higher education platform spanning nine countries in Africa as it looks to cater for a rapidly growing education needs. The pan-African initiative has brought together leading universities in North and Southern Africa across 48 campuses and 30 cities. ACTIS started investing in Africa in Dec. 2014 when it acquired the UNIVERSITE CENTRAL GROUP in Tunisia. The firm has identified a massive explosion in educational needs as the population expands and economies demand new skills. ACTIS has also announced the expansion of HONORIS UNITED UNIVERSITIES to SA by agreeing to invest in two of the country's leading private distance learning institutions, MANCOSA and REGENT BUSINESS SCHOOL. HONORIS serves already 27 000 students but LOPEZ expects the student population to grow to 100 000 in the next three to five years as more join and ACTIS purchases new institutions to join the platform. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

M&S food, clothing sales dip in Q1 - Mehreen Khan

MARKS & SPENCER suffered a dip in its like-for-like sales in the quarter to end-Jun., but boasted rising revenues as it cut back on its clothing discounts. The retailer said same store sales in its clothing and home unit fell 1.2% in the quarter, while its food division fell back 0.1% by the same key metric. Overall group revenues in Q1 were 2.7% higher on a y/y basis to £2.53bn, or 1.8% when measured in constant currency terms. CEO STEVE ROWE said the group was performing in line with forecasts. In particular, he praised the growth in full price clothing and home sales, which grew around 7% on the back of reduced discounting. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Irish govt debt four times pre-crisis level - Vincent Boland

Ireland's National Treasury Management Agency yesterday announced that the country's general government debt is €200bn - four times the level it was in 2007 before the crisis hit and the Irish banking sector collapsed. That equates to €42 000 per person, compared to an average of just €24 000 among the EU's 28 member states. Debt as a proportion of GDP has fallen sharply in the past four years to 75% of GDP, from a peak of 123% four years ago. That was, at least in part, thanks to an outsized jump in GDP growth in 2015, when the Irish economy expanded by 26%. There are other measures that show the Irish debt level remains exceptionally high. The most striking figure is that general government debt is 275% of general government revenue - compared to an EU28 average of 165%. Interest payments are 8% of government revenue - twice the EU28 average. NTMA CEO CONOR O'KELLY said investors were watching these measures of Ireland's debt level at least as closely as the more widely followed debt:GDP metric. Finance Minister PASCHAL DONOHOE warned that the country's debt "remains high in absolute terms and we must continue to prioritise its reduction to more suitable levels". The active management of the debt meant Ireland's refinancing needs between 2017 and 2020 had fallen from €70bn to €40bn. The maturity profile of the debt has been extended to 11 years, the longest among the EU28, where the profile is closer to seven years. O'KELLY said he was "very confident" that the annual interest bill for the Irish debt would fall below €6bn by 2020, compared to €9bn for fiscal 2014. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoE warns banks against using tricks to dodge regulations - Emma Dunkley

The Bank of England has warned lenders against using balance sheet trickery and other "innovation" to "circumvent the spirit" of regulation aimed at preventing another financial crisis. SAM WOODS, CEO of the BoE's Prudential Regulation Authority, said that some of the evolving funding and borrowing practices are "pure regulatory arbitrage" and warned that firms "should expect questions and should be prepared to defend them". WOODS said some of these practices include banks' use of special purpose vehicles and other structures to escape certain capital requirements. He also highlighted that some banks are "seeking out funding that matures just beyond the time horizon used to calculate regulatory liquidity requirements." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global sugar demand to accelerate over next decade - Emiko Terazono

Sugar, alongside dairy, is forecast to support food demand over the next decade, according to the latest figures from the OECD and UN Food and Agricultural Organisation. Global demand for sugar per person is expected to rise at 8.1% over the next 10 years, compared to 5.6%. India, projected to have the largest population by 2026, will have high and rising consumption of milk, accounting for 42% of the increase in global milk production over the next decade. But demand per capita for food staples is expected to remain flat, except in least developed countries, keeping prices low. "Global food commodity prices are projected to remain low over the next decade compared to previous peaks, as demand growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to slow down", the FAO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BNP Paribas slashes oil forecasts amid US shale rebound - Joel Lewin

BNP PARIBAS has slashed its oil forecasts for 2017 and 2018 as rising output from the US, Nigeria and Libya offset the impact of OPEC production curbs. The lender has cut its Brent forecast for 2017 by $9 to $51/barrel, and has dropped its 2017 forecast for WTI by $8 to $49/barrel. The revisions for 2018 are even steeper. The bank has lopped $15 off its Brent forecast to $48, and has lowered its WTI forecast for 2018 by $16 to $45. "The simple truth is that OPEC and Russia have to contend with the fact that there is output growth elsewhere diluting their efforts at reducing supply. Nigeria, Libya and US shale oil feature prominently as an offset to OPEC's efforts. their supply growth puts a cap as to how high oil prices can go", BNP PARIBAS analyst HARRY TCHILINGUIRIAN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Snap dips below IPO price - Jessica Dye

SNAP shares fell below their IPO price for the first time yesterday. The share fell below the $17/share price at which its shares were first floated in Mar. The shares hit $16.95 in the final minutes of trading before closing at $16.99. After surging as high as $29.44 the day after its IPO, SNAP has been on a rocky road as its share price has been pressured by growing doubts about whether it can maintain its user growth pace under increasing competition from the likes of FACEBOOK. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pearson to sell 22% stake in Penguin Random House to Bertelsmann - Guy Chazan

BERTELSMANN has moved to take tighter control of PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, striking an agreement to acquire a 22% stake in the book publisher from co-owner PEARSON to lift its shareholding to 75%. The deal values PRH at $3.55bn including debt and been flagged by PEARSON in Jan. after the education group decided to offload its 47% stake in the venture. BERTELSMANN had previously said it would seek to increase its stake in the company from 53% to 70%-75% if PEARSON exercised its option to sell. PEARSON will retain a 25% stake in the group following the deal. PEARSON said the stake sale and recapitalisation would generate net proceeds of $1bn, enabling it to return £300m to shareholders in a buyback. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 11/07/2017

At 11h33 on 11 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.58 ZAR/EUR 15.47 ZAR/GBP 17.53 Gold 1210.47 Platinum 894.00 Brent Crude Oil 46.99 All Share 52640.55

BSI Steel expects higher FY EPS - Sens

BSI STEEL yesterday said it expects to report basic EPS of 7.62cps-8.57cps for the FY to end-Mar., 60%-80% higher than the 4.76cps reported y/y. HEPS will be between 0.85cps and 1.91cps, reflecting a decrease of 64%-84% to the 5.3cps reported y/y. Results will be published on Jul. 31. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mercantile's role in liquidation of Alert Steel heads to court - Robert Laing

MERCANTILE BANK's role in the liquidation of ALERT STEEL is heading to court, with plaintiffs demanding R351m in damages. Soon after ALERT STEEL applied for business rescue in May 2014, the appointed business rescue practitioner, ZAHEER CASSIM, issued a statement complaining that MERCANTILE BANK had seen to "all stores being locked down and staff being denied access to the various premises". CASSIM said MERCANTILE was blocking any reasonable prospect of rescuing ALERT. The plaintiff's counsel WIM TRENGOVE SC and EMMANUEL LIMBERIS SC filed papers in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday, accusing MERCANTILE of conspiring with the owner of WEST LAKE TRADE AND INVESTMENTS, RAYHAAN HASSIM, to liquidate ALERT STEEL at the expense of other shareholders. The papers say MERCANTILE "conspired to devise and implement a scheme to transfer the plaintiff's business and all its assets to a new company held by Mr HASSIM (WEST LAKE); to pay the plaintiff's loan liability to MERCANTILE BANK in full; and to put the plaintiff in liquidation". MERCANTILE said it believed the summons it received yesterday morning was fraught with factual inaccuracies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AB InBev to invest R2.8bn in SA - Sandile Mchunu

ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV yesterday said it planned to invest R2.8bn in extending its plants in SA and in two new packaging lines for returnable glass bottles at it Alrode and Rosslyn facilities in Gauteng. The brewer said the investment was part of its expansion strategy for new packaging lines and returnable glass bottles. The investment would add to R1bn the company agreed to spend over five years as part of the Competition Tribunals' condition for AB INBEV's purchase of SABMILLER. Analysts noted that the investment would not result directly in job creation as the company was implementing cost-cutting measures. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodacom Tanzania listing delayed - Dineo Faku

VODACOM TANZANIA's listing on the Dar es Salaam exchange has been pushed back by 10 days to allow regional and global foreigners time to acquire the stock. VODACOM spokesperson BYRON KENNEDY yesterday said that following recent changes to the Electronic and Postal Communications Act 2010 though the FInance Act 201, Tanzania's Capital Markets and Securities Authority had issued a directive to extend the IPO deadline by ten working days to open the process to international investors. "We believe this is a positive move for the more than 40 000 Tanzanians that have invested in the IPO as it is expected to improve liquidity of the VODACOM TANZANIA shares once they are listed", KENNEDY said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom auditors raise red flags over Koko, Molefe - Kevin Crowley

ESKOM yesterday said auditors have raised concerns about issues relating to MATSHELA KOKO and BRIAN MOLEFE in their year-end review. The utility's external auditors reported two irregularities to the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors, ESKOM spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE said. The first was ESKOM's relationship with IMPULSE INTERNATIONAL, which received contracts from the utility while KOKO's stepdaughter was a non-executive director. The second related to MOLEFE's reinstatement as CEO in May. He was removed three weeks later and a legal case is ongoing. The power provider had 30 days to report back to the IRBA to state whether the issues had been fixed or not. The "reportable irregularoties" were stated by ESKOM's auditor, SIZWENTSALUBAGOBODO, as being "continuing". They are being processed and will be forwarded on to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, the Auditor General and the Department of Public Enterprises. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SASSA scraps minister's advisory teams - Thembisile Dzonzi, Bloomberg

The SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCY has scrapped the advisory groups that were set up to plan for the future of the country's annual welfare payments. Letters were sent to the so-called "work streams" last week informing them of their termination, SASSA CEO THOKOZANI MAGWAZA said yesterday. MAGWAZA said he had informed Social Development Minister BATHABILE DLAMINI of the decision and hasn't yet received a response. The advisory groups reported directly to the minister, effectively creating parallel structures to the agency's management. The Treasury last week authorised SASSA to engage with the SA POST OFFICE as the operator of the welfare-payment system. While the POST OFFICE has said it is willing, and has the capacity to take over the payments, SASSA will still have to make sure the utility can comply with requirements, MAGWAZA said. "National Treasury has agreed that SASSA engages the POST OFFICE as the sole bidder", SASSA spokesperson PASEKA LETSATSI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ICASA inquiry plans to slash data costs - Christina Pitt

ICASA will hold an inquiry to try and reduce the country's high data costs. The probe will consist of four phases - a market study, discussion document, public hearings and findings document, ICASA spokesperson PASEKA MALEKA said yesterday. At each stage of the inquiry, interested parties will have at least 45 working days to submit their responses or comments. The period for submission of comments may be extended if ICASA considered it necessary and appropriate. The inquiry would be completed by Mar. next year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Standard Bank Zim unit steps up to help fund mining sector - Malcom Sharara

Zimbabwe's STANBIC BANK said it provided 46% of that country's mining sector capital requirements for 2016. In a flier published in the local press, the STANDARD BANK unit said it provided a total of $88.8m in working capital finance for the mining industry last year, compared to the $194m required by the sector. STANBIC also managed to secure $85m as long-term capital for the sector's operations via various local mining giants. STANBIC ZIMBABWE and STANBIC NAMIBIA also concluded a $120m debt package with the ZIMBABWE POWER COMPANY for the rehabilitation of existing power infrastructure at Kariba South hydro power station and Hwange Thermal Power Station. STANBIC also supported various tobacco merchants with funding worth $245m in its bid to move the agricultural sector forward. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola Cables starts construction on Brazil data centre - Creamer Media Reporter

ANGOLA CABLES has started the construction of its South American data centre, located in Fortaleza, Brazil, connecting to the subsea internet cable linking Africa to the Americas. The data centre will run two key routes - the South Atlantic Cable System connecting Fortaleza to Luanda, and the Monet Cable connecting Miami to both Fortaleza and Sao Paulo. The data centre aims to accommodate more cables from the cable-dense region of Fortaleza. "The system will enhance Africa's global communications networks, provide a meet me point with high connectivity and access to larger markets. They will also deliver the lowest latency routing between Africa and South America", ANGOLA CABLES CEO ANTONIO NUNES said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SepFluor to build Nokeng fluorspar mine, concentrator - David McKay

SEPHAKO FLUORIDE is to build a R1.7bn mine north east of Pretoria. The mine and concentrator - Nokeng Fluorspar Mine - will produce 180 000t/year of acid grade fluorspar and 30 000t/year of metallurgical grade fluorspar from the beginning of 2019 following commissioning in Nov. 2018. Construction time will be 21 months and the company will employ 300 fixed-term jobs during that period, and 200 permanent jobs when the mine and concentrator is complete. Nokeng has a life of mine of around 19 years. Acid grade fluorspar is mostly used in the chemicals industry to manufacture hydrochloric acid, while metallurgical grade fluorspar is used as a flux to remove impurities from molten iron such as sulphur and phosphorous. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA inks tripartite free trade agreement - Anine Kilian

SA last week signed the agreement establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area during a meeting of the Tripartite Sectoral Ministers Committee in Kampala, Uganda. The meeting was unattended by the trade Ministers and officials from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community. SA did not sign the agreement when it was initially launched in 2015 due to outstanding work in some of the annexures to the agreement. All those have now been completed and adopted by the Tripartite Sectoral Ministers Committee. The TFTA represents an integrated market of 26 countries with a combined population of 625m people and a total GDP of $1.6tn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Scaw Metals partners with Crosby - Anine Kilian

SCAW METALS GROUP's Distribution Network has extended its cooperation with rigging extension manufacturer CROSBY by adding CROSBY platinum line Gr100 chain fittings to its product offering. The CROSBY platinum line of chain fittings is a complete range of grade 100 chain fittings. SCAW METALS Distribution Network wire rod products head GEORGE KATERGARAKIS said the extension "will strengthen the position of our distribution network as the leading supplier of lifting equipment in South Africa". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Huge eyes another acquisition - Natasha Odendaal

Shortly after concluding the acquisition of telecoms service provider CONNECTNET and wholly-owned subsidiary SAINET, HUGE GROUP has now entered into exclusive talks for a new, yet-to-be-disclosed potential acquisition. The company yesterday said the potential strategic acquisition, if pursued, would constitute, on an aggregated basis, a category 2 transaction. Such a transaction under the JSE is a transaction where the consideration-to-market capitalisation and dilution percentage ratio is between 5% and 30%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurofer ups EU steel demand forecast, warns on 'disastrous' US tariff plan - Reuters

European steel association Eurofer yesterday raised its 2017 EU steel demand forecast but said isolationist measures such as a US plan to levy steel tariffs on national security grounds could be disastrous for global trade flows. Eurofer said apparent EU steel demand, which includes inventory changes, will rise 1.9% this year to 159mt. It previously forecast demand would rise 1.3% in 2017. Despite the raised forecast, the body issued its starkest warning yet about potential import distortions, saying regional mills could again fail to benefit from demand growth and instead lose market share to imports. "With no structural solutions for the underlying problem of global overcapacity in sight, the number of protectionist and even isolationist measures look set to increase", Eurofer DG ALEX EGGERT said. "In particular, measures potentially stemming from the US section 232 investigation may lead to a proliferation of disastrous global trade flow distortions". Eurofer expects apparent EU steel demand to moderate to a 1% growth rate next year, as the impact of economic stimulus measures fade. The association previously forecast demand would grow 1.2% in 2018. European steel prices fell around 10% in Q2 thanks to high inventories and increased import pressure. Prices rose around 50% in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New Gautrain rolling stock bidding process begins next month - Irma Venter

Bidding on the 12 new train sets to be supplied to the Gautrain system will begin next month, Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr ISMAIL VADI said yesterday. "We have shortlisted three bidders and they will now submit their formal bids". Speaking at the Southern African Transport Conference in Pretoria, VADI said growth in Gautrain ridership had increased faster than expected, necessitating the new rolling stock. He expects the new rolling stock to be available within three years from the announcement of the winning bidder, which should happen "late this year, or early next year". Plans were also afoot to expand the Gautrain network by 140 km of track and 19 new stations. Tshwane would secure six new stations, Ekurhuleni three and Johannesburg 10. The capital intensive project would be too big to build as one project, and would be broken up in five packages, to be constructed over a period of 25 years. Initial planning sees constriction of the first phase starting in 2021. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Altron subsidiary to sell Crabtree business to Siemens - Natasha Odendaal

ALLIED ELECTRONICS' wholly-owned subsidiary POWER TECHNOLOGIES plans to sell CRABTREE ELECTRICAL ACCESSORIES to SIEMENS. The parties had entered into a disposal agreement that remains subject to approvals by the relevant competition authorities. The sale forms part of ALTRON's plant o exit its manufacturing operationsand reposition itself in the ITC space. ALTRON has made "good progress" in navigating the difficult environment which had pushed the company into losses in recent years. Under new CEO MTETO NYATI, the company has pursued a full review of its strategy to grow the core businesses. The company has already reduced its exposure to the manufacturing sector via several divestments and will continue to do so with specific focus placed on the POWERTECH TRANSFORMERS and ALTECH MULTIMEDIA disposals. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tharisa delivers another record production quarter - Martin Creamer

THARISA, which has again shown incremental improvements in output volumes and recoveries in the quarter to end-Jun. is continuing to examine ways of further optimising its operations. The company yesterday reported record Q3 chrome production of 333 900t, 1% above target chrome recoveries of 66% and 1.3%-above-target PGM recoveries of 81.3%. Reef mined from THARISA's shallow opencast mine totalled a record 1 275 200t, PGM output was 3.2% higher q/q at 35 400oz on a 6 element basis, and chrome production was 6.1% higher at 333 900t. Speciality chrome concentrates, which make up 26.1% of total chrome output and which are sold into the chemical and foundry markets globally at a premium, increased 15.5% q/q to a record 87 100t. The average PGM basket price of $792/oz in the quarter to end-Jun. was $9/oz higher than the $783/oz price achieved in the previous three months to Mar. 31. PGM and chrome production remains on track to meet production guidance for the FY of 147 400oz of PGMs on 6E basis, and 1.3mt of chrome concentrates, of which 300 000t will be price-premium-attracting specialty grade chrome concentrates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold-based ETFs add 22.2t in June - Henry Lazenby

The global holdings of gold-backed ETFs have increased by 22.2t, or 74.4moz m/m to 2 313.2t at end-Jun. According to the latest figures from the World Gold Council, these holdings are valued at $92.4bn, 1% lower m/m. North American and European funds showed the strongest growth, adding 12.8t to 1 227.1t, and 10.5t to 977.7t, respectively. Asia sold 1.3t (-2%) to 61.9t and funds in 'other regions' increased marginally, by 0.25 to 46.4t. The spot gold price in New York has fallen by more than 4% in the past 30 days, from about $1 265/oz, to a bid price of $1 212.30/oz yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Diamcor sells 2 000ct in final June tender - Anine Kilian

DIAMCOR MINING sold 2 153ct of rough diamonds for gross proceeds of $338 380, resulting in an average price of $157.16/ct in a third and final tender and sale for the quarter to end-Jun. This brings the total rough diamonds tendered and sold from the initial processing of material during the period to 8.318m ct, generating gross proceeds of $1.851m and resulting in an average price of $222.52/ct. Meanwhile, the testing, commissioning and calibration of the newly expanded facilities at Venetia continue to progress as planned and overall increases in processing volumes and reliability are expected moving forward. The crushing and treatment of material up to 45 mm and the processing of larger material through a modified and refined ultra-course large diamond recovery circuit is also now operational and expected to increase throughput capacity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Universal expects output to hit 3mt in 2017 - Ilan Solomons

UNIVERSAL COAL yesterday advised that its Kangala and New Clydescale Colliery mines in Mpumalanga delivered around 3mt of coal in the FY to end-Jun. 2017. Kangala produced an estimated 2.4mt and NCC produced 540 000t of coal. Combined, the operations delivered a 47% y/y production increase for UNIVERSAL, which reported output of 2.04mt in 2016. CEO TONY WEBER noted the company's operating cash flow for FY2017 was A$29m, which is a 180% improvement from 2016, when it recorded A$10.4m in revenues. Attributable operating cash flow generated is expected to be A$19.6m, a 258% y/y improvement. WEBER further noted that EBITDA for FY2017 were expected to be 91% higher y/y at A$26m compared with A$13.6m y/y, subject to the yearly audit, which will be completed and results released to the market by Sep. 30. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caledonia reports fatality at Blanket - Anine Kilian

An employee at CALEDONIA MINING's Blanket mine in Zimbabwe has died in a mining-related accident. The event occurred at the Number 6 shaft on Friday. "I join with my colleagues in expressing our sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the deceased", CALEDONIA CEO STEVE CURTIS said yesterday. The company has notified the Minister of Mines and Mining Development and the Inspector of Mines, and will provide all the necessary assistance in the probe into the incident. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Namibia c.bank cuts 2017 growth outlook - Nyasha Nyaungwa

Namibia's central bank yesterday lowered its 2017 growth forecast to 2.1% from a previous estimate of 2.9%, citing uncertainty around the pace of recovery in uranium prices. The country's economy hardly expanded in 2016, slumping from a more than 5% expansion a year earlier due to deep contractions in construction, uranium and diamond industries. "While there is now more evidence of a strong recovery in agriculture and mining, earlier expectations about high growth in the uranium sub-sector have been lowered because of uncertainty around the pace of recovery in the uranium price and in uranium output volumes", the Bank of Namibia said. Spot prices for uranium dipped to a 13-year low late last year and have rebounded only modestly in 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Public Protector won't challenge c.bank in court over mandate - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

The Public Protector will not oppose a court challenge against her binding proposal calling for a change to the mandate of the central bank, her office said yesterday. BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE last month recommended that the SARB mandate of maintaining price and currency stability be changed to focus on economic growth. That prompted court challenges from the SARB, the Treasury and Parliament. "Having considered the legal advice from the Senior Counsel, which advice she accepted, the Public Protector... has decided not to oppose SARB's review application", MKHWEBANE's office said in a statement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania: Magufuli says signed new mining bills into law - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

Tanzania's President JOHN MAGUFULI yesterday said he had signed into law three bills passed by parliament last week that pave the way for a rise in royalties for gold and other minerals and an overhauling of contracts in the sector. "I would like to thank Parliament for making the legislative changes. I signed the bill into law the same day Parliament concluded its session on July 5", the president told a political rally in his home village in Chato district, northwestern Tanzania. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigerian oil minister unable to attend Russia meeting - Olesya Astakhova

Nigeria's oil minister is unable to attend the OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial monitoring committee meeting in Russia this month, Kuwait Oil Minister ESSAM AL-MARZOUQ said yesterday. "We extended the invitation but unfortunately there is a previous commitment for the Nigerian oil minister as I heard today", MARZOUQ told reporters when asked whether Nigeria will join the committee meeting scheduled for Jul. 24 in St Petersburg. MARZOUQ added that Nigeria will likely be asked to join the technical committee's meeting, which happens before the ministerial meeting, to discuss its oil production plans. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Etisalat pulls out of Nigeria after loan talks collapse - Stanley Carvalho

Abu Dhabi's ETISALAT has terminated its management agreement with its Nigerian afm and given the business time to phase out the brand in Nigeria, ETISALAT INTERNATIONAL CEO HATEM DOWIDAR said yesterday. Nigerian regulators intervened last week to save ETISALAT NIGERIA from collapse after talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2bn loan failed. All UAE shareholders of ETISALAT NIGERIA have exited the company and have left the board and management, DOWIDAR said. He noted that talks were ongoing with ETISALAT NIGERIA to provide technical support, adding that it can use the brand for another three weeks before phasing it out. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 11/07/2017

At 08h16 on 11 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.53 ZAR/EUR 15.41 ZAR/GBP 17.43 Gold 1211.47 Platinum 895.00 Brent Crude Oil 46.99 All Share 52187.92

Zim bank suspends pay-TV payments over forex shortages - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's STEWARD BANK has suspended payments to DSTV citing unavailability of foreign currency, in a sign that dollar shortages are worsening in the country. Local banks have been forced to limit withdrawals due to cash shortages while importers face long delays in paying for goods they bring in, forcing some businesses to buy dollars on the parallel market. STEWARD BANK, a unit of ECONET WIRELESS, said it was suspending payments to MULTICHOICE, which is popular in Zimbabwe, to all account classes except premium. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vavi urges Rustenburg minerworkers to join NUMSA - ANA

South African Federation of Trade Unions general secretary ZWELINZIMA VAVI yesterday urged mineworkers in Rustenburg to join trade union NUMSA. "Workers resigning from [the] National Union of Minerworkers and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union resigned into nothing. Every mineworker in Rustenburg must join NUMSA", VAVI told a SAFTU rally in Rustenburg. "We are starting a new journey; our journey is based on certain principles. We want a fighting federation", VAVI said, adding that shop stewards should be well trained to be able to represent workers. "Shop stewards are thrown into the deep end to respresent workers without training. Workers lost cases at the CCMA which they were not supposed to lose if shop stewards were trained. Fifty-two percent of cases at the CCMA are won by the employer; 56% of wage settlement are imposed by the employers. Workers are on their own". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South32 says NSW mine remains suspended - Mariaan Webb

The shares of SOUTH32 dropped this morning after the company reported that its Appin mine, in New South Wales, remained shut. SOUTH32 said a review of the broader Illawarra metallurgical coal operation was still under way and cautioned that it would take some time before full production resumed. "A review of the operation's systems and operating practices is currently being undertaken to ensure its ongoing safety and reliability. Given the scope of this review, an extended outage is now anticipated before production at Illawarra metallurgical coal can be restored to historic levels", SOUTH32 said. Shares in SOUTH32 fell by 3.2% on the ASX, 3.6% on the LSE and by 3.25% on the JSE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

R16bn Swazilink rail project being prepared for release as PPP - Terence Creamer

TRANSNET and SWAZILAND RAILWAYS have agreed to package the 146 km Swazilink greenfield line between Lothair, in SA, and Sidvokodvo, in Swaziland, as a public-private partnership and may release an international tender for a 20- to 25-year concession by Oct. The route for the R12bn-R16bn project has already been determined following a detailed feasibility study and the two SOEs are currently in the process of acquiring land on both sides of the border, while upgrading associated infrastructure. However, SWAZILAND RAILWAYS and TRANSNET will now ringfence the venture as an SPV, in which the two utilities will hold a minority 49%, with the 51% balance to be owned by private investors. Both funding partners, as well as companies with established logistics capabilities will be targeted in the tender, which will include volume guarantees. TRANSNET CEO SIYABONGA GAMA says it is premature to confirm when the international tender will be released, as various discussions and processes are still under way between TRANSNET and SWAZILAND RAILWAYS. However, it is possible that the tender will be released in either Sep. or Oct. for adjudication in early 2018. Depending on responses, the winning bidder could begin construction by the middle of 2018. The project is expected to involve a 30-month construction period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bain, Cinven sweeten Stada offer - Javier Espinoza

BAIN CAPITAL and CINVEN are set to increase their offer price as they week to revive what would be Europe's largest bailout in four years following a failed auction. The group is set to raise its offer by 25c to €66.25/share after applying for an exemption from a one-year exclusion period to submit a renewed voluntary public takeover. Under the new offer, the acceptance threshold would be lowered to 63% from an initial 75% and it would set a shorter acceptance period of just four weeks. Earlier this month, the private equity consortium was unable to receive sufficient backing from STADA investors. BAIN and CINVEN had received acceptances from 65.52% of shareholders for their original offer, just under 2% short of their 67.5% target. The failed bid was due to various factors, including the difficulty in getting retail investors to cash in on their shares and a few hedge funds that refused to tender their shares in the hope of forcing the bidders to pay a higher price. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

G20 communiqué fails to hide US tension - Stefan Wagstyl

The G20 nations put on a face-saving show of unity at the Hamburg summit by negotiating a unanimous communiqué despite deep divisions on trade and climate change driven by US President DONALD TRUMP. German Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL highlighted key bilateral meetings held in Hamburg, including the first face-to-face encounter between TRUMP and Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN, which the two men described as "constructive". MERKEL said as well as reaching compromises the particpants had made clear their "discords", not least over TRUMP's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord. In a particularly contentious sentence, the US said it would work closely with other countries to help them access "fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently" - a reference to TRUMP's hopes of boosting gas exports. MERKEL dismissed hopes aired by British PM THERESA MAY and French President EMMANUEL MACRON that the US could return to Paris, saying she did not "share this optimism". On trade, the G20 are following closely the G7 statement at its recent gathering in Taormina, in balancing calls for free trade with recognition of countries' rights to take action against unfair competition. Meanwhile, the G20 together with the World Bank on Saturday announced a $325m fund to support female entrepreneurship in developing countries. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK trade deficit takes turn for the worse - Mehreen Khan

Britain's trade deficit deteriorated more than expected in May, according to the latest batch of official data which highlight the difficulties in boosting exports despite the weakness in the pound. The UK's total trade deficit in goods and services widened by £1bn to £3.1bn in the month from Apr. to May on the back of rising imports, mainly from outside the EU. In the three months to the end of May, the deficit grew £2bn from £6.9bn to £8.9bn, the Office for National Statistics said. Imports rose by 2.7% m/m, driven by demand for foreign goods from outside Europe, while services imports fell back a little. The more than 11% drop in the pound's value against the dollar since the Brexit vote has pushed up the cost of imports to the UK. Import prices rose 0.5% in the three months to May, the ONS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK industrial output misses forecasts yet again - Nicholas Megaw

Sterling weakened last week after official data showed growth in the UK's industrial sector missed forecasts for a fourth successive month in May. Total industrial production contracted after a month of growth in Apr., falling by 0.1% and missing a forecast of 0.4% expansion. On an annual basis, contraction slowed from 0.8% to 0.2%, but was still significantly worse than the 0.2% growth that had been predicted. Manufacturing continued its slow start to Q2, falling by 0.2%. Consensus forecasts had predicted 0.5% monthly growth. On a y/y basis, growth picked up slightly, with 0.4% expansion compared to stagnation in the year to Apr., but again the figure was well below forecasts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EU watchdog asks questions of ECB links with private bankers forum - Mehreen Khan

The EU's Ombudsman has asked the ECB to clarify its links with a private forum of some of the world's most senior bankers. Following complaints about MARIO DRAGHI's membership of the "Group of Thirty" discussion forum, the ethics watchdog has been looking into the relationship between the eurozone's central bank and the forum, which includes executives from banks supervised by the ECB and the heads of the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England. JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET, former ECB president and current chair of the ethics body, is honourary chairman of the G30, whose membership also includes former Fed chiefs BEN BERNANKE and PAUL VOLKER, and TIM GEITHNER, former US treasury secretary under president OBAMA. Among the answers demanded by the Ombudsman are: whether the ECB contributes to the G30's financing; if the ECB has rules to ensure no conflict of interest with the banks it supervises on the G30; if the ECB is willing to provide public information on the content and agenda of the meetings; details of other fora involving the ECB's executive board and the financial sector. Responding to the Ombudsman, the ECB said DRAGHI had attended two G30 meetings in the past four years. It noted that the forum was a "diverse" platform made up of economists, ministers of finance and current and former central bank chiefs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German trade, current acc surplus swell in May - Mehreen Khan

Germany's twin surpluses grew more than expected in May, driven by a healthy jump in exports in Europe's largest economy. The trade balance rose from €18.1bn to €22bn in May as export growth outstripped imports. The trade surplus came in better than a mediam forecast of €18.7bn compiled by Bloomberg. Germany's current account surplus also jumped to €17.3bn, exceeding a forecast of €15.4bn. Destatis said German exports rose from 0.8% to 1.4% in May, while imports held steady at 1.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Euronext snaps up stake in Dutch bonds platform - Philip Stafford

EURONEXT has extended its acquisition spree with the purchase of a majority stake in IBABS, a Dutch online portal for corporate boards, for €30.1m. The Paris-based exchange will take a 60% stake in the company which generated €5.9m in revenues in 2016 and made EBITDA of €3.8m. H1 revenues this year are up 29% y/y. EURONEXT already has a corporate services business, which supplies webcasting and other investor relations tools, which it wants to expand to lessen its dependence on earnings from share trading and general market volatility. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/07/2017

At 11h30 on 08 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.32 ZAR/EUR 15.18 ZAR/GBP 17.14 Gold 1207.04 Platinum 898.00 Brent Crude Oil 46.84 All Share 51834.72

Orient Overseas pops 20% on $6.3bn China Cosco takeover - Alice Woodhouse

ORIENT OVERSEAS INTERNATIONAL rose 20% in Hong Kong this morning after CHINA COSCO SHIPPING announced a $6.3bn takeover deal for the shipping company. The deal is the latest in a wave of M&A in container shipping and creates a potentially stronger Asian competitor to the 2M ALLIANCE of MAERSK LINE and MEDITERRANEAN SHIPPING COMPANY. CHINA COSCO said its offer had been accepted by the company's controlling shareholder, CC TUNG, who owns a 68.7% stake in ORIENT OVERSEAS. COSCO SHIPPING's HK$78.67/share offer was at a 31% premium to ORIENT OVERSEAS' closing price on Friday. ORIENT OVERSEAS shares jumped 20.2% in early trading to HK$72.10/share. CHINA COSCO SHIPPING stock rose 6.4% to HK$4.33/share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China inflation gauge holds steady in June - Hudson Lockett

China's producer and consumer price growth steadied in Jun. on an annual basis, with the pace of both holding at the same exact level from May. The PPI recorded a y/y rise of 5.5% in June, unchanged from May. Compared to a month prior, producer prices fell 0.2%, the least severe rate of contraction in the current three-month streak. China's CPI came in at 1.5% for a second month running, still at the highest level since January's pace of 2.5% growth. In m/m terms CPI fell 0.2%, the fastest contraction since Mar. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Court orders Philip Morris to pay Australian govt's legal fees - Jamie Smyth

The Permanent Court of Arbitration has ordered PHILIP MORRIS to pay substantial legal fees to the Australian government following the company's failed legal battle against plain packaging laws. The ruling by the court follows its landmark judgment in Dec. 2015, which found PHILIP MORRIS's challenge to the public health initiative amounted to "an abuse of rights". This case was one of a series of legal challenges lodged by the tobacco industry to laws introduced in Australia and elsewhere which replace branded advertisements on packs with graphic health warnings. PHILIP MORRIS had challenged Australia's claim for costs on the basis that it did not lose the entire case and that Canberra's claim was unreasonable for "a legal team that consisted primarily with public servants". The company argued Canada and the US had never claimed more than US$4.5m and $3m respectively in costs and fees. The court rejected these arguments and ordered the company to reimburse the federal government for an undisclosed percentage of the legal fees. Australia's Fairfax Media reported the costs could be worth up to A$50m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil inflation drops to lowest since 2007 - Pan Kwan Yuk

Consumer price increases as measured by Brazil's IPCA index came in at 3% in the 12 months to end-Jun., down from 3.6% the previous month and largely in line with the 3.05% the market had forecast. The figure marks the 10th consecutive month of decline and takes inflation in the country to its lowest level since Apr. 2007. It marks a startling turnaround from the 12-year high of 10.71% recorded at the start of 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US economy adds 220 000 jobs in Jun., wages disappoint - Mamta Badkar

US employment growth rebounded in June with the pace of hiring reaching its quickest since Feb., signalling the strength in the labour market is strong enough to leave the Federal Reserve on track to raise rates once again this year despite disappointing wage growth. Employers added 220 000 jobs in June, a report from the labour department showed. That compared with Wall Street forecasts of 178 000. May's non-farm payrolls growth was revised higher to 152 000 from 138 000 previously. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 194 000/month. Economists had expected a rebound in June after seasonal factors contributed to softer hiring in May. They questioned how long the economy will be able to sustain job growth above 200 000 as the labour market continues to tighten. Average hourly earnings were up 2.5% y/y, missing economists' forecasts for a 2.6% rise. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 4.4% from a 16-year low of 4.3% in May. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK GDP growth expected to improve in Q2 - Nicholas Megaw

Economic growth in the UK is likely to have picked up slightly in Q2 but remain below the long-term average and weaker than the eurozone, according to estimates from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The influential think-tank estimates that economic output increased by 0.3% in the quarter to end-Jun., compared to 0.2% in Q1. Disappointing data published on Friday reinforced expectations of a decline in industrial output over the quarter, but this was offset by growth in the larger services sector. The think-tank expects the economy to grow by a total of 1.7% this year, lower than BoE forecasts of 1.9% growth. NIESR research fellow REBECCA PIGGOTT noted that the savings ration reached an historic low of 1.7% in Q1 2017 "implying that, so far, households have reduced their saving to cushion the effect of falling real incomes on consumption as inflation rises". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Greece gets €8.5bn bailout tranche from EU creditors - Mehreen Khan

The European Stability Mechanism on Friday approved an €8.5bn cash injection for Greece after the country successfully completed its second review as part of an €86bn rescue agreed in 2015. The fresh funds will allow Athens to pay a €6.8bn bill due to its private sector creditors, the ECB and IMF, due later this month. The remaining cash will be used to help pay off some of the government's arrears. Of the tranche, around €0.8bn will be released after Sep. 1 should the Syriza-led government make further improvements in clearing its bills to suppliers. Greece's bailout programme - its third since 2010 - finishes at the end of Aug. 2018. To ensure the government is solvent after the rescue deal, Greece has hinted at an imminent return to the bond markets. The country has not issued any bonds since 2014. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Liquid Telecom raises $700m in bond, term-loan issue - David Pilling

LIQUID TELECOM has raised $700m in a bond and term-loan issue that will help it refinance debt and provide a war chest for further acquisitions. The company operates in 13 African countries including SA, supplying fibre optic and satellite services for customers such as MTN and BHARTI AIRTEL. The $550m, 5-year bond was priced at 8.5%, though investors had pushed for a higher yield amid a sharp weakening of emerging market bonds on Thursday, when the issue was priced. "We were comfortable with the support we had despite the fact markets were softening very considerably", LIQUID CEO NIC RUDNICK said, adding that the company could seek an IPO as early as next year. LIQUID TELECOM is 51% owned by ECONET GLOBAL, an international company that has mobile, fibre optic and content operations in several countries. The money raised in the issue would refinance practically all the debt incurred in LIQUID TELECOM's $430m acquisition last year of NEOTEL from TATA COMMUNICATIONS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan machine orders contract further in May - Alice Woodhouse

Japan machine orders fell at the sharpest rate in nine months in May, against expectations for an increase in orders. Core machine orders fell 3.6% m/m during May, counter to a median forecast from analysts predicting a 1.7% rise. The fall was larger than that seen in Apr., when orders fell 3.1% and marked the sharpest fall since Aug. 2016. Orders grew at a pace of 0.6% y/y in May, coming in below forecasts of 7.6% growth. Manufacturing ordersrose 1% m/m, while non-manufacturing orders fell for a third consecutive month, down 5.1% for the period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Parliament throws weight behind SARB - Lameez Omarjee

Parliament has filed a supporting affidavit for the SARB's application against the Public Protector's report. Speaker of the National Assembly BALEKA MBETE filed the affidavit at the North Gauteng High Court on Friday. In Parliament's affidavit, MBETE indicates that the public protector's order is unconstitutional and not a remedy. It further encroaches on Parliament's exclusive domain and is undemocratic. MBETA also said it "negates" section 74 of the Constitution, which sets out the special requirements for amending the Constitution. She explained that the order is unambiguous, and not merely an order that a motion for its amendment be introduced in Parliament first. "Nobody can rationally suggest that the failure by the South African Government and the Reserve Bank to recover money from a bank is appropriately remedied by stripping the bank of its primary object of protecting the value of the currency". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's shadow economy trumps global average - Liesl Peyper

SA's shadow economy is expected to rise to 24.19% of GDP, according to a study from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. The shadow economy is defined as the production of and trade in legal goods and services that are deliberately hidden from the authorities. According to the ACCA report, SA's shadow economy amounted to around R1tn in 2016 - representing 23.29% of GDP. SA's level of the shadow economy is currently higher than the global average, which is expected to come down from 22.5% of GDP in 2016 to 21.39% of GDP in 2025. According to the report, low bureaucratic qualtiy, persistent unemployment and inefficient provision of law and order are among the main causes of expected increases in the size of the shadow economy in SA from 2011 to 2025. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IDC: No prejudice in Oakbay delisting - Dewald van Rensburg

The INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION expects OAKBAY RESOURCES & ENERGY to permanently delist from the JSE in a way that does not "prejudice" it. At stake in the IDC's 3.6% stake in the GUPTA-owned company, which has little realistic prospect of staying on the local bourse after "temporarily" suspending its shares late last month. "OAKBAY has indicated that, due to increased negative public opinion about the company, it is highly unlikely that it will be able to secure the services required by a JSE-listed company... The IDC's expectation is that the process of delisting will be carried out in accordance with the law and with due regard to the rights of all minority shareholders, including the IDC. The IDC lent OAKBAY R250m in 2010 and the repayment date was 2013. However, this was renegotiated and the final settlement due date was changed to 2018. As part of that restructuring, the IDC agreed to convert all the interest it had accrued - more than R225m at the time - into OAKBAY shares. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent to take Honour of Kings to US, Europe - Lulu Yilun Chen, Bloomberg

TENCENT is preparing to roll out its Honour of Kings blockbuster game to the US and Western Europe from as early as September, introducing its single most profitable mobile game to millions of new players beyond China, sources said. The company is accelerating the global rollout of the game to diversify its revenue base, the people said. TENCENT aims to build on the success of the title, which may account for a majority of its smartphone gaming revenue this year. Self-developed Honour of Kings has been gradually introduced to select markets beyond China, such as Turkey and Thailand. It will now also launch in the US, France, Italy, Spain and GermanY. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia to build $548m cement plant - Reuters

Zambia will build a $548m cement plant in a JV between the country's mining investment arm and China's SINOCONST, President EDGAR LUNGU said on Friday. ZAMBIA CONSOLIDATED COPPER MINES INVESTMENT HOLDINGS and SINOCONST will raise funding for the project from local and international financial institutions, LUNGU said. The plant - to be build in Ndola in Zambia's copperbelt - would be completed in three years and create around 1 000 jobs at construction stage. The plant will have a daily output of 5 000t of cement and will also have two 20MW coal-fired power plants to provide electricity to the facility. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jaycor sells 53% stake to black-owned equity firms - Creamer Media Reporter

JAYCOR INTERNATIONAL, a provider of specialised cables, connectors, infrastructure and related active components has sold a 53% stake in the company to black women-owned investment company MOSHE CAPITAL and private equity investment firm SANARI CAPITAL. JAYCOR founders and executive directors own the balance of the company. JAYCOR said the deal, which results in 30% black women ownership, paves the way for sustainable and inclusive growth, and economic transformation for the business, staff and shareholders. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AMSA unveils first phase of incubation hub to support emerging industrialists - Natasha Odendaal

ARCELORMITTAL SA on Friday unveiled the completed first phase of its new 1 600m² steel industry incubation hub in Vanderbijlpark, which has been set up to help develop industrialists to be absorbed into its procurement supply chain. The R30m Matlafatso Incubation Hub was operationally launched in Feb. and has provided tailored development support to an initial 10 on-site and two virtual-based future industrialists. The first incubations, four months in, have, in effect, created 77 direct jobs for the region, which currently has the highest unemployment rate in Gauteng. The hub will put qualifying participants through an intensive 24-month development programme, providing dedicated workshops and the use of an 800 m² communal workshop space equipped with industrial manufacturing equipment. Emerging industrialists participating in the programme will also have access to industrial markets, holistic development support, bridging finance during the early stages of growth and capital equipment, as well as classroom, group and in-task experiential learning opportunities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUMSA warns of imminent metals, engineering industry strike - Megan van Wyngaardt

NUMSA on Friday warned of an imminent strike in the local metals and engineering sector, after the latest round of talks reached a deadlock on Thursday. The union is demanding a 2-year, 15% wage hike across the board, based on the actual rate that a worker is earning, and not on the minimum rate. It is also demanding the extension of the agreement to non-parties, including employer associations such as the National Employers Association of SA. In a meeting with the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council on Thursday, employers tabled a revised position covering a three-year agreement and an offer to increase wages on actual rates of pay by 5.3% and by 5.5% on the minimum scheduled rates. NUMSA, along with other industry unions, has again rejected the offer, noting it will make working conditions worse. The union has now requested a certificate of nonresolution, allowing it to strike. It expects an outcome by Jul. 15. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSE's cost savings drive to result in job cuts - Megan van Wyngaardt

The JSE plans to reduce its technology operating costs by a minimum of R70m over a two-year period, which will also result in the bourse reducing its staff complement by 60 people. Noting that the plans form part of its ongoing cost optimisation drive, JSE CEO NICKY NEWTON-KING said bourses and other players in the financial services industry were adjusting how they operate in response to changing regulatory requirements and the fast pace of technological developments. "In addition... the country continues to be plagued with low economic growth, ratings downgrades and a loss of business confidence. This has negatively impacted on market activities. We are focused on preparing the JSE to meet these challenges head-on", NEWTON-KING said. The JSE was refreshing its IT operating structure to align to best practice. Once completed, these initiatives will result in annual cost savings of around R170m, which will be fully realised from 2019 onwards. This is in addition to the nearly R65m yearly savings already achieved to date through a combination of removing vacancies and reducing discretionary spend. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Phatisa ups stake in Kanu Equipment - Megan van Wyngaardt

African private equity fund manager PHATISA and KANU EQUIPMENT's management will buy TORRE INDUSTRIES' shareholding in KANU. "PHATISA has supported our growth aspirations and shares KANU's vision of becoming the foremost equipment dealer in Africa. We look forward to continuing our journey with PHATISA as KANU grows from strength to strength", KANU CEO STEPHEN SMITHYMAN said. Since the initial investment in Jun. 2016, PHATISA has supported KANU's ambitious expansion plans by using its sector expertise and African network to source new growth opportunities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Northam Platinum receives approval to remove Khumama as guarantor - Megan van Wyngaardt

NORTHAM PLATINUM on Friday said 97.7% of all noteholders under its R2bn domestic medium-term note programme approved a proposed amendment to its noteholders' guarantee agreement. The amendment and restatement of the existing applicable pricing supplements and the schedules would also remove KHUMAMA PLATINUM as a guarantor. KHUMAMA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NORTHAM which was part of the latter's acquisition of the Booysendal mine, in 2008, from MVELAPHANDA RESOURCES. "KHUMAMA is, for all intents and purposes, a dormant private company. Accordingly, the proposed amendment will not adversely affect the guarantee detailed in the existing applicable pricing supplements", NORTHAM said. Booysendal will continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary of NORTHAM and a guarantor pursuant to the amended and restated applicable pricing supplements. This will simplify NORTHAM's group structure and remove administration costs associated with KHUMAMA going forward. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australian miners emerge unscathed from Tanzania law changes - Esmarie Swanepoel

A number of Australian miners operating in Tanzania have emerged from the rubble of the recent legislative changes, largely unscathed. Several Tanzania-focused companies resumed share trading on the ASX on Friday, telling investors that the legislative changes passed by the Tanzanian Parliament earlier in the week would not have a significant impact on operations. VOLT RESOURCES said based on an initial review of the legislation, and external legal advice, the legal changes would not prohibit the company pursuing its plans to progress its Namangale graphite project. GRAPHEX MINING also told shareholders that it remained committed to developing its Chilalo graphite project. STRANDLINE RESOURCES was also of the belief that the new legislation would not have a major impact on its strategy, or its ability to achieve exploration and project development goals. STRANDLINE is currently working on a DFS for its Fungoni heavy mineral sands project, and is in a farm-in agreement with RIO TINTO in the region which would see the latter earn a 75% interest in mineral sands tenements for a total consideration of $10.75m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim likely to miss 2017 chrome ore export target - Oscar Nkala

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe has indicated that local chrome ore producers might not achieve the projected 2017 export target of $300m due to the commodity's falling price and the flooding of the usually lucrative Chinese market with cheap-quality material from SA. Speaking on the sidelines of the Midlands regional chrome mining indaba, MMCZ deputy general marketing manager MASIMBA CHANDAVENGERWA said the chrome ore price had dropped from about $200/t in March to about $90/t, due to the stockpiling of ore totalling about 2mt by dealers in China. CHANDAVENGERWA said Zimbabwe producers would, for the next six months, struggle to sell their high-quality chrome ore in China, owing to a massive influx of cheap, low-quality South African ore. In Jan., Zimbabwe's chrome exports peaked at $28m, up from the first record postcrisis chrome ore export earnings of $7m recorded in Jan. 2015. In 2016, the Treasury earned $30m from chrome ore exports, equivalent to 1% of the country's total mineral export earnings. To assist producers, the MMCZ had appealed to the government for a $10m loan to buy up all the chrome ore held by local miners and stockpile it for export when the commodity's market and prices stabilised. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DTI to seek opportunities in DRC for SA businesses - ANA

The Department of Trade & Industry on Friday invited local companies to apply to participate in the 7th Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) to the DRC. Trade & Industry Minister ROB DAVIES said the objective of the mission was to increase trade and investment between the two countries. Exports to the DRC in 2016 amounted to R11.5bn, while imports from there were $1.3bn with trade currently totalling R12.8bn. The DTI said it would provide financial assistance to companies through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme to participate and showcase their products during the ITI. The ITI will take place in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi from 18-22 Sep., and the closing date for receipt of application forms is 14 July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PTM to slash jobs, downscale output - David McKay

PLATINUM GROUP METALS is to cut the output target of its Maseve mine in a restructuring that will impact a "large" number of employees and contractors. It seems the company has about four months to make a new mining plan work in terms of a waiver provided by its lenders on working capital and production covenants. The company at the weekend said it would change its primary mining method at Maseve, which has under-performed since it was commissioned last year. Maseve was designed for output of 250 000oz 4E. Output was forecast to be 110 000oz in the first year rising to 180 000oz, but it has far undershot that ambition. In Apr., PTM downgraded the year's output target to 85 000oz, from 100 000oz previously forecast in Jan. for the year. The company said it now envisaged a more gradual ramp-up in production using hybrid mining methods in which it would mix mechanised mining with conventional stoping methods, which it said had been set down in the mine's feasibility study. "As a result of the anticipated restructuring process, there are a large number of employees in the service of independent contractors and staff of Maseve could be affected", PTM said, adding that it had notified the Department of Mineral Resources of the planned changes to staff. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim maize subsidy adds millions to mounting debt - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's budget deficit will rise by nearly $120mm this year due to a maize subsidy, Reuters calculations show. Facing an election next year, President ROBERT MUGABE says the subsidy will make the country self-sufficient in the grain and aid struggling farmers. Harare announced the scheme last year as part of a 'Command Agriculture' drive, saying it would pay farmers $390/t for maize this harvest to encourage them to plant. The government has not said what it will do with the maize it has bought - that information is needed to work out how much the scheme will cost the state. However, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe has agreed to buy 800 000t of maize from the state for $194m this season, or $242.50/t. At this price, the government would lose $147.50 for every tonne it buys from farmers and sells to these private millers, totalling $118m, according to Reuters calculations. The final cost could be much higher if the government buys more grain, with the country forecast to grow 2.1mt of maize this year, financial analysts said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim yet to reach deal over arrears with foreign lenders - IMF - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe is yet to reach a deal with the World Ban and other foreign lenders over clearing arrears and implementing reforms, the IMF said on Friday, warning that reliance on raising funds domestically could further fan inflation. The Fund said that although Harare cleared its arrears with the IMF last year, talks with the World Bank and other multilateral lenders faced delays. The IMF said Zimbabwe should not seek to clear its $1.75bn foreign arrears via agreements that would worsen its debt situation. The country's foreign debt stands at more than $7bn - more than half of it GDP. The suggested reforms include slashing public sector wages, currently at more than 90% of the national budget, reducing farm subsidies, improving transparency in the mining sector and reaching an agreement on the compensation of white farmers. Finance Minister PATRICK CHINAMASA in Apr. said the country had met all conditions to clear arrears to the World Bank and the AfDB, paving the way for possible future funding from the IMF. But the Fund warned that Zimbabwe's borrowings from its central bank and domestic lenders to plug its budget deficit was unsustainable, left the economy fragile and had "significant potential for generating inflationary pressures". The IMF said the government's domestic borrowing would fuel CPI, which is expected to rise to 7% by Dec. from 0.75% in May, before entering double digits by the end of 2018. Although the Fund projected GDP of 2.8% this year, it said growth would slow to 0.98% in 2018. Harare's domestic borrowing stands at more than $4bn and is seen growing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mali on track for 5.3% GDP growth in 2017 - Joe Bavier

Mali's economy is forecast to grow by 5.3% this year and 5% in 2018 on the back of public capital spending and a robust agricultural sector, the IMF said on Friday. Fragile security conditions, however, pose a downside risk to the projections. Inflation is expected to hit 1% by end-Dec. and 1.4% next year, the IMF said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 08/07/2017

At 06h21 on 08 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.38 ZAR/EUR 15.27 ZAR/GBP 17.26 Gold 1210.93 Platinum 905.00 Brent Crude Oil 46.86 All Share 51900.26

UK house price growth falls to 4-yr low - Halifax - Mehreen Khan

House prices in the UK contracted for the second month this year in June, falling by a worse than expected 1%, according to HALIFAX. June's figures were below forecasts for the index to rise by 0.2%, following a 0.3% expansion in May. HALIFAX's three-month growth measure also fell back to 2.6% from 3.3% in June - the lowest in four years. It means the average cost of a UK home is now £218 290. MARTIN ELLIS, HALIFAX housing economist, said: "Although employment levels continue to rise, household finances face increasing pressure as consumer prices grow faster than wages. This, combined with the new stamp duty on buy to let and second homes in 2016, appears to have weakened housing demand in recent months". HALIFAX still expects the UK's acute shortage of properties to support prices in the longer term. It said there were 162 704 first time UK buyers in the market so far this year - 15% below a 2006 peak of 190 900. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China forex reserves climb for fifth straight month - Mehreen Khan

China's forex reserves expanded for the fifth straight month in June to hit their highest level since Oct. 2016. Data from the People's Bank of China show reserves rose to $3.056tn last month, up $3.22bn in the month. Beijing has been steadily re-accumulating forex holdings following a sharp drop in the country's forex warchest after the PBoC stepped in to halt a depreciation in the renminbi in 2015. June's figures suggest financial outflows slowed last month, according to JULIAN EVANS-PRITCHARD at CAPITAL ECONOMICS, who notes that the central bank may also be rebuying forex. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Elliott renews push to oust Akzo chair - Michael Pooler

ELLIOTT ADVISORS is making a new push to oust the chairperson of Dutch paintmaker AKZO NOBEL. The activist hedge fund said it had applied to a Dutch court for a special shareholder meeting to vote on the removal of ANTONY BURGMANS, who was seen as an obstacle to the proposed buy-out of AKZO by US rival PPG INDUSTRIES. As part of a campaign to force AKZO to the negotiating table with its suitor, ELLIOTT requested an EGM to dismiss BURGMANS in April. This was rejected by AKZO's management and a Dutch business court later upheld that decision. Today, ELLIOTT said it had filed a joint petition to the interim relief court for an EGM on the matter. A separate legal case brought by ELLIOTT to investigate management practices at the Dutch group continues, with a hearing scheduled for Sep. 20. ELLIOTT also revealed that it had increased its stake in AKZO to 9.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Swiss forex reserves ease back - Nicholas Megaw

Switzerland's bulging forex reserves edged lower for a second consecutive month in June, despite the Swiss National Bank's continued complaints about the effects of an "overvalued" franc. The SNB's stock of foreign currency fell from SFr694.2bn to SFr693.5bn, in contrast to expectations of an increase. SNB chair THOMAS JORDAN last month said the franc was still "significantly" overvalued, blaming its strength for the country's sluggish recent economic growth. The strong currency is weighing on inflation through lower import costs. The Swiss economy returned to deflation on a monthly basis in June, while y/y price rises fell to their lowest level in seven months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

French industry bounces back - Mehreen Khan

Production levels in France's industrial sector rebounded strongly as the country elected EMMANUEL MACRON as president in May. The latest official figures show industrial output grew 1.9% in May after contracting 0.9% in April. The performance helped to push overall y/y output growth to 3.2%, up from 0.1%. Both sets of figures were easily ahead of expectations and follow buoyant survey data from the French economy, whose medium term prospects have been boosted by MACRON's election. MACRON is promising to fix France's government finances, ease the burden of the country's onerous labour code, and lower business taxes. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mulberry launches Japan JV - Naomi Rovnick

British leather goods group MULBERRY is launching a new Japanese JV months after it struck a similar deal for Greater China. The group is expanding internationally after a turnaround in strategy that has boosted its bottom line. The company has signed a deal with Japan's ONWARD GLOBAL FASHION to form a 50:50 JV that will be called MULBERRY JAPAN and headquartered in Tokyo. It will carry out digital, omni-channel and wholesale business, while the parties will invest £2.8bn between them in the new entity. In Mar., MULBERRY launched its MULBERRY ASIA business that operates in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan, alongside JV partner CHALLICE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German industry enjoying its best run since 2010 - Mehreen Khan

Germany's industrial sector had a better than expected month in May, with output rising sharply to mark the best growth run in seven years. Output grew 1.2% in May m/m, accelerating from 0.7% and outpacing a forecast of just 0.2% for the month. This pushed y/y production growth to over 5%. Industrial production has now expanded for five consecutive months, marking its best run of growth since before the start of the eurozone's debt crisis in 2010. Should production figures for June stay at the robust pace, it would mean the sector will have grown around 2% in Q2, according to JENNIFER MCKEOWN at CAPITAL ECONOMICS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australia forecasts iron ore to fall below $50 by 2018 - Alice Woodhouse

Australia expects the price of iron ore will fall to $47/t in 2019 as demand from China for steel production is expected to drop. In its Resources and Energy Quarterly report, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science forecasts iron ore will average $62/t this year, falling to $48/t in 2017. Australia's iron ore exports are forecast to fall to A$54.7bn in 2018/19, from $65bn in 2016/17. Overall resource and energy export earnings will "decline marginally" in 2017/18 and 2018/19, the department forecasts, with coal exports expected to fall to A$43.5bn in 2018/19. LNG exports are forecast to grow to A$37bn in 2018/19. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 07/07/2017

At 11h46 on 07 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.44 ZAR/EUR 15.36 ZAR/GBP 17.38 Gold 1221.21 Platinum 904.00 Brent Crude Oil 47.52 All Share 51919.61

Mondelez says cyber attack could take bite out of Q2 revenue growth rate - Jessica Dye

MONDELEZ yesterday said it is making "good progress" on restoring its systems after being hit by a large-scale cyber attack, although it estimates the incident could shave around 300 bps (3%) off of its revenue growth rate for Q2. The company was one of dozens whose operations were hit by the attack at the end of June. MONDELEZ said it believed the issue was contained and that a "critical majority" of affected systems were back in operation after the attack, which hit its invoicing and shipping capabilities in the final days of Q2. "We expect to incur incremental one-time costs in both our second and third quarters as a result of this issue, but our underlying margin progress continues to be in line with our outlook of mid-16% for the full-year", MONDELEZ said. The company is due to report Q2 results in Aug. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Campbell to pay $700m for Pacific Foods - Jessica Dye

CAMPBELL SOUP is hoping to whet health-conscious consumers' appetites with the announcement yesterday that it will buy PACIFIC FOODS OF OREGON, which makes organic broth and soups, for $700m. CAMPBELL said it will finance the all-cash deal via a combination of short- and long-term debt. CAMPBELL's president and CEO DENISE MORRISON said: "PACIFIC is an authentic brand with a loyal consumer following. The acquisition allows us to expand into faster-growing spaces such as organic and functional food. Moreover, PACIFIC FOODS is an excellent fit with CAMPBELL - strategically, culturally and philosophically. It advances our strategic imperatives around real food, transparency, sustainability and health and well-being". PACIFIC will be folded into CAMPBELL's Americas simple meals and beverages division once the acquisition is complete. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

French turnaround powers Carrefour sales growth - Mark Odell

Sales at France's CARREFOUR rose 6.1% in Q2, driven by a turnaround in its core domestic hypermarket business and a robust performance internationally. On a like-for-like basis, the retailer said sales rose 2.8%, including a 3.4% rise in its international business. Total group sales rose 6.1% to €21.76bn in the quarter to end-Jun., helped by favourable exchange rates. This performance was ahead of the consensus forecasts of €21.5bn compiled by Reuters. The performance was helped by a turnaround in the French hypermarket stores business, where sales rose 0.8% during the quarter on a like-for-like basis. Overall, sales in its French business rose by the same margin to €9.94bn. International sales rose 11% to €11.82bn at current exchange rates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Commodities have worst H1 in seven years - S&P - Henry Sanderson

Commodity prices had their worst start to the year in seven years, according to S&P Dow Jones Indixes, as oil prices slumped amid a supply glut. The S&P GSCI Total Return index fell 10.2% in H1 2017, its worst performance since H1 2010, when it lost 11.2%. The index was driven lower by oil prices, with Brent crude returning a negative 17.4% and WTI a negative 18.8%. "Each single commodity inside the energy sector didn't just lose in the first half of 2017, but lost double digits", S&P analyst JODIE GUNZBERG said. Excluding energy, commodity prices were positive in H1. The S&P GSCI Non Energy Total Return index gained 4.1%. Wheat was the best performer in the index, returning 18.3%, while sugar was the worst performer, losing 29.9%. Industrial metals rose 8.1%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US private sector hiring slows - Pan Kwan Yuk

US private sector job creation grew at a slower but still solid pace in June as construction firms and companies in the energy and mining sectors pulled back on hiring. Private employers added 158 000 jobs in June, ADP said yesterday. The figure fell short of analysts' forecasts of 188 000 and is a sharp slowdown from May's figure of a revised 230 000. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

France plans to end sale of petrol, diesel cars by 2040 - Michael Stothard

France plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in the country by 2040, Environment Minister NICOLAS HULOT said yesterday. Announcing his climate plan, HULOT announced "the end of the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040". He did not specify if this would mean a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, or how the ban could be implemented. He also did not specify if the ban would include hybrid cars. HULOT said the target would impose a "heavy" burden on local carmakers. Global sales of electric vehicles were less than 1% of the market last year, but according to IDTechEX, a market researcher, pure-electric car sales will increase from 672 000 this year to almost 7m in 2027. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Meikles UAE deal falls through - Tawanda Karombo

Zimbabwean conglomerate MEIKLES is no longer pursuing a delisting of its shares from the Zimbabwe bourse after it yesterday said a deal by an investor to acquire a controlling stake in the company had failed to materialise. MEIKLES has a partnership in Zimbabwe's TM SUPERMARKETS together with PICK N PAY. UAE-based ALBWARDY INVESTMENT had been confirmed as the potential suitor for MEIKLES. "ALBWARDY has informed MEIKLES that it is withdrawing its interest in acquiring a majority stake in the company. Accordingly, shareholders are being advised that the caution that was placed on trading in the company's shares has now been lifted", MEIKLES secretary THABANI MPOFU said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA net forex reserves up in June - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's net forex reserves rose to $42.235bn in June from $42.016bn in May, the SARB said today. Gross reserves rose to $47.352bn, from $47.241bn previously. The forward position fell to $2.464bn in June from $2.504bn the prior month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mediclinic merger hits competition hurdle - Fin24

MEDICLINIC SOUTHERN AFRICA has suffered a blow after the Competition Commission said a proposed merger with MATLOSANA MEDICAL HEALTH SERVICES should be halted. It wants the Competition Tribunal to block the planned large merger, arguing it will stifle competition and likely result in a hike in hospital prices. "MEDICLINIC plans to take the recommendation of the Competition Commission on appeal", the company said. MEDICLINIC's acquisition of MMHS relates to its Potchefstroom hospital, located in an area close to Klerksdorp. MMHS owns and manages Wilmed and Sunningdale hospitals in Klerksdorp. While these two are both multi-disciplinary hospitals, Wilmed is more specialist-orientated and Sunningdale more general practitioner-orientated. "The proposed merger is likely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in the market for the provision of private healthcare services in Klerksdorp and the surrounding areas", the Commission said yesterday. It added that the tie-up is likely to result in the merging parties "unilaterally increasing hospital prices in the Klerksdorp and surrounding areas". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Violent protests disrupt Transnet coal line - Fin24

TRANSNET has experienced interruptions to operations on the Richards Bay coal railway line due to violent community protests in certain areas of KZN, the utility said yesterday. The protests relate to community demands for jobs and busness opportunities. The Richards Bay coal line is the country's dedicated railway line which handles SA's coal exports by connecting the mines in Mpumalanga with the Richards Bay Coal Terminal at the port of Richards Bay. The line also moves domestic commodities such as chrome, coke, chemicals and timber. TRANSNET appealed to communities to desist from destroying infrastructure as such activities "pose a huge risk to the sustainability of the South African economy, including loss of lives due to train derailments and job losses". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Clover's DFSA board appointments announced - Natasha Odendaal

CLOVER INDUSTRIES yesterday announced that an initial board has been selected for its newly established wholly-owned subsidiary, DAIRY FARMERS OF SA. DIRK REYNEKE has been named independent nonexecutive director and chair, with LOUIS BOTHA taking the reins as CEO and executive director. Other executive directors include FREDERICK BOOYSEN and TOBIAS DE VILLIERS. Nonexecutive directors appointed by the milk producers include JOHANNES STRYDOM, SHAYNE SIMPSON and CRAIG LAKE. JOHANN VORSTER and JACQUES VAN HEERDEN have been appointed by CLOVER as nonexecutive directors. This followed the Jul. 1 implementation of the issue and allotment of the B shares in DFSA to milk producers, which now hold 74% of the voting rights in DFSA. CLOVER holds all the A shares, which constitute 26% of the voting rights of DFSA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sugar industry strike avoided - Creamer Media Reporter

Trade union UASA yesterday said a strike in the sugar industry had been averted following the conclusion of an across the board wage agreement. The Sugar Industry Bargaining Council and UASA this week finally agreed to a 7.5% increase, to be implemented from Apr. 1, after hitting an impasse in May with a 6.5% offer on the table. The union said the previous offer was unacceptable to its members, hence it declared a dispute with the CCMA. The dispute was settled on Jul. 4; however, the issue of sick leave was referred to the bargaining council for further discussion. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tosaco Energy granted permits to explore for onshore gas in Mpumalanga - Megan van Wyngaardt

The Petroleum Agency of SA has granted TOSACO ENERGY three onshore technical cooperation permits enabling the company to explore for and develop a potential gas resource in Mpumalanga. Situated near existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure and power stations, TOSACO believes it will be able to develop the 2 900km² area for which TCPs have been granted into a resource that will help diversify SA's energy mix away from coal-fired power generation. TOSACO chief geologist BILL MCALOON said the gas targets were sandstone deposits in the Vryheid formation, comprising sediments deposited in deltaic, shoreline and fluvial systems. The company will now embark on in-house desktop studies to anlayse the geophysical data, which it estimates will take around a year to complete. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CCBA buys Equator Bottlers in Kenya - ANA

COCA-COLA BEVERAGES AFRICA yesterday announced it has concluded talks to acquire EQUATOR BOTTLERS, the third largest Coca-Cola bottler in Kenya, for an undisclosed amount. This comes after the acquisition was approved by the Competition Authority of Kenya last week. EQUATOR BOTTLERS LIMITED is now owned by CCBA via wholly-owned subsidiary COCA-COLA SABCO EAST AFRICA LIMITED, with effect from Jul. 1. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PP defends bid to weaken SARB inflation mandate - Reuters

Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE stood by her bid to force the SARB to target growth rather than inflation, dismissing a legal challenge that the move was unconstitutional. The central bank has filed a court challenge to quash the recommendation, which is also opposed by Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA and Parliament. MKHWEBANE's spokesperson, CLEOPATRA MOSANA, said the public protector had filed a notice opposing the challenges to her recommendation. "The Public Protector is empowered, by the constitution, to take appropriate remedial action with regard to any improper conduct in the state affairs or conduct, or conduct in the state affairs which may result in any impropriety or prejudice", MOSANA said. SARB deputy governor KUBEN NAIDOO yesterday acknowledged that inflation targeting was imperfect but said it was the best policy for now. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ICASA CEO placed on precautionary suspension - Creamer Media Reporter

ICASA yesterday said CEO PAKAMILE PONGWANA has been placed on precautionary suspension pending an undisclosed internal disciplinary process. COO WILLINGTON NGWEPE will take over the position's responsibilities until the internal processes have been concluded. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DMR approves Lesedi mining right transfer to Samancor - Natasha Odendaal

The Department of Mineral Resources has approved the transfer of the Lesedi mining right from INTERNATIONAL FERRO METALS LIMITED SA to SAMANCOR CHROME, London-listed INTERNATIONAL FERRO METALS said yesterday. Once registration of the cession of the Lesedi mining right gets under way at the Mineral and Petroleum Titles Registration Office - a process that takes 4-8 weeks - a R140m purchase consideration will become payable by SAMANCOR. The proceeds will be distributed to creditors of IFMSA in accordance with an amended business rescue plan, IFM said, noting that it was not likely that IFM's shareholders would receive any distribution from the conclusion of the business rescue programme. Further, the conditions are in the process of being fulfilled for the remaining transaction - the sale of IFM's 80% equity interest in SKY CHROME MINING for R100 and IFMSA's claim against SKY CHROME for R70m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Wescoal's Mazarura appointed Kumba CFO - Natasha Odendaal

WESCOAL CFO and executive director BOTHWELL MAZARURA has resigned to join KUMBA IRON ORE as CFO and executive director effective Sep. 1. "We are delighted that BOTHWELL has agreed to join KUMBA. His extensive knowledge and experience make him an ideal fit. With a record of working across a broad range of sectors, he is a welcome addition to the team and I look forward to working with him", KUMBA CEO THEMBA MKHWANAZI said. KUMBA head of finance JOHAN PRINS has been acting CFO since May 11 and will continue in this role until Aug. 31. WESCOAL is finalising the terms of the appointment of a new CFO and executive director to succeed MAZARURA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hawks nab Zama Zamas at Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine - ANA

The Hawks yesterday said they had arrested six men aged 24-35 for corruption, illegal dealing in precious metals, possession of gold and theft, at the Kusasalethu gold mine in Gauteng. The mine is owned by HARMONY GOLD. The Hawks said they received a tip-off that detailed the illegal activities taking place at the mine. The illegal miners were alleged to have been operating underground since Nov. 2016. They were arrested as they tried to make their way out of the mine just before midnight on Wednesday. Since the beginning of the probe into illegal mining activities at Kusasalethu in Apr. 2017 to date, gold bearing material to the value of R150 400 has been seized and a total amount of R73 000. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tharisa, MCC deal receives regulatory approval - Megan van Wyngaardt

THARISA MINERALS' R303.3m deal to acquire equipment and infrastructure from MCC CONTRACTS has been approved by the Competition Commission. The companies entered into an agreement in May , with THARISA intending to transition from a contract-mining to an owner-mining model via the acquisition of MCC's existing equipment, strategic components, site infrastructure and spare parts at the mine. The deal would also allow for the transfer of some 900 employees currently deployed at the mien. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gem Diamonds recovers 126ct diamond - Natasha Odendaal

GEM DIAMONDS yesterday unveiled its latest recovery from its Letseng mine, in Lesotho - a high-quality 126ct D-colour Type IIa diamond. This followed the recovery of a high-quality 104.73ct D-colour Type IIa diamond and a 151.52ct Type I yellow diamond in June, an exceptional 80.58ct D-colour Type IIa stone in May, as well as the 98.42ct and 114ct D-colour Type IIa diamonds recovered in Apr. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Walkabout to review DFS for Tanzania project - Esmarie Swanepoel

WALKABOUT RESOURCES yesterday told shareholders it would review the definitive feasibility study results for its Lindi Jumbo project to assess the impact of the Tanzanian government's legislative changes on the project economics. The country's parliament this week enacted the Natural Wealth and Resources Bill 2017 and the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts Bill 2017, allowing the government to force mining companies to renegotiate contracts. The Bills cover natural resource contracts and sovereignty and would amend existing laws to allow the government to renegotiate or dissolve contracts with multinational companies. The country also amended mining and tax laws, which will make it mandatory for the state to own at least 16% of mining projects, while also raising export royalties for certain metals, like gold, copper, silver and platinum, as well as uranium. WALKABOUT previously told shareholders it was not subject to any material agreements in Tanzania that could be defined as having "unconscionable terms", with the new legislation to have little impact in this regard. The company yesterday moved to allay investor fears about a number of other clauses included in the Bills, including the use of local content, the return of income into Tanzania and the requirement to beneficiate all mined materials within Tanzania, saying these were unlikely to affect the operation. However, WALKABOUT said it would review the Lindi Jumbo economics to assess the impact of the 16% free-carried interest clause. It was also seeking advice regarding the possible impact to insurance and funding requirements for the project around an amendment that denies a miner the right to seek relief regarding any natural wealth and resources matter in a foreign court or tribunal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF warns SA over economy's vulnerability - Mfuneko Toyana

The IMF yesterday warned SA that its economy is extremely vulnerable to external shocks and funding shortfalls, although it stuck by its earlier forecast of 1% growth this year. The fund noted that policy uncertainty linked to political volatility would weigh on business and consumer confidence. "Following last year's near-standstill in economic activity, growth is projected to increase to 1% in 2017 and 1.2% in 2018, still insufficient to keep pace with the rising population", the IMF said. On government debt, the Fund said: "Low growth has taken a toll on the state of the public finances, increasing government debt". It said government's balance sheet is also exposed to sizable contingent liabilities from state-owned entities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom signs $1.5bn loan agreement with China - TJ Strydom

ESKOM signed a $1.5bn loan agreement with CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK yesterday to partly finance its Medupi power plant, acting CEO JOHNNY DLADLA said. The loan is the second tranche of a $5bn funding facility ESKOM is seeking, after signing a $500m credit facility with CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK in 2016. "This loan will aid us in ensuring that we complete the Medupi project and ensure security of energy supply", DLADLA said. ESKOM CFO ANOJ SINGH said the Chinese loan would be paid back over 15 years. He expected ESKOM's debt to peak at R500bn, up from R350bn at present. To date, the utility has secured 77% of this FY's funding requirement and expected that it would meet the required funding for the year, DLADLA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's business confidence recovers from 7-month low - Mfuneko Toyana

SACCI's Business Confidence Index ticked up to 94.9 in June from 93.2 in May as a recovery in the rand helped boost export volumes and as imports of merchandise increased. Business activity and perceptions in June were soothed by an improved exchange rate, with the rand advancing more than 2.5% in the month. It has since surrendered those gains, dipping back near seven-week lows this week as proposals by the ANC to nationalise the SARB and expropriate land raised fears of more anti-market policies. "When an economy that is in a recession gets the label of junk status, the stance of the economy becomes even more complicated. If structural economic deficiencies become part of the assessment, the challenges for recuperation become more multifaceted', SACCI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eni pumps first oil from Ghana field - Kwasi Kpodo

Oil major ENI started oil production from the 45 000 bpd Sankofa field offshore Ghana yesterday, government officials said. The field forms the first phase of the $7.9bn Offshore Cape Three Points project, which is expected to also deliver up to 180m cu ft of natural gas per day by the end of 2018. President NANA AKUFO ADDO's government hopes OCTP will help to restore rapid economic growth in Ghana, which also produces gold and cocoa. The government estimates gas from the field will boost electricity generation by 1 000MW, enough to ensure stable supply. ENI holds a 44.44% stake in OCTP, representing the largest FDI in Ghana's history. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim state pension fund reports higher contributions, premiums - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY AUTHORITY yesterday reported a 12% hike in pension contributions and premiums to $328m during the FY to end-Dec. 2016, due to improved collections and after the government settled its arrears. The NSSA is one of the biggest investors on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and had at several times bailed out the government with loans. NSSA chair ROBIN VELA said the government had paid its $180.9m arrears dating back to 2013 through treasury bills with a 10-year tenure. "The increase in contributions is attributable to improved collections arising from stakeholder engagement, this has resulted in more voluntary compliance despite the decline in the number of registered employers", VELA said. He noted that 28 162 employers were registered with the NSSA, down 2% y/y. The pension fund paid $271m in claims, pensions and other benefits in 2016, up from $254m y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom looking for up to $1.5bn bond sales in next six months - TJ Strydom

ESKOM sees significant appetite from international investors for its bonds and could tap the market for $1bn-$1.5bn in sales in the next six months, CFO ANOJ SINGH said yesterday. Addressing reporters after signing a $1.5bn loan agreement with CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK to help finance a power plant, SINGH also said governance issues at ESKOM had impacted the utility's plans to secure funding. ESKOM has been in a leadership crisis after several board members, including the chair and CEO, resigned in recent months amid growing concerns about governance at the electricity provider. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 07/07/2017

At 07h56 on 07 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.43 ZAR/EUR 15.33 ZAR/GBP 17.40 Gold 1220.10 Platinum 903.00 Brent Crude Oil 47.97 All Share 52285.08

Snapdeal rejects $850m Flipkart offer - Kiran Stacey

Japan's SOFTBANK GROUP has suffered a setback in its long-running attempt to merge India's two biggest online retailers in a bid to compete with AMAZOM. Sources said the board of SNAPDEAL, India's second-biggest homegrown ecommerce group, this week turned down an $850m approach by bigger rival FLIPKART. SOFTBANK, which owns 35% of SNAPDEAL parent JASPER INFOTECH, has been trying to engineer the takeover since Apr. after deciding SNAPDEAL would not be able to compete with both FLIPKART and AMAZON on its own. All three companies have been losing money as they spend heavily on marketing and discounts in a bid to corner the Indian online shopping market. "Due diligence was completed a few days ago and FLIPKART finally came forward with an offer of close to $850m. But they had told SNAPDEAL they would bid around $1bn, and did not say why the valuation had dropped", one source said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EU strikes trade deal with Japan - Jim Brunsden

European farmers will win access to the Japanese market as part of a trade deal that will also sweap away tariffs that have impeded exports by Japan's carmakers to the EU. Japan PM SHINZO ABE and European Commission head JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER will present the agreement in Brussels today, a day before G20 leaders meet in Germany. The accord, reached after four years of negotiations, will remove tariffs from 99% of goods traded between the EU and Japan, although in some cases lengthy transition periods of a decade or more will apply. The EU and Japan have also agreed to open up their public procurement markets to each other and to remove some non-tariff barriers to trade. "We will have full duty-free access for almost all agri-food exports", a senior EU official said, adding that would include pasta, confectionery and chocolate. For Japan, one of the main successes is an agreement from the EU to remove barriers to imports of cars, a prospect that has raised hackles in the European car industry. The accord that JUNCKER and ABE will present tomorrow is an "agreement in principle" - a sign that some issues are still open. These include the question of how to settle any complaint from foreign investors that their rights are being violated. The EU has ruled out incorporating a traditional "investor-state dispute settlement" mechanism into the agreement, as the format has been slammed by campaign groups for allowing multinational companies to ride roughshod over local regulations. It was also not clear at this stage how the EU-Japan deal would be ratified in Europe. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 06/07/2017

At 11h10 on 06 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.40 ZAR/EUR 15.21 ZAR/GBP 17.33 Gold 1224.98 Platinum 908.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.33 All Share 52688.03

Scottish economy defies recession fears with Q1 growth - Mure Dickie

The Scottish economy grew a relatively robust 0.8% in Q1 2017, defying widespread fears that it could have fallen into recession. The GDP data put Scottish growth in Q1 at substantially faster than that of the UK as a whole, which grew 0.2%. The Scottish economy had contracted by 0.2% in Q4 2016. Economy secretary KEITH BROWN said the data showed a rise in output in industries linked to the North Sea energy sector, with overall manufacturing output also improving. The EY Item Club recently forecast a "challenging" 2017 for Scotland, with growth predicted to reach just 0.9%, half the expected growth for the UK as a whole in the same period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ICE pushes further into European energy trading - Philip Stafford

INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE is preparing to push further into European energy trading after purchasing the 21% it does not own in Dutch energy exchange ENDEX from GASUNIE. ICE said it bought the outstanding stake to help it develop the Dutch gas futures and options market, one of Europe's most active hubs for trading derivatives in gas. ICE did not disclose the term of the deal and said it was immaterial to its financial results. It acquired its majority stake in ENDEX in 2013 from GASUNIE and also set up a JV later that year with the European gas infrastructure group. When purchasing the original 79% stake, ICE said the net tangible and identifiable intangible assets acquired were $43m. The Dutch gas market is based on the virtual Tile Transfer Facility hub. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vantiv strikes deal for Worldpay - Arash Massoudi

WORLDPAY GROUP, the UK's leading payments processor, has reached a preliminary agreement with US rival VANTIV in a deal that values the British group at £9.1bn including debt. VANTIV's offer is mainly share-based and values WORLDPAY shares at 385p apiece, including the payment of a 5p dividend. The deal will also see the newly-combined group run by two CEOs and co-headquartered between London and Cincinnati, where VANTIV is based. VANTIV CEO CHARLES DRUCKER will become co-CE alongside WORLDPAY head PHILIP JANSEN during a transition period. DRUCKER will also become executive chair of the board and over time JANSEN could take full charge of the company. A new board of directors would consist of four directors from WORLDPAY and seven from VANTIV. WORLDPAY shareholders would own roughly 41% of the combined entity. The offer price values WORLDPAY at a 19% premium to its closing price before news of a potential interest leaked to the market. WORLDPAY shareholders would receive 55p in cash and the balance in VANTIV shares at a ratio of 0.0672 to each WORLDPAY share they hold. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Suspicious trades preceded almost 20% of UK takeover announcements in 2016 - Caroline Binham

The number of suspicious trades ahead of public takeover announcements has remained high relative to previous years, according to new data published yesterday by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA said unusual trades preceded 19% of UK takeover announcements in 2016, unchanged y/y. That figure is still low compared with historical figures. Before 2010, the figure was as high as 30%. The FSA only started prosecuting insider trading in 2008. "We will continue to monitor the results and gather market intelligence to enable us to draw robust conclusions about the underlying trend in insider trading activity", the FCA said in its annual report. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trafigura reinforces position as major US oil exporter through Plains All American deal - Neil Hume

TRAFIGURA has moved to reinforce its position as one of the largest exporters of US crude oil via a deal witH PLAINS ALL AMERICAN PIPELINE, a publicly listed logistics company. Under the agreement, TRAFIGURA has secured 100 000 bpd of pipeline capacity on a route that runs from the Permian basin to the Gulf Coast. "TRAFIGURA already has a leading role in exporting crude and refined products from the US. Today's agreement will connect producers in the Permian basin to our significant logistics infrastructure, global customer base and marketing power on a long term basis", said KEVIN JEBBITT, co-head of crude oil trading at TRAFIGURA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambian president proclaims threat of emergency - Joseph Cotterill

Zambia's President EDGAR LUNGU yesterday said he would seek parliament's approval for declaring a state of threatened emergency in the country as a political crisis there deepens. LUNGU said a spate of suspicious fires at public buildings were leading to a situation "which, if allowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency", forcing him to invoke measures under the constitution. LUNGU said the perpetrators of the attacks were trying to undermine his government, adding: "I will not tolerate this lawlessness". The president said he would table his proclamation for approval in Parliament, where his ruling Patriotic Front has a majority as several MPs of the opposition UPND are suspended. Zambia has been in worsening crisis since LUNGU's narrow victory in elections last year was disputed by his rival, UPND leader HAKAINDE HICHILEMA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aussie trade surplus blows past estimates in May - Alice Woodhouse

Australia's trade surplus came in well above forecasts in May thanks to a boost from commodity exports. The country reported a seasonally adjusted trade surplus of A$2.47bn for May, an increase of A$2.38bn on the revised A$90m surplus seen in April. A median forecast from economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted a surplus of $1bn. In seasonally adjusted terms, exports of goods and services credits rose 9% to A$2.6bn, while non-rural goods rose 13% to A$2.3bn and rural goods were up 3% to A$118m. Imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods rose 5% to A$436m, while imports of non-monetary gold fell 25% to A$102m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German factory orders rebound in May - Mehreen Khan

Germany's monthly factory orders returned to growth in May but by less than expected. On a m/m basis, orders rose 1% following a 2.2% contraction in April. Analysts expected a 1.9% expansion in the indicator for May. On a y/y basis, factory output was up 3.7% from 3.3% previously. Destatis said domestic orders slipped 1.9% on the month, but were offset by a 4% rise in non-eurozone countries and 1.7% growth from countries in the single currency area. PANTHEON analyst CLAUS VISTESEN noted that "momentum in new orders now point to lower industrial production growth in coming months, in start contrast to soaring survey data". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Primark boosts profits at ABF - Jennifer Thompson

Demand for sugar and cheap fashion, as well as favourable exchange rates, helped ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS report a stronger than expected Q3. The company said its underlying operating performance during the quarter to Jun. 24 was ahead of its own forecasts thanks in particular to improved profitability at retail chain PRIMARK. Reported revenue was up 20% y/y, boosted by the weak pound. Without the beneficial impact of forex rate moves, sales would have increased by 13%. "The underlying operating performance of the group during the third quarter was ahead of our forecast as a result of a stronger profit delivery from PRIMARK, which has marginally improved our group outlook for the full year", ABF said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gazprom confident of Chinese gas supply - Henry Foy

GAZPROM's 3 000km-long pipeline is inching its way to the Chinese border to seal a $400bn gas pact that will bind together Russia and China. The Power of Siberia gas pipeline will start pumping in Dec. 2019, GAZPROM said this week, paving the way for a 30-year supply agreement of more than 1.15tn cubic metres of gas for the company. "GAZPROM, like our Chinese partners, is carrying the project out strictly on schedule, and I can even say ahead of schedule", GAZPROM CEO ALEXEI MILLER said. The project, which will cost GAZPROM more than $55bn just to build the necessary infrastructure to get the gas flowing, is one of the most critical investments for Russia's energy sector, which has targeted a long-term strategic supply link with China to match its market penetration in Europe. Power of Siberia is expected to run significantly below maximum capacity in the first few years of operation, as China instead runs down its domestic gas reserves. The 30-year supply agreement is set to kick in around 2025. GAZPROM is in talks with China regarding a broader supply agreement, MILLER says. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cyber attack hits sales at Reckitt Benckiser - Naomi Rovnick

Shares in RECKITT BENCKISER have fallen after the company warned of falling revenues following the huge cyber attack that emanated from Ukraine and wreaked havoc at global corporations. The company informed shareholders that its like-for-like revenue for Q2 will be 2% lower y/y following the "Petya" attack in late June. Shares fell as much as 3% in early trading before stabilising around 2% lower at £75.47 - a two-month low. RECKITT said the Petya attack had disrupted its ability to manufacture and distribute products to customers in multiple markets. "Consequently, we were unable to ship and invoice some orders to customers prior to the close of the quarter. Some of our factories are currently still not operating normally but plans are in place to return to full operation", RECKITT said. It said Q2 sales growth would have been flat if it were not for the Petya attack. Sales have also been hit by the introduction of India's goods and sales tax, which has prompted retailers to slash their prices. RECKITT now expected FY like-for-like net revenue growth of around 2%, down from a previous forecast of around 3%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brimstone forecasts interim loss - Sens

BRIMSTOME INVESTMENT CORPORATION yesterday said it expects to report a basic LPS and basic HLPS for the HY to end-Jun., which represents a decrease of more than 100% y/y. The decrease is mainly as a result of downward fair value adjustments to investments. Basic EPS of 12.2cps and basic HEPS of 11.5cps were reported y/y. Once the company has clarity on the actual range of the decrease, a further trading statement will be published on Sens. Interim results will be published on Aug. 23. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Finbond goes on buying spree - Robert Laing

FINBOND is acquiring 75% of US lender BLAKE ENTERPRISES for $9.6m, the niche financial services group announced yesterday. This is the latest in a string of North American short-term lenders FINBOND has acquired. "Following the BLAKE ENTERPRISES transaction, approximately 60% to 70% of FINBOND's net earnings will be denominated in US dollars and the intention is to grow dollar earnings to approximately 80% to 90% of net earnings in three to five years", FINBOND said. The latest acquisition will expand the company's North American branch network to 223 outlets spread over 16 US states, as well as Ontario in Canada. The remaining 25% of BLAKE ENTERPRISES will be owned by the founding BLAKE family. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Calgro M3 scales back work in CT - Mark Allix

CALGRO M3 has significantly scaled down the construction of developments in Cape Town due to the city's water restrictions. To avoid the use of municipal water supply, the company had only used borehole water for the past six months. But as a result of further water reduction proposals by the city amid the risk of running out of water, the company has decided to cut its water usage further. CEO WIKUS LATEGAN this week said no jobs would be lost as a result of this. In the Western Cape there are more than 1 750 CALGRO M3 residential units in all market segments already sold, on which construction has been delayed since Jan. 2017 to conserve water. This represents 25% of the total units under construction across the company. The start of construction will be delayed on any new units sold. At present, the company has 1 600 people working on its two Western Cape developments. LATEGAN said the projects had not ground to a complete halt, as certain "dry works" were still being carried out. "Our estimation is that there will be a three- to four-month delay. Extreme measures will be taken to minimise time already lost should the Western Cape receive sufficient rainfall and water restrictions be lifted", LATEGAN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB receives Postbank application as ANC piles on pressure - Matthew le Cordeur

The SARB has confirmed receiving a submission from POSTBANK for a banking license as the ANC puts pressure on government to speed up the process. A need for faster financial sector transformation was tabled at the ANC policy conference this week, NOMURA analyst PETER ATTARD MONTALTO told investors in a note yesterday. He said "there is more pressure now on setting up a state bank, faster". The ANC reportedly wanted government to push through the state bank within six months. SARB deputy governor KUBEN NAIDOO said the central bank was in the process of evaluating POSTBANK's application, adding: "There may be legislative amendments required to enable the licensing thereof. We are engaging with the Treasury on this issue". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Futuregrowth ends 'capital strike' against SANRAL - Adiel Ismail

FUTUREGROWTH ASSET MANAGEMENT may start lending again to SANRAL after a ban which lasted almost a year. This followed a governance review, in which the roads agency agreed to make a notable change in policy relating to Politically Exposed Persons. "We are now removing our self-imposed embargo on trading SANRAL debt instruments", FUTUREGROWTH said. "This does not necessarily indicate the resumption of funding to SANRAL but rather that FUTUREGROWTH may now sell, hold or buy SANRAL debt instruments". FUTUREGROWTH shocked government in an audacious move on Aug. 31 by pulling the plug on talks of more than R1.8bn of debt finance to some of the largest SOEs. At the heart of the move were concerns over governance, decision-making, government infighting and perceived threats to the independence of the Treasury. Following reviews on the independence of boards, investment committees, credit committees and procurement processes, FUTUREGROWTH lifted its lending freeze to the DBSA and the IDC in Nov. and LANDBANK in Sep. ESKOM and TRANSNET remain in the cold. FUTUREGROWTH said its review of SANRAL showed the agency's current governance practices appear adequate, but there are areas where it does not believe they meet the standards required by responsible investors in public capital markets. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hanekom rubbishes expropriation without compensation - Yolandi Groenewald

Expropriation without compensation is "nonsense", ANC MP and former tourism minister DEREK HANEKOM reiterated yesterday. "It will do very serious damage to our economy and is seriously unjust", HANEKOM told the Agribusiness Africa conference in Johannesburg, where he prepared delegates to be "prepared to stand up for what is right, and stand against what is wrong". The ANC's policy conference this week showed deep divisions within the ruling party over the expropriation of land without compensation. The motion was pushed through by President JACOB ZUMA and his home province of KZN. On Tuesday, HANEKOM, along with other senior leaders ENOCH GODONGWANA and PRAVIN GORDHAN, argued passionately that the current Constitution is enough to address land reform. But News24 reported that those arguing against the motion were outnumbered in a room filled with ZUMA allies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Commission approves Dow, DuPont merger with conditions - Anine Kilian

The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that the proposed merger between DUPONT and DOW CHEMICAL be approved with conditions. In SA, DOW's activities include the distribution of sunflower seeds, agrochemicals, material science products and food texturisers. DUPONT, meanwhile, is involved in the distribution of various seeds including maize and sunflower. It is also involved in the distribution of agrochemicals. Although there is no direct overlap arising in respect of the commercialisation of hybrid and genetically modified hybrid maize seeds in SA, the Commission found that the proposed merger would likely result in the removal of potential competition. This is because DOW had plans and a strategy to enter the South African commercial maize seed market. To address concerns relating to maize seed, DOW will make available 81 maize hybrids and seven maize inbred lines to other third parties for licensing of these hybrids and inbreds in SA. Secondly, DOW is required to register its PowerCore and Enlist biotech traits in SA within two years of approval of the merger. In relation to insecticides, the merging parties are required to divest DUPONT's entire insecticide business, including the research and development associated with developing such products. The divestiture will include the insecticides supplied into SA, which implies that the production and supply of these products will be taken over by a different third party. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA stainless steel imports surged 44% in 2016 - Megan van Wyngaardt

Imports of finished stainless steel products into SA surged by 44% in 2016, a survey by Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association has revealed. This was largely due to a flood of imported product, mainly from China. In comparison, the export of finished products fell by 20%. Further, SA's R15bn stainless steel industry has also felt the strain of a contraction in its consumption figures in the past two years. SASSDA executive director JOHN TARBOTON noted that, whereas SA was still a net exporter of stainless steel finished products in 2015, having exported 8 000t more than it imported, the country now imported 40 000t of stainless steel finished products more than it exported. Looking at the value and output of the local market, TARBOTON said that apparent consumption last year was just over 130 000t in terms of primary product, which represents a value of R4.6bn based on an average cost of $35 000/t. The conversion of that product equals an additional R9.2bn, which results in the total value of the local stainless industry of close to R15bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Harsh summer predicted for 2018 - News24Wire

The City of Cape Town yesterday warned residents to conserve more water as a harsh summer is predicted for the city in 2018. The City said residents should use less than 87 litres of water per person per day. "Dam levels remain critically low and we must build up our reserves while we still have water", the City said. Storage levels are at 25.3%, up 0.8% from the previous week. City-wide consumption was 634m litres of collective water usage per day on Monday, 134m above the City's target of 500m litres per day. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP's new chair to drive 'radical shift' - Bloomberg

BHP BILLITON's new chairperson is about to shake things up at the mining company, according to SANFORD C. BERNSTEIN, which says that KEN MACKENZIE will likely undertake a full-scale review of assets and strategy, and may demerge the petroleum business. "Despite management's reluctance to change at this stage, we believe that BHP is about to experience a radical shift in strategy, driven by the arrival, effective September 1, of the new chairman", analysts said. MACKENZIE used to run a packaging business and his "detachment from the mining sector makes him, we believe, inevitably far more objective on the best direction BHP should take from now on". MACKENZIE joined BHP's board in Sep. 2016 after lifting the market value of packaging giant AMCOR by more than 150% in a decade-long spell as CEO that ended in 2015. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold to study new Tanzanian mining laws - Megan van Wyngaardt

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI yesterday said it would, in the context of its existing mine development agreement with the Tanzanian government, analyse new laws that may impact on its operations and take steps from there. ANGLOGOLD operates the Geita mine in Tanzania. The Bills, which were first tabled for comment last week, and passed by Parliament this week, would now be sent to President JOHN MAGAFULI for his assent. Once signed, the country's Ministry of Energy and Minerals will gazette the date on which the new laws will take effect. In the aftermath of the tabling, a slew of Australian mining companies operating in Tanzania have suspended share trading on the ASX, including VOLT RESOURCES, STRANDLINE RESOURCES, MAGNIS RESOURCES, GRAPHEX MINING, BLACK ROCK MINING and ORECORP. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania turns up heat on overseas miners with State stake law - Reuters

Tanzania put more pressure on foreign mining companies this week by amending mining and tax laws to make it mandatory for the State to own at least 16% of mining projects, while also raising export royalties. Parliament passed the bill unanimously, the state-run Tanzania Information Services said. This followed two other laws passed on Monday giving the country the right to tear up and renegotiate contracts for natural resources, and removing the right to international arbitration. "In any mining operations under a mining licence or a special mining licence, the government shall have not less than 16% nondilutable free-carried interest shares in the capital of a mining company", the new law states. The government also left itself scope to further increase its stake in the companies. "In addition to the free carried interest shares, the government shall be entitled to acquire, in total, up to 50% of the shares of the mining company commensurate with the total tax expenditures incurred by the government in favour of the mining company". Industry insiders said they believed the bill meant the government might take further stakes in companies that it accused of owing taxes, in lieu of the money owed. The new law also raises royalties from copper, gold, silver and platinum exports to 6% from 4%, and increases the royalty on uranium exports to 6% from 5%. The law further allows the government to reject a company's valuation if it believed the price was too low. The government would be entitled to buy the consignment of minerals at the price quoted. "For the purposes of calculating the amount of royalties payable, the government shall be entitled to reject the valuation", the text of the new law said. "Where the government rejects the valuation, it shall have the option to buy the minerals at the low value". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CoAL fulfills Rio Tinto deal obligations - Megan van Wyngaardt

COAL OF AFRICA LIMITED has now fulfilled all its obligations to RIO TINTO MINERALS DEVELOPMENT and KWEZI MINING in relation to the agreements under which COAL subsidiary MBEUYASHU acquired a stake in CHAPUDI COAL and KWEZI MINING EXPLORATION in 2010. Under the terms of the $75m Chapudi acquisition, $45m was paid upfront in cash, with the $30m balance deferred until the sale had been completed. RIO TINTO and KWEZI in Mar. 2016 said COAL was in breach of the deferred consideration, but COAL refuted this. After negotiations, the parties in May 2016 reached an agreement on the deferred consideration payable by COAL. This included an increase in the minimum monthly payments from $100 000 to $650 000, as well as payments of $1m and $2m on May 15, 2016 and Sep. 15, 2016, respectively. All outstanding amounts had been paid to RIO by Jun. 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Attacq director resigns - Roy Cokayne

ATTERBURY PROPERTY HOLDINGS SA CEO LOUIS VAN DER WATT, who was one of the founder members of ATTACQ, has resigned as a non-executive director with effect from Jul. 1. ATTACQ yesterday said that although VAN DER WATT would not be directly involved with ATTACQ in future, the relationship between ATTACQ, VAN DER WATT and ATTERBURY PROPERTY HOLDINGS remained intact and would continue with new transactions at Waterfall. "With ATTACQ now a mature business, LOUIS, a fervent entrepreneur, wishes to spend more time pursuing his own business interests", ATTACQ said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rand hits 7-week low on ANC policy plans - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

The Rand hit a seven-week low against the dollar yesterday after the ANC proposed to nationalise the SARB and expropriate land without compensation. The currency traded at 13.42/$, 1.6% weaker on the day and at the weakest since May 81. TREASURYONE currency trader ANDRE BOTHA said the rand had been pressured by a stronger dollar earlier in the session and extended losses after reports that the ANC had agreed that the central bank should be state-owned. The ruling party also proposed that land expropriation without compensation should be allowed where it is "necessary and unavoidable". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria cabinet approves national gas policy - Felix Onuah

Nigeria's cabinet has approved a national gas policy that aims to reduce the country's dependence on crude oil by increasing gas exploration and facilities, the oil ministry said yesterday. The policy was passed in last week's cabinet session but only made public yesterday. Nigeria has the world's 9th largest proven gas reserves, at 187tn cubic feet. A move to using gas could reduce the drain on forex that importing refined oil products requires. The 100-page National Gas Policy seeks to set up a single independent petroleum regulator. It also aims to separate upstream from midstream operations and to separate gas infrastructure ownership and operations from gas trading. The policy will also divide the NIGERIA GAS COMPANY into separate transport and gas marketing entities and introduce "market-led wholesale gas pricing" after a transitional period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Malawi's c.bank cuts key lending rate to 18% - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

Malawi's central bank yesterday said it has cut the benchmark lending rate by 400 bps to 18% as CPI slows. Malawi's consumer inflation slowed to 12.3% y/y in May, from 14.6% in April, the statistics agency said last month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

VTB discussed possible Eurobond issue with DRC govt - Alexander Winning

Russia's VTB bank yesterday said it discussed the possibility of the government of the DRC issuing a eurobond during recent meetings in that country. The Russian lender said it gave no commitment to lend to the country and that it did not currently plan to do so. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

London court hears Vedanta's challenge to Zambian villagers' pollution claim - Barbara Lewis

London's Court of Appeal yesterday began hearing legal arguments into whether Zambian villagers have the right to make a claim for damages for environmental pollution in the English courts against VEDANTA RESOURCES and its Zambian subsidiary, KONKOLA COPPER MINES. The companies are appealing against a ruling in May 2016 when a High Court judge decided the claim could proceed in the British courts on behalf of 1 826 villagers. "Zambia is overwhelmingly the proper place for this mass tort claim", CHARLES GIBSON Q.C., representing VEDANTA, told the court yesterday. The villagers are represented by London law firm LEIGH DAY, which says the case has significance in defining the future liability of multinational companies for alleged human rights and environmental abuses abroad. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB says nationalisation won't affect mandate - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

The SARB yesterday said that changing its shareholding will not affect its mandate, hours after the ANC proposed to nationalise the central bank. "The shareholding of the SARB has no bearing on the policy or regulatory role that the SARB plays", the central bank said in an emailed statement to Reuters, adding that it had noted the resolution by the ANC. The central bank said that even if its shareholding were to change, it would continue to derive its mandate from the constitution. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba to challenge proposal on SARB mandate in court - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday said he would challenge in court a proposal by the Public Protector to change the SARB's mandate of maintaining currency and price stability to focus instead of growth. "The Minister believes that the proposed constitutional amendment is not necessary. The Constitution does not contemplate the protection of the currency for its own sake, but specifically in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth", the Treasury said in a statement. "There is no intention in the part of the executive to amend the constitution in any manner". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 06/07/2017

At 07h13 on 06 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.37 ZAR/EUR 15.17 ZAR/GBP 17.31 Gold 1226.30 Platinum 910.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.33 All Share 52483.90

Hyundai's China sales plunge 60% - Song Jung-a

HYUNDAI MOTOR's problems in China are worsening as the country's backlash over the deployment of a controversial US missile shield continues to dent sales in one of its key overseas markets. HYUNDAI MOTOR and KIA MOTORS reported a drop of more than 60% in China sales last month, although they tried to lure Chinese customers by expanding their SUV lineup. HYUNDAI yesterday said China sales fell 64% to 35 000 in June y/y, while KIA's fell 58% to about 19 000 units. "Because of the anti-Korea sentiment, fewer Chinese are visiting our showrooms these days", a company spokesperson said. The sliding sales in China contributed to a 16.2% drop in HYUNDAI's overseas sales last month. KIA's overseas sales fell 14% in June y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone PMI points to self-sustaining recovery - Katie Martin

Eurozone businesses are in stronger health than previously thought, judging from the latest survey data compiled by IHS MARKIT. PMI data, based on surveys of thousands of businesses across the eurozone, have produced a final reading of 56.3 for June - below May's reading but above earlier estimates. "The expansion was again led by the manufacturing sector, where production rose to the greatest extent since April 2011. Although the rate of growth in service sector activity moderated, it was still among the strongest seen over the past six years", IHS said. IHS MARKIT chief economist CHRIS WILLIAMSON said: "The latest readings are indicative of the eurozone growing by an impressive 0.7% in the second quarter. The dip in the PMI in June certainly doesn't look like the start of a slowdown. Growth of new orders accelerated very slightly to reach the second highest in just over six years, and companies are struggling to satisfy this increase in demand". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK PMIs stumble - Katie Martin

UK businesses are showing weaker optimism and a slowdown in new business growth, with economists at IHS MARKIT saying the economy is "losing momentum" in H2 2017. IHS today said its widely-watched PMI covering British businesses had slipped to 53.8 in June, missing forecasts and below the 54.3 level observed in May. "Service sector firms are optimistic overall that business activity will rise over the next 12 months. However, the degree of confidence fell markedly since May. Aside from the post-referendum dip last summer, the level of business optimism was the weakest since December 2011. Survey respondents cited anxiety related to the Brexit negotiations, alongside worries about the general economic outlook and heightened political uncertainty", IHS said. IHS MARKIT chief economist CHRIS WILLIAMSON noted pockets of growth, "notably in financial services and business services, but the overall picture is one of business spending, investment and exports failing to provide sufficient impetus to fully offset the consumer slowdown". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stada replaces top two execs as Bain, Cinven mull fresh offer - Arash Massoudi

German generic drugs maker STADA yesterday replaced its two most senior executives with immediate effect in the latest plot twist at the company at the centre of a convoluted €4.1bn takeover situation. The supervisory board of STADA said that MATTHIAS WIEDENFELS, CEO, and CFO HELMUT KRAFT would step down from their positions for "personal reasons". ENGELBERT COSTER TJEENK WILLINK will become CEO on an interim basis, while BERNARD DUTTMANN will replace KRAFT. WIEDENFELS led STADA through a multi-month sale process which saw the company agree to be sold at €66/share to a private equity consortium consisting of BAIN CAPITAL and CINVEN. That offer collapsed last week when BAIN and CINVEN fell short of receiving sufficient backing from STADA shareholders. The Financial Times on Monday reported that the pair were set to revive their bid and were in talks with STADA and German regulator BaFin about receiving a waiver from a standstill agreement that prevented them from renewing their offer for one-year under German corporate governance laws. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent slides further - Hudson Lockett

TENCENT this morning saw its shares in Hong Kong dip 2.1%, bringing its stock down 5.7% for the week to date following reports it had begun limiting the time children can spend on its number one game, Honour of Kings, in response to pressure from authorities and the public. The broader Hang Seng was down 0.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Good weather boosts Booker Group Q1 sales - Conor Sullivan

BOOKER GROUP, the wholesaler that TESCO plans to buy, said good weather and the later Easter helped it to report like-for-like sales growth of 4.2% in Q1. In a trading update for the 12 weeks to Jun. 16, BOOKER said like-for-like non-tobacco sales rose 9.6% but that tobacco sales fell 7.9%. Total sales rose 4% y/y. CEO CHARLES WILSON said it had been a "good quarter" and that "business as usual is going well" as it went through talks with competition regulators about the TESCO deal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aussie govt bond sale snapped up by one buyer - Alice Woodhouse

A single buyer has snapped up the full A$800m of Australian government bonds sold today for the first time in four years, making this the largest amount bought by a single entity in auctions since 1982. A notice on the Australian Office of Financial Management said the notes maturing in 2029 went for a yield of 2.72% to one bidder, without naming who it was. The tender received 42 bids. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ericsson chair to step down after activist pressure - Jennifer Thompson

ERICSSON chair LEIF JOHANSSON is to step down after the group's board came under pressure from one of Europe's largest activist investors. JOHANSSON today said he would not put himself forward for re-election at the company's 2018 AGM. In May it emerged that CEVIAN CAPITAL had spent $1bn on a 5.6% stake in ERICSSON. The activist shareholder quickly heaped heavy criticism on ERICSSON's board given the company's poor performance, with CEVIAN co-founder CHRISTER GARDELL saying they had done "a very poor job". JOHANSSON's statement did not explicitly name CEVIAN but his mention of ERICSSON's new ownership hinted that he did not expect support from the nes shareholders. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 05/07/2017

At 11h22 on 05 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.27 ZAR/EUR 15.05 ZAR/GBP 17.13 Gold 1222.52 Platinum 905.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.62 All Share 52246.10

House prices accelerating but market weak - FNB - Roy Cokayne

The rate of increase in house prices has been accelerating y/y for the past six consecutive months, according to FNB. However, the market remained weak, FNB property strategist JOHN LOOS noted. FNB's house price index this week showed that house prices increased by 3.6% y/y last month from 3.3% in May. LOOS said there had been a mild acceleration in the rate of increase in house prices since the revised low of 1.7% y/y in Dec. After adjustment to take into account the impact of inflation, real house prices fell by 2% in May compared to a revised 2.1% reduction in Apr. LOOS said house price growth on a m/m basis slowed again last month for the third consecutive month. This pointed to a renewed "soft patch" emerging, not only in the housing market but also in the economy, after there were signs in Q1 2017 that a slightly stronger economy may be approaching. FNB said the average price of homes transacted last month was R1 102 190. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kgosana still welcome at Alex Forbes - Kabelo Khumalo

ALEXANDER FORBES yesterday left the door open for MOSES KGOSANA, who resigned as non-executive director on Monday following revelations he had a close relationship with ATUL GUPTA when he ws with KPMG advising on OAKBAY entities. ALEXANDER FORBES said it would wait for KGOSANA, who was meant to take up the chairmanship of the company at the end of Aug., to clear his name. CEO ANDREW DARFOOR said KGOSANA had asked to be given time to focus on the allegations. "He has, therefore, stepped down from all involvement with ALEXANDER FORBES. Mr KGOSANA is, however, naturally welcome to engage with ALEXANDER FORBES' board at any time... At present, SELLO MOLOKO remains non-executive chairman. When we have any further updates on the matter we will communicate this accordingly", DARFOOR said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Metair acquires 25.1% of German battery manufacturer - Irma Venter

METAIR has acquired a 25.1% stake in Germany-based battery manufacturer and supplier AKKUMULATORENFABRIK MOLL at a cash price of €7.425m. METAIR is a global manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components. The investment in MOLL is in line with METAIR's globalisation strategy, CEO THEO LOOCK said yesterday. It provides METAIR with a presence next to its European customers in Germany and expands its global reach through access to European and Asian markets. The deal further creates scope for product expansion across the mobility range and across technologies such as electric bikes, three-wheelers, trucks and electric vehicles. MOLL has the capacity to produce 1.4m batteries a year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Labour Court postpones Molefe hearing pending outcome of high court case - ANA

The Labour Court yesterday postponed the hearing of BRIAN MOLEFE's challenge to his dismissal as ESKOM CEO, pending the outcome of the High Court application by the DA and EFF for his re-appointment to be ruled invalid and set aside. The Labour Court in its ruling rejected MOLEFE's contention that he needed to be restored to his position at ESKOM in order to oppose the High Court application to overturn his re-appointment. It said he had already filed papers extensively in that matter in his private capacity. MOLEFE is arguing in papers before the Labour Court that his dismissal from ESKOM was motivated by political reasons and that these are not acceptable grounds for removal from his post. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Transnet bids to recapitalise Zim's state rail firm - Reuters

TRANSNET has bid to recapitalise NATIONAL RAILWAYS OF ZIMBABWE with $400m, the State Procurement Board said yesterday. The NRZ is saddled with a debt of $200m and has gone for months without paying employees. TRANSNET made the bid jointly with DIASPORA INVESTMENT GROUP, a group of Zimbabwean investors living abroad, the SPB said. The board also said Malaysia's SMH RAILWAY has bid to spend $100.7m to refurbish locomotives for NRZ, while the Zimbabwean operations of chartered accountants group CROWE HORWATH INTERNATIONAL said it could secure funding of up to $2.5bn for the state railway company. In another bid, CROYEAUX said it would be able to organise $700m in debt to recapitalise NRZ. "Within the next coming ten days we should actually be able to come up with a recommendation as to who the winning bidder is", NRZ chair LARRY MAVHIMA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Logicalis strengthens cloud integrator position with NubeliU acquisition - Anine Kilian

DATATEC's LOGICALIS subsidiary has acquired a 51% stake in OpenStack software-based cloud company NUBELIU. DATATEC CEO JENS MONTANANA said the acquisition "is an important step for LOGICALIS to enhance its position as a leading cloud integrator". He noted that the deal is part of LOGICALIS's strategy to position itself as a cloud integrator and strengthens its commitment to the opensource community, in particular with OpenStack, which is essential for large Software Defined everything, or SDx, and cloud computing projects. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN appoints procurement, supply chain management head - Anine Kilian

MTN has appointed DIRK KARL to head up group procurement and supply chain management, effective Nov. 1. KARL will be responsible for developing and executing global procurement and sourcing strategies, as well as leveraging MTN's scale to identify opportunities to drive greater commercial success across the company's footprint. He has held many senior management roles in various global corporates, including GENERAL MOTORS, ING GROUP and T-SYSTEMS, in a career spanning more than two decades. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Inga 3 start-up delayed until 2024/25 - DRC govt - Reuters

DRC late on Monday said its Inga 3 hydroelectric project is not expected to begin producing power until 2024 or 2025, not 2020/21 as originally planned. The $14bn, 4 800MW project has struggled to attract financing and was dealt a further blow last year when the World Bank said it had suspended funding after the presidency took control of the project. Last month, the country asked the final bidders - a consortium led by CHINA THREE GORGES CORPORATION and another that includes Spain's ACS - to submit a joint bid. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pallinghurst receives shares acceptance - Anine Kilian

PALLINGHURST has received valid acceptances in respect of around 268m GEMFIELDS shares representing around 48.3% of the existing issued share capital of GEMFIELDS. Together with around 209m GEMFIELDS shares representing 37.64% of the existing issued share capital of GEMFIELDS already held by PALLINGHURST, this represents 85.94% of GEMFIELDS' existing issued share capital. Last month, PALLINGHURST received support from 75% of the shareholders for its 0% premium takeover of GEMFIELDS. Valid acceptances in respect of about 200m GEMFIELDS shares are from people acting together with PALLINGHURST, of which valid acceptances in respect of about 155m GEMFIELDS shares were subject to irrevocable undertakings procured by PALLINGHURST. The offer will remain open for acceptances until Jul. 18. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DiamondCorp to delist from AltX on Jul. 24 - Megan van Wyngaardt

DIAMONDCORP yesterday said its listing on the AltX would be terminated on Jul. 24. The company said the last day to trade, prior to the termination of its listing, will fall on Jul. 18. The company's admission to trading on Aim was automatically cancelled on May 15, after a six-month suspension. CORK GULLY's STEPHEN CORK and JO MILNER were appointed as joint administrators for the company in May, after DIAMONDCORP's board determined that the company was no longer able to continue trading as a going concern. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Administrators take over at Paladin - Esmarie Swanepoel

PALADIN ENERGY has called in administrators after failing to secure a standstill agreement with France's EDF. The uranium miner was due to make repayments of a $227mn debt to EDF on Jul. 10. The administrators will immediately undertake a financial and operational assessment of PALADIN and intend to continue to operate the company on a business-as-usual basis, until further notice, PALADIN said. In the meantime, PALADIN said management and directors are committed to working with the administrators on a restructure and recapitalisation of the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya reviews mining laws - Bloomberg

Kenya is reviewing its mining code, a year after enacting new legislation, as it seeks to attract investment into the industry. The government is working with the UK Department for International Development-funded Extractives Hub to come up with a revised law that balances investor returns with government-revenue needs and international best practice, Mines Secretary DAN KAZUNGU said. The review is expected to be submitted to the ministry in the next few weeks. Mining contributed 1.1% to Keyna's total GDP in 2016, compared with 1% in 2012. The country has lagged neighbours like Tanzania, where the industry contributed about 4.8% to GDP in 2016. Kenya's existing code imposes royalty rates ranging from 1% of the gross sales value of industrial minerals such as gypsum and limestone, to 5% for gold, 8% for coal, 10% for titanium ores, niobium and rare-earth elements, and 12% for diamonds. The country last reviewd its mining royalties in 2013, when then-Mines Minister NAJIB BALALA cancelled all mining licences and hiked royalties. Corporate income tax rates for mining companies operating in Kenya vary from 30% for those domiciled in the country to 37.5% for non-residents. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hummingbird completes debt drawdown to fund Yanfolila construction - Anine Kilian

HUMMINGBIRD RESOURCES has drawn down a further $35m under a $60m senior secured loan facility with BURKINABE CORIS BANK to fund its Yanfolila gold project in Mali. This follows the initial drawdown of $25m in Apr. The debt facility has a four-year term, carries a 9% interest rate, a 12-month capital repayment deferral and has no royalty or hedging. HUMMINGBIRD's cash position now stands at $70m. First gold pour at the mine is expected by the end of 2017, and Yanfolila is expected to produce around 132 000oz of gold in its first year of full production. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fortescue extends Thiess contract at Solomon Hub - Esmarie Swanepoel

FORTESCUE METALS has awarded project house THIESS a A$650m contract extension at the Solomon Hub, in Western Australia. The contract extension will involve THIESS continuing to deliver mining services at the project until 2020, including maintenance of mobile and ancillary plant, autonomy solutions and nonprocess infrastructure management. Solomon Hub currently produces around 72mt a year of iron ore from the Firetail and Kings Valley mines. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India tax hike could boost illegal gold, jewellery sales - Reuters

A hike in taxes on gold sales in India could stoke under-the-counter buying and drive up appetite for precious metal smuggled into the country. As part of a new nationwide sales tax regime that kicked in on Jul. 1, the Goods and Services Tax on gold has jumped to 3% from 1.2% previously, with traders and buyers saying the move will likely force more transactions into the black market. Smaller shops could be more inclined to sell without receipts, potentially hitting sales at big jewellers that keep to the rules, said HARSHAD AJMERA, the proprietor of JJ GOLD HOUSE. "Just to save 1%, some customers were earlier buying gold without receipts. With the 3% GST, now many more will be tempted to make unofficial purchases from small jewellers", AJMERA said. India's legal imports typically stand at around 800t a year, with the yellow metal used in everything from investment to religious donations and wedding gifts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale says New Caledonia ops under review - Reuters

VALE is reassessing its lossmaking New Caledonia nickel operations as part of a wider review of low performing assets after CEO FABIO SCHVARTZMAN took charge last month. "The nickel price today is languishing at around $9 000/t with no indication of recovery in the near-term. This has forced us to reassess all areas of the nickel business, including our operations in New Caledonia, which continue to lose money at these prices", VALE spokesperson CORY MCPHEE said. VALE has said it is aiming to cut cash costs to $10 500-$11 000/t at New Caledonia in H2, as it ramps up production and prices of byproduct cobalt soar. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold signs staggered option to buy US exploration property - Martin Creamer

US exploration company RENAISSANCE GOLD has inked an agreement with ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI NORTH AMERICA for an option to buy an exploration property northeast of Beatty, in Nevada. RENGOLD says the option agreement provides for a series of payments to RENGOLD, beginning with $100 000 on signing, $200 000 a year later, $300 000 on the second anniversary of the option agreement and finally $2.4m on its third anniversary. On paying $3m, ANGLOGOLD will hold a 100% stake in the property, while RENGOLD and ALTIUS MINERALS CORPORATION will retain 1% and 1.5% net smelter return royalties respectively on future production. The North American unit of ANGLOGOLD may withdraw at any time during the option period, with no retained interest. RENGOLD chair and CEO RONALD PARRATT said the agreement, which provides his company with a nondilutive source of cash to fund ongoing operations, complements the company's usual earn-in-to-JV approach. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New Exxaro BEE rollout edges forward - Martin Creamer

EXXARO RESOURCES yesterday published further comments and calculations on the implementation of its replacement BEE transaction. The company in Nov. announced it would put in place a new BEE scheme that would decrease its BEE ownership from 50.19% to 30%. The first step of the transaction involves existing MAIN STREET 333 shareholders investing into a BEE SPV into the new BEECO along with the INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and EXXARO itself. The BEECO is raising funding from third parties, R700m of which will be guaranteed by the IDC - this will be used to buy additional EXXARO shares at a discount. The outcome is that the new BEECO will own 30% of EXXARO shares, creating a dilution of 12.9% in the share price of the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Notice of arbitration served in Tanzania - Acacia - Megan van Wyngaardt

Notices of arbitration have been served in Tanzania on behalf of Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Minerals Limited, which hold ACACIA MINING's Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines. ACACIA said the notices referred the current disputes between the government and each of BGML and PML to arbitration, which is in accordance with the dispute resolution processes agreed to by local government. ACACIA and its subsidiaries are in dispute with the Tanzanian government, after the latter accused the miner of failing to pay billions of dollars in taxes. "The serving of the notices is necessary to protect the company but, this notwithstanding, ACACIA remains of the view that a negotiated resolution is the preferable outcome to the current disputes and the company will continue to work to achieve this", ACACIA said. The government has also informed ACACIA's parent, BARRICK GOLD, that it wishes to continue their dialogue and, therefore, ACACIA will not participate directly in these talks when they start. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibo monitoring Tanzania mining legislation changes - Anine Kilian

KIBO MINING is reviewing pending mining legislation changes in Tanzania, the company said yesterday. KIBO is developing the Mbeya coal-to-power project in that country. In addition to the MCPP, KIBO also owns the Lake Victoria gold project and the Haneti nickel- PGM- gold project in Tanzania. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania passes laws on renegotiating of mining, gas contracts - Reuters

Tanzania's Parliament on Monday passed two laws allowing the government to force mining and energy companies to renegotiate their contracts, despite pleas from t he mining association for more time. There are three bills in total covering natural resources contracts, sovereignty and amendments to existing laws and they would allow the government to renegotiate or dissolve contracts. "Parliament has passed two (laws)... - the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) and the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and re-negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) bills", the state-run TANZANIA INFORMATION SERVICES said. The statement did not mention the third bill, which is also in parliament, but Justice Minister PALAMAGAMBA KABUDI on Friday said all three would be passed this week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRC in talks with VTB for $1bn investment - Aaron Ross

The DRC is in talks with Russian state-owned bank VTB over potential investments worth as much as $1bn, state officials said, though VTB said there had been no discussions about bilateral lending. PM BRUNO TSHIBALA's office said in a statement late on Monday that VTB representatives met with the PM on the day to discuss a possible $1bn investment fund to finance "strategic projects". The statement cited ALBERT YUMA, chair of Congo's state mining company as saying it would be "up to the government to decide how the funds are used". In a statement, however, VTB said its meetings in the DRC were related to advising the country about "successful future capital raising transactions" and "not with bilateral lending". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Swiss watchdog still in contact with Credit Suisse on Mozambique - Joshua Franklin

Switzerland's financial watchdog FINMA remains in touch with CREDIT SUISSE over its role in arranging loans for Mozambique SOEs, a spokesperson for the regulator said yesterday, after an independent report concluded it was unclear how the money had been spent. CREDIT SUISSE and VTB have come under scrutiny after negotiating loans totalling around $2bn with three firms owned by the government. Discovery of the loans to EMATUM, PROINDICUS and MOZAMBIQUE ASSET MANAGEMENT led the IMF and Western donors to halt support for Mozambique, triggering a collapse of its currency and leading to a default on debt. An audit report published last month by KROLL said officials in Mozambique had given inconsistent answers about how $500m earmarked for the tuna fishing company, EMATUM, had been spent. It also showed CREDIT SUISSE and VTB CAPITAL were paid a total of $199.7m in fees. CREDIT SUISSE disputed the report's findings, saying banking fees charged to arrange loans for the SOEs amounted to $23m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NNPC says saved $2bn with cheaper contracts - Paul Carsten

The NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION has saved $2bn in the past year by renegotiating its upstream servicing contracts, it said yesterday. "For the upstream, cost reduction and efficiency are key features that we will pay attention to", NNPC head MAIKANTI BARU said. The company has also cut operating costs for oil production to $22/barrel from $27 previously, BARU said. Average daily production of oil and condensates has been about 1.88m barrels since the start of 2017, with the Forcados and Qua Iboe terminals running again after being taken down by attacks last year. That put Nigeria on target to exceed its 2017 goal of producing an average of 2.2m barrels of oil and condensate a day. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Regulators step in to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's central bank and the Nigerian Communications Commission have intervened to save ETISALAT NIGERIA from collapse after talks with lenders to renegotiate a $1.2bn loan failed, a regulatory source said. The person said parent firm ETISALAT has indicated it may pull out of Nigeria following the debt crisis but has not made a decision on the use of its brand in the country. CEO MATTHEW WILSHER has resigned. The NCC said the company had reached an agreement with lenders. The source said that while the central bank had provided assurances to the lenders involved, it had not invested any funds. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

TFG to fight credit regulator on club fees - TJ Strydom

THE FOSCHINI GROUP will oppose allegations by the National Credit Regulator that it broke credit rules by selling club memberships to customers, the fashion retailer said yesterday. "FOSCHINI RETAIL GROUP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, has been referred to the National Consumer Tribunal for allegedly being in breach of the National Credit Act", TFG said, adding that it would oppose the referral. The company said the law does not limit which products retailers may sell to its customers on their credit accounts. "TFG's Club products are optional magazine subscriptions with insurance and other benefits which can be subscribed to at application stage, or later via telemarketing and other marketing channels", the company said. The group has a members club with a monthly subscription and this fee can be added to customers' credit accounts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Guinness Nigeria starts share sale to cut funding costs - Chijioke Ohuocha

GUINNESS NIGERIA yesterday launched a share sale to raise 39.7bn naira from existing shareholders to help lower its financing costs after reporting its first annual loss in three decades in 2016. The brewer said funds raised will support GUINNESS in executing its strategy in the face of the ongoing recession in Nigeria. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Namibia's forex reserves drop in May - Nyasha Nyaungwa

Namibia's foreign currency reserves fell to N$25.4bn at end-May 2017, from N$25.7bn in Apr., data from the central bank showed yesterday. The central bank attributed the decline to government payments and the appreciation of the Namibian dollar, which is pegged 1:1 against the South African rand. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA targets R1.3tn in taxes in fiscal 2017/18 - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

SA aims to collect R1.3tn in taxes during the 2017/18 FY that ends in March, versus the R1.14tn revenue a year earlier, SARS said yesterday. "This extra-ordinary revenue target has been set in a strained economic environment and will see SARS put in extra effort to continue to bolster the national purse", SARS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 05/07/2017

At 06h50 on 05 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.17 ZAR/EUR 14.95 ZAR/GBP 17.01 Gold 1226.38 Platinum 911.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.66 All Share 52049.25

Bain, Cinven prepare for fresh €4.1bn Stada bid - Arash Massoudi

BAIN CAPITAL and CINVEN are preparing to submit a fresh €4.1bn takeover for German generic drugmaker STADA, as soon as this week, resuscitating what would be Europe's largest buyout in four years just days after the previous offer collapsed. The private equity groups have been in contact with STADA and BAFIN to secure a waiver from a one-year standstill that they were subject to after they failed to receive sufficient backing from STADA shareholders, according to sources. They have yet to receive clearance from BAFIN and STADA but those approvals may come in the next 48 hours, allowing them to make a new offer valuing STADA at the same €66/share, some sources said. The bidders have also been in touch with various hedge funds who hold STADA shares, and have received irrevocable acceptances from some of those investors who did not tender their shares in the previous offer period. BAIN and CINVEN received acceptances from 65.52% of shareholders for their original offer, just 2% short of their 67.5% target. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent falls as company limits gaming time for children - Yuan Yang

TENCENT was on course for its worst one-day fall in seven months as the company started limiting the amount of time children could spend on its top-grossing game, Honour of Kings. The company had announced on Sunday it was planning to introduce time limits for under-18s playing the game, effective from today. The game earned TENCENT revenues of around Rmb6bn in Q1 2017, according to analyst estimates. Shares in TENCENT fell as much as 5.1% today, easing to be down 3.7% at HK$270.40. Even after accounting for today's fall, TENCENT's stock is up 43.40% for the year to date. Under-12s will be limited ton one hour of playing a day, and will not be able to log on after 9pm. Those between 12 and 18 years of age can play at most two hours per day. Parents have also been given access to a platform which allows them to monitor and control their child's playing. Criticism over TENCENT's games being too addictive started to intensify two weeks ago when a 13-year old boy suffered a minor stroke after playing Honour of Kings non-stop for 40 hours. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Imagination Technologies returns to profit - Aliya Ram

IMAGINATION TECHNOLOGIEs eked its way back into profit yesterday after a miserable year in which the company lost its biggest customers and was forced to put itself up for sale. The semiconductor supplier said preliminary talks continue with potential buyers for the business. The company has floundered after APPLE said it would stop using its graphics processors in its products. IMAGINATION reported pre-tax profits of £2.4m in the FY to end-Apr. compared with heavy losses y/y. Revenues outstripped expectations to increase 19% to £145m, following a restructuring exercise to refocus the business on licensing and intellectual property. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hinkley Point costs up to £1.5bn higher than forecast, warns EDF - Michael Stothard

Britain's Hinkley Point nuclear power station could cost £1.5bn more than initially expected, France's EDF warned yesterday. EDF said cost estimates were now £19.6bn following a review, adding there was risk the project could be delayed by up to 15 months, pushing the completion date long past 2025. The admission will add fuel to criticisms within EDF that the project is unmanageable and overly risky for a company already weighed down by high levels of debt. It will also prompt further criticism in the UK by those who believe the deal is too expensive for British taxpayers and carries a heavy construction risk. The other two nuclear reactor projects in Europe using the same EPR technology that will be used in Hinkley Point are both wildly over budget and behind schedule. A project by AREVA in Finland is a decade late and more than €5bn over budget, while EDF's first attempt to build an EPR reactor plant in Flamanville, France, is six years behind schedule and £7bn over budget. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Repsol, Gazprom set up JV - Henry Foy

REPSOL has established a JV with GAZPROM NEFT after selling a 25% stake in its Evrotec-Yugra project of seven oil blocks in western Siberia to the Russian entity. The fields, owned by REPSOL, will be managed jointly by the two companies. GAZPROM NEFT has an option to increase its stake in the venture to 50%. The deal is the latest agreement between Russian and European oil and gas companies despite western sanctions against the country's energy sector. The companies did not provide any financial details of the agreement. The Ouryinskoye field, which is covered by the JV, has recoverable reserves of 33.8mt of oil. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Total-led consortium inks South Pars deal with Iran - fastFT.com

A consortium led by TOTAL has signed a multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Iran to develop part of the world's largest gasfield, South Pars, encouraging more international companies to invest in the Islamic country. TOTAL, the operator of the project with a share of more than 50%, is joined by China's CNPC and Iran's PETROPARS to develop Phase 11 of South Pars. The parties will make an investment of $4.8bn in Phase 11. The consortium yesterday signed the deal in Tehran with the NATIONAL IRANIAN OIL COMPANY. The 20-year contract will be implemented in two phases and the consortium is set to produce 50m cubic metres of gas per day from offshore reserves of Phase 11. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US factory sector grows at swiftest pace in almost 3 years - Adam Samson

The US manufacturing sector expanded at the quickest pace in almost three years in June, data showed yesterday. The Institute for Supply Management's PMI jumped to 57.8 in June, from 54.9 m/m. The gauge has not registered such a high reading since Aug. 2014. New orders, production and employment all grew at a swifter rate in Jun. than in May. Respondents in the ISM survey took a broadly upbeat tone, with most pointing to strong demand across the industrial sector. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Argentine peso hits fresh low over Kirchner comeback fears - Benedict Mander

Argentina's peso has slipped to a fresh record low over fears of a political comeback for the populist former president CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER in mid-term elections in Oct. A poll published on Sunday showed President MAURICIO MACRI's party in a technical tie with KIRCHNER's newly-launched coalition in elections that could determine the future of the government's market-friendly reform programme. The peso has been steadily weakening lately after trading between 14 and 16 per dollar for most of the time since a Dec. 2015 devaluation. Yesterday, the currency shed 1.2% of its value to trade at 16.825/$, the third-worst performance this year. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH analysts last week warned that the midterm elections are "critical for economic reforms and investment... Most local investors believe a KIRCHNER victory in the province of Buenos Aires might slow investment decisions". Although the peso hit lows yesterday, many analysts say the currency is still overvalued, after being bolstered by heavy capital inflows since Argentina returned to the international capital markets last year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent's China Literature files docs for HK IPO - Hudson Lockett

CHINA LITERATURE, the online literature arm of TENCENT, has filed pre-listing documents to Hong Kong's stock exchange. The online publishing subsidiary recorded net profit of Rmb30.4m for the FY to end-Dec. after posting a net loss of Rmbg354.2m in the y/y period. Revenues in 2016 rose 62.5% y/y to Rmb2.6bn. CHINA LITERATURE derived 77.1% of total revenues from online reading revenues in 2016. Customers can either pay for premium content after reading an initial passage from a book or subscribe to a monthly plan. CREDIT SUISSE, MERRILL LYNCH and MORGAN STANLEY are serving as joint sponsors for the proposed listing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 04/07/2017

At 09h48 on 04 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.19 ZAR/EUR 14.98 ZAR/GBP 17.06 Gold 1225.10 Platinum 904.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.40 All Share 51809.75

MTN spends R4.6bn to tap growth from data - Kabelo Khumalo

MTN yesterday said it had spent R4.6bn during Q1 FY2017 to improve its network as it aimed to unlock value in the digital- and data-adoption space for future growth. The company said most of the expenditure had been by its Nigerian, South African and Iranian operations. "We think we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the opportunity in terms of our brand, customer base, our infrastructure and positioning in the market, our home markets - our frontyard and and backyard so to speak", MTN GROUP CEO ROB SHUTER said. Revenue for the quarter to end-Mar. rose 7.1%, and data revenues were up 29.4% y/y. Data revenue contributed 20% to its revenue in the period, MTN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

27% BEE target for property sector comes into effect - Fin24

The amended Property Sector Code setting a black ownership target of 27% for property owning companies came into effect on Jun. 28. "This is higher than the 25% black ownership target of the Generic Codes", Trade & Industry Minister ROB DAVIES said. "In addition, the new sector code has set a target for established companies to financially support those that are at least 51% black-owned". The value of the finance to be made available is up to 2% of total development or redevelopment expenditure. The new code is legally binding for all entities and organisations operating in the property sector, and is applicable to commercial activities in the residential and commercial industries of the property sector. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mining Charter: Zwane says business should stay out of governing - Lizeka Tandwa

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE yesterday defended the new Mining Charter, saying "business should do business" and leave governing and legislative decision-making to government. The Chamber of Mines applied for an urgent court interdict to stop the implementation of the new charter. The CoM's unhappiness stems from ZWANE's lack of consultation with the industry, among other things. ZWANE said government will engage with the Chamber on their concerns but held a firm view that the new Charter was in accordance with ANC policy and would therefore be implemented. He said government was partly to blame for the slow implementation of policies as it is spending most of its time negotiating with business. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zuma appoints new leaders at finance commission amid probe - Matthew le Cordeur

President JACOB ZUMA yesterday appointed two commissioners to take over the leadership of the Financial and Fiscal Commission. FFC commissioners Professor DANIEL PLAATJIES and Dr SIBONGILE MUTHWA were appointed as chair and deputy chairperson, respectively. The commission's primary objective is to make recommendations to Parliament, the provincial legislatures, local government and other organs of state on financial and fiscal matters as envisaged in the Constitution and other national legislation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investor spree makes ZSE Africa's top performer - Malcom Sharara

The ZIMBABWE STOCK EXCHANGE was Africa's top performing bourse in US dollar terms for H1 2017. The bourse closed the first half of 2017 up 35.45%, the highest attained by any African exchange in dollar terms. As at Jun. 28 2017, the LUSAKA STOCK EXCHANGE in Zambia was the second best performing market after it gained 23.86% in dollar terms, although managing just 13.43% in kwacha terms. Another market that performed well in both local currency and dollar terms was Mauritius' SEMDEX, which was up 17.39% and 22.57%, respectively. The NAIROBI STOCK EXCHANGE added 14.68% in shilling terms, but only managed 13.79% in dollar terms. The NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE added 23.23% in naira but below 11% in dollar terms. The JSE, up a marginal 1.89% in rand terms, was strong in dollar terms having picked up 7.02%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

No insider trading linked to Gordhan recall - FSB - Liesl Peyper

The Financial Services Board's department of market abuse found no insider trading activity ahead of former finance minister PRAVIN GORDHAN's recall from an investor roadshow in Mar. The DMA concluded that the trades under investigation in the Currency Futures Contracts prior to the news of GORDHAN's recall were "undertaken in the normal course of business". DA MP DAVID MAYNIER, who had referred the matter to the FSB requesting an investigation, said in response to the FSB's findings he was pleased that the probe is completed and that the matter has been put to rest. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Transnet on profits track as freight volumes rise - Yolandi Groenewald

Despite tougher economic conditions, TRANSNET managed to increase its revenue by 5.3% to R65.5bn, it announced yesterday. CEO SIYABONGA GAMA said the utility had managed to grow its market share in the FY to end-Mar., with EBITDA up 5% to R27.6bn. TRANSNET posted an after-tax profit of R2.8bn for FY2017, while revenue grew 5.3% to R65.5bn, largely due to the growth in volumes in general freight. The increase in revenue was dampened by price reprieves in excess of R600m to strained customers, trying to survive in a difficult economic environment. GAMA said this was done to ensure that these businesses could survive the tough times. Volumes in general freight rose 4.9% y/y. Coal volumes rose 2.4%, manganese by 17.5% and automotive by 24.3%. Iron ore volumes fell 1.5%, hit by lower demand and equipment failure at ports. Cash generated by operations after working capital changes rose 16.4% to R32.8bn, reflecting TRANSNET's strong cash generating capability. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye appoints VP to head up US region - Megan van Wyngaardt

SIBANYE has appointed CHRIS BATEMAN as executive VP for its US region, it said yesterday. In addition to heading up the region and leading the team at the STILLWATER operations, BATEMAN will join SIBANYE's executive committee. He had served as CFO of STILLWATER since 2014 and, prior to that, as the CFO at TURQUOISE HILL. Meanwhile, outgoing STILLWATER CEO MICK MCMULLEN will transition into the role of technical adviser until end-2018, ensuring management and operational continuity and facilitating the integration of STILLWATER into SIBANYE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's iron ore output to stagnate amid 'unfavourable' regulatory environment - Megan van Wyngaardt

An unfavourable regulatory environment is likely to result in SA's iron ore production stalling at 58mt/year for the next four years, research firm BMI said yesterday. It noted that SA would be the "largest and most important source of uncertainty " in sub-Saharan Africa as the recent passing of the new Mining Charter would likely lead to higher compliance costs for miners. It warned that further divestments may be on the cards, as the charter imposed stricter rules over black ownership levels and hiked royalty rates, applying further downside pressure to the weak iron ore production forecast in the country. BMI has lowered SA's regulatory score in its Mining Risk Reward Index, where the country now scores 36.9 out of 100, below the regional average of 37.7. While the South African industry would remain burdened, BMI expects SSA's iron ore production will expand from 93mt to 103mt over the next four years. This would be spurred by continued Chinese investment into the region, which would offset the effects of lower global prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

WG Wearne posts FY losses - Megan van Wyngaardt

A subdued local construction market, coupled with the R59m closing out of its construction services business, has seen WG WEARNE widen its loss from continuing operations to R28.8m in the FY to end-Feb., from R18.4m y/y. The company yesterday said that while it was undergoing a restructuring process, material uncertainty existed that cast significant doubt on the company's ability to continue as a going concern. It added that while it was still technically solvent, with a NAV of R10.05m, its current liabilities of R287.4m exceeded current assets of R80.1m by R207.3m. WEARNE noted that revenue in its aggregates division had dropped by R33m to R163m, resulting in an operating profit of R3.3m. The ready-mix concrete division also saw a decrease in revenue of 14% to R220m. It achieved an operating profit of R7.7m compared with an operating loss of R1.3m in 2016, due to a R126m contract secured for the supply of concrete to a solar farm project in the Northern Cape. The contracting division saw a drop in revenue to R34.3m from R59.8m y/y. Gross profit margins from continuing operations decreased to 16.8%, while the total proceeds on disposal of assets were R50m. The group expanded its plant and equipment by R12m. WEARNE posted an HLPS of 16.89cps and an LPS from continuing and discontinued operations of 10.22cps, while its NAV a share decreased to 3.68cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Board 'vindicated' by PRASA court ruling - Molefe - News24Wire

PRASA chair POPO MOLEFE says the entity's board feels vindicated by yesterday's High Court ruling to review and set aside the utility's controversial contract for new locomotives. Judge J FRANCIS yesterday ruled that PRASA's R3.5bn contract with SWIFAMBO RAIL LEASING for new locomotives - signed in 2013 - must be set aside. The contract value later ballooned to more than R5bn, of which nearly R4bn has been paid by PRASA to SWIFAMBO. The court, in its ruling, cited concerns over the apparently corrupt manner in which the contract was awarded. MOLEFE said the ruling vindicated the board's earlier concerns over the apparently corrupt manner in which PRASA, under the leadership of then-CEO LUCKY MONTANA, awarded the contract to SWIFAMBO. The company at the time had no footprint in the rail industry and subsequently sub-contracted Spanish manufacturer VOSSLOH ESPANA to supply the 70 locomotives required by PRASA. MOLEFE stressed the importance of seeing through PRASA's separate court bid to compel the Hawks to properly probe the more than 40 criminal charges the board has laid against individuals and companies involved in allegedly corrupt PRASA contracts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ABSA PMI slumps in June - Natasha Odendaal

The seasonally adjusted ABSA PMI declined to 46.7 index points in June, from 51.5 in May. The deterioration was broad-based with four of the five main subcomponents moving lower compared with May, exacerbated by continued uncertainty about the outlook for the domestic economy. The business activity index has been particularly volatile, slipping lower to 45.4 in June from 52.3 in May. The index tracking expected business conditions in six months fell to 50, from 61.4 m/m. New sales orders fell to 43.7 in June, from 54.1 in May. The price index declined by seven points to 61.3 index points - the lowest since Oct. 2016. The employment edged down from 47.4 in May to 47.1 in June. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Commission prohibits Jasco's acquisition of Cross Fire - Natasha Odendaal

The Competition Commission has blocked JASCO's proposed acquisition of a 65.4% stake in CROSS FIRE MANAGEMENT on the basis that the R52.3m merger is likely to result in a consolidation of the market in Gauteng and the Western Cape. The deal was announced in Mar., when JASCO aimed to merge subsidiary JASCO FIRE with CROSS FIRE, bolstering JASCO's existing fire solutions portfolio in the blue-chip corporate market and lifting it into the top three suppliers of fire detection, suppression and protection solutions in various industries. The Commission said the merger will result in a reduction of the number of forms in markets that are already highly concentrated. "This will make it easier to perpetuate existing cartel conduct of price fixing, market allocation and collusive tendering". Meanwhile, the remedies proposed by the merging parties had not been sufficient to address the potentially significant prevention and lessening of competition in the active fire protection systems market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Redefine sells Delta stake to women-led BEE consortium - Creamer Media Reporter

REDEFINE PROPERTIES has sold its 22.8% stake in DELTA PROPERTIES to a women-led BEE consortium in a R1.45bn vendor-funded transaction. Black women own 51% of the consortium, with the balance of shares held by DELTA's management and staff, of which the majority is also black. The holding comprised 162m shares at R9 apiece, issued by DELTA to REDEFINE in 2015 in an acquisition of 15 government-tenanted offices. The vendor loan will be 50% settled after an initial period of five years and, at the consortium's election, the loan can ben extended for a further three years. Other benefits include a higher BBBEE rating that is essential for government requirements to secure long-term leases, staff retention and the removal of the potential overhang of DELTA shares in the open market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

L4L submits nonbinding offer for Holdsport - Natasha Odendaal

LONG4LIFE has set its sight son HOLDSPORT, proposing a potential acquisition on a share exchange basis. The share price of HOLDSPORT rose nearly 7% and LONG4LIFE nearly 5% following the announcement that L4L had submitted a nonbinding expression of interest to acquire the sport and leisure merchandise cash retailer and wholesaler. L4L proposed acquiring the entire issued share capital of HOLDSPORT in a share for share exchange at a ratio of 10.44 L4L shares for every one HOLDSPORT ordinary shares. Both companies issued a cautionary on Monday pending the advancement of the nonbinding deal. HOLDSPORT boasts a network of 39 Sportsmans Warehouse and 24 Outdoor Warehouse stores and holds strategic investments in PERFORMANCE BRANDS and SECOND SKINS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Redefine expands Aussie student accommodation footprint - Megan van Wyngaardt

REDEFINE PROPERTIES has acquired a new development site for student accommodation near Melbourne University in Australia. The 700-bed development, which will start next year, is expected to cost A$103.3m, with REDEFINE's share of the development cost set at A$93m with 10% income yield. The company is already developing an 804-bed, A$139m site in the area. CEO ANDREW KONIG said there is capacity for "a lot more purpose-built student accommodation, as the market is undersupplied. With a capital uplift potential on these developments and return on equity well ahead of offshore funding costs, the investment proposition is compelling from a total return point of view". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vukile boosts offshore exposure to 21% in Spanish retail park deal - Anine Kilian

VUKILE PROPERTY FUND has acquired a portfolio of nine newly built retail parks across Spain through its 98.3%-owned Spanish subsidiary CASTELLANA PROPERTIES. CASTELLANA will acquire the nine properties from REDEVCO IBERIAN VENTURES, a JV between ARES and REDEVCO, for R2.8bn. The transaction will increase VUKILE's diversification, boost its international exposure to around 21% of total property assets and grow its Spanish portfolio to 11 properties. Current managers REDEVCO will continue to manage the portfolio for a six-month period overlapping with the introduction of an asset management team of Spanish retail property experts that VUKILE has built in Spain. To fund the deal, CASTELLANA has procured debt funding of €94.8m from Spanish lenders at an all-in cost of debt of 1.98%. VUKILE has funded the remaining €103.3m using the substantial war chest it has built up for its international expansion. With its increased exposure to international property markets, VUKILE has put in place a forex hedging policy to reduce adverse forex fluctuations. It will hedge on average 75% of its earnings from its international investments over a three-year period. After the deal, VUKILE's consolidated group gearing level is expected to be at 31.7%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

4AX optimistic of Aug. listing breakthrough - Natasha Odendaal

4 AFRICA EXCHANGE has secured a healthy pipeline of possible listings, cross-cutting industries such as agriculture, IT and tourism and hospitality, with the first listing scheduled for end-Aug. or the first week of Sep. Of about 40 potential listings, some 20 were currently in the discussion phase, 4AX CEO FAY MUKADDAM said yesterday. Initially, the exchange will focus on targeting unlisted companies in SA before moving up through the SADC countries and the rest of Africa. "We want to do things differently on every conceivable level", MUKADDAM said, adding that if, in 100+ years 4AX was "anything like the incumbent", referring to the JSE, it would mean it failed. 4AX will lean heavily on technology, leveraging its own platforms to ensure a "shareholders democracy" and enabling the "ordinary individual off the street" to be able to participate through mobile platforms. Further, the exchange aimed to offer a platform for trade in a transparent, accessible, understandable and inclusive manner, with ambitions of reducing previous "burdensome" layers under cover of regulations and leveraging its own central ownership registry. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New vehicle sales down 1.3% in Jun. - Irma Venter

Data published by the Department of Trade & Industry yesterday showed that new vehicle sales in June delivered some growth, even if marginal, following two months of contraction. Sales numbers showed the local total new vehicle market rose 0.9% compared with Jun. 2016, to 45 369 units. New vehicle exports from SA also delivered some good news, increasing by a modest 1.4% to 31 631 units. The new passenger car market in Jun. declined by 2.2% to 28 639 units. Sales of bakkies, vans and minibuses jumped by 8% to 14 278 units. Medium truck sales grew 4.4% to 800 units, while sales of heavy trucks and buses declined by 2.8% to 1 652 units. The total new vehicle market in SA was down 1.3% for the first six months of 2017, with exports declining by 7.4%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Paladin has days to repay EDF debt - Esmarie Swanepoel

France's EDF is pushing PALADIN ENERGY for the repayment of $227m in debt, which is due on Jul. 10. PALADIN previously attempted to negotiate a standstill agreement with EDF under the long-term supply agreement inked in 2012 but a subsequent ruling by an independent expert had found that the security offered by PALADIN is insufficient. EDF has now informed the uranium miner that it is not prepared to enter into a standstill agreement, leaving PALADIN with only days to repay the debt. PALADIN yesterday said it was "considering the implications" of EDF's position for the future of the company. Meanwhile, PALADIN is working to advance the sale of its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia, saying an expert determination process was in progress to determine the valuation of PALADIN's interest in the project. A valuation is expected by Jul. 20 after which suitor CNNC OVERSEAS URANIUM HOLDINGS would have a 30-day period in which to notify PALADIN of its intent to exercise its options over the project. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Prospect's Zim project could produce by 2018 - Esmarie Swanepoel

The Arcadia lithium project, in Zimbabwe, could be in production as early as 2018, with a recent prefeasibility study estimating that a capital investment of around $52.5m would be needed to bring the project into production. PROSPECT RESOURCES yesterday said based on a maiden ore reserve of 15.8mt, grading 1.34% lithium oxide and 125 parts per million tantalum pentoxide, the project will be developed into a 1.2mt/y mining and processing operation with a mine life of 15 years. The PFS estimates the Arcadia project will have an internal rate of return of 39%, and a pre-tax net present value of $139m, with mine revenues expected to reach $2bn over the life of the project. PROSPECT chair HUGH WARNER said prospect was confident that Arcadia would have the ability to produce battery-grade lithium, glass and ceramic grade lithium and tantalite products to the market by late 2018. "PROSPECT can now actively pursue and execute offtake agreements and pursue funding options to develop this quality asset". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Etisalat Nigeria chair resigns after debt talks collapse - Chijioke Ohuocha

The chairperson of ETISALAT NIGERIA, HAKEEM BELO-OSAGIE, has resigned from the company after talks to renegotiate a $1.2bn loan collapsed, prompting a major foreign shareholder to exit the business, sources said. Abu Dhabi state investment fund MUBADALA on Jun. 23 said it had pulled out of ETISALAT NIGERIA after the latter failed to restructure the loan with Nigerian lenders. The sources said the banks had retained ETISALAT NIGERIA CEO MATTHEW WILSHIRE but that talks were ongoing on the use of the brand. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA to unveil action plan to lift growth - Gigaba - Mfuneko Toyana

Treasury will unveil an action plan on Friday detailing structural changes and timelines to boost economic growth to 6%, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said yesterday. The plan will be released after a policy conference of the ruling ANC wraps up. "We will implement steps to get the economy growing at about 6% and more", GIGABA said at an event marking the launch of the tax-filing season. "We want to get everyone focused on boosting the economy... so that low growth doesn't become a vicious cycle". The economy contracted 0.7% in Q1 2017 after shrinking 0.3% in Q4 2016. GIGABA stressed that the action plan would draw on issues raised by investors and ratings agencies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Transnet to probe graft allegations - Tanisha Heiberg

TRANSNET yesterday said it would investigate allegations reported widely in the local media that implicated the company in corruption. "The board has seen it fit that those allegations must be probed", CEO SIYABONGA GAMA said during the utility's results presentation. "We have hired an external legal company to deal with that so we can get to the bottom of those matters", GAMA said, adding that TRANSNET did not tolerate any corruption. He said the investigation, which would include both current and former staff at the utility, could take around three months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alex Forbes chair-designate withdraws - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

The former head of KPMG's local unit yesterday withdrew from his appointment as chairman-designate of financial services group ALEXANDER FORBES after leaked emails implicated the auditing firm in an influence-peddling scandal that has rocked President JACOB ZUMA's government. KPMG SA failed to raise red flags when companies owned by the GUPTAS diverted R30m of public money to pay for a family wedding in 2013 when MOSES KGOSANA was CEO, according to leaked emails. "Mr KGOSANA felt that the demands on his time in the role of chairman of the company whilst attending to these allegations, will interfere with his deliverable expectations. ALEXANDER FORBES welcomes this decisive action". KGOSANA was due to take over as chair of the company in Aug. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moyane confident of reaching revenue target despite recession - Mfuneko Toyana

SARS commisisoner TOM MOYANE yesterday said he was confident of reaching the R1.62tn revenue target set out in the Feb. budget, despite the recession. "We have scanned the horizon and seen that companies are already shedding jobs... But we are confident of reaching our target", MOYANE said in televised remarks at the start of the tax riling season. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya's Barclays Bank says to shut down seven branches - George Obulutsa

BARCLAYS BANK OF KENYA yesterday said it plans to close seven of its branches in that country in Oct. as part of cost-cutting measures. The lender is part of BARCLAYS AFRICA GROUP. It said customers who hold accounts in the branches affected will be relocated to others nearby. At present, the lender has 102 branches in Kenya. Staff working in these branches will be redeployed based on available opportunities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 04/07/2017

At 06h22 on 04 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.18 ZAR/EUR 15.01 ZAR/GBP 17.08 Gold 1223.39 Platinum 906.00 Brent Crude Oil 49.56 All Share 52163.80

Ferrum Crescent exists SA assets to focus on Spanish projects - Megan van Wyngaardt

FERRUM CRESCENT will sell its Mauritian-based subsidiary BATAVIA, which holds its South African assets. The company said the A$1 000 sale to NPSPL AFRICA HOLDINGS and its NGWENYA CAPITAL BEE partner, includes the Moonlight iron ore project in Limpopo. The decision to sell was based on the depressed iron ore market and Moonlight's high capital cost and infrastructure requirements. NPSPL would now assume responsibility for all of FERRUM's iron ore assets; its South African subsidiaries; and all of the associated corporate, audit, fiscal and environmental responsibilities and costs, effective immediately. The company would now focus its efforts and capital deployment on the development of its Spanish lead-zinc assets. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PTM closes private placement - Megan van Wyngaardt

PLATINUM GROUP METALS yesterday closed the private placement of $20m aggregate principal amount of convertible senior subordinated notes, due 2022. The company will use the proceeds for working capital at its flagship Maseve mine; for work on the DFS at the Waterberg project; and for general and administrative expenses. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bayer files for EU approval of Monsanto deal - Rochelle Toplensky

BAYER started the clock for EU approval of its $66bn takeover of MONTANTO on Friday. European regulators will have until Aug. 7 to decide to approve the merger or examine it with a more in-depth probe. The German group had been expected to file its European notification in Apr. Approval is required from a number of other antitrust regulators around the world. "The EU filing is another important step in the overall merger process. BAYER, with the support of MONSANTO, continues to make good progress on the regulatory front. The companies remain committed to working with regulators globally as we continue to target closing by the end of the year", the group said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caixin gauge shows China's manufacturers rebounding in Jun. - Hudson Lockett

China's manufacturing sector scrambled back into expansionary territory last month against expectations of continued contraction, but employers continued to shed jobs as expectations for the next 12 months edged still lower. The CAIXIN-MARKIT manufacturing PMI rose to 50.4 in June after falling into contraction with a reading of 49.6 in May. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a reading of 49.5. Growth in output picked up slightly after hitting an 11-month low in May, with growth in new orders also rising marginally. Employment continued to contract across the sector, although both input and output prices bounded back into positive territory last month. Confidence in output growth over the next 12 months edged down to the lowest level for the year to date. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Danone to sell US dairy arm to Lactalis for $875m - Harriet Agnew

DANONE has agreed to sell STONYFIELD, one of its US dairy subsidiaries, to LACTALIS for $875m. The move is designed to address competition concerns as part of DANONE's acquisition of WHITEWAVE, a US organic food group. In Mar., DANONE reached an agreement with the Department of Justice in which it said it would dispose of STONYFIELD. The unit generated around $370m turnover in 2016. The sale price of $875m represents 20 times its EBITDA. The deal is expected to complete in Q3 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Richemont sells Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang - Jennifer Thompson

RICHEMONT has sold SHANGHAI TANG to an Italian businessman. The luxury group said it had sold the fashion group to a business controlled by ALESSANDRO BASTAGLI last week. No value for the deal was given but RICHEMONT said the sale would "have no material impact" on its results for the year to Mar. 2018. The sale completed on Jun. 30. RICHEMONT first acquired a stake in SHANGHAI TANG in 1998 before taking full ownership a decade later. BASTAGLI is chairman of A. MODA, a clothes manufacturer based in Florence which he founded in 1987. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone manufacturing activity hits highest since Apr. 2011 - Mehreen Khan

Manufacturing in the eurozone is on course to post another quarter of impressive growth, according to the latest batch of monthly survey data from the sector, which hit a fresh six-year high in Jun. IHS MARKIT's manufacturing PMI rose to 57.4 in June from 57 m/m, with even Greece hitting expansionary territory at 50.5. Eurozone manufacturing grew by 0.6% on a quarterly basis at the start of the year as overall GDP expansion also hit 0.6%, according to Eurostat. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EU considers tougher competition powers - Rochelle Toplensky

The EU's competition watchdog is considering tough powers to intervene earlier in antitrust problems in a bid to avoid the type of delays it faced in the GOOGLE probe. Competition Commissioner MARGRETHE VESTAGER said she was looking at broader powers to impose so-called interim measures, which order companies to cease suspected anti-competitive behaviour even before there is a formal finding of wrongdoing. A move by the European Commission to adopt such powers would give the world's most active antitrust authority a much wider range of options to impose itself on dominant companies and shape behaviour in fast-moving markets such as the digital sector. At present, the commission must prove a company is causing "irrevocable harm" before imposing interim measures - a high threshold that means it is virtually impossible to use. "If you have a tool in the toolbox of interim measures then of course you should consider why it is that it's never used", VESTAGER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aspen CEO says deal making to resume in EMs - Janice Kew, Bloomberg

ASPEN PHARMACARE sees further acquisitions in the next 12 months as strong regenue and lower capex restore its firepower after the purchase of two anesthetics portfolios last year. The deals will likely be made in the company's existing pharmaceutical markets, with womens' health a possible area of expansion, CEO STEPHEN SAAD said. "We're in a great space to make further acquisitions because we have our teams in the right place and we're generating cash", SAAD said. "The more we can build on emerging market platforms, the more excited we are... Latin America and Africa are important for ASPEN". Sales are expected to have risen 19% to R42.3bn in the FY to end-Jun., according to analysts polled by Bloomberg. SAAD was defiant when addressing a €5.2m fine imposed on the company by Italian regulators for raising the price of cancer drugs by as much as 1 500%, saying the extent of the increase overshadowed the low price of the treatment in question, which had not been raised for more than half a century. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 03/07/2017

At 11h47 on 03 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.13 ZAR/EUR 14.97 ZAR/GBP 17.05 Gold 1235.76 Platinum 919.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.87 All Share 51657.59

Japan manufacturing bolstered by exports to Southeast Asia - Alice Woodhouse

Rising export orders supported Japan's manufacturing sector last month as sales to Southeast Asia helped drive overseas business growth. The NIKKEI-MARKIT PMI dipped to 52.4 in Jun. from 53.1 in May, remaining above the 50-point level separating expansion from contraction. A rise in demand from Southeast Asia supported the fastest gain in new export business since Feb. Employment rose for a tenth consecutive month as new orders and production requirements supported another month of growth. Companies maintained an optimistic outlook with 29% of those surveyed reporting positive forecasts for the year ahead. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US oil rig count drops for first time since Jan. - Gregory Meyer

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the US has clocked its first weekly decline since Jan., a reversal which, if sustained, could start to put the brakes on rapid growth in American crude output. BAKER HUGES on Friday said the count of oil rigs dropped by two last week to 756. The tally had risen for 23 consecutive weeks beforehand. The data showed little sign of letup in the shale regions responsible for the bulk of rising production. The number of horizontal rigs targeting oil remained unchanged at 648. Rigs in the Eagle Ford shale of Texas and the Williston basin in North Dakota held steady at 76 and 52, respectively. The Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico added one rig to bring its total to 370. The Niobrara formation of Colorado lost one rig, while unspecified other regions subtracted two oil rigs, Baker Hughes said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ABSA files papers against PP, Ramos warns of downgrades - Matthew le Cordeur

BARCLAYS AFRICA CEO MARIA RAMOS on Friday filed an urgent application in support of the SARB's application, which has sought to review and set aside the Public Protector's remedial action regarding her report on the BANKORP bailout that occurred during apartheid. Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE ordered ABSA to repay R1.125bn that was used to bail out BANKORP in 1985. ABSA acquired the bank in 1992. The SARB earlier in the week filed its papers against the same report, after MKHWEBANE recommended the mandate of the central bank be changed. In its court papers, BARCLAYS AFRICA said it wants the court to add ABSA as a co-applicant with SARB against the Public Protector. "ABSA intends to institute a review application concerning the remaining remedial action which impacts on ABSA in due course", RAMOS said. Referring to the change of the SARB's mandate, RAMOS said: "The remedial action requiring an amendment to the Constitution has already had a deleterious effect on the economy and threatens to adversely impact on South Africa's credit rating." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

KPMG denies knowing Guptas moved R30m for wedding - Franz Wild

KPMG SA failed to raise alarms when businesses controlled by the GUPTAS diverted the equivalent of $3.3m of public money to pay for a family wedding, documents show. SA's Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors said it will open a probe. KPMG was also aware that the family's companies were categorising the wedding costs as business expenses, meaning they wouldn't have to pay tax on them, according to emailed communication. The papers form part of the Gupta Leaks. KPMG's clean audit of GUPTA family companies are at odds with its description of itself on its website as a market leader in money-laundering prevention. KPMG ended its relationship with the family two years ago, after the Office of the Public Protector initiated a probe into their dealings. KPMG told investigative journalism outfit amaBhungane it was "satisfied that at no stage was independence impaired". Because of confidentiality constraints, "we cannot respond to your questions and request that you direct the same to our former client", KPMG said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB threat underestimated, warns Montalto - Carin Smith

The SARB is at risk of becoming a scapegoat for low growth into 2019, NOMURA emerging markets economist PETER ATTARD MONTALTO said on Friday. "As the 2019 elections approach, we expect the SARB to be st up to take the blame, facing criticism for keeping monetary policy too tight since 2008, being too inflation-focused and not targeting growth of job creation enough", MONTALTO said. "We agree with the SARB that most of the low growth is due to political, policy and regulatory uncertainty as well as a failure to push forward meaningful structural reform - not the fault of monetary policy which we view as broadly neutral here". In his view, the market is underestimating the threat to the SARB and its independence. "It is easy to dismiss the current focus on the SARB's mandate as simply part of the political noise in this succession year... The market view seems to be that the government sets the inflation target. In fact, legally it is the SARB that sets its own mandate for the MPC on inflation", explained MONTALTO. In his view, the Constitution indicates that the central bank has ultimate target-setting as well as operational independence - it has just never chosen to publicly, because up to now it has had "a strong cooperation and coordination with the National Treasury". "Changing the constitutional objective seems impossible in the short to medium run, but personnel changes after the 2019 elections are a key risk now". MONTALTO said the ZUMA faction "sees the SARB as a blockage to more radical transformation within the financial services sector, including allowing banks to maintain too tight a set of credit standards that is seen as restricting credit from black SMEs and black industrialists, as well as not applying enough pressure to banks on black ownership and black management citeria. The SARB is also, through its systematic imposition of a consistent rules-based system, seen as a blockage against bank ownership by politically connected parties and a frustration at its applica

Zuma blames critics within ANC for economic turmoil - Liesl Peyper

Irresponsible and perpetual negative messages from people within the ranks of the ANC are having a negative impact on SA's economy, President JACOB ZUMA said on Friday. Delivering the opening address at the party's fifth national policy conference, ZUMA slammed members and leaders of the ruling party who have become "primary conveyors of negative information about their own movement". "We need to be able to differentiate between self-criticism and the furtherance of certain interests and agendas", ZUMA said, adding that there needs to be a balance between self-criticism, protecting the ANC and providing the space to resolve problems in an organised manner. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA records R9.5bn trade surplus in May - Fin24

SA recorded a trade balance surplus of R9.5bn in May, SARS said on Friday. This includes trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The year-to-date trade balance surplus of R19.532bn is an improvement on the deficit for the comparable period in 2016 of R13.29bn, SARS said. The R9.50bn BLNS-included trade balance surplus for May 2017 is attributable to exports of R105.02bn and imports of R95.52bn. Exports increased from Apr. 2017 to May 2017 by R13.99bn (15.4%), and imports by R9.46bn (11%) over the same period. Exports for the year to date grew by 6.1% from R438.01bn in 2016 to R464.78bn in 2017. Imports for the year-to-date of R445.25bn are 1.3% less than the imports recorded in Jan. to May 2016, namely R451.30bn. On a y/y basis, the R9.5bn trade balance surplus for May 2017 is a deterioration from the R13.1bn surplus recorded y/y, SARS said. Exports of R105.02bn are 5.8% more than the exports recorded in May 2016 of R99.26bn. Imports of R95.52bn are 10.9% more than the imports recorded in May 2016 of R86.16bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAA gets urgent R2.2bn bailout - Matthew le Cordeur

SAA has received yet another lifeline from Treasury, this time about R2.207bn for the carrier to repay its loan to STANDARD CHARTERED BANK. The national carrier received a R5bn going concern guarantee in Sep. 2016, after a new board was appointed. The bailout comes after Treasury DG DONDO MOGAJANE told Parliament last week that he was confident that the loan would be repaid by the Jun. 30 deadline. "Government has decided to transfer funds from the National Revenue Fund to SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS to allow the airline to pay back its debt to STANDARD CHARTERED BANK thereby avoiding a default", the Treasury said on Saturday. "A default by the airline would have triggered a call on the guarantee, leading to an outflow from the NRF and possibly resulting in elevated perceptions of risk related to the rest of SAA's guaranteed debt", it said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Order book keeps Hudaco on track - Mark Allix

HEPS at HUDACO INDUSTRIES lagged a jump in other metrics in its results for H1 to end-May. This related to acquisitions by the company. While group turnover was up 7% to R2.7bn for the period, and operating profit rose 9% to R269m, basic and headline EPS crept up 2%. Net cash from operations came in at a healthy R247m. HUDACO said it was concerned the revised Mining Charter had the potential to make the industry and much of its supply chain "uninvestable", resulting in further job losses. To this end, the company had over the past few years cut its mining exposure in favour of retail consumables. "With stagnant markets, ratings downgrades, SA falling into recession and the rand being the most volatile currency in the world this year, we fortunately carried a healthy order book into the new year and this, together with improvement in certain sectors of the economy, gave us a strong start to the year". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AEP debuts on AltX - Natasha Odendaal

The debut of black-empowered AEP ENERGY AFRICA on the JSE's AltX marks the start of new beginnings for the company which is aiming to become "Africa's clean energy champion". COO NKOSI GUGUSHE boasted about the company's ambitions, starting with the first acquisition of a potential $320m identified pipeline across the continent. "Through our work... we hope to change how Africans, economies, people and companies benefit from the use of clean energy and help drive the energisation of Africa", GUGUSHE said. Listed as the JSE's seventh special purpose acquisition company on AltX, AEP plans to raise around R400m to kick off the acquisition, redevelopment and operation of a portfolio of assets in LGN, power generation, battery energy storage, power distribution and fuel logistics. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye: Cooke strike cost it R160m in revenue, ops to resume today - Creamer Media Reporter

Production at SIBANYE GOLD's Cooke operations will resume today, following a near month-long unprotected strike by workers after they were barred from taking food underground. The ban was aimed at preventing food from being provided to illegal miners by employees. SIBANYE on Friday said 77 employees had been arrested so far this year for assisting illegal miners. "The arrest of 472 illegal miners at the Cooke operations, which are not dormant, but active, operating mines, indicates the extent of the illegal mining activities and the risks that this growing criminal activity poses to our operations, employees and communities. These operations have failed to meet production targets for some time, with illegal mining and employee collusion likely to have played a meaningful role in this underperformance", said WAYNE ROBINSON, head of SIBANYE's gold division. Following the strike, 99 workers have been dismissed and 407 placed on final warnings, while 869 have forefeited their annual leave to compensate for nonproductive shifts. About 300kg of planned gold production, equivalent to about R160m in revenue, was lost as a result of the strike. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hwange expects return to profit in H2 - Reuters

Zimbabwe's HWANGE COLLIERY expects to return to profit in H2 2017, for the first time since the country dumped its currency for the US dollar in 2009, as it triples output. HWANGE is the country's second-largest coal producer and supplies coke to ZIMBABWE POWER COMPANY. "From July, HWANGE will start trading profitably, generating a net profit", chair WINSTON CHITANDO told reporters on Friday. The company narrowed is loss to $89m last year from $105m in 2015. The company expects coal output to rise to 230 000t from this month, compared to a monthly average of 80 000t in the past year, CHITANDO added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold awards ECP contract for Sunrise Dam - Creamer Media Reporter

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI has awarded a $31.3m engineering, procurement and construction contract to GR ENGINEERING SERVICES for a brownfields upgrade to processing facilities at the Sunrise Dam gold mine, in Western Australia. GR ENGINEERING will design and construct a new flotation and ultrafine grind processing facility, with associated services upgrades to operate within the existing processing infrastructure that is currently in operation at the mine. Work will start immediately and is scheduled for completion in Jun. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP, Vale win extra time to settle Samarco claims - Mariaan Webb

A Brazilian court last week granted BHP and VALE an extra four months to negotiate a settlement of civil claims relating to the 2015 SAMARCO tailings dam disaster. The parties had initially aimed to reach a settlement by Jun. 2017, in accordance with a Jan. preliminary agreement, which outlined the process and timeline for the negotiation of the claims. The preliminary agreement also stated that the JV partners would put in place $675m worth of security to support payments for the programmes under the framework agreement. On Friday, BHP said it had approved $250m in financial support for the Renova Foundation and SAMARCO until Dec. 31. Of this, $174m would be used to fund the Foundation for remediation and compensation programmes identified under the framework agreement, and $76m would be used by SAMARCO to carry out remediation and stabilisation work at its operations. Meanwhile, BHP said it was unlikely that operations at SAMARCO would restart this year - to resume operations would require separate regulatory approvals, the granting of licences by state authorities and the restructure of SAMARCO's debt. "A restart at SAMARCO... will only occur if it is safe, economically viable and if it has the support of the community", BHP reiterated. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kin exercises option to buy idled Gold Fields plant for Leonora - Mariaan Webb

KIN MINING has exercised its option to buy the idled Lawlers gold processing plant from GOLD FIELDS' Agnew mine for A$2.5m. KIN intends to use the 800 000t/y plant, which had been on care and maintenance for about two years, at its Leonora gold project, which is located some 160km by road from the Agnew mine. KIN in Apr. announced it had executed an option agreement to purchase the processing plant and was granted an exclusive option agreement. KIN MD DON HARPER said the purchase of the plant was a key step towards output at Leonora. "We continue to generate exceptional drilling results, which highlight the immense potential to grow inventory at Leonora and remain on track to complete the Leonora definitive feasibility study in the September quarter of this year", HARPER said. Leonora will have an initial life of 6.5 yars, producing 43 000oz in year one and ramping up to 52 000oz in year three. The preproduction capital cost was estimated at A$35m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale to extend $76m credit facility to Samarco - Reuters

VALE SA intends to extend $76m in short-term credit facilities to SAMARCO, its JV with BHP, which halted operations in Nov. 2015 after a tailings dam burst. The loan will support SAMARCO through the second half of 2017, VALE said, adding that the same amount will be extended by BHP. SAMARCO executives recently said that resuming operations this year will be challenging. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane issues veiled warning to AngloGold - Brendan Ryan

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI spokesperson CHRIS NTHITE described a meeting held on Friday with Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE as "cordial" despite a government statement released subsequently which warned companies to stick to the legal processes involved. The meeting follows the announcement by ANGLOGOLD that it will carry out a Section 189 restructuring programme at its TauTona and Kopanang mines, potentially putting 8 500 jobs at risk after a prolonged period of unsustainable losses at both mines. The DMR statement said ZWANE has instructed the Mineral and Petroleum Board "to verify the information provided by the company, to ensure that the proposed actions by the company take into account - inter alia - commitments made in the stakeholder declaration signed by the industry stakeholders to save jobs". It added that ZWANE "further wishes to remind companies that the Section 54 process in terms of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act and Section 189 process of the Labour Relations Act should be adhered to, in order to avoid the creation of uncertainty in the industry. Section 52 of the MPRDA states that the holder of the mining right remains responsible for the implementation of the processes provided in the LRA pertaining to the management of downscaling and retrenchment, until the Minister of Mineral Resources has issued a closure certificate to the holder concerned". NTHITE declined to comment when asked what ANGLOGOLD management thought that ZWANE was getting at in making this statement, particularly as it has proven extremely difficult so far for mining companies to obtain a closure certificate from the DMR for mines they have shut down. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Polyus returns to London, UK investors take half of share offer - Reuters

POLYUS has sold 9% of its shares in an offering in Moscow and London, at the low end of a previously set range, the company said on Friday. British investors took about half of the share offering, bookrunner VTB CAPITAL said. The share of investors from North America totalled some 20% of the deal. POLYUS delisted from the LSE in 2015 after Western sanctions over Moscow's rule in Ukraine began to bite for Russian companies. It returns to London buoyed by an 8% rise in global gold prices this year and by a separate $887m deal to sell 10% of the company to a consortium led by China's FOSUN INTERNATIONAL. The offer price was set at $33.25 per global depositary receipt, corresponding to a price of $66.50/ordinary share, at the lower end of a previously announced range. The total size of the offering was $879m, including the over-allotment option, or $799m, excluding it. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gemfields applies for cancellation of Aim listing - Megan van Wyngaardt

GEMFIELDS has, as per request of PALLINGHURTS RESOURCES, applied to the LSE for the cancellation of admission to trading its shares on Aim. PALLINGHURST last week said its offer to acquire the remaining interest in GEMFIELDS had been accepted by shareholders holding 75.18% of GEMFIELDS' shares. PALLINGHURST shareholders also approved the deal. The 20 business days' notice period for the cancellation of the Aim listing has now started and trading will be cancelled without the requirement for a resolution of GEMFIELDS shareholders' approving this cancellation. "Cancellation will significantly reduce the liquidity and marketability of any GEMFIELDS shares not acquired by PALLINGHURST, and shareholders will no longer be able to effect transactions in GEMFIELDS shares on Aim", GEMFIELDS said in a statement. PALLINGHURST's offer remains open to acceptances until Jul. 18, after which time GEMFIELDS shareholders will no longer be able to accept the offer. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia paid $184m in taxes to governments in 2016 - Megan van Wyngaardt

ACACIA MINING paid $184m in 2016 to the governments of countries where it operates. Of this, the Tanzanian government received $88.11m in income tax and royalties. When payroll-related and other taxes are included, this figure amounts to $165m. "As the home to our three operating mines, Tanzania receives the majority of our contribution to governments and we invest around 80% of our revenues back into the country", ACACIA CFO ANDREW WRAY said. He added that, together with the increase in royalties and other taxes it pays, the company's contribution to Tanzania had increased by 39% y/y. The Tanzanian government has accused ACACIA of failing to pay billions of dollars in taxes, after two Presidential committees determined that the company underdeclared its mineral exports. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Randgold declares $173m in payments to governments in 2016 - Megan van Wyngaardt

RANDGOLD RESOURCES made payments ot $173m to the jurisdictions in which it operates in the FY to end-Dec. 2016. In a breakdown of its payments to governments, published on Friday, the company noted that this included $161m paid to the Mali government, where the company operates the Morila gold mine. In Ivory Coast (Tongon mine), the company paid $11.7m in royalties, taxes, dividends, licence fees and infrastructure improvements, while in the DRC (Kibali), it paid $157 944. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Wesizwe appoints new FD - Megan van Wyngaardt

WESIZWE PLATINUM has appointed FENG TAO as FD with effect from Jul. 1. TAO, who holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in the US, and a Bachelor of Law degree from Jilin University in China, will fill the vacancy which resulted from the resignation of WENLIANG MA in Sep. 2016. TAO has more than 15 years' experience as an FD and CFO, and is an expert in project finance, portfolio management and legal affairs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania lifts ban on foreigners investing in telecom IPOs - Fumbuna Ng'wanakilala

Tanzania has lifted the banning on foreign investors participating in IPOs in the telecoms sector, the capital markets regulator said on Friday. The removal of the restriction allows foreigners to take part in the IPO of VODACOM TANZANIA PLC, a subsidiary of VODACOM GROUP. The VODACOM IPO was launched in Mar. and initially only open to local investors, but take-up has been sluggish amid concerns over adequate liquidity in the local market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Printing money would trigger painful recession - SARB governor - Mfuneko Toyana

SA risks slipping into a long and painful recession if the SARB is forced to abandon its policy of reducing inflation and protecting the rand, SARB governor LESETJA KGANYAGO said yesterday. In an editorial published in the Sunday Times, KGANYAGO said the recent recommendation by the Public Protector for the central bank to focus on growth misunderstood the dangers of persistently high consumer prices. Credit downgrades by two of the top three ratings agencies have dented business and consumer confidence in SA. Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE set off a political row last month when she called for an overhaul of the SARB's mandate - to focus on growth rather than inflation and the rand. The SARB has since filed a court challenge to quash the recommendation. "Monetary policy is always about supporting economic growth in a sustainable way. Experience shows economies grow stronger and more consistently at lower inflation rates", KGANYAGO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria forex reserve dips in June m/m - c.bank - Oludare Mayowa

Nigeria's forex reserves stood at $30.25bn by Jun. 28, down 0.36% m/m, central bank data showed on Friday. The reserves showed a 14.8% rise y/y, when they stood at $26.34bn. Nigeria's dollar reserves have risen slighly this year thanks to the rise in global oil prices. The country has added $4.2bn to its reserves since the start of the year. Foreign reserves stood at $26.09bn at the start of 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya sells additional 1bn shillings worth of bonds via mobile phones - George Obulutsa

Kenya started selling another 1bn shillings worth of bonds via mobile phones on Friday after an initial 150m shillings issued sold out in days. The country started selling a three-year infrastructure bond, dubbed M-AKIBA, on Mar. 23, becoming the first country globally to issue a mobile phone-based bond without any need for a bank account. Friday's offering left another 3.85bn shillings to be sold at a later date. The bond sale is a further advance in financial technology for the country which pioneered mobile money with M-PESA in 2007. M-AKIBA allows a single investor to put in a minimum of 3 000 shillings and a maximum of 1m shillings, earning tax-free interest of 10%. They will be able to trade the bonds on the secondary market. The bond will be on sale from Jun. 30 to Jul. 21 and will be tradable on the Kenyan bourse on Jul. 25. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's NNPC agrees $700m JV - Tife Owolabi

Nigeria's state oil company last week said it had agreed a JV to cover the more than $700m cost of developing new oil fields in its southern Nigeria Delta energy hub. The NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION said it had a tripartite agreement with local company FIRST EXPLORATION AND PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY and international oil services company SCHLUMBERGER to develop the Anyala and Madu fields under OML 83 and 85. NNPC said under the agreement, SCHLUMBERGER would provide the $700m investment in developing the fields, which would add 193m barrels of crude to current reserves. The company said it would also add 800bn cubic feet of gas to Nigeria's proven gas reserves. "In terms of daily production, the fields will yield 50 000 barrels of crude oil per day and 120m standard cubic feet of gas per day by early 2019", NNPC spokesperson NDU UGHAMADU said. The company said OMLs 83 and 85 were located in shallow waters 40 km offshore. NNPC held a 60% stake in the licences, while FIRST EXPLORATION AND PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY held the balance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fuel prices to drop this month - Mfuneko Toyana

The retail price of petrol in SA will decrease by more than 5% from Wednesday, while the price of wholesale diesel will fall by nearly 5.2%, the Energy Department said on Saturday. The price of petrol will fall by 69c/litre to R12.86 in Gauteng, while diesel will go down by 60c to R10.97/litre. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola c.bank leaves benchmark rate unchanged - Mfuneko Toyana

Angloa's central bank on Friday kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 16% following a policy meeting. The central bank said it was satisfied by the easing of consumer price inflation and the steady exchange rate of the kwanza currency, both of which have been under pressure due to the drop in global oil prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenyan growth slows in Q1 - George Obulutsa

Kenya on Friday announced mixed economic news as inflation and growth slowed ahead of next month's elections. President UHURU KENYATTA is seeking a second five-year term but his main rival, RAILA ODINGA, has seized on inflatoin, which recently touched a five-year high, and shortages of maize flour to criticise the government. Kenya forecasts growth of 5.9% this year, compared with 5.8% in 2016. The World Bank expects the economy will grow by 5.5% in 2017. On Friday, the statistics office said growth slowed to 4.7% in Q1, down from 5.9% y/y. It blamed the slowdown on a major credit slowdown. Private sector credit growth dripped to 3.3% in Mar. from 17% at end-2015, after the central bank tightened regulations and introduced an interest rate cap. Providing some relief, inflation fell to 9.21% y/y in June, down from 11.70% a month earlier. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana's economy grows sluggishly in Q1 2017 - Mfuneko Toyana

Botswana's economy grew 0.2% q/q in Q1 2017 versus 0.1% in the final quarter of 2016, data from Statistics Botswana showed on Friday. On a y/y basis, GDP grew by 0.8% in Q1 after expanding by 4.2% in Q4 2016. The statistics agency said the rise in growth in Q1 was due to expansions in trade, hotels and restaurants as well as financial services, while the largest contraction was seen in the mining sector due to closure of copper and nickel mines. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 03/07/2017

At 07h31 on 03 July 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.05 ZAR/EUR 14.91 ZAR/GBP 16.97 Gold 1238.04 Platinum 922.00 Brent Crude Oil 48.94 All Share 51611.01

How Eskom bankrolled Trillian without tenders, contracts - Yolandi Groenewald

ESKOM paid GUPTA-linked TRILLIAN at least R266m, the TRILLIAN report revealed yesterday. The money was paid to TRILLIAN for work done on the Duvha Power Station, despite the absence of any tenders or contracts for the work, the report by Advocate GEOFF BUDLENDER revealed. Outgoing chair TOKYO SEXWALE requested the probe after a whistleblower reported that TRILLIAN executives had been aware of the firing of former finance minister NHLANHLA NENE months ahead of time. BUDLENDER said TRILLIAN, which is majority-owned by GUPTA lieutenant SALIM ESSA, benefited from ESKOM and TRANSNET deals. Despite the huge payments from ESKOM, BUDLENDER found that TRILLIAN never submitted a tender for its supposed work. Also no contract exists between TRILLIAN and ESKOM, and the work was likely to have been done by another company, REGIMENTS. BUDLENDER was able to find three invoices for work relating to Duvha, after TRILLIAN refused to cooperate with the probe. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China Jun. manufacturing growth beats estimates - Alice Woodhouse

Activity in China's manufacturing sector crept up in June as output and new orders rose, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The official manufacturing PMI came in at 51.7 in June, up from 51.2 in May. A median forecast from economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a drop to 51. A sub-index for output came in at 54.4, compared to May's figure of 53.4 with the new orders sub-index rising to 53.1 from 52.3 m/m. The sub-index for employment dipped to 49.0, from 49.4. The official non-manufacturing PMI for Jun. edged up to 54.9, from 54.5 in May. A sub-index for new orders rose half a point from its May level of 51.4. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Iron ore enters bull market - Alice Woodhouse

A surge in iron ore has pushed it into a bull market, after three months in a bear market. Ore with 62% iron content delivered in Qingdao is up 21.3% since the low of $53.36/t seen on Jun. 13, driven by Chinese mills replenishing inventories. Trading of the steel-making ingredient rose 3.8% to $64.71/t in China yesterday, hitting a two-month high. The price of the metal is up 14% for the week. Shares in RIO TINTO were down 0.3%, while BHP was down 1.1%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FastJet making 'steady progress' with turnaround efforts - Nicholas Megaw

FASTJET today said its efforts to cut costs and improve its operations are bearing fruit, and it expects to finally stop burning cash by the end of 2017. The company has relocated its headquarters from London to Johannesburg and moved towards a smaller fleet of smaller aircraft. It added that it is aiming to "leverage its relationship" with SOLENTA AVIATION HOLDINGS, a South African airline which took a 28% stake in FASTJET in Jan., to expand into new countries. FASTJET also said it had bought the intellectual property rights to its brand from Sir STELIOS HAJI-IOANNOU. The agreement, which will cost FASTJET $2.5m, will be cheaper than contuining to licence the brand over the next five years. Sir STELIOS - still a top-10 shareholder - stressed that he is not abandoning the company. He was a fierce critic of its previous chairperson, but today said "from the decisive actions thus far taken by the new management and board, and early indicative outcomes, I am encouraged that FASTJET's direction of travel is now on the right course". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Delivery Hero shares up on debut - Aliya Ram

DELIVERY HERO whet investor appetite in Europe's IPO market this morning, with shares up 3.3% to €26.25 on the company's debut. DELIVERY HERO raised almost €1bn from the offering, which was more than 10 times oversubscribed by investors eager to tap into Europe's lively equity markets. Earlier this week the company placed almost 19m new shares and 15m existing shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at €25.50 - the top end of its previously projected range. It also sold a further 5m shares held by ROCKET INTERNET, giving it a valuation of €4.39bn. It is still loss-making, with losses before income tax of €202m in 2016. DELIVERY HERO will net €465m from the listing which it said it will use to pay back loans and fund expansion. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 30/06/2017

At 10h54 on 30 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.08 ZAR/EUR 14.91 ZAR/GBP 16.99 Gold 1243.29 Platinum 919.00 Brent Crude Oil 47.50 All Share 51352.54

Mercuria to take over Argentina shale explorer Andes Energia - David Sheppard

MERCURIA is preparing to buy up the majority of the shares of ANDES ENERGIA, according to sources, as it moves to take control of the Argentina-focused shale explorer and widen its footprint in Latin America. MERCURIA, which already owns about 8% of ANDES, is expected to offer below the share price of the AIM and Argentina Stock Exchange-listed company, which has more than doubled in the last two months to value the company at more than £400m. The commodity house plans to execute the deal as a reverse takeover of its existing Argentina assets. ANDES ARGENTINA owns about 250 000 acres in the Vaca Muerta formation, which is seen as one of the best prospects for shale development outside of North America. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil cuts inflation target after drop in consumer prices - Andres Schipani

Brazil's central bank has cut its inflation target amid a sharp drop in consumer prices. The national monetary council yesterday opted to gradually reduce the target from 4.5% now, to 4.25% in 2019 and 4% in 2020. Inflation is currently at a 10-year low of 3.6%. Policymakers have cut interest rates and the economy led by a respected team of technocrats has been showing signs it may be bouncing back after two years of recession. The central bank said the "inflation perspectives have been benefited by the re-direction of the economic policy and the adoption of reforms and adjustments which, combined with the management of the monetary policy, allowed for the re-anchoring of the inflation expectations." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US Q1 growth rate revised higher - Adam Samson

The US economy grew at a substantially swifter pace in Q1 than first thought, according to a third reading on GDP. The US Commerce Department said the world's biggest developed market expanded at an annualised rate of 1.4% in Q1 of this year. That was down from the 2.1% clip recorded in the final quarter of 2016, but a step up from the first estimate of 0.7%, and the second of 1.2%. The more upbeat statistics came thanks to upward revisions in personal consumption as well as exports, the Commerce Department said. Non-residential investment was revised lower. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US can fund govt until mid-Oct. without raising debt limit - Sam Fleming

The US Treasury can carry on funding the government's operations until October, giving Congress more time to strike a deal on lifting the debt ceiling. The Congressional Budget Office found that the Treasury would most likely run out of cash in early to mid-Oct., under the current limit on public borrowings. Treasury secretary TEVEN MNUCHIN has urged Congress to lift the debt limit before its Aug. recess, although he has also said the government can continue financing itself into Sep. The debt limit was suspended in Nov. 2015. The CBO report said: "The timing and magnitude of revenues and outlays over the next few months could vary noticeably from CBO's projections, so those measures could be exhausted and the Treasury could run out of cash earlier or later than CBO projects". The CBO in a separate report found that government receipts this year are lagging previous expectations, prompting it to boost its budget deficit forecast. The deficit estimated for 2017 is now $693bn, $134bn more than the CBO projected in Jan. This is due to "surprisingly weak" tax collections, which prompted an $89bn downward revision in its revenue projection. At the same time, the CBO lifted its spending estimate by $45bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan industrial production falls back in May - Alice Woodhouse

Japan's industrial production slipped into contraction in May after entering expansionary territory in April. A preliminary reading from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed industrial output fell 3.3% m/m in May. The ministry said the fall was driven by transport equipment, general-purpose production and business oriented machinery and fabricated metals. The pace of production rose to 6.8% y/y, accelerating from a 5.7% rise in April. This was marginally below estimates of a 6.9% rise. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brian Molefe requests arbitration - Yolandi Groenewald

Former ESKOM CEO BRIAN MOLEFE still has every intention to regain his spot at ESKOM, but said he is willing to agree to arbitration. MOLEFE yesterday started his campaign to challenge his dismissal at the Labour Court in Johannesburg by asking the court to order that his case be taken to arbitration. NOEL GRAVES SC, acting for MOLEFE, was adamant that his dismissal from ESKOM was unlawful, and he admonished the DA and EFF for interfering in the case. GRAVES said the interference was intended to prevent MOLEFE from having his day in court. Earlier this week Judge CONNIE PRINSLOO ruled that the DA and EFF could intervene in MOLEFE's Labour Court application. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tribunal dismisses Myeni's application, with costs - Lameez Omarjee

The Companies Tribunal has dismissed SAA chair DUDU MYENI's application to have a compliance notice issued by the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission set aside. The CIPS issued the notice to MYENI in Nov. 2016 as she had misrepresented a deal with AIRBUS to the then minister of public enterprises, MALUSI GIGABA. MYENI indicated that the board had resolved to have AIRBUS supply SAA with two aircraft, instead of 10. Her counsel had challenged the notice, and said she had been forced to comply with it to avoid criminal prosecution. MYENI's counsel argued that she made a simple mistake in telling GIGABA ony two aircraft would be financed. The CIPC's counsel argued that she was fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the deal and that she intentionally misled the minister. The Companies Tribunal yesterday dismissed the application on the grounds that MYENI complied with the compliance notice and requested a compliance certificate. Such a notice is in effect until the certificate is issued. Given that the certificate was issued, the tribunal's jurisdiction to review, modify or cancel the compliance notice is thrown out. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ecsponent reports exponential growth - Lameez Omarjee

ECSPONENT LIMITED reported a profit growth of over 200% in the past 15 months, financial results for the 15 months to end-Mar. showed yesterday. During the period, the company grew its investments in financial services, and disposed non-core assets which were not performing. The company's bottom line was over R67.6m. This is up 239% from R19.9m reported in 2015. Operating profit was up from R44.4m in 2015 to R229.9m, while total revenue came in at R321.8m, up from R144.7m y/y. Earnings rose to R78m, from R23.4m in the prior period. EPS came in at 8.38cps, and no dividend was declared. During the period, investments had grown from R313.8m to R928m. Total returns of R127.3m were paid. Credit operations also grew, with interest income up 271% to R232.3m. The new enterprise development sector generated R31m of the income. Procurement services contributed R30.6m to the overall results. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Discovery gets global recognition for Vitality model - Lameez Omarjee

DISCOVERY has been globally recognised for its role in successfully creating shared value in insurance. A report published by consulting firm FSG and the Shared Value Initiative listed DISCOVERY, along with three other companies applying the idea of shared value. The concept was proposed in 2011 by Harvard Business School professor MICHAEL PORTER and FSG's MARK KRAMER. DISCOVERY's Vitality model was developed 20 years ago and aims to improve health outcomes through behaviour change incentives. It offers rewards and discounts while promoting behaviour changes. "DISCOVERY's Vitality business model has been shown to lower morbidity and mortality rates and, therefore, the cost of claims through independent research. DISCOVERY CEO ADRIAN GORE said technology has been a powerful enabler of the Vitality model. Trends also show that people want institutions with a social impact and which are a force for social good. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP regrets $20bn US fracking spree - Perry Williams

BHP chair JAC NASSER said the timing of the company's $20bn spree into US shale in 2011 was a misstep and that if the miner could turn back the clock, it wouldn't have invested in the assets. The comments from NASSER follow similar remarks froM CEO ANDREW MACKENZIE, who last month said the deals were poorly timed. BHP is considering further sales of its US shale gas assets amid heightened scrutiny of the unit from shareholders. "We acknowledge that the acquisitions that took us into this business were poorly timed, that we paid too high a price, and that early on the very rapid pace of development was not optimal", MACKENZIE said last month. "It was too quick. And we've learned that lesson". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Med scheme members likely to lose their tax credits under NHI - Tamar Khan

Medical scheme members are likely to lose their tax credits to help pay for the first set of benefits to be rolled out under the National Health Insurance plan, Health Minister AARON MOTSOALEDI said yesterday. Briefing the media on the government's latest policy position on NHI, which will be published as a revised White Paper in the government gazette later today, the minister said the first package of benefits would target women, children and the elderly. The government provided R20bn in tax credits to members of medical schemes in 2015, many of whom were among the country's most wealthy citizens and least in need of government support. Only 8.8m people currently belong to medical schemes out of a population of about 55.5m. Priority programmes that would initially be covered by the NHI Fund include healthcare at schools, childhood cancer, women's health, mental health services, disability and rehabilitation services, and hip, knee and cataract surgery for the elderly. The total cost of implementing these priority programmes will come to R69bn over four years, MOTSOALEDI said, less than the total cost of the tax credits provided to medical scheme members over the same period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sephaku grows profit despite decline in revenue - Robert Laing

SEPHAKU, which owns 36% of DANGOTE CEMENT and 100% of METIER, managed to grow its profit on lower revenue in the FY to end-Mar. The company's revenue fell 4% to R840m, while aftertax profit grew 13% to R68m. DANGOTE CEMENT SA's revenue remained flat at R2.3bn, but its net profit jumped 37% to R68.9m. DANGOTE defended its position as one of the main producers in SA, by increasing its annual sales volumes by 4% in a very competitive market, SEPHAKU CEO LELAU MOHUBA said. "The cement market remained highly fragmented, with all manufacturers using price competition to defend their sales volumes. Meanwhile, METIER opened its 12th plant in Mar. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Private Sector credit growth above expectations in May - BDpro

SA's private sector credit growth rose more than expected in May suggesting an improvement in consumer confidence and spending. Growth in extension of credit to the private sector grew to an annualised 6.69% in May, its best level since Sep. 2016 and compared with 5.9% in April, SARB data showed on Friday. The outcome exceeded most analyst expectations for growth of 5.9%-6%. Growth in M3 money supply also grew to 5.98% in May, from 5.34% m/m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CEO of Old Mutual's US business quits - Robert Laing

PETER BAIN, CEO of OLD MUTUAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, resigned with immediate effect this morning. OMAM chair JAMES RITCHIE will double as interim CEO until a new appointment is made, OLD MUTUAL said. "Peter has successfully accomplished his mission. He has delivered on his mandates to reshape the business, develop the leadership team, and achieve the company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which has enabled OLD MUTUAL PLC to substantially achieve its stated objective of exiting its ownership of the business", RITCHIE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Argent's FY profit up - Megan van Wyngaardt

ARGENT INDUSTRIAL yesterday reported a R106m operating profit for the FY to end-Mar., up from R91m y/y. This was despite the company's manufacturing division being adversely impacted on by the downturn in the domestic economy and the improvement in the rand exchange rate. ARGENT also noted that its main brands performed to expectations while the steel furniture and Jetmaster divisions showed negative returns. Cedar Paint, being profitable, has now been included in the manufacturing sector and is no longer on its watch list. The steel trading division continued to trade positively while emphasis has been on the reduction of stock holding. "Our outlook remains positive as the group is well positioned to take advantage of any upswing in the South African economy as well as being in a position where it can rely on its overseas operations for positive growth and as a hedge against the rand". However, ARGENT warned that companies needed to take heed of SA's current macroeconomics and the volatility of the local political environment and its consequent economic implications. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom acting CEO to focus on ethics, governance - Megan van Wyngaardt

ESKOM acting CEO JOHNNY DLADLA is prioritising meeting with critical stakeholders to share and get support for the company's operational plans going forward. "Together with my executive management team, we will put special focus on corporate governance and ethics going forward, a move that will help us restore confidence and stability in the company". DLADLA said the utility would seek to deal with issues pointed out by Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN. These include the management of contracts, conflict of interests and the quality of coal supply. Meanwhile, he noted that ESKOM had managed to secure 77% of its funding requirements, including cash on hand, for the 2017/18 FY despite difficult market conditions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

WG Wearne expects to widen FY losses - Megan van Wyngaardt

WG WEARNE expects to have widened its losses for the FY to end-Feb. The company yesterday said it expected its results to show a basic LPS of 7.3cps-8.9cps compared with a loss of 6.52cps reported y/y. This would equate to a 12%-37% y/y widening in the LPS. WG WEARNE also expected its HLPS would be between 14c and 15.5cps, which equates to a widening of more than 100% on the HLPS of 6.52cps reported y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA culls 260 000 birds so far to contain bird flu outbreak - Zokwana - Reuters

SA has culled 260 000 birds so far to contain an H5N8 bird flu outbreak, Agriculture Minister SENZENI ZOKWANA said yesterday. SA has confirmed outbreaks of avian flu on at least two farms. Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana this week suspended poultry imports from SA following the outbreak. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Court hearing on liquidation application against Rockwell subsidiaries postponed - Megan van Wyngaardt

A court hearing to consider the merits of the liquidation application against three subsidiaries of ROCKWELL DIAMONDs has been postponed to Oct. 31. The hearing had originally been scheduled for Jun. 22; however, this would be prior to ROCKWELL's filing of a proposed business rescue plan, which if accepted, would also likely be compelling with respect to the liquidation application. The appropriate manner in which to deal with the suspended liquidation application, therefore, will be included in the BRP. The liquidation application was brought against the subsidiaries by C-ROCK MINING, which says it is owed millions of rands. Business rescue practitioners from METIS STRATEGIC ADVISORS were now actively working alongside ROCKWELL's management to prepare a BRP, which would deal with all claims against the respective subsidiaries. The BRP is required to be published on or before Sep. 30. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia reviewing Tanzania's proposed legislative changes - Natasha Odendaal

ACACIA MINING is reviewing the proposed legislative changes to the legal framework governing the natural resources sector in Tanzania. This followed the recent publication of draft legislation, which is expected to be debated by the country's Parliament in an extended Parliamentary session in due course. ACACIA and the Tanzanian government have in recent weeks been in disagreement over taxes, with the government claiming that ACACIA had underdeclared its revenues and tax payments. ACACIA denies this, stating that the committee had overstated the value of concentrates exported by ACACIA. "[Meanwhile], Parliament has approved the new Finance Act, which will impose a 1% clearing fee on the value of all minerals exported from the country from July 1 2017', ACACIA said. It added that it will review the proposed changes "in the context of our existing agreements and will provide further updates as appropriate". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUM angry, shocked by AngloGold's proposed retrenchments - Megan van Wyngaardt

The NUM is "extremely angry and shocked" at the "huge number of workers" that may be retrenched by ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI at a time when the country is being plagued by a high unemployment rate, it said yesterday. The company this week announced it would place its Savuka and Kopanang mines on care and maintenance and evaluate the intergration of TauTona into the Mponeng operation. This may result in up to 8 500 workers being retrenched. "We call on ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI to rethink its position to retrench. They must create opportunities for job creation rather than increase profits at the expense of the poor mineworkers who warn poverty wages", the union said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kinross launches $500m unsecured debt offering - Henry Lazenby

KINROSS GOLD has launched a $500m unsecured 10-year debt offering of which it will use the net proceeds, in combination with current cash resources, to repay its $500m term loan due in 2020. KINROSS on Wednesday said the debt offering comprises 4.5% senior notes due in 2027. The notes will be unsecured, senior obligations of KINROSS and will be wholly and unconditionally guaranteed by certain of the company's wholly-owned subsidiaries that are also guarantors under KINROSS' senior unsecured credit agreement. The company's existing cash and cash equivalents stood at 819m at the end of the first quarter to end-Mar., with available credit of $1.43bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South32 withdraws Appin workforce over gas concerns - Creamer Media Reporter

The New South Wales regulator has issued SOUTH32 with a prohibition notice at its Appin underground mine after the company on Wednesday evacuated its workforce over concern of a potential gas limit breach. The company has subsequently confirmed that no gas breach had occurred, but said the NSW Department of Planning and Environment had still raised broader concern over recent gas exceedance events at the mine, which forms part of the Illawarra metallurgical coal operation. SOUTH32 said it expected Illawarra to meet its production guidance of 7.9mt for FY2017, which ends today, as the operation had already produced 7.05mt up until Jun. 28. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio shareholders back Yancoal offer - Esmarie Swanepoel

RIO TINTO shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of the company's plans to divest its COAL & ALLIED assets to YANCOAL AUSTRALIA. Some 97.2% of the total votes cast at a general meeting were in favour of the revised proposal from YANCOAL, under which the company was offering $2.69bn for the C&A assets. The revised offer included a $240m unconditional guarantee royalty payment in addition to the previous cash offer of $2.45bn, which was made after diversified miner GLENCORE offered $2.67bn for the same assets. Prior to the vote, RIO chair JAN DU PLESSIS told investors the YANCOAL bid offered greater transaction certainty and better value for RIO shareholders, compared with GLENCORE's rival bid. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ombud rules on Independent Media complaint against Sunday Times - Business Report

The Press Council Ombudsman has dismissed a complaint lodged against the SUNDAY TIMES by INDEPENDENT MEDIA. INDEPENDENT MEDIA lodged the compliant over an article the SUNDAY TIMES published on May 14 this year under the headline: "Survé canned editor over Molefe article". INDEPENDENT MEDIA yesterday said it will apply for leave to appeal the ruling on the basis that the Ombudsman erred on various grounds in his ruling, including following unfair procedures and making findings based on unsubstantiated allegations. "We strongly disagree with the grounds upon which our complaint was dismissed and believe it should be overturned on appeal", the publisher said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FNB eliminates data charges for banking app - ANA

FNB yesterday announced it has slashed data charges for its banking app, meaning that customers who use the app will no longer need data to access it via their smartphones from Jul. 1. This follows an agreement with all major mobile network operators in SA to zero rate access to the FNB Banking App. The lender already offers free access to its app to all FNB Connect customers, and offers free WiFi in most FNB branches for customers in order to download the app. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moz creditors: govt not bound by loan guarantees - Karin Strohecker

Holders of Mozambique's sovereign dollar bonds yesterday said the government had no reason to honour guarantees on loans given to SOEs, which they said should be liquidated to clean up government finances. Mozambique last weekend released a forensic audit report into $2bn worth of loans made to tuna fishing companY EMATUM, security firm PROINDICUS and MOZAMBIQUE ASSET MANAGEMENT. The report by KROLL INC found around a quarter of the money remained unaccounted for. It said no evidence was provided that any assessment took place before government guarantees worth $1bn were signed. Potential conflict of interest issues were also identified. Reacting to the report, the GLOBAL GROUP OF MOZAMBIQUE BONDHOLDERS said it was "evident that there is no basis -- in either Mozambican or English law -- for the Mozambique government to honour the purported guarantees of the PROINDICUS and MAM loans. Disavowal of those purported guarantees and the liquidation of PROINDICUS, MAM and EMATUM is the appropriation restructuring that needs to take place to clean up the system", GGMB said. GGMB estimated that the government's capacity to service its debt payments over the next five years had improved by about $850m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana, China ink MoU for bauxite project - Karin Strohecker

Ghana has signed a $10bn memorandum of understanding with China to develop its bauxite industry, Senior Minister YAW OSAFO-MAAFO said this week. "To develop the bauxite project with its railway and converting bauxite into aluminium we will need about $10bn... we signed an MOU", OSAFO-MAAFO said. The funding will come from the CHINESE DEVELOPMENT BANK, while the implementation of the project will come from other agencies in China. The funds from Beijing would contribute towards building 1 400km of a planned 4 000km railway network, which would connect bauxite mines and production sites as well as establish a rail link into neighbouring Burkina Faso. Details such as interest rates and terms had yet to be decided, the minister said. Regarding the government's plan to issue a 10bn cedi bond, OSAFO-MAAFO said he expected the debt to be issued towards the end of the year, and with maturities ranging from five to 15 years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mauritius GDP growth forecast at 3.9% in 2017 - George Obulutsa

Mauritius' economy is predicted to expand by 3.9% this year, up from 3.8% in 2016, helped by improved performance in the construction and manufacturing sectors, official data showed yesterday. Statistics Mauritius said that construction was forecast to grow 7.0% from 0% in 2016, while manufacturing was projected to expand by 0.8% from 0.3%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania submits bills so govt can renegotiate mining, gas contracts - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

Tanzania lawmakers yesterday submitted three bills to parliament allowing the government to force mining and natural gas companies to re-negotiate the terms of their contracts, part of a presidential drive to increase revenues. The bills - expected to be fast-tracked - will impact large mining and gas multinationals and follow the recommendations of a committee probing the country's gold sector. The three bills cover natural resources contracts, sovereignty and amend existing laws and would allow the government to renegotiate or dissolve contracts. Companies that could be affected include BG GROUP, part of ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, EXXON MOBIL, STATOIL and OPHIR ENERGY. Mining companies that could be affected by the proposed law changes include ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI, ACACIA MINING and PETRA DIAMONDS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 30/06/2017

At 07h41 on 30 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.00 ZAR/EUR 14.87 ZAR/GBP 16.92 Gold 1245.70 Platinum 920.50 Brent Crude Oil 47.50 All Share 51355.97

Indian cabinet approves proposal to sell Air India - Kiran Stacey

Ministers in New Delhi have given the go ahead to sell off part or all of AIR INDIA. Finance Minister ARUN JAITLEY yesterday said the cabinet had given an "in-principle" agreement to start selling off the government's ownership of the highly-indebted national carrier. Ministers must now decide how much of the airline to sell off, and under what conditions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

TNT Express 'significantly affected' by computer virus - Adam Samson

FEDEX yesterday disclosed that its TNT EXPRESS unit was "significantly affected" as a result of an "infiltration" of a computer virus. The company said TNT EXPRESS's communications systems were "disrupted", but that "no data breach is known to have occurred". The operations of all other FEDEX companies are unaffected. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 29/06/2017

At 10h18 on 29 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.95 ZAR/EUR 14.78 ZAR/GBP 16.80 Gold 1244.90 Platinum 919.00 Brent Crude Oil 47.70 All Share 51804.67

World Bank expects faster economic growth for Zambia, warns of rising debt - Chris Mfula

Zambia's economy is expected to grow by 4.1% in 2017 and by close to 5% by 2019, the World Bank said today, but it also warned that stricter spending controls were needed to ease the country's large debt burden. "The government has started to reduce the large stock of expenditure arrears but further efforts are needed to improve budgetary controls and better withstand fiscal pressures if the national debt is to remain at sustainable levels", the global lender said in a report. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tesco to cut 1 200 jobs - Nicholas Megaw

TESCO is cutting 1 200 jobs at its head office, the latest in a wave of mass job cuts in the grocery sector as it attempts to counter rising costs. The news comes only a week after the company announced the closure of one of its call centres with the loss of up to 1 100 jobs. Earlier this year it also culled 1 600 deputy store manager roles in its smaller stores, with junior staff left to pick up the slack. A TESCO spokesperson said the changes mark "a significant next step to continue the turnaround of the business... This new service model will simplify the way we organise ourselves, reduce duplication and cost but also, very importantly, allow us to invest in serving shoppers better." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoE could raise rates if business investment rises - Chris Giles

Bank of England governor MARK CARNEY yesterday sought to clarify his position on interest rates, setting out his view that he would vote for tighter monetary policy if business investment begins to rise offsetting weaker consumption. CARNEY has come under pressure to say when he would vote for an increase, having previously said it was "not yet the time" for higher rates and after the close Jun. 5-3 vote to keep rates on hold. Speaking at an ECB forum in Portugal, CARNEY reiterated the common view on the MPC that any overshoot of inflation compared with the BoE's 2% target "can only be temporary in nature and limited in scope". Inflation was 2.9% last month and the central bank thinks it will rise above 3% and remain above target for all of the next three years. CARNEY said the BoE cannot prevent a squeeze on household incomes from higher prices and if the jobs market remains healthy and unemployment remains low "[the MPC's] tolerance for above-target inflation falls". CARNEY noted that "some removal of monetary stimulus is likely to become necessary" if business investment and wages improve. He was not ready to raise rates yet, however. "Given the mixed signals on consumer spending and business investment, it was too early to judge with confidence how large and persistent the slowdown in growth would prove". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dreyfus appoints Citi to handle sale of stake in metals unit - Neil Hume

LOUIS DREYFUS COMPANY has fired the starting gun on the sale of a stake in its fast-growing metals business. CEO GONZALO RAMIREZ MARTIARENA said CITIGROUP had been appointed to handle the sale process. RAMIREZ said the privately-owned company had also received a number of approaches for its orange juice unit from potential partners. The sale of the metals business stake is part of a wider strategic shift at LDC, which is controlled by MARGARITA LOUIS-DREYFUS, a Russian-born billionaire. As it battles tough market conditions, the company is looking to focus on its core operations trading oilseed and grain. As part of these plans, LDC is seeking partners for its metals, dairy, fertiliser and orange juice units, which have been deemed non-core. LDC METALS is the world's third biggest trader of copper, zinc and lead concentrate behind GLENCORE and TRAFIGURA. RAMIREZ also said the company wanted to sell its fertiliser businesses in Australia and Africa but had decided to retain its fertiliser assets in Latin America. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Siemens invests in ChargePoint - Peter Campbell

SIEMENS has invested in electric charging network CHARGEPOINT as the latter raises more funds to push into Europe in order to meet a rising demand for battery-driven vehicles. The investment is part of $125m fundraising by the US company that included DAIMLER and BMW's electric vehicle unit, "i ventures". CHARGEPOINT in Mar. announced it had raised $82m to help it push into Europe. Today, the company said it raised an additional $42m, including from SIEMENS, and that the total funding round was closed. The privately held company has thus far raised $268m. CHARGEPOINT owns a network or more than 36 000 charge stations across the US and elseshere. Around 100 000 electric vehicles were sold in Europe last year, compared to 150 000 in the US. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK car production slides for 2nd month in May - Peter Campbell

British car production fell almost 10% in May, the second month of sliding output amid weaker demand for new cars at home and abroad. The number of cars made fell 9.7% to 136 119, with exports down 9% to 109 591 and production for the domestic market slipping 12.8% to 26 528, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed this morning. Car production in Apr. fell by 18.2%. The number of cars made in the first five months of the year is 1.2% lower than it was in the same five months last year, the SMMT said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan retail sales growth falls short in May - Hudson Lockett

Retail sales in Japan grew less than expected in May as purchases at supermarkets and department stores shrank. Sales rose 2% y/y in May, coming in below a median forecast of 2.6% compiled by Reuters and down from the prior month's 3.2% growth. Sales at supermarkets and department stores shrank in May at a y/y rate of 0.6% after growing for the first time in nine months in Apr. at a pace of 1.1%. In m/m terms, retail sales fell into contraction, dropping 1.6% in May after having risen 1.4% the prior month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

WD responds to Toshiba lawsuit, still committed to JVs - Peter Wells

WESTERN DIGITAL has responded to TOSHIBA's move yesterday to countersue the US company over its interference on the sale of the NAND memory chip business. TOSHIBA yesterday escalated the tiff, suing WD for $1bn in damages a day after the US group and KKR resubmitted their bid for TOSHIBA's memory chip unit. The resubmission prompted TOSHIBA to say it had not yet reached a final agreement on the sale, an unwelcome delay that jeopardises its ability to raise cash and avoid a stock market delisting. WD said in a statement it remains "committed to upholding all of our commitments and obligations as a partner in the JVs" as well as to jointly invest in them. It said it had not received any legal filings and was therefore unable to comment on specific claims made by TOSHIBA to a Tokyo court. WD believes the actions taken by TOSHIBA are continued attempts to pressure it to "relinquish its previously agreed upon and legitimate consent rights, and to distract TOSHIBA's stakeholders following its annual general meeting". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tesco-Booker merger to face full competition probe - Nicholas Megaw

TESCO's £3.7bn acquisition of BOOKER GROUP is likely to face a full probe from competition authorities, the companies confirmed this morning. The Competition and Markets Authority said late last month it would begin a preliminary probe into whether the deal could reduce competition. It was due to decide whether to wave through the merger by Jul. 25, but TESCO and BOOKER this morning said they had requested the CMA "fast track" the process to move straight to an in-depth Phase 2 investigation. The companies said they expect the CMA to announce the move to a phase 2 investigation within the next two weeks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stress tests clear big US banks for $100bn payout - Alistair Gray

Regulators have given US bans the go-ahead to pay out almost all their earnings to shareholders this year in a signal of their confidence in the health of the financial market. The Federal Reserve has given the green light to a record level of post-crisis distributions, including an estimated total of around $100bn from the six largest banks. All 34 institutions passed the second part of its annual stress test. Fed officials argued banks had built up substantial capital cushions to withstand a meltdown of the kind that rocked global financial markets in 2008. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RET plan for SA car industry revealed - Roy Cokayne

Local carmakers are sto create a transformation fund that would allocate funds to develop black ownership in the supply chain and vehicle dealership network. The industry has also developed a vision ans master plan to 2035. Details of the fund and master plan were disclosed at a media briefing yesterday by ANC treasurer-general ZWELI MCHIZE and industry executives. MKHIZE said there was a much better understanding of radical economic transformation in the automotive industry than in other sectors. He said there was much scepticism about RET, but the ANC believes there had to be a new way of doing business in SA. NAAMSA president MIKE WHITFIELD said the growth of the automotive industry was a tribute to the interaction between the various stakeholders and the stable policy environment. TOYOTA SA CEO ANDREW KIRBY said the industry had recognised the need to play a more active role in supporting industrialisation and in solving some of the country's challenges. Targets set by the industry included increasing total annual manufacturing volumes from 600 000 to 1.4m vehicles and local content levels in domestically produced vehicles from 38% to 60%. BMW SA CEO TIM ABBOTT said the transformation fund would be held through a black fund manager with a board of management that included original equipment manufacturers and the government via the Department of Trade & Industry. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tawana earns 50% stake in Bald Hill lithium rights - Megan van Wyngaardt

TAWANA RESOURCES' subsidiary LITHCO has spent the required $7.5m to earn a 50% stake in all lithium rights at the Bald Hill mine tenements. TAWANA in Feb. entered into a farm-in agreement with Bald Hill's holding company, AMAL, to set up a joint exploration venture. In May, the company earned its 50% rights to all lithium minerals from the tenement. TAWANA is required to spend 12.5m in capex on upgrading and converting the plant for processing ore derived from the project, infrastructure costs, pre-stripping activities and other expenditures, including operating costs, by end-Dec. 2019. TAWANA now plans to deliver the Bald Hill feasibility study by the first week of Jul. to allow the respective boards to give final approval for the construction of the dense-media separation plant for lithium production. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Municipalities collect R27bn more revenue in 2016 y/y - Claudi Mailovich

Local municipalities succeeded in collecting R27bn more revenue in the year to end-Jun. 2016 y/y, Statistics SA said yesterday. The total amount collected rose from R306m in 2015 to R333bn in 2016. Statistician-general PALI LEHOHLA said possible reasons included increased grants as well as municipalities raising their rates. The largest contributors to municipal revenue were grants and subsidies, followed by electricity sales and property rates. Municipalities spent a total of R311bn during the period, of which 25.3% was spent on employee-related costs, followed by electricity purchases that amounted to 22.6% of all expenditure. Of the total spent, 8.9% was on depreciation and amortisation, while 8.2% was spent on other expenditure. Bad debts made up 6.7% of the expenditure, while 5.6% was spent on water purchases. Only 4.4% was spent on repairs and maintenance. Municipalities owed lenders, suppliers and creditors a combined amount of R210.7m, up 7.5% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Samsung to invest $380m in South Carolina - Tim Bradshaw

SAMSUNG plans to create 954 new US jobs by investing upwards of $380m in a new home appliances factory in South Carolina, amking it the latest global group to tout job creation plans as the TRUMP administration ramps up its America First agenda. SAMSUNG already employs 18 500 people in the US and this is not its first factory in the country. The company said it began contemplating the move three years ago. Construction on the new facility in Newberry County will begin "as soon as possible", with the aim of turning out appliances such as washing machines by the end of 2017. The 954 jobs it plans to create by 2020 are in "advanced manufacturing", as well as non-technical positions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Carrefour's Brazil unit could raise up to $1.7bn in IPO - Adam Samson

CARREFOUR yesterday said it expects the IPO of its Brazil unit to raise up to $1.7bn. The French retailer said it expects the offering to be priced on Jul. 18, with shares trading on the Sao Paulo bourse on Jul. 20. It expects to price the stock at R$15-R$19 apiece, which would lead to a base offering size of R$4.5bn-R$5.6bn. The unit would be valued at between R$29.7bn and R$37.6bn under those terms. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fear bird flu may cripple fragile poultry industry - Fin24

The highly contagious bird flue may cripple the poultry market unless producers intervene immediately, LAEVELD AGROCHEM warned yesterday. ASTRAL FOODS this week revealed that the H5N8 strain was discovered on one of its farms in Villiers. A second case has been confirmed in Standerton. Dr CHARLOTTE NKUNA, a senior executive at South African Poultry Association, said the outbreaks are under control, but if the source is from wild birds, outbreaks can appear elsewhere. LAEVELD AGROCHEM executive LIANA STEENKAMP warned that the risk of spreading countrywide is dangerously high, especially considering the presence of wild birds in the areas and the sale of live poultry. Despite a government ban on the sale of live poultry, STEENKAMP said there is still a risk, especially in the informal market, that sales will continue. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold CEO: We have to act to protect most of our workers - Fin24

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI's turnaround strategy at its lossmaking operations aims to protect the business and most of its employees, CEO SRINIVASAN VENKATAKRISHNAN said yesterday. The company, with about 28 000 workers in SA, announced that it has initiated a retrenchment process that could impact some 8 500 positions across its local operations. "This is a difficult decision which follows a period of significant and - ultimately - unsustainable losses, and also the evaluation of the options available to return our South African business to profitability", VENKAT said. "It is critical that we act to protect the long-term sustainability of this business and the majority of our workforce." ANGLOGOLD intends to place on care and maintenance the Kopanang mine, in the Vaal River region, and the Savuka section of the TauTona mine. It will also evaluate the feasibility of integrating elements of the 60-year old TauTona mine into the neighbouring Mponeng mine. These will be subject to the outcomes of the consultation process with unions, facilitated by the CCMA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Real take-home pay rising at snail's pace - BDSI - Fin24

South Africans' real take-home pay increased slightly for the third consecutive month in May on a y/y basis, according to BANKSERVAFRICA's latest Disposable Salaries Index. Although the 0.9% increase was slower than Mar. and Apr., SA's formal sector workers are slightly better off than in 2016. The BDSI direction in real salaries indicates that the trend of shrinking real salaries has been replaced - for now - with slowly increasing real salaries. The seasonally adjusted real take-home pay averaged at R13 790 in May 2017, marginally lower than April's average of R13 914. With most of the last two years indicating declines in real take-home pay, the overall picture reflects no real salary changes in the formal sector. In nominal terms, the average disposable salary rose by 6.6% on a y/y basis. This was slower than the 7% y/y increase experienced between Apr. 2017 and Apr. 2016. The median salary increased by 2.5% in real terms, indicating that banked disposable salaries for the typical formal sector employee performed slightly better than the average salary. The median take-home pay was 73.8% of the average pay. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAA said to favour Vodacom exec as CEO - Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

SAA has identified VODACOM GROUP executive VUYANI JARANA as the leading candidate to become the SOE's first permanent CEO since Nov. 2015, according to sources. JARANA has been head of VODACOM's enterprise division since 2012 and was previously COO of the company. He is the preferred choice of a number of board members appointed to SAA by the Treasury last yar. Chair DUDU MYENI has a different candidate in mind. The Sunday Times last week reported that MYENI attempted to halt an SAA board meeting aimed at approving JARANA's nomination, as she doesn't approve of the candidate. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Radical economic transformatoin to take central stage at ANC policy conference - Fin24

Radical economic transformation will be the "key badge of entry" into the ANC faction aligned with presidential hopeful NKOSAZANA DLAMINI ZUMA, according to NOMURA analyst PETER ATTARD MONTALTO. Around 3 500 ANC delegates will gather in Johannesburg from Friday for the party's five-yearly National Policy Conference. Although RET has been discussed for at least the last decade at policy conferences, it is likely to take centre stage this time around, MONTALTO said. "Not for ideological reasons but as a defining political wedge to split the party and drive an agenda to electoral success for the DLAMINI-ZUMA camp in December and then in the general elections in 2019". The policy resolutions coming out of the conference are technically recommendations to the ANC's National Elective Conference in Dec. where delegates vote on the points, and they are formally adopted and become ANC policy. MONTALTO expect delegates to discuss: macroeconomic policy; financial sector transformation; and more aggressive land reform. That said, NOMURA did not expect the DLAMINI-ZUMA camp will do any "wholesale rewriting" of ANC policy. "Instead, we think these specific issues will become factional wedges driven into the party. The language used may be subtle and complex, however, we expect it to represent the real starting gun for factional alignments into December's elective conference", MONTALTO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold starts retrenching workers - Adiel Ismail

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI is embarking on retrenchments that could see 8 500 workers lose their jobs, a move seen as the first of many to hit the local mining industry in the wake of the publication of the new Mining Charter. ANGLOGOLD said the retrenchments are part of a restructuring process at some of its business units following a review to turn around the performance of loss-making operations. Trade union Solidarity confirmed that its members had received retrenchment notices. It warned that this round of job shedding could be the beginning of a trend in retrenchments in the mining industry due to the negative impact of the Mining Charter. The Department of Mineral Resources disputed this. The DMR said Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE spoke to ANGLOGOLD CEO SRINIVASAN VENKATAKRISHNAN, who assured him that the retrenchments are not linked to the Charter. "The Minister will meet with the ANGLOGOLD CEO on Friday to be briefed on all the issues". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Court bid to halt new coal project fails - Martin Creamer

An urgent North Gauteng High Court bid to stop ATHA-AFRICA VENTURES from proceeding with the development of the Yzermyn coal mining project in Mpumalanga has failed, with the matter scrapped from the urgent roll and each party made to pay own costs. The court found that the allegations of the eight objecting civil society and community organisations had already been addressed and that their court bid had been brought notwithstanding repeated undertakings that mining-related activities would not begin until all the required authorisations were in place. ATHA-AFRICA senior VP PRAVEER TRIPATHI said his company had diligently followed all the required authorisation processes and had repeatedly sought to engage "openly and honestly" with entities opposed to the project, near Wakkerstroom. "We've always believed in co-existence. We would like to extend our invitation again to them [NGOs] to partner with us in the interest of sustainable development, growth and employment", TRIPATHI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C extends FTTH footprint - Creamer Media Reporter

CELL C has progressed its plans to extend its commercial fibre-to-the-home offering with one network agreement with OPENSERVE cemented and talks under way with two open-asses network providers for additional agreements. Customers that are in areas covered by OPENSERVE can now join those already covered by FROGFOOT, MITSOL and VUMATEL and experience C-FIBRE's exceptional pricing and truly uncapped offers, CELL C CEO JOSE DOS SANTOS said. C-FIBRE has both symmetrical and asymmetrical offers on all these networks that allow users to select the service they need, at the price that best suits them. All offerings include free installation, free connection, a free WiFi router with LTE failover, free 1 GB of LTE data a month for 12 month sand personalised set-up by an experienced service agent. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Neasa, AMSA at odds over service delivery and import duties - Megan van Wyngaardt

The National Employers Association of SA has accused ARCELORMITTAL SA of inadequate service delivery, following a survey polling some of the country's downstream steel companies. NEASA CEO GERHARD PAPENFUS said the industry in general has complained about late deliveries, imported steel duties and AMSA steel not meeting industry standards. Sixteen companies who claimed to be affected by AMSA's service delivery responded to the survey. Of these, eight indicated that they were affected by late deliveries, 10 said they were compelled to import products not manufactured by AMSA and eight said AMSA's steel did not meet industry requirements. PAPENFUS noted that, as AMSA clients were often "plagued by backlogs", additional safeguard duties on certain steel products were "immoral". Meanwhile, AMSA argued that withdrawing the current 10% import duty on steel would compromise all the positive initiatives it has brought forward. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Randgold to make Massawa development decision by mid-2018 - Henry Lazenby

RANDGOLD RESOURCES yesterday said it should be able to make a development decision on the Massawa project, in Senegal, by mid-2018. The company has scheduled completion of a feasibility study on the orebody by mid-2018. "As things stand today, Massawa has a mineable reserve of 2.6m ounces and the project has an internal rate of return of 18% at a gold price of $1 000/oz, which is a little short of our investment criteria of a three-million ounce reserve and a 20% IRR. The detailed drilling required for the feasibility study, as well as our continuing exploration of extensions to and satellites around the known orebodies should get the project across the line", RANDGOLD CEO MARK BRISTOW said. The company has to date invested around $85m on evaluating its Senegal portfolio. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane to outline Mining Charter provisions at Limpopo imbizo - Megan van Wyngaardt

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE will today host an imbizo on the third Mining Charter in Limpopo. The meeting will start at 10:00 at the Aboo Toyob Community Hall in Mokopane. ZWANE was last week forced to abandon a similar community meeting in Mpumalanga after attendees disrupted proceedings in protest over the Mpumalanga Premier's absence, having been promised that he would be present. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Illegal mining a substantial burden on SA economy - Sibanye - Ilan Solomons

Illegal mining is by no means a victimless crime as it costs SA an estimated R20bn a year in lost mineral sales, taxes and royalties, SIBANYE protection services senior VP NASH LUTCHMAN said yesterday. He noted that the theft of copper, electricity cables, dragline cables, diesel and other materials prejudiced the economic viability of mining companies and posed a huge risk to mining infrastructure. LUTCHMAN lamented that, in addition to the professional syndicates that supported illegal miners, mine employees were often found to be collaborating with illegal miners. SIBANYE has set a target of clearing all illegal miners from its shafts by Jan. 2018. Earlier this month, around 461 illegal miners were arrested at the company's Cooke operation. About 1 500 SIBANYE employees were also facing possible dismissal after they participated in an illegal strike to protest the company's crackdown on illegal miners. Some employees are also reported to have ignored the ban on taking food underground. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gemfields advises investors to reconsider Pallinghurst deal - Megan van Wyngaardt

GEMFIELDS yesterday advised its independent shareholders to "seriously consider" whether to accept PALLINGHURST's all-share offer. PALLINGHURST on Tuesday said it had received acceptances for the offer exceeding 75%. GEMFIELDS independent committee chair GRAHAM MASCALL said that, despite the committee's best efforts to provide minority shareholders with a more attractive materially higher cash offer from FOSUN GOLD, the offer has lapsed. The committee said it still believes the PALLINGHURST offer undervalues GEMFIELDS and denies its shareholders the ability to realise the material future upside potential of the company on a standalone basis. It added that it could not recommend the offer from a value perspective. The PALLINGHURST offer is expected to remain open for acceptances until Jul. 18. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petra still expecting record production, despite lowering FY guidance - Megan van Wyngaardt

A slower-than-anticipated build-up of its expansion programmes has prompted PETRA DIAMONDS to lower its FY production guidance by 8%-9% from the 4.4m previously targeted. This woudl have a coinciding 8%-9% impact on its revenue, which will be below market expectations. Nevertheless, PETRA said it was still on track to achieve record revenue and production figures for the FY. Further, it has reached an operational run rate across the group that supports the production guidance of 5m ct for the 2018 FY. PETRA outlined that while the ramp-up of production from the sublevel cave at Finsch took longer than anticipated, it was now operating at the required levels, while both mills and crushing circuits at the new Cullinan plant have been commissioned. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PTM seeks to raise $20m in working capital - Megan van Wyngaardt

PLATINUM GROUP METALS has entered into purchase agreements with institutional investors to issue and sell $20m aggregate principal amount of convertible senior subordinated notes due 2022. PTM will use the proceeds for working capital at its flagship Maseve mine; for work on the definitive feasibility study on its Waterberg project; for general and administrative expenses and for general working capital purposes. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China said to plan coal import ban at some ports starting Jul. 1 - Bloomberg

China plans to ban coal imports starting Jul. 1 at ports that were set up through approvals by provincial authorities, the latest move by President XI JINPING's government to exert stricter control on the market. Ports that were approved under the authority of the State Council will still be able to receive overseas shipments, sources said. The duration and impact on imports of the ban are unclear. The ban is the latest attempt by the government to manage the nation's' coal supply and prices, which have swung in the last year amid a series of regulations aimed at keeping prices high enough to support miners while not letting them rise to a level that hurts power producers. While the impact on China's overall coal supply may be minimal given its domestic overcapacity, regional sellers in countries like Australia and Indonesia may take a hit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Standard Bank launches Africa China Banking Centre - Ziyanda Mbolekwa

STANDARD BANK yesterday launched the world's first dedicated Africa China Banking Centre in Johannesburg. The centre will look to provide a platform to link African and Chinese clients with China's digital banking and customer knowledge systems. Africa China Banking Head at STANDARD BANK, GEORGE LO, said: "This is the beginning of a long sustainable journey. We are starting to build a gateway between Africa and China. Through this unique hub, we are able to offer African and Chinese clients a business-to-business networking and personal advisory service, helping them to access and unlock the many opportunities in Africa-China trade". Six dedicated bankers will assist clients with day to day banking needs. ICBC representative SUN GANG said: "It is our pleasure to be here and witness this historic event, to give our client the highest bank service is a priority. Africa is a market with great potential for the future; ICBC has built a bridge between the two markets to create possibilities. This is the beginning of us to produce more specialised financial contact and services to our Chinese clients." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana asks IMF to extend aid deal - Kwasi Kpodo

Ghana's government has asked the IMF to push back the end date of its $918m aid programme from Apr. 2018 to Dec. 2018, IMF and government sources said yesterday. The request is expected to lead to talks aimed at a revised deal to include more money and fresh targets for fiscal consolidation. IMF officials said they were open to extending the programme. The government has outlined an ambitious programme of job creation through the private sector and rural development including pledging to build a factory in every district in order to restore the economy. But officials say the plans cannot be realised unless the economy is stable and GDP growth increases. GDP stood at 6.6% in Q1 2017, the statistics office said yesterday. That compares with FY GDP growth for 2016 of 3.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's maize output to hit record high as forecast left unchanged - Tanisha Heiberg

SA will harvest 15.6mt of maize this season, the biggest crop on record but still missing a consensus forecast, the Crop Estimates Committee said yesterday. Traders and analysts had forecast the crop to hit an even higher 15.82mt. The harvest will comprise 9.466mt of white maize and 6.614mt of the yellow variety, the CEC said. The white maize futures contract due in Sep. has fallen 68% from its peak of R5 376/t hit in Jan. 2016 to close at R1 740 yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's crude acc one of world's least transparent - NRGI - Libby George

Nigeria's excess crude account tied for the world's most poorly governed sovereign wealth fund, according to a report by the Natural Resource Governance Institute, published yesterday. The $2.4bn account was ranked alongside the Qatar Investment Authority as the worst in terms of oversight and transparency in NRGI's index of resource management. NRGI rated eleven sovereign wealth funds managing at least $1.5tn in total as "failing". "The government discloses almost none of the rules or practices governing deposits, withdrawals or investments of the ECA", the report said, adding that the account, along with the other worst performers, is "so opaque that there is no way to know how much may be lost to mismanagement". Money from the account is occasionally used by the government to cover budget shortfalls. In such cases, the money is shared between the federal, state and local governments. Nigeria also runs the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, with some $1.25bn under management, but NRGI said it had ranked the ECA due to its larger balance sheet. The NRGI report ranked Nigeria 55th in overall resource management, with a high score on its taxation ranking helping to balance its last-place finish in sovereign wealth fund management. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Malawi's First Merchant to buy Opportunity Bank - Frank Phiri

Malawi's FIRST MERCHANT BANK will buy the local assets of micro lender OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL BANK OF MALAWI, subject to regulatory approvals, the two banks said yesterday. This will be the second major acquisition by FMB after its acquisition of a majority stake in BARCLAYS BANK OF ZIMBABWE. FMB chair HITESH ANADKAT said the deal gives the bank leverage to increase market penetration by tapping into OIBM's largely rural and social agent banking platform. The deal is subject to approval by Malawi's central bank and the country's competition commission. OPPORTUNITY is a unit of micro-lender OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL, but its "no-frills" banking and lending model faces hurdles in a small market where the two large establishments, NATIONAL BANK and STANDARD BANK also offer SME banking. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 29/06/2017

At 06h10 on 29 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.88 ZAR/EUR 14.70 ZAR/GBP 16.70 Gold 1251.77 Platinum 922.00 Brent Crude Oil 47.66 All Share 51596.84

SA denies withdrawing forex rigging charges against some banks - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

The Competition Commission today denied withdrawing charges against some of the 14 banks accused of rigging the rand currency. Bloomberg yesterday reported that the Commission would revoke its complaint against some of the lenders. "It's not true, we are fairly content with how our litigation is going and we're not going to withdraw charges against any bank", Commission spokesperson SIPHO NGWENYA said This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EU hits Google with massive antitrust fine - Rochelle Toplensky

Brussels has hit GOOGLE with a €2.42bn antitrust fine for abusing its dominance in search, a decision with potentially far-reaching implications for both the tech sector and already strained transatlantic relations. The European Commission ended its seven-year competition probe yesterday, concluding that GOOGLE abused its near-monopoly in online search to "give illegal advantage" to its own shopping service. EU Competition Commissioner MARGRETHE VESTAGER said the company "denied other companies the chance ot compete" and left consumers without "genuine choice". GOOGLE has 90 days to stop its illegal conduct and "refrain from any measure that has the same or an equivalent object or effect... the decision orders GOOGLE to comply with the simple principle of giving equal treatment to rival comparison shopping services and its own service". Although the ruling orders GOOGLE to cease the anti-competitive practices, the precise changes required are expected to take months or even years to negotiate. GOOGLE can be hit with further non-compliance fines. "We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission's decision as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case", KENT WALKER, GOOGLE senior VP and general counsel, said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK govt sets up new business group to advise on Brexit - fastFT.com

An advisory group of the main UK business groups has been set up by GREG CLARK and DAVID DAVIS to give higher priority to business concerns in the Brexit negotiations. The group, to be led by the business secretary and Brexit secretary, will meet fortnightly. Its members will include representatitve from the Institute of Directors, the British Chamber of Commers, the CBI, the manufacturers' organisation EEF and the Federation of Small Businesses. Part of the group's remit is to ensure that the corporate world has more input on the Brexit process, and to allay fears that the government is drifting towards a hard Brexit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US consumer confidence edges modestly higher in June - Jennifer Bissell

US consumer confidence rose moderately in June following two months of declines. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 118.9 from 117.6 in May, and confounded expectations for another month of decline to 116. "Ovewrall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating", Conference Board director LYNN FRANCO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brexit set to blow hole in common EU budget - Jim Brunsden

Brexit risks stretching the EU's common budget to breaking point, Brussels is warning as it prepares for a clash with member states by setting out ideas to plug the financial gap. Tapping money that the ECB makes from issuing currency, and applying common energy or environmental taxes to imports are among the options that Brussels has put on the table for reforming the EU budget. The European Commission paper also breaches questions of how to reform EU farm spending and regional aid programmes, saying one option would be to ask national governments to part-finance some farm subsidies. The EU budget is equivalent to about 1% of EU GDP, and Britain's impending departure means the EU will lose one of its main contributors. While estimates vary because some spending commitments are multiyear, a report from the UK's House of Lords put the British contribution at 12%. The funding gap is one of the main factors behind the push from EU capitals for Britain to pay a hefty exit bill as part of its Brexit divorce. "Hard choices will need to be made to bridge the gaps", the paper says, noting that "the Union is not able to borrow, nor can it print money". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nestle plans share buyback days after Loeb reveals stake - Ralph Atkins

NESTLE has announced a share buyback programme worth up to SFr20bn just days after activist investor DAN LOEB revealed that his THIRD POINT hedge fund had accumulated a 1.25% stake in the company. "In the context of low interest rates and strong cash flow generation, share buybacks offer a viable option to create shareholder value", NESTLE said. The buyback programme is expected to be completed by Jun. 2020. NESTLE said the decision had been taken as part of a review of its capital structure started earlier this year. As a result of that review, it had decided to focus future investment spending on high-growth food and drinks categories. Earlier this week, THIRD POINT accused NESTLE of failing to adapt to a slower growth environment and remaining "stuck in its old ways". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cyber attack hits global businesses, Ukraine govt - FT Reporters

Some of the world's largest companies, including ROSNEFT, MERCK and AP MOLLER-MAERSK have been hit by a large-scale cyber attack that also took critical bank and government infrastructure in Ukraine offline yesterday. Computers, ATMs and supermarket checkouts ere among the devices debilitated by the ransomware attack. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the latest attack. Interpol said it was "closely monitoring" the attack and liaising with member countries. Ukraine's cyber crime police unit warned that updating functions in a domestic accounting software package known as M.E.doc was being used as a conduit to wage the "virus attack on Ukrainian companies". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 28/06/2017

At 11h58 on 28 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.00 ZAR/EUR 14.77 ZAR/GBP 16.68 Gold 1252.02 Platinum 920.00 Brent Crude Oil 46.50 All Share 51376.85

Facebook crosses 2bn users a month milestone - Tim Bradshaw

FACEBOOK now has 2bn people using its apps and services every month, founder MARK ZUCKERBERG said yesterday. This means the platform has doubled its audience in just under five years, after surpassing 1bn monthly active users in Oct. 2012. The company also announced that 1bn people use its Groups feature every month. Groups have taken on a new prominence inside FACEBOOK HQ in recent months, as ZUCKERBERG tries to reconcile some of the challenges that have emerged alongside its rapid growth, such as fake news, filter bubbles, bullying and terrorism. FACEBOOK's continuing accumulation of new users around the world is all the more striking given that investors are concerned that rivals such as TWITTER and SNAPCHAT have seen their rates of growth slow or stall. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Yellen: US financial system 'much safer' today - Chris Giles

Federal Reserve chair JANET YELLEN yesterday poured cold water on moves by the TRUMP administration to roll back post-crisis financial regulations, saying it was her duty to remind the public of the need for a safe financial system. Speaking at the British Academy in London, YELLEN said the Fed should think about the burden of regulations on smaller banks and other financial companies, but rejected the need for a major relaxation of regulations. She said she hoped there would not be another financial crisis in her lifetime because the combination of regulations after the 2007-09 financial crisis had made banks and other financial services companies much safer. "Will we never ever be in another financial crisis? No, but I think we are very much safer", YELLEN said. She acknowledged that some of the regulations the Fed had written were "very complicated" and it should think about the burdens of those regulations particularly for small forms but not the capital requirements which made the system safer. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tullow CEO pledges focus on discipline with oil stuck under $50 - Nathalie Thomas

The new CEO of TULLOW OIL, PAUL MCDADE, has promised to focus on financial discipline as he seeks to return the heavily indebted explorer and producer to growth in "tough" market conditions. The company yesterday said it expects to book a $600m non-cash impairment in its HY results, pre-tax, reflecting lower oil price forecasts. MCDADE said the company continued to make good progress, despite difficult market conditions, although the company flagged lower production at its key project off the coast of Ghana in the first half. "Financial discipline and effective capital allocation will be a key focus of my tenure as CEO as we seek to deleverage the company and return to growth even at low oil prices", MCDADE said. At end-Jun., net debt is expected to be $3.8bn, down $950m from the end of last year. TULLOW has revised down its capex guidance for this year from $500m to $400m. Revenue for H1 is expected to come in at $800m, up from $500m a year ago while the company is guiding towards gross profit of $300m, an improvement from $200m in H1 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FCA takes tough line with call for shake-up of asset management - Madison Marriage

The UK regulator has called for a radical shake-up of Britain's £7tn investment market in a bid to stamp out conflicts of interest and restore savers' trust in the asset management industry. The Financial Conduct Authority told fund managers this morning to overhaul their charging structures and improve governance standards following a near two-year probe into competition issues in asset management. Investment firms lobbied hard against many of the FCA's proposed remedies outlined in an interim report last Nov. that was deeply critical of widespread practices in the fund market and its treatment of retail investors. But the regulator has pressed ahead with its most controversial reform ideas, including forcing fund managers to present investors with an all-encompassing fee that includes trading costs. The FCA has also requested that the government allows the watchdog to regulate the powerful investment consulting industry, which determines how the vast majority of UK pension schemes invest their money. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba sues Western Digital - Peter Wells

TOSHIBA has taken legal action against WESTERN DIGITAL after a resubmitted bid by the US chipmaker for the Japanese conglomerate's prized $18bn memory chip business threw the sale process into disarray. The course of action by TOSHIBA is likely a signal of rising desperation that delays to the sale process could jeopardise its ability to raise funds and avoid a delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. TOSHIBA said it had sought an injunction from a Tokyo court and is suing WD for Y120bn in damages a day after the US group and KKR resubmitted their joint bid for the chip unit. The resubmitted bid has now delayed the planned sale to a consortium comprising a Japanese government-backed fund and BAIN CAPITAL, with TOSHIBA saying it had yet to reach a final agreement with the consortium and that "negotiation is still continuing" with its preferred bidder. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB: Billions at risk over 'damaging' action by PP - Lameez Omarjee

The SARB said the remedial action proposed by the Public Protector to have its mandate changed had a damaging effect on the country. This is according to an urgent application filed by the central bank at the North Gauteng High Court yesterday. It comes after Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE recommended that the mandate of the bank be changed, according to a report she released on Jun. 19, which was based on an investigation on the BANKORP bailout during the apartheid era. The SARB's mandate is to protect the currency in the interest of balanced and sustained growth, the affidavit said. The remedial action proposed by MKHWEBANE had a "damaging" impact on SA and threatened the central bank's contribution to the financial system's stability, SARB governor LESETJA KGANYAGO said. "From the moment it was announced it had a serious and detrimental effect on the economy and for as long as it remains in place, it holds the risk of causing further rand depreciation, further ratings downgrades and further capital outflows". The SARB wants the matter to be heard in court on Aug. 1, as the Public Protector has requested it submit a plan in response to the remedial action by Aug. 18. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rise in number of shares eats into Wescoal's earnings - Robert Laing

WESCOAL grew revenue by a third in the FY to end-Mar., but a 56% rise in its number of shares in issue caused its HEPS to more than halve. The company today said it would pay R12m to shareholders as a dividend - the per share value will be announced at a later stage. WESCOAL's shares in issue are set to increase further on Monday when its acquisition of KEATON ENERGY is effected. The company will pay R1.20 cash and 0.3 of its shares for every KEATON share. A strong operational performance in the company's mining division, underpinned by the Elandspruit colliery, as well as the consistent performance from WESCOAL's trading division resulted in group revenue rising by 33% from R1.59bn y/y to R2.12bn. HEPS fell to 11.3cps from 27.1cps y/y as a result of the dilution from the company's BEE deal. If not for this, HEPS would have grown to 53cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mabuza opens up on SA's slow transformation - Lameez Omarjee

A lack of imagination and boldness has impacted the pace at which SA has achieved its transformation goals, according to Business Unity SA president JABU MABUZA. Speaking at the launch of a paper on the approach of business to transformation, MABUZA explained that business has often been left on the sidelines, criticising transformation programmes. The paper is the result of business looking at its role in shaping transformation. "When business becomes vocal and critical and strongly so on state capture, the report you get form the other side starts to talk of transformation and state capture in the same line, which inadvertently leads to a narrative that says state capture and rent-seeking is transformation", MABUZA said. He said the country is in a "nanny state", with people remaining as infants, dependent on government to sort out problems. "There has been a lack of imagination and a lack of boldness". MABUZA said it was time to make changes and break from the past with innovative ideas, instead of just relying on ownership changes to steer a way forward for transformation. Control starts with ownership, but more needs to be done to build on to what is owned. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Employment declines for the quarter - Lameez Omarjee

Employment shrank by 48 000 jobs during Q1 2017. According to data published by Statistics SA, employment declined over the past year by 0.6% or 58 000 jobs. The drop was driven by decreases in trade (1.5% or 32 000 jobs), business services (1% or 23 000 jobs), community services (0.3%; 8 000 jobs), manufacturing (0.3%; 4 000 jobs) and transport (0.2%; 1 000 jobs). Employment in the electricity industry remained unchanged. Jobs increased in the construction industry (2%; 12 000 jobs) and mining (1.8%; 8 000 jobs). Gross earnings paid to employees decreased from R607.3bn in Dec. 2016 to R587.9bn in Mar. For the year, gross earnings rose by R33.4bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Why Capitec is Best Bank in the World - Adiel Ismail

The rise of CAPITEC as SA's leading bank seems to have no end with the lender now regarded as the Best Bank in the World. This is according to the LAFFERTY GROUP's 2017 Global Bank Quality Benchmarking Study, which ranks 100 major quoted banks across 32 countries for their longer-term sustainability and gives its highest ratings to banks that focus on serving their clients' needs in retail and corporate banking. It found that SA's banks achieved the highest rankings for the second year in a row. CAPITEC was awarded LAFFERTY's highest 5-star rating, ABSA achieved four stars, and FIRSTRAND, STANDARD BANK and NEDBANK were given three stars "CAPITEC is a remarkable bank in that it is the only bank anywhere in the world among those we have rated that qualifies for a 5-star rating. It has very high financial ratios and also scores very highly in qualitative criteria like strategy, culture, customer satisfaction, management experience and living the brand. Most of all it is a highly focused bank", LAFFERTY GROUP CEO MICHAEL LAFFERTY said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CCBSA's Appletiser plan to double annual output - Megan van Wyngaardt

COCA-COLA BEVERAGES SA's Appletiser plant in the Western Cape, is set to double its annual production by Oct. due to the beverage's integration into the CCBSA supply chain grid. APPLETISER SA produces 59% of all 'Tiser' products for domestic and global distribution at the Elgin plant. CCBSA has plans in place for Elgin to produce additional COCA-COLA brands that are currently produced at the other CCBSA manufacturing sites. Currently all APPLETISER's apple and pear concentrate is sourced from SA, with grape concentrate increasingly sourced locally, depending on availability and affordability of supply. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUMSA reiterates demands in metals, engineering sector - Anine Kilian

NUMSA yesterday confirmed it will participate in further meetings with employers in the metals and engineering sector to resolve a wage dispute. Further negotiations will take place on Jun. 28 and 29, and again on Jul. 5 and 6. NUMSA said it has been forced into a deadlock by employers after rejecting their proposed 5.3% wage hike earlier this month. The union reiterated its demand for a 15% hike in wages across the board based on the actual rate that a worker earned, not on the minimum rate. It was also seeking a two-year agreement. It was also seeking a two-year agreement. NUMSA added that employers in the sector wanted a three-year agreement and were offering 5.3% across the board for the first year of the agreement, based on the minimum rate, and not the actual rate that workers were earning. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's neighbours ban poultry imports after bird flu outbreak - Reuters

Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana yesterday suspended poultry imports form SA with immediate effect following outbreaks of H5N8 bird flu. SA has confirmed outbreaks of avian flu on at least two farms. SA and Mozambique this month banned poultry imports from Zimbabwe after a bird flu outbreak there. Botswana said it would no longer buy poultry meat, processed products and feeds from SA. ASTRAL FOODS, which had previously confirmed that H5N8 had been detected at its breeding facilities on the outskirts of the Free State, yesterday said it had quarantined the affected site and culled 150 000 birds, around 6% of its breeding stock. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C appoints new CFO - Megan van Wyngaardt

CELL C has appointed TYRONE SOONDARJEE as CFO with effect from Jul. 1. "We are excited to welcome such an esteemed member of the financial services industry to lead CELL C into its next phase as a business", CEO JOSE DOS SANTOS said. SOONDARJEE will be taking over the position from ROBERT PASLEY, who will return to his original role as chief strategy officer. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gahcho Kue prices fetch new high at $95/ct - Henry Lazenby

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE DIAMONDS has recorded its highest average price to date for diamonds produced at its 49%-owned Gahcho Kue mine, in Canada, as it collected $21.1m at its June tender sale. MPD yesterday reported that the fifth tender of rough diamonds from the mine realised $95/ct, compared with $72/ct in the first three sales and $86/ct at the fourth. MOUNTAIN PROVINCE said the results were higher on the back of including some of the fancy and special stones for which the company had successfully bid against JV partner and project operator DE BEERS. The rest will be included in the planned July tender sale. The June tender drew more bids than any of the company's sales so far, with repeat customers winning 75% of lots. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale shareholders approve corporate reorganisation - Reuters

VALE shareholders yesterday approved a share conversion plan in a bid to boost transparency, give equal votes to all shares and limit the possibility of government meddling in the company. Investors approved all seven items on the corporate restructuring agenda, which is a first step towards giving the company dispersed share ownership. Minority holders backed the extension for up to three and a half years of an agreement by controlling shareholders grouped under VALEPAR to maintain control. The assembly also approved VALE's takeover of VALEPAR and a subsequent merger of VALE's two types of stock into a single common one. Under terms of the share conversion, holders of VALE's Class A preferred shares who join the share conversion voluntarily will receive 0.9342 of common stock. To ensure completion of the plan, VALE would pay owners of VALEPAR a 10% premium for their shares, implying a 3% dilution for all shareholders. The former VALEPAR owners can sell the equivalent of up to 22% of VALE's common shares after a six-month lockup period starting in Aug. expires, provided they keep a 20% stake by Nov. 2020. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Strong rand to hit Amplats' H1 earnings - Megan van Wyngaardt

The stronger rand is expected to have negatively impacted on ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM's H1 results. Headline earnings are expected to be at least R329m, or 126cps lower than in the HY to end-Jun. 2016. Restated headline earnings and HEPS for the comparative period were R1.65bn and 629cps, respectively. The company further noted that its basic earning and EPS will also be at least R312m, or 118cps, lower y/y. Restated basic earnings and EPS for the y/y period were R1.54bn and 589cps, respectively. AMPLATS expected its results to even out as the build-up of work-in-progress material of 65 000oz, as a result of the rebuild of Waterfall Furnace Number 1 in Q4 2016, followed by the planned rebuild of Waterfall Furnace Number 2 in Q1 2017 will result in more material being refined in H2. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pallinghurt secures 75% acceptances for Gemfields takeover - Megan van Wyngaardt

PALLINGHURST has now garnered acceptances for 75.18% of shares in GEMFIELDS. PALLINGHURST CEO ARNE FRANDSEN noted the company was "delighted" to have secured the support. "It is clear that the proposed transaction has the broadest support from both sets of shareholders", he noted. "In addition, the FOSUN offer backed by GEMFIELDS management, has lapsed. Hence, once we've had the first closing on July 4, we will move to delist GEMFIELDS", FRANDSEN added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP investing in S Australia copper future - Esmarie Swanepoel

BHP has spent around A$250m over the last four years to expand underground operations at its Olympic Dam project in South Australia. The company previously abandoned plans to expand its openpit operations at Olympic Dam, opting rather for an underground development path that could see copper production increase to 450 000t/y from 2025. Olympic Dam GM TROY WILSON yesterday noted that the company had made one of the most significant investments in South Australia's copper industry, with BHP investing in the horizontal and vertical development of the Southern Mine Area, as well as on surface infrastructure. "After nearly 12 months of development preparation, Olympic Dam looks forward to celebrating the first production ore from the SMA very soon", WILSON said. He said the Olympic Dam operation would need to "significantly and safely" expand its underground operations in order for the South Australian government to achieve its copper ambitions of tripling production to 1mt/year within the next two decades. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DStv to pay millions for colluding - Business Report

DSTV MEDIA SALES has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R22 262 599.00 for colluding with other media houses on pricing, discounts and payment terms for advertising space. The Competition Commission is asking that the Competition Tribunal confirm the agreement. The Commission said this will bring the accumulative penalty fo R180 262 599. The Commission alleges that media owners reached an agreement to offer similar discounts and payment terms to advertising agencies. Accredited agencies were given a 16.5% discount on payments made within 45 days, while non-accredited agencies received a 15% discount. In terms of the imposed penalty, excluding the administrative penalty, DMS undertakes to provide 25% in bonus airtime for every rand of airtime by all Qualifying Small Agencies. DMS will offer these terms for a period of three years from the date of conformation of this consent agreement, subject to a total annual cap of R50m. DMS also undertakes to contribute R8m to the Economic Development Fund over three years from the date of conformation of the consent agreement to enable the development of Qualifying Beneficiaries. The hearing on this matter will be conducted later today. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aspen may face R3bn fine in Europe - Reuters

ASPEN PHARMACARE could be fined up to 10% of its global turnover, or around $290m, if found guilty by EU antitrust regulators. ADRIAN VAN DER HOVEN, DG of the Medicines for Europe industry group representing generic drug makers, is worried about the implications of the EU probe, while stressing that he in no way condones any anti-competitive behaviour. "The investigation may be needed to stop bad behaviour", he said. "However, this should not lead to a set of fixed principles that are not adapted to different situations, which then creates additional risks and which could increase the pressure on companies to withdraw important older medicines that patients need". The European Commission's move last month to investigate whether ASPEN made "unjustified" hikes of up to several hundred percent in the cost of five old cancer drugs puts the EU executive in the vanguard of such enforcement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Allan Gray says loses faith in Group Five after resignations - Nqobile Dludla

ALLAN GRAY yesterday said it had lost faith in GROUP FIVE's board to act in the best interest of the company following the resignation of several directors and its CEO. More than 10 executive and non-executive directors at the company have resigned since Feb. No reasons were given for the resignations. GROUP FIVE CEO ERIC VEMER resigned in Feb. after the group reported its first H1 loss in 11 years due to a R255m settlement with the government. "They have been unable to regain our trust following numerous meetings and engagements", ALLAN GRAY Chief Investment Officer ANDREW LAPPING told Reuters, adding that the board's response following the resignations had been "unsatisfactory". ALLAN GRAY has proposed that MIKE UPTON, former CEO of the group, be appointed to the new board along with another four nominated members. The current board opposes UPTON's appointment. LAPPING said ALLAN GRAY wanted a team with "continuity and institutional memory, sensitivity to historical industry behaviour and execution of the company's strategy to deliver across the full infrastructure lifestyle and maximum shareholder support". GROUP FIVE shareholders will select a new board at an EGM scheduled for Jul. 24. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA in talks to roll over $695m of SAA debt - Wendell Roelf

The Treasury is in talks with banks to roll over R9bn in debt due to be paid this month by SAA, a senior official said yesterday. SAA, which is reliant on government debt guarantees of almost R20bn, has been cited as a threat to SA's economy by rating agencies that have recently downgraded the country's sovereign rating to junk. If the national carrier fails to meet its debt obligations, it may have ripple effects on the government's wider guarantee framework, Treasury DG DONDO MOGAJANE said. SAA CFO PHUMESA NHANTSI said about R9bn of debt was maturing in a few days' time, with six or seven lenders involved, NHANTSI did not name any of the lenders due to confidentiality clauses, but confirmed that they were looking to the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION as a possible lender in future. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane says Charter opponents oppose transformation - Tanisha Heiberg

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE yesterday said those opposed to the new Mining Charter are opposing transformation. This came after the Chamber of Mines on Monday applied for an urgent high court injunction to prevent the implementation of the Charter, which increases the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining companies. "We have confidence in the courts' ability to act with diligence on this matter", ZWANE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Blue Label Telecom to buy mobile device supplier - Tanisha Heiberg

BLUE LABEL TELECOMS yesterday said it would buy a mobile device supplier for R1.9bn to expand its existing business in that field. BLUE LABEL said it would buy shares in 3G MOBILE PROPRIETARY LIMITED in two stages with its subsidiary, THE PREPAID COMPANY PROPRIETARY, initially acquiring 47.37% for R900m followed by 52.63% to be acquired for R1bn. BLUE LABEL said 3G MOBILE would be used to expand into the financing and supply of mobile devices, handsets and allied products to distribute into the low-cost smartphone market. 3G MOBILE is one of Africa's largest distributors and financiers of mobile devices and handsets, and operates in eight African countries. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ivory Coast's NSIA Banque to launch IPO on Jul. 3 - Loucoumane Coulibaly

Ivory Coast's NSIA BANQUE will launch an IPO of stock on Monday, July 3, ahead of a planned listing on West Africa's regional BRVM bourse in the first week of Sep., company officials said yesterday. The bank, formerly called BIAO-CI, is part of the NSIA financial group, which owns another bank in Guinea and is a leading insurance provider in 12 countries across West and Central Africa. Stock worth 34.53bn CFA francs will be sold at 9 000 CFA francs per share to private investors and at 6 750 CFA francs per share to bank employees from Jul. 3 to 13, with a possible early closure of the IPO. Around 4 100 500 shares will be sold. "We want to buy banks in other African countries to sell financial products", NSIA GROUP chair JEAN KACOU DIAGOU told reporters. NSIA BANQUE posted a net profit of 17.12bn CFA francs last year, up from 14.29bn in 2015, MD PHILIPPE ATTOBRA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Omnia looks at acquisitions to spur growth - Tanisha Heiberg

OMNIA HOLDINGS will look at acquisitions and new African markets as it seeks to revive growth hit by a manufacturing slowdown, the company said yesterday. FY group profit fell 7%, with HEPS down to 881cps for the year to end-Mar. OMNIA has suffered a slump in chemicals sales volumes as SA's economy slid into recession for the first time since 2009 and its manufacturing and mining sectors contracted. That has prompted it to look for new growth areas to boost its chemicals division. OMNIA said it will look at markets outside SA and further acquisitions to strengthen its chemicals business, which has a distribution market throughout SA, southern and East Africa. The company had R90m of net cash at year-end and no debt. Revenue in OMNIA's chemical business fell 7% to R3.7bn as volumes sold fell by 8% due to the subdued manufacturing sector and drought affecting the animal feeds sector. The mining unit saw revenue fall 4% to R4.4bn, while revenue in the agriculture division remained relatively flat at R8.2bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia to cut fiscal deficit to 3% of GDP by 2020 - Chris Mfula

Zambia's fiscal deficit will narrow significantly in the next three years, from 7.2% of GDP this year to 3% in 2020, as the country cuts down loan defaults. "What we need to do now is to stop the accumulation of arrears, then the fiscal deficit will keep going down", MUKULI CHIKUBA, the permanent secretary in the finance ministry, told a media briefing. Meanwhile, Zambia will today open talks with Kenyan grain traders for the export of maize to the east African nation which faces a shortage. "The biggest challenge is how we get this maize to Kenya at a competitive price", Finance Minister FELIX MUTATI said. Zambia this year produced some 3.6mt of maize and had a surplus of 1.4mt which was available for export. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania current acc deficit narrows in year to Apr. - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

Tanzania's current account deficit halved in the year to Apr., helped by a drop in imports and surging tourism and gold export earnings, the central bank said yesterday. The trade gap narrowed to $1.6bn, from $3.21bn in the previous 12-month period, the Bank of Tanzania said. Earnings from tourism rose slightly, buoyed by more visitor arrivals. Forex reserves rose to $4.4bn in the year to Apr. from $3.8bn previously. Tanzania's 2017 economic growth is now seen at 7.1% from a previous projection of 7.4%, cooled by slowing private-sector credit growth and public spending cuts. The central bank said gold earned Tanzania $1.51bn for the year to Apr., up from $1.19bn in the previous period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 28/06/2017

At 07h44 on 28 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.98 ZAR/EUR 14.74 ZAR/GBP 16.64 Gold 1251.53 Platinum 919.00 Brent Crude Oil 46.44 All Share 51432.24

Netcare in fronting battle - Khaya Koko

A complaint of BEE fronting has been launched against NETCARE at the BEE Commission for what an empowerment company feels is a breach of contract. MILAGROS SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT laid the complaint on Friday against MOTHER AND CHILD TRUST - a company registered by NETCARE in 2005 as part of its BEE scheme, HEALTH PARTNERS FOR LIFE. MILAGROS was selected as the anchor beneficiary of MCT, one of four BEE trusts registered under the HPFL transaction. MILAGROS alleges that MCT broke the conditions of the deal by refusing to pay it the three vestings in the months of Nov. in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This was after MILAGROS was awarded 2m trust units linked ot a corresponding number of NETCARE shares at R12.76/share, with a loan of more than R25m provided by the company in which the shares were locked from 2008 to 2012. Thereafter, 20% of the shares could be disposed of via a sale and the net proceeds of which would be paid out to the beneficiary after a deduction interest, among other deductions. MILAGROS said it received the vesting for 2012 and 2013, but not for the next three years, which is why they allege fronting. NETCARE said it would respond to the allegations later today. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRC hikes key rate to 20% to stabilise franc - Amedee Mwarabu

The DRC raised its key interest rate to 20% from 14% yesterday as it sough to stabilise its currency, the central bank said. The Congolese franc has lost half of its value against the dollar over the past year due to low tax revenues from foreign investors and high government deficits. "In the aim of confronting the rising exchange rate trend of the Congolese franc and reducing the pace of interior price increases, the Central Bank of Congo has just, once more, tightened its monetary policy", it said. The central bank last adjusted rates in Feb. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S Korean won stronger on rising consumer confidence - Alice Woodhouse

The South Korean won strengthened today as data showed consumer confidence in the country hit a six-year high. The own firmed by as much as 0.3% to Won1 133.52/$ after a report showed consumer confidence rose to its highest level since 2011. It later eased to be 0.1% stronger. The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of peers, was flat at 97.428. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's Temer charged with corruption - Joe Leahy

Brazil's President MICHEL TEMER has been indicted for corruption, the first time since the return of democracy in the 1980s that a president has faced criminal charges. The charges, which were filed to the supreme court by the prosecutor general RODRIGO JANOT last night, follow a tape of a conversation between TEMER and businessman JOESLEY BATISTA in which the president allegedly discussed bribes. The supreme court will send the indictment to the 513-seat lower house of congress. It can only go to trial if a two-thirds majority of the house approves. TEMER is expected to be able to summint he more than one third of the congress necessary to avoid the trial. He has vehemently denied the accusations and refused to resign. But the corruption allegations, in which BATISTA also discussed bribes with a special assistant of TEMER, RODRIGRO LOURES, has significantly weakened the president The federal police filmed LOURES accepting a suitcase packed with R$500 000 from a JBS executive after the conversation with BATISTA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

No Brexit deal 'unacceptable', UK insurers warn - Oliver Ralph

The head of the UK's insurance trade body will today warn that a Brexit with no deal with the rest of the EU would be "unacceptable" for the industry. Speaking to a conference on Brexit and the insurance sector, HUW EVANS, DG of the Association of British Insurers, will say: "To meet our clients needs as an industry and ensure full compliance with the law, the Government has to deliver an orderly withdrawal, a stable transition and a sensible and mutually beneficial future trading relationship". He will also emphasise the need for cross-party cooperation to get the legislation through parliament. The three areas the ABI wants the government to address in Brexit talks include: the status of long-term cross-border contracts; the question of whether UK citizens will still qualify for free medical treatment in the EU; and cross-border driving insurance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Apple acquires German eye-tracking tech company - Tim Bradshaw

APPLE has acquired a German company focused on making eye-tracking technology, in the latest signal of its growing interest in virtual- and augmented-reality eyewear. SENSOMOTORIC INSTRUMENTS was founded in 1991 and has become a specialist in "gaze-based interaction" - the ability to control a computer system simply by looking in a particular direction. Its technology has been used in a wide range of medical applications, including research into autism and linguistics, as well as market research and usability testing, by providing analysis on what a customer or user is paying most attention to in a store or on a screen. In recent years, SMI has expanded into providing components for VR and AR glasses, using timy cameras and computer-vision software placed inside a headset to anayse where the wearer is looking. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Debenhams warns of 'market volatility' after weak sales - Conor Sullivan

Sales fell at DEBENHAMS during the past quarter and the chain became the latest British retailer to warn about the potential impact of an economic slowdown, saying there was a risk "market volatility" could hit profits. In a trading update this morning, DEBENHAMS said like-for-like sales fell 0.9% in the 15 weeks to Jun. 17, a fall of 2.4% in constant currency terms It blamed a "more volatile" trading environment in t he UK for the drop but said its shift away from clothes sales had helped cushion the blow. Group gross transaction value fell 1% and online sales growth slowed to 7.9%. DEBENHAMS said it still expects FY pre-tax profits to be within market expectations, but warned that "should current market volatility continue, profit before tax could be towards the lower end of the current range". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

WD resubmits bid for Toshiba's memory chip unit - Peter Wells

The sale of TOSHIBA's memory chip unit looks like it may have at least one more twist left in it, with WESTERN DIGITAL resubmitting a bid with KKR for the conglomerate's NAND business. This comes after a busy week in which TOSHIBA selected a consortium led by a Japanese government-backed fund as the preferred bidder for the unit, delayed its earnings report and brought about a demotion of its stock to the second section of the Tokyo bourse. The US group said it had resubmitted a bid "where WESTERN DIGITAL will provide debt financing to facilitate a sale by TOSHIBA CORPORATION of its interests in the NAND Flash Memory joint ventures". WD and TOSHIBA jointly operate a NAND flash manufacturing plant in Japan. WD said it "continues to believe it is the best partner to advance TOSHIBA's legacy of technology innovation in Japan". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Heineken moves to solve Punch competition concerns - Nicholas Megaw

HEINEKEN has offered to sell dozens of pubs from the PUNCH TAVERNS estate it is in the process of purchasing, in a bid to allay concerns about the impact the £403m deal will have on competition. Although the Dutch brewer will still control less than 10% of Britain's pubs after the deal, the Competition and Markets Authority earlier this month warned that the deal could stymie choice in certain areas. Today, the CMA said HEINEKEN has offered to sell pubs in each of the 33 affected areas, and said "there are reasonable grounds for believing that these proposals, or a modified version of them, might be acceptable". The regulator will now carry out a public consultation on the deal and will make a further decision on whether to accept the proposals or move ahead with a full investigation by Aug. 22. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CBO: Senate health plan would leave 22m more uninsured by 2026 - Mamta Badkar

The Congressional Budget Office yesterday said a plan put forward by Senate Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act would see the number of uninsured Americans increase by 22m, compared with under Obamacare, and would sharply lower funding for Medicaid. The report also said it estimates the Senate bill would reduce the cumulative federal deficit by $321bn by 2026 - a $202bn boost to estimated savings compared with the bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last month. That bill would leave 23m more people uninsured and cut the deficit by $119bn. The largest savings would come from reductions in Medicaid, with the CBO projecting that spending on the programme would decline by 26% in 2026, compared with the ACA, but would be partially offset by spending that is aimed to lower premiums and certain other provisions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alibaba-backed Best Logistics files for IPO - Jennifer Hughes

ALIBABA-backed BEST LOGISTICS has filed for a $1bn New York listing in what could be the biggest Chinese group to float in the US this year. Logistics companies delivered 31bn parcels in China last year, 50% higher than in the previous year as its $600bn ecommerce sector continued to boom. So far this year, deliveries are running one-third ahead of 2016. BEST LOGISTICS, which will be known as BEST INC in the US, was valued at $3bn in a funding round last year. ALIBABA is the biggest single shareholder with 23.4% while founder JOHNNY CHOU holds 14.7%. BEST will use the cash raised to fund its expansion plans. Revenues have almost trebled in the past three years to $1.3bn. Meanwhile, losses have nearly doubled to $198m last year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's upgrade sends Greek bonds to strongest level since crisis - Nicholas Megaw

Prices for Greece's few publicly-traded bonds hit their highest level in more than seven years on Monday morning, after a bailout agreement with its creditors prompted MOODY's to upgrade the government's credit rating and signal further positivity ahead. Yields on the government's benchmark 10-year debt fell 7 basis points yesterday morning to 5.255%, their lowest level since 2009. The government's shorter-term debt rallied even further, with yields on its two-year bonds falling 14.3 bps to 3.497%. MOODY's upgraded the government's sovereign credit rating to Caa2 with a positive outlook at the end of last week. The ratings agency said it expects Greece's economy to grow for at least the next two years, while the government's debt to GDP ratio will stabilise at 179% in 2017 before starting to fall next year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK consumer credit growth slows - Nicholas Megaw

Growth in credit card borrowing in the UK slowed in May, according to figures from the British Bankers' Association, adding to fears of a consumer spending slowdown as rising inflation squeezes incomes. Overall consumer credit from high street banks grew 5.1% in the year to May, down from 6.4% the prior month. Within those figures, growth in credit card borrowing fell from 6.4% to 5.5%, which the BBA attributed to "weaker retail sales volumes". Official data earlier this month showed retail sales fell 1.6% in May, bringing y/y growth to a four-year low of 0.9%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German business confidence hits new record high - Ifo - Nicholas Megaw

German businesses were feeling more positive than ever this month, according to the Institute for Economic Research (Ifo's) overall business climate index. The index had already hit a record high in May, and June's survey saw it rise from 114.6 to 115.1, in contrast to predictions that it would ease slightly. Ifo's two sub-indices measuring current conditions and future expectations both beat forecasts, rising to 124.1 and 106.8, respectively. CARSTERN BRZESKI, ING's chief economist for Germany and Austria, highlighted particularly strong reports from industrial producers, noting: "Some more relief and eu(ro)phoria after the French parliamentary elections but also a brightening outlook for the German industry are the main drivers of yet another strong Ifo reading. The industrial revival could be the surprise story of the year in the German economy". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Avis jumps after unveiling pact with Waymo - Adam Samson

AVIS BUDGET shares rose yesterday after the rental car company said it signed a deal with WAYMO, the ALPHABET-owned self-driving car outfit. AVIS BUDGET will offer "fleet support and maintenance services" for WAYMO's autonomous vehicle programme at AVIS and BUDGET locations. "The collaboration is designed to support WAYMO's growing autonomous vehicle fleet and WAYMO's early rider programme, a public trial of its self-driving cars in Phoenix, Arizona", AVIS added. AVIS shares rose 11.1% on Monday but are still down 26.3% on the year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bain, Cinven fail to win backing for Stada takeover - Arash Massoudi

A planned €4.1bn private equity takeover of German drugmaker STADA is set to collapse after BAIN CAPITAL and CINVEN failed to secure enough shareholder acceptances to complete the deal. The two firms and their financial advisers had until the end of last Thursday to secure baking from 67.5% of STADA shares for the offer, but failed to reach that threshold. STADA declined to comment. The news comes after a hotly-contested auction, which saw BAIN and CINVEN fight off bids from another private consortium comprised of ADVENT INTERNATIONAL and PERMIRA. CINVEN and BAIN have already received an extension and reduced an initially agreed threshold of 75% after failing to hit that mark two weeks ago, which means they cannot amend their offer. The consortium will not be able to table a new offer with the company's approval in 12 months time in accordance with German takeover rules. Tracking funds and retail investors own 39% of the shares. The tender's failure would not only jeopardise BAIN's and CINVEN's plans but also leave a major financing package on the table. Banks agreed to underwrite a €3.175bn debt package backing the sale, with plans to syndicate €2.775bn of this in the leveraged loan and high-yield bond market later this month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Banks have to put aside more resources for crises - Draghi - Claire Jones

ECB president MARIO DRAGHI has commented on the furor surrounding the liquidation of two Italian banks over the weekend, which has let do an outcry that the new rules on bank bailouts are not being followed. Taxpayers in Italy are potentially on the hook for as much as €17bn because of the bailout, despite the EU's new bailout rules - known by the acronym BRRD - trying to prevent the public from being saddled with losses resulting from bank failures. DRAGHI said banks "have to put aside resources that are capable to absorb losses in case of a crisis". He added that those resources needed to be "easy to access" in times of financial stress. "That's the best way to make the BRRD a credible directive", DRAGHI said. The bailout is set to be structured in a way that will protect senior bondholders in the two banks. The ECB's supervisory arm on Friday said the lenders were likely to fail, leaving the EU's Single Resolution Board to call on Rome to put the banks into liquidation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

May outlines plans for EU citizens living in Britain - George Parker

British PM THERESA MAY has published details of her offer to protect the rights of 3m EU citizens living in the UK that she described as "fair and serious", even as the proposals impose another round of bureaucracy and new restrictions on some of those already in the country. MAY hopes the offer, which guarantees that no EU citizen living legally in Britain will have to leave the country after Brexit in 2019, will provide the basis for an early breakthrough in Brexit talks. The fine print of MAY's proposal reveals that tens of thousands of EU nationals who have already gone through the costly process of securing permanent residence in Britain since last year's referendum will have to start again. Officials promise the status document for EU residents - which will be similar to an ID card - will involve a "streamlined" process that is less burdensome than the current 85-page application form for permanent residence. One of the main concessions is that EU nationals will no longer have to show that they have comprehensive sickness insurance. It is expected the new process will use existing government databases such as HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work and Pensions, meaning applicants don't have to show so many documents to prove their employment status. The UK offer also guarantees the continued export and uprating of UK pensions within the EU, and confirms that social security benefits will still be paid out in other EU countries. Most strikingly, EU nationals who marry or meet their spouses bost-Brexit will lose their automatic rights to bring their family members to the UK. Instead, they will be required to meet the same economic thresholds required of UK citizens who want to bring in family from outside Europe - namely a proven annual income of at least £18 600 for a spouse. Under the UK offer, all EU nationals who can show continuous residence in Britain for five years before the unspecified cut-off date will qualify for settled status. Those who arrive in the UK

US durable goods orders down, again - Pan Kwan Yuk

Durable goods orders fell for a second consecutive month in May as demand for computers, communications equipment and transportation slid. Orders for durable goods fell 1.1% to $228.2bn in May from the previous month, the Commerce Department said yesterday. That's the biggest decline in six months and comes on top of a revised 0.9% retreat in April. It was also far worse than the 0.6% decline economists had forecast. Even with the transportation orders stripped out, orders were up only 0.1%, also missing the 0.4% gain the market was looking for. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China brewer Kweichow Moutai tops Rmb600bn in market value - Tom Hancock

Chinese brewer KWEICHOW MOUTAI, which in April steamed past DIAGEO PLC to become the world's most valuable liquor company by market cap, passes another milestone yesterday as its market cap surged past Rmb600bn. The company, which is listed on the Shanghai bourse, has been making share price gains for a year and yesterday reached a market cap of Rmb608.8bn ($89bn), compared to DIAGEO's £58.3bn ($74.2bn). MOUTAI's fortunes have been boosted by a rise in luxury goods buying and the return of boozy business drinking after a years-long government crackdown. Nearly all of MOUTAI's sales are domestic. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sirius increases FY dividend by 32% - BDpro

SIRIUS REAL ESTATE increased its total dividend for the FY to end-Mar. by 32% to 2.92cps, it said yesterday. Total income at the company rose 23% to €68.8m from €55m previously. Like-for-like annualised rental income rose 5.1% to €65.6m. As at end-Mar., the company owned 44 assets with 1.4m m² of net lettable area with a book value of €823.3m and a total portfolio occupancy rate of 81%, reflecting a gross yield of 8.6%. SIRIUS CEO ANDREW COOMBS said: "This has been a good trading period as shown by the record results we have delivered. It has also been a good period for the business culminating in the recent move up to the main market of the LSE and to the main board of the JSE". COOMBS said these moves reflected the company's ambition to increase its portfolio by a further 50% while also taking advantage of market conditions to recycle mature and non-core assets with greater opportunity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Invicta FY HEPS up 37.3% - BDpro

INVICTA yesterday reported a 37.3% rise in HEPS to R5 for the year to end-Mar. 2017. The company grew revenue 8.4% to R11.5bn, with profit attributable to shareholders up 25.7% to R533m. The results came "under most difficult circumstances", the company said, noting unusual volatility in the rand exchange rate and the "worst drought in living memory", coupled with political turmoil. INVICTA said the recession SA entered in Q1 2017 also counted against the company. It grew profit from continuing operations by 22% to R575m, while cash generated by all operations rose 130% to R1.35bn. INVICTA said its strategic focus was cash generation in its existing businesses, remaining resolute in its efforts to "produce results above market benchmarks and its competitors". An ordinary cash dividend of 94.51cps was declared for the period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Exxaro increases total coal output - Robert Laing

EXXARO increased its total coal output by 4.7% to 22.4mt in the HY to end-Jun. y/y, the company said yesterday. It also gave an update on the process of the replacement of its BEE initiative, which sparked a row with then acting ESKOM CEO MATSHELA KOKO in Jan. EXXARO said the INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION had agreed on Sunday to move its 12.3m existing EXXARO shares valued at around R1bn to the new entity. The new BEE SPV would own 30% of EXXARO worth around R8.7bn. The new empowerment deal would result in a 7.4% dilution to existing shareholders. Sales to ESKOM are expected to rise by 3% mainly from higher sales from Grootegeluk, partly offset by lower sales from Leeuwpan mine where the contract to supply ESKOM was not extended at the end of Mar. 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Spur bosses to go on countrywide tour to address boycott - Mpho Raborife

Due to the public outrage sparked by an incident at the Spur Texamo franchise in Oakdene in Mar., the backlash against the group's franchise business has caused such a knock that its top management is embarking on a nationwide tour to try and clean up the mess. In a statement released by SPUR CORPORATION CEO PIERRE VAN TONDER, the company said the tour would be done in a bid to "gain a greater understanding of their customers and franchisees". "Over the past few months, we have realised that we have not been listening to our customers... The altercation between two SPUR customers in March in Johannesburg and the reaction that followed drove home a powerful message, namely that we urgently needed to give attention to the needs and frustrations of our customers". VAN TONDER said the group accepted and recognised the sentiments of both the public and its franchisees with regards to the way they had handled the situation "overall". "We hereby unconditionally apologise to any person or community who has taken exception to our actions and will ensure a fair hearing is conducted prior to judgments being made in future", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB posts R1.4bn profit - Lameez Omarjee

The SARB has reported an after-tax profit of R1.4bn for the FY to end-Mar. 2017. This is down from a profit of R1.6bn reported y/y. The central bank's financial results were impacted by the low interest environment. Interest income, derived mainly from foreign investments and accommodation to banks, rose by R0.4bn, compared to R1.3bn y/y. Operating costs rose by R0.2bn. The SA MINT made a profit of R0.3bn, up from R0.2bn reported in 2016. SA MINT declared a dividend of R0.2bn. The SOUTH AFRICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY made a profit of R0.1bn, compared to aloss of R0.2bn y/y. The CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC DEPOSITS recorded a profit of R73.5m , up from R72.8m y/y. Total assets fell by R68.6bn, compared to an increase of R150.4bn in 2016. This is due to a decline in gold and forex reserves of R70.6bn. Total liabilities rose by R69.7bn, compared to an increase of R148.7bn in 2017. This is as a result of the Gold and Forex Contingency Reserve Account decreasing by R735bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kaap Agri lists on JSE - Anine Kilian

KAAP AGRI has listed on the JSE's main board. "Listing on the JSE helps make KAAP AGRI visible to a wider investor audience, which will draw in additional liquidity. THe listing will also provide a platform for KAAP AGRI to use its script for accretive merger and acquisition activities alongside organic growth", MD SEAN WALSH said. He added that the company, which is listed in the Speciality Retailer sector, was confident it would be able to reach its target of minimum annual growth of 15% in HEPS over the next three years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Greenhouse tightening as govt imposes Paris agreement - Exxaro - Martin Creamer

The legislative changes around emission of greenhouse gases is becoming more onerous as government implements that Paris Agreement, EXXARO RESOURCES said yesterday. In reiterating Earthlife Africa Johannesburg's successful legal proceedings to set aside the environmental authorisation for the company's proposed 600MW Thabametsi coal-fired power station near Lephalale, EXXARO said it would continue monitoring the progress of its legal procedures at a time when the minister of environmental affairs would be considering a climate impact assessment report in making the revised environmental authorisation determination for the project. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Europe will retaliate if hit by US steel controls - Reuters

The EU would retaliate if European steelmakers suffered collateral damage from import restrictions the TRUMP administration is considering, EU trade chief CECILIA MALMSTROM said yesterday. A US probe into whether foreign-made steel imports pose a risk to US national security is nearly done. The focus is mainly cheap imports from China, but MALMSTROM said EU industry could be damaged in the process. "We would have to see if that measure is in compliance with the WTO of course and if it hits us like it could we will of course retaliate. Exactly how and when I will not answer now, but we are making preparations", MALMSTROM said. The EU trade chief said she understood US concerns about steel overcapacity in China and was prepared to work with the Americans to tackle this issue. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China steel prices rise as govt crackdown offsets slow demand - Reuters

China's steel prices rose yesterday, regaining some lost ground from last week, as investors bet on tighter supplies from government-enforced cutbacks. The crackdown on low-end steel production has been in focus recently as the deadline for mills to shut induction furnaces that produce rebar ends on Jun. 30. Analysts estimate induction furnaces produced about 50mt of rebar last year - about a quarter of China's total rebar output. The most-traded rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange extended gains from morning trade, rising 2.81% to Rmb3 148/tonne on Monday, after touching an intraday high of Rmb3 149/t. Total rebar inventories rose slightly last week, up by 0.5% to 3.76mt, data compiled by SteelHome showed. Still, mills continue to ramp up output due to buoyant margins Utilisation rates picked up 0.46 percentage points to 87.13% last week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Workers at Illovo farms to strike over pay - Reuters

Around 1 000 workers at ILLOVO are set to go on strike over wages and other benefits after negotiations with employers broke down, trade union FAWU said on Sunday. The union said it and employers from eight ILLOVO farms in KZN have failed to reach an amicable agreement under the auspices of the CCMA and a strike certificate has been issued. FAWU members are seeking a 10% wage hike, versus the 5% annual rise the union says employers are offering, as well as pension benefits for both full-time and seasonal workers among a host of other demands. FAWU provincial organiser AUGUST MBHELE said the lowest paid workers on sugarcane farms earned around R2 752/month, and that most lived over 30 km away from the farms and struggled to find or afford transport. ILLOVO was not immediately available for comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Exxaro may sell Matla coal mine in asset review - David McKay

EXXARO RESOURCES is to sell its Arnot coal mine as well as North Block Complex, both in Mpumalanga, in terms of a portfolio restructuring proposal the company is due to implement from Q4. The company was also considering the sale of Matla, the 7.7mt/year colliery that supplies ESKOM's power station of the same name. EXXARO yesterday announced that it had made progress on mines that it deemed non-core. It didn't name mines identified in the review, but said it planned to take action from Q4. The decision to dispose of certain assets is based on EXXARO's assessment that it needs a profit margin of 25% and a return on equity employed of 20%. A factor in the disposal of Matla may be whether ESKOM makes good on a commitment last June that it invest R1.8bn accessing new resources of coal at Mine 1 shaft. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Treasury undecided on whether to challenge mooted change to SARB's mandate - Olivia Kumwenda -Mtambo

The Treasury has yet to decide whether it will challenge a recommendation by the Public Protector to change the central bank's mandate, a proposal that rocked markets, Deputy Finance Minister SFISO BUTHELEZI said yesterday. Asked if Treasury thinks the Public Protector went beyond her mandate with the recommendation, BUTHELEZI said: "We haven't taken a view but as things stand now we are happy that the central bank has exercised its right by taking it for review". Both the SARB and parliament last week said they planned to mount legal challenges to the proposal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim secures $478m funding for agriculture - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Harare has signed a $478m agreement with an energy company and three banks to finance the 2017/18 summer farming season in a push to improve food security, the state-owned Herald reported yesterday. According to the report, the government and local energy companY SAKUNDA HOLDINGS had signed an agreement that would see three banks provide the capital to mainly fund production of maize and soya. SAKUNDA, which imports and distributes fuel, runs a logistics business and operates a 200 MW diesel power plant, will work with CBZ BANK, BARCLAYS and the local unit of ECOBANK to provide the money. The Herald said the government would start delivering seed, fertiliser and crop chemicals to farmers around the country between Jul. and Sep., ahead of the planting season that begins in Nov. Farmers would be required to sell their crop to the state grain agency as repayment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 27/06/2017

At 06h10 on 27 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.86 ZAR/EUR 14.40 ZAR/GBP 16.37 Gold 1244.47 Platinum 918.00 Brent Crude Oil 45.95 All Share 51288.71

CoM interdicts implementation of Mining Charter - Anine Kilian

The Chamber of Mines has issued an urgent application to the High Court of SA requesting that the court prevent the implementation of the reviewed Mining Charter. The application, issued yesterday, notes that the CoM and its members are fully committed to the transformational objectives of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, but that the Chamber is opposed to the new Charter. It claims the Charter "attempts to subvert those objectives by the unlawful publication of instruments, which purport to give effect to such objectives but, in fact, undermine them". The Chamber further notes that, should the new Charter be implemented in its current form, it will "destroy the very industry whose survival is necessary to give effect to the objectives of the MPRDA". The application also argues that the publication of the Charter goes beyond the powers of Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE and that, in publishing the Charter, ZWANE has purported to exercise powers that reside exclusively in Parliament. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gemfields continues resistance as Pallinghurst shareholders vote in favour of buyout - Anine Kilian

PALLINGHURST RESOURCES has received 96% shareholder support for the buyout of the remaining stake in GEMFIELDS, making its offer wholly unconditional. PALLINGHURST on May 19 announced its intention to buy out GEMFIELDS' minority shareholders in exchange for $150m in PALLINGHURST shares and delisting GEMFIELDS from the Aim. The JSE-listed group last week lowered the minimum acceptances required for its proposed takeover of GEMFIELDs from 75% ot 60%. At that time, the company had received valid acceptances from shareholders holding around 14.16% of GEMFIELDS shares, which, with its own GEMFIELDS shareholding of 47.09%, pushed the total to 61.25%, making the offer unconditional. This was despite an independent GEMFIELDS committee's recommendation to shareholders that they rather support a rival £256m offer from FOSUN GOLD. PALLINGHURST will now implement a restructuring, which will include completing the acquisition of GEMFIELDS and delisting the latter from the Aim. The independent GOLDFIELDS committee, meanwhile, yesterday again urged shareholders not to take any action on PALLINGHURST's offer, reiterating its earlier statements that the offer "significantly undervalues" GEMFIELDS and its prospects as a significant player in the coloured gemstone sector. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CoAL's Uitkomst buy completed after supply agreement finalised - Esmarie Swanepoel

COAL OF AFRICA has announced that all conditions precedent for its $275m buy of PAN AFRICAN RESOURCES COAL HOLDINGS have been fulfilled, after a supply agreement was signed over the Uitkomst colliery. The deal will now be effective at the end of June, with COAL to take over ownership, control and management of both PAN AFRICAN COAL and the Uitkomst colliery. Meanwhile, COAL expected that around 261.2m new ordinary shares will be admitted on t he Aim market of the LSE on or around the end of June. The shares will be issued to PAN AFRICAN shareholders as part of the takeover agreement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vedanta seeks to quadruple Zambia copper output over three years - Bloomberg

VEDANTA RESOURCES plans to quadruple its Zambian copper output over the next three years, the local unit's CEO said, signalling a more ambitious expansion in that country. Most of the rise will come form Konkola Copper Mines' flagship operation in Chililabombwe, near the DRC border, where the unit is seeking to triple output over three years, STEVEN DIN said lats week. KCM has struggled to turn a profit amid low metal prices and copper output that fell to 94 000t in the FY to end-Mar., from 159 000t four years earlier. At the Konkola mine, the company produced 49 000t in the FY to end-Mar. 2016. "We are working on the design to be able to take the Konkola underground mine up from where it is today to about three times that", DIN said. VEDANTA is targeting raising overall output to 400 000t within three years, an amount it said in Apr. could take as many as seven years to reach. The company has restarted operations at its Nchanga mine that halted operations in Nov. 2015 after copper prices tanked. KCM also plans to at least double output over 12-18 months at its tailings leach plant that extracts copper from old waste dumps, DIN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio continues with Strandline earn-in - Esmarie Swanepoel

The exploration arm of RIO TINTO is expected to make its first $500 000 payment to STRANDLINE RESOURCES after completing a due diligence ion that company's heavy mineral sands tenements in Tanzania. RIO and STRANDLINE in Apr. inked an earn-in and JV agreement that could see the former earn a 75% stake in the project area for a total consideration of $10.75m. Under the terms of the deal, RIO will sole fund at least $2m on exploration within the first 18 months of the JV agreement, and STRANDLINE said exploration activities were now under way in preparation for a reconnaissance level air core drilling programme at the priority targets. Under the terms of the JV agreement, RIO can earn an initial 51% participating interest in the relevant tenements by spending $5m over the first three-and-a-half years, including a mandatory minimum spend of $2m. Stage 2 investment will see a further $4m being spent over the subsequent two years, to earn the diversified miner a 75% stake in the tenements. Cash payments totalling a further $1.75m will be made to STRANDLINE as various milestones are achieved. Once the earn-in period is completed, the parties will be responsible for contributing to project expenditure, and if a party's interst falls to below 10%, it can elect to convert its interest to a 2% net smelter return royalty, capped at $25m/producing mine. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP gets ball rolling on new Pilbara mine - Esmarie Swanepoel

BHP has approved a $184m initial investment into the South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara. The operation will leverage and expand on the existing Mining Area C hub, and is BHP's preferred option to replace the 80mt/year Yandi mine, which will reach the end of its mine life in early- to mid-2020. First ore from South Flank is being targeted for 2021, and the project ramp-up will coincide with the ramp-down of the Yandi operation. The project will be submitted for board approval in mid-2018. South Flank is expected to average a capital cost of $30/t-$40/t, with expenditure fitting into the Western Australia iron ore operations' previously indicated average sustaining capital expenditure of $4/t over the next five years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Syngenta ordered to pay $218m in danages over biotech corn strain - Gregory Meyer

A jury has ordered SYNGENTA to pay $217.7m in compensatory damages to Kansas farmers over its decision to sell a biotech maize strain unapproved by China. China blocked maize imports from the US starting in late 2013 after inspectors detected traces of Agrisure Viptera, a SYNGENTA maize variety genetically engineered to combat cutworms. Approved for planting in the US, the strain had not yet received a green light from China. Sales of maize to China plummeted after the move, sparking lawsuits against SYNGENTA from US farmers who claimed they suffered a fall in grain prices, and international grain traders that were forced to redirect cargoes to other ports. Friday's jury award marked the first legal danages against SYNGENTA. If upcoming trials have similar outcomes, the company could face aggregate penalties of $5bn-$7.5bn. SYNGENTA said it "will move forward with an appeal and continue to deend the rights of American farmers to access safe and effective US-approved technologies". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

It's time to brace for 'market turmoil' - JPMorgan - Adam Samson

Global financial markets have been unusually calm for an extended period, meaning now is a good time for investors to begin preparing for a bout of "market turmoil" that is likely on the horizon, JPMORGAN CHASE strategists hae said. Risk assets have been rallying "for years", sending market volatility near "record lows", JPMORGAN global head of macro, quantitative and derivatives research, MARKO KOLANOVIC, said on Friday. "While fundamentally volatility should not be high, it is clear to us that the current macro environment does not warrant all-time low volatility either", he added. Federal Reserve rate hikes in the US, and receding monetary accommodation from the ECB and Bank of Japan will soon begin removing some of the main factors that have supported the high valuations across financial assets, KOLANOVIC said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Macron, Merkel defend tougher rules for overseas investment - Jim Brunsden

French President EMMANUEL MACRON said the "rule of the jungle" could not be allowed to govern international trade as he defended proposals for tougher screening of overseas investment coming into the eurozone. "We are fully committed to a free market economy... that respects ultilateral rules", MACRON said at the end of a two-day summit in Brussels. Speaking alongside German Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL, MACRON advocated a rules-based system of international trade, a point echoed by the German leader. Both said that Europe should stand for free trade, at a time when the concept is being increasingly challenged elsewhere in the world. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Restructuring costs to push Commerzbank to Q2 loss - Nicholas Megaw

COMMERZBANK is close to reaching a deal with workers' representatives that will lower the expected costs of its major restructuring plan, but it will push it to a loss for Q2, the German lender said on Friday. In Sep., the bank announced plans to reorganise its structure and reduce its workforce by more than 7 000 jobs to help boost its profitability, which has suffered after years of record-low interest rates. COMMERZBANK had previously expected the plan to cost it €1.1bn over two years, but said it is "confident" of reaching a severance scheme agreement with employees that will result in lower costs. The bank now expects to boost restructuring charges of €810m. However, the costs will be recognised entirely in Q2 results, which will push it to a net loss for the period. COMMERZBANK said it does not expect any further charges, and it still expects to make a net profit for the FY. In May COMMERZBANK reported better-than-expected Q1 results thanks to a one-off gain in its wind-down unit, but its core business struggled with operating profits falling 11%. Part of the decline was attributed to a lack of activity among trading clients. COMMERZBANK said its common equity tier 1 ratio would be better than the first quarter's 12.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rome sets aside €17bn to wind down failing lenders - Rachel Sanderson

Italy has moved to shore up confidence in its fragile banking system after agreeing to pump €5bn of taxpayers' money into two failed mid-sized banks while handing their good assets to INTESA SANPAOLO, the country's strongest lender. Economy Minister PIER CARLO PADOAN said the state would offer additional guarantees of up to €12bn - meaning a possible total of €17bn - to cover losses from the two banks' bad loans. He said the initial €5.2bn included €4.8bn for INTESA to maintain its capital ratios following the acquisition of the Veneto banks, as well as a further €400m in guarantees against the risk that some of the credits acquired by INTESA turn sour. Italy's financial system has already put €3.5bn into the Veneto banks in the past year via the government-sponsored backstop fund ATLANTE. Rome decided to wind down VENETO BANCA and BANCA POPOLARE DI VICENZA after the ECB on Friday said they were failing. Italian PM PAOLO GENTILONI said the intervention was "important, urgent and necessary" to prevent a "disorderly failure" of the two banks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nestle targeted by Third Point - Ralph Atkins

NESTLE has become the latest target of US activist investor DANIEL LOEB, who says the company is "stuck in its old ways" and needs a shake-up. LOEB's hedge fund, THIRD POINT, has taken an investment position of roughly 40m shares, or 1.3% in NESTLE and has begun "productive conversations" with management, the US-based fund said on Sunday. The stake, including options, is worth around $3.5bn, THIRD POINT said. NESTLE is under pressure to boost profitability as the global food industry reacts to pressures unleashed by KRAFT HEINZ's failed $143bn takeover approach this year for UNILEVER. THIRD POINT is proposing NESTLE set a formal profit margin target of 18%-20% by 2020, boost its debt to buyback shares, put up for sale non-core products in its portfolio, and sell its 23% stake in cosmetic maker L'OREAL. NESTLE's current operating margin is about 15%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent scores with world's top-earning video game - Tom Hancock

Honour of Kings, a Chinese fantasy battle game for mobile phones made by TENCENT, converted its more than 50m-strong army of daily active users into revenue of up to Rmb6bn ($876m) in Q1, making it the world's top-grossing game. Chinese gaming consultancy CNG estimates that game's Q1 revenue at Rmb5.5bn-Rmb6bn - nearly all of that was from China. By comparison, the top-grossing game in APPLE's iOS App Store and GOOGLE's Play Store in Q1, Japan's MONSTER STRIKE, grossed about $300m worldwide. That figure does not take into account how much is spent on gaming in mainland China, where access to GOOGLE PLAY is blocked and alternative app stores proliferate. TENCENT last month said it generated Rmb12.9bn from online games in Q1, but it does not disclose revenue figures for individual titles. It declined to comment on the third-party estimates of the game's sales. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto snubs 2nd Glencore bid for C&A - Henry Sanderson

RIO TINTO has recommended shareholders vote for a revised offer by YANCOAL for its Australian coal mines instead of a rival bid by GLENCORE. RIO said YANCOAL's revised offer of $2.69bn offers "greater transaction certainty" with all the regulatory approvals received. It is likely to complete during Q3 "whereas any transaction with GLENCORE is unlikely to complete until the first half of 2018 at the earliest". RIO said the sales process "has been in progress for a long of time and we believe it is in the best interest of our shareholders to take the greater certainty of YANCOAL's strong proposal". The Australian miner noted YANCOAL's offer also includes financial assistance of $2.1bn from YANKUANG GROUP. GLENCORE last week made a second bid of $2.675bn for the assets, after its first bid of $2.55bn was rejected. However, the offer was subject to regulatory approvals from Australia, China, Korea and Taiwan. RIO shareholders will vote on the proposals in London on Tuesday and Sydney on Thursday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 26/06/2017

At 11h53 on 26 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.88 ZAR/EUR 14.40 ZAR/GBP 16.37 Gold 1241.56 Platinum 917.00 Brent Crude Oil 45.98 All Share 51424.08

Noble Group downgraded further into junk by Fitch - Peter Wells

An extension on a repayment deadline for NOBLE GROUP has not been enough to dissuade FITCH from downgrading the company's credit rating further into junk territory. FITCH this morning cut NOBLE's rating to Ccc from B-, a level associated with high credit risks and chance of default on debt obligations. The agency said last week's agreement by NOBLE's banks to push back the deadline on a $2bn credit line by 120 days from Jun. 20 "does not provide evidence of medium-term funding stabilisation". Whether NOBLE's business profile is sustainable will only be clear once the company has completed and implemented its strategic plans to slim its businesses and seek strategic investors, FITCH said. The ratings agency also expressed doubt on NOBLE experiencing a "meaningful recovery" in profits in 2017 due to the "challenging environment and the company's focus on maintaining liquidity through asset sales". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba drops in wake of demotion decision - Peter Wells

Shares in TOSHIBA fell this morning following news late last week that the struggling conglomerate will be demoted to the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. TOSHIBA now risks a full delisting from the Nikkei 225, having revealed on Friday that it faces an estimated loss of Y995.2bn for the FY to end-Mar. 2017. The company has negative shareholder equity of Y582bn - a trigger for automatic demotion - and will be delisted from the Nikkei 225 if it reports negative shareholder equity for two consecutive years. The demotion would take place on Aug. 1, the TSE said. Shares in TOSHIBA recovered from a drop of as much as 6.9% to be 4.3% lower yesterday morning, making them the fourth-worst performer in the benchmark Topix and the worst in the Nikkei 225. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Takata files for chapter 11 bankruptcy - fastFT.com

TAKATA has decided to sell nearly all its assets and businesses to KEY SAFETY SYSTEMS for $1.59bn after filing for bankruptcy protection. KSS and TAKATA have agreed on a deal, with the former sponsoring the restructuring of the troubled airbag maker and the acquisition of "substantially all" of its assets, KSS said in a statement. TAKATA will retain control of certain assets and operations that relate to its faulty airbag inflators that were the focal point for a safety scandal that financially crippled the company. It is expected the operations related to the airbag inflators business will be run by a reorganised TAKATA in t he wake of the transaction, and will eventually be wound down, KSS said. TAKATA yesterday put an end to months of speculation as it filed for bankruptcy protection in the US. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Exxaro says BEE deal is 'appropriate' amid Mining Charter uncertainty - Matthew le Cordeur

EXXARO believes its new BEE restructure will be "appropriate" amid increased uncertainty over the new Mining Charter. The Mining Charter will force companies to restructure their ownership to ensure they have 30% black ownership within 12 months. It will also require a 51% black shareholding in all new prospecting licences. EXXARO said the Charter has created increased uncertainty for local companies. "However, as EXXARO has been pursuing the replacement BEE transaction for more than 1 months, it firmly believes the implementation of the replacement BEE transaction to be appropriate as it will further contribute to transformation in the South African mining industry in a responsible manner". When EXXARO was formed 10 years ago, MAIN STREET 333 was created and introduced as the controlling (50.19%) BEE shareholder of the mining group. MS333 shareholders were only able to dispose of their shares on Nov. 28 last year after agreeing to unwind the BEE structure, with EXXARO repurchasing shares worth R3.524bn. On Sunday, EXXARO, MS333 and the IDC agreed to two SPVs to hold ordinary shares in EXXARO. The IDC will have an 11.4% stake in the new BEE structure, while the replacement BEE transaction will be worth R8.7bn. "The reinvestment of EXXARO shares by MS333 shareholders, including the IDC, required to effect the replacement BEE transaction will be enabled by the MS333 unwind", EXXARO said. It is anticipated that the second repurchase and the replacement BEE transaction will be concluded in Q4 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSE suspends Oakbay listing - Fin24

The JSE has agreed to a request by OAKBAY ENERGY AND RESOURCES for a voluntary suspension of the company's listing, it said on Friday. The news followed a warning by the JSE that it was considering suspending the company's listing, as it did not have an audit committee chair, sponsor or transfer secretary. OAKBAY said its board of directors is in the process of evaluating several alternatives available to the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Did Tegeta receive 75% discount on Optimum fine? - Yolandi Groenewald

Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN was on Friday asked whether TEGETA EXPLORATION & RESOURCES received a 75% discount on a R2.15bn fine OPTIMUM COAL had to pay to ESKOM. TEGETA and ESKOM in Mar. struck a deal during arbitration, but the utility has refused to disclose the details of the agreement, citing a confidentiality clause. However, the utility did not deny the accuracy of the figure when specifically asked at Friday's press conference. SUZANNE DANIELS, ESKOM's company secretary, confirmed that the utility had entered into a settlement agreement with GUPTA-owned TEGETA, but again emphasised that the agreement contained a confidentiality clause which prevented any details of the process being disclosed. BROWN told reporters she had to abide by the law, and would first have to consult legal advisors before speaking out. ESKOM levied the fine on OPTIMUM's previous owner, GLENCORE, after the mine delivered sub-standard coal. At the time, former CEO BRIAN MOLEFE insisted ESKOM would not back down from the full penalty of R2.15bn. After ownership of the mine passed to TEGETA, ESKOM backtracked on its hardline position and opened up to arbitration. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Naspers to meet investors in US, UK - Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

NASPERS will approach investors in the US and UK this week about a bond issue as it continues its quest to expand its internet business. The proceeds from the bond will shore up the company's balance sheet for future growth opportunities and will also be used to refinance some of its current debt, CEO BOB VAN DIJK said on Saturday. "We are focusing on building online businesses and bringing them to scale", VAN DIJK said, adding that the company is looking to invest further in its classifieds, ecommerce and online payment businesses where revenue growth is accelerating. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim telecoms firms may no longer be going concerns - AG - Memory Mataranyika

Zimbabwe's auditor general has cast doubt on the ability of the country's telecoms companies to continue as going concerns, flagging bloated net liability positions and possible threats to service delivery among other governance issues. State-owned ICT companies flagged by AG MILDRED CHIRI include NETONE, TELONE and POWERTEL. CHIRI noted that TELONE is "technically insolvent". The fixed-line company had a net liability position of $112m by end-2016 compared to $98m in the prior year. The AG's report also said fixed term borrowings for the parastatal "approached maturity without realistic prospects" of renewal or repayment. CHIRI also raised the red flag over POWERTEL, which incurred a net loss of nearly $500 000 in the year to end-2015, while its current liabilities exceeded current assets by $1.6m. The continued services of NETONE "may be compromised" because of the company's losses. In the year to end-2015, it recorded a loss of $3.4m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Naspers growth bolstered by Tencent - Fin24

NASPERS reported positive results for the FY to end-Mar., with a 41% growth , spurred by strong earnings from TENCENT. Core headline earnings came in at $1.8bn or 406cps, with the annual gross dividend increased to 580c, up from 520c y/y. The contribution to core headline earnings by associates and JVs was up 50% to $2.4bn after adjusting for non-recurring items. Group revenue grew 19% to $14.6bn. Consolidated revenue rose 3%, mainly due to strong performances by the ecommerce businesses which grew 11%. While the company continued to scale ecommerce businesses, video entertainment has become more mature and more competitive. Net interest expenses on borrowings fell 17% to $142m, due to lower utilisation of credit facilities and, to a lesser extent, cash retained from the $3.2bn ALLEGRO disposal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Audi SA third carmaker to halt detailed sales reporting - Irma Venter

TREVOR HILL, the new CEO at AUDI SA, says the brand will, by the end of next month, stop providing detailed new-vehicle sales numbers to the Department of Trade & Industry. This follows in the footsteps of MERCEDES BENZ SA and BMW GROUP SA, which have already halted reporting detailed sales figures, issuing only a single number for cars, commercial vehicle sales and export sales, respectively. BMW SA stopped providing detailed figures earlier this year, in response to MBSA which did so for the first time in 2011. MBSA citec concerns about compliance to competition legislation, on the domestic and global level. HILL says AUDI has taken the decision to halt detailed reporting as doing so provides MBSA with competitive insight into AUDI's sales, while AUDI does not have access to the same information on MERCEDES-BENZ's sales. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye says aims for Cooke mine restart - Ed Stoddard

SIBANYE GOLD said it aimed to resume operations at its strike-hit Cooke Mine later this week after it had conducted safety inspections on Monday. A company spokesperson said the group needed to wrap up an appeals process for around 1 500 miners who face possible dismissal for taking part in a violent wildcat strike that started almost three weeks ago at the mine. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA economy no longer stable - Fragile States Index - Liesl Peyper

SA's economy has caused it to decline significantly on the 2017 Fragile States Index, with the country no longer regarded as stable. The FSI is an annual ranking of 178 countries based on 12 social, economic and political indicators that measure their susceptibility to instability. South Sudan is in the first position as the world's most fragile state, while Finland at 178 is the least. On the latest index, SA has scored 72.3 from a score of 57.4 in 2007. A decade ago, SA was ranked 132, falling into the stable category, but has since rocketed to position 96 and now falls in the elevated warning-category. South Africa has been surpassed by both Ghana and Botswana which are now more stable countries on the continent. The economic decline factor specifically has worsened from a score of 2.8 in 2007 to 7.1 in 2017. "What should worry South Africa the most is that the indicators group grievance, state legitimacy and security apparatus have recently spiked, along with a worsening of the factionalised elites-indicator", according to the report. "[The deterioration] suggests that both the country's leadership as well as the population as a whole are dangerously fragmenting, and rapidly so". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

French govt to ban oil/gas exploration - AFP

France is to stop granting new licences for oil and gas exploration on the mainland and in overseas territories, Environment Minister NICOLAS HULOT said on Friday. President EMMANUEL MACRON said during his election campaign in Feb. that he was poosed to exploration for gas and shale gas in mainland France. The president even said he would like to seek the exploitation of oil and gas halted altogether in France's overseas territories, especially in French Guiana on the northeastern coast of South America. But HULOT said it would currently be impossible to take such a move without triggering lawsuits from energy companies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Executive changes pave way forward for GPI - Fin24

GRAND PARADE INVESTMENTS has announced key changes at executive level which it says will shape the company's strategy well into the future. Newly appointed group CEO TASNEEM KARRIEM is the first female CEO in the history of the company and one of a handful of females that are leading JSE-listed companies in SA. DYLAN PIENAAR is standing down as FD of the company to take on the role of GRAND FOODS CEO, while remaining a core member of the GPI executive team. Given that the Food Business has become a large, focused investment for GPI and part of its growth strategy, PIENAAR will be responsible for driving efficiencies and profitability. He will be replaced by SHAUN BARENDS who has been with the GPI GROUP since May 2013. BARENDS initially headed up the finance division of the Slots Group and more recently the finance department of GPI's Foods Business. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Q3 ferrochrome price settled - Merafe - Natasha Odendaal

MERAFE RESOURCES on Friday announced a decrease in the Q3 ferrochrome price. The European benchmark ferrochrome price fell 28.6% from 154c/lb for Q2 to 110c/lb for Q3. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ethos Capital reports rise in NAV - Megan van Wyngaardt

A return on the temporary investment and an ETHOS Mid-Market Fund I equalisation payment has seen ETHOS CAPITAL's underlying net asset value rise to R10.22/share as at May 31. The ETHOS MMF I concluded its second close towards the end of May, and is nearing targeted commitments of R2bn. As a first close investor, ETHOS CAPITAL received equalisation proceeds of R78m, reducing its invested capital from R307m to R229m. As part of the equalisation, it received a return of prime plus 2% on these proceeds, contributing 3cps to NAV. At current commitment levels, ETHOS CAPITAL's participation in ETHOS MMF I is 61%, which is expected to drop to 45% at final close, at which point further equalisation proceeds will be received as well as a prime plus 2% return thereon. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Five directors step down in Group Five board shake-up - Natasha Odendaal

As GROUP FIVE officially issues a notice of a planned EGM on Jul. 24, to reconstitute the board, five directors are set to step down. Effective Jul. 24, independent non-executive directors VINCEN TRAGUE, WILLEM LOUW and JUSTIN CHINYANTA along with independent non-executive director and chair PHILISIWE MTHETHWA and lead independent non-executive director KALAA MPINGA will resign as a result of the proposed reconstitution. This followed pressure from the company's largest shareholder, ALLAN GRAY, after a "disagreement on the future direction" of the company, demanding an EGM be held to reconstitute the board. ALLAN GRAY requested the replacement of the current non-executive directors with the five undisclosed directors it had recommended. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mining Charter violates shareholder rights - Hogan Lovells - Martin Creamer

The new Mining Charter's arbitrary increase of empowerment shareholding to 30% violates the property rights of shareholders, while its requirement to pay 1% of annual turnover is not expected to survive challenges under the Companies Act and the Constitution, Hogan Lovells partner WESSEL BADENHORST said on Friday. Property rights under the COnstitution are entrenched and cannot be limited, unless through a law of general application and for reasons that are not capricious or arbitrary. "That casts a massive dark cloud over the third quarter", BADENSHORST said, noting that the Charter is not a law of general application, but a policy document and the increase to 30% is arbitrary with little juristic justification for it. "These impracticalities and legal ambiguities may mean that the future of the new charter is the rubbish bin, if not the recycling bin", he added. Until then, the controversy and legal jousting will leave the industry vulnerable and investors running for more stable and lucrative investment havens. Meanwhile, the CCMA has warned of the new Charter potentially exacerbating the current jobs bloodbath in the mining industry. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Randgold keen on DRC mining code review - Creamer Media Reporter

RANDGOLD RESOURCES on Friday said the mining industry would welcome a review of the DRC's existing mining code. However, this review needs to be subject to an inclusive debate, with government and mining companies agreeing on their needs and objectives and committing to a long-term growth strategy where the main criterion is the "profitability of the mines and not their size". "The DRC has all the ingredients of a sustainable mining industry but the development of that potential will require a mutually beneficial partnership between the country's government and the mining sector", RANDGOLD CEO MARK BRISTOW said. "We trust government will not take the path of two years ago, when it first devised a new code without reference to the industry and then withdrew it when the implications of offering investors a zero return sank in", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore increases offer for Rio's C&A assets - Megan van Wyngaardt

In light of reports on Tuesday that RIO TINTO urged its shareholders to vote in favour of the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary COAL & ALLIED INDUSTRIES to YANCOAL AUSTRALIA, GLENCORE has raised its offer for the assets to $2.67bn, including a coal price-linked royalty. Earlier this month, GLENCORE offered to acquire the C&A assets for $2.55bn, comprising an initial $2.05bn in cash and $500m in deferred cash payments payable as annual instalments of $100m over five years. The offer also included the coal price-linked royalty. Having considered factors in both proposals, RIO said it is leaning towards the YANCOAL offer, owing to its agreement to accelerate all deferred payments and make a single payment of $2.45bn, plus a coal price-linked royalty, to buy the C&A assets. GLENCORE on Friday said its offer wat at least $225m greater than YANCOAL's and that the deferred payments would also fall away. Its offer still remained conditional on approval from China, Korea, Taiwan and Australia. If successful, GLENCORE intends to mitigate its overall financial commitments through a sale or monetisation of assets of no less than $1.5bn, including exploring the option of selling down up to 50% of its interest in the C&A mines. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore paid $4bn in taxes, royalties in 2016 - Natasha Odendaal

GLENCORE on Friday said it had paid around $4bn in taxes and royalties to governments in 2016. Some $1.78bn related to payments in respect of the extractive activities under the reporting requirements of the EU directive. Overall, GLENCORE said its total economic contribution for the year amounted to $18.6bn, comprising taxes and royalties, employees' wages and benefits and payments to local suppliers. The direct annual contributions to the host countries included $68.87m to SA; $814.28m to Australia, $15.78m to Zambia, $293.18m to Kazakhstan, $178.5m to Colombia, and $169.15m to the DRC, besides others. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane 'chased away' from Mpumalanga mining indaba - News24Wire

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE had to be whisked away from an angry crowd closing in on him at a community meeting in Mpumalanga on Friday. "You cannot come to another man's yard and do as you please", one angry attendee shouted at ZWANE as the meeting degenerated into people shouting and booing at the minister. ZWANE was supposed to discuss the recently unveiled Mining Charter, but people attending the imbizo at the Sydney Choma Community Hall in Middelburg would not let him speak. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP agrees to new assessment in Pilbara - Esmarie Swanepoel

BHP has agreed to a new strategic assessment programme with the federal government that locks in environmental standards and protection measures in the Pilbara. Environment and Energy Minister JOSH FRYDENBERG on Friday said the programme would protect the unique environment of the Pilbara and support environmentally sustainable development of iron ore mines. Under the programme, BHP will consult the community on new activities, invest to safeguard Australia's naturally protected species and report publicly on their environmental performance. The programme will be subject to regulatory oversight by the federal government, with regular review and approval required, and a limit on environmental impacts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio flags $180m hit to H1 underlying profit - Reuters

RIO TINTO on Friday said it has completed a planned bond buyback, reducing gross debt by $2.5bn, with the early redemption costs likely to reduce H1 underlying profit by about $180m. The global miner said that since the start of 2016, it has reduced the face value of outstanding bonds to about $9.5bn from around $21bn. Analysts, on average, expect RIO to post HY profit of $4.78bn, according to Reuters survey. RIO cut net debt by around $4.2bn in 2016 and in Feb. said it would like to see further debt reductions as it looks to withstand any volatility in commodity markets. Early redemption costs from the latest buyback would likely reduce its cash flow from operating activities by about $260m in H1 to end-Jun. It said reductions in underlying earnings and cash flow would be offset by savings in future periods. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moz did not show where $500m in loans were spent - Kroll audit - Manuel Mucari

Mozambique did not adequately show where at least $500m out of $2bn in loans meant for state companies was allocated, according to an audit by KROLL, published on Saturday. The audit of the loans to EMATUM, PROINDICUS and MOZAMBIQUE ASSET MANAGEMENT was a condition for the IMF to resume aid talks with the country. "Until the inconsistencies are resolved, and satisfactory documentation is provided, at least $500m of expenditure of a potentially sensitive nature remains unaudited and unexplained", KROLL said. CREDIT SUISSE and VTB CAPITAL were paid a total of $199.7m in fees to arrange the loans, the audit showed. It also found that there were limitations in the process of issuing government guarantees, with no evidence provided that any assessment took place before the signing of three government guarantees with a combined value of $1bn. The companies also lacked some of the basic infrastructure to operate, the audit showed. "PROINDICUS does not have an operational satellite package, EMATUM does not currently have permits for the fishing vessels, and MAM has only recently obtained access to a shipyard in Maputo that is undergoing an upgrade to enable the maintenance of vessels", the audit said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF to visit Moz to discuss debt audit concerns - Joe Brock

The IMF will visit Mozambique from Jul. 10 to 19 to discuss issues around the management of public finances following the release of an audit into $2bn in hidden loans by risk-management firm KROLL, the fund said on Saturday. "The publication of these documents constitutes an important step towards greater transparency regarding the loans", the Fund said. "However, information gaps remain, in particular on the use of the loan proceeds. An IMF staff mission will visit Mozambique... to discuss the results of the audit with the authorities and possible follow-up actions". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria hopes to generate $1bn from tax evasion amnesty - Camillus Eboh

Nigeria hopes to raise at least $1bn from a scheme that will give tax evaders a chance to make payments retrospectively, the finance ministry said on Friday. The ministry said a scheme would be launched on Jun. 29 to give evaders immunity from prosecution, penalty charges and interest if they "regularise their tax status" between Jul. 1 and Dec. 31 2017. It said tax evaders who delayed participation until after Dec. 31 would be liable for interest on overdue tax balances. International asset tracers and investigative specialists have been appointed to assist the government in tracing assets held by Nigerians, the ministry said. "Anticipated funds to be raised are at least US$1bn, which will reduce Nigeria's borrowing needs, allow investment in vital infrastructure and spur development", the ministry said. Economists have long criticised the low levels of tax in Nigeria and in Mar. the government laid out plans to increase its overall tax to GDP ratio to 15% by 2020, from 6% at present. The finance ministry last month said it would increase the interest rate on unpaid taxes to discourage companies and individuals from paying late and racking up a larger debt. The government has previously announced plans to increase a luxury goods tax to 15% from 5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala fund pulls out of Etisalat Nigeria - Camillus Eboh

Abu Dhabi state investment fund MUBADALA has pulled out of ETISALAT NIGERIA after the latter failed to renegotiate a $1.2bn loan taken out four years ago with 13 Nigerian banks, the central bank said on Friday. ETISALAT NIGERIA had repaid $500m of the loan before it defaulted in Feb. due to a currency devaluation and its only remaining investors are its Nigerian partners, led b company chair HAKEEM BELO-OSAGIE. Last Tuesday, ETISALAT said it was carrying its 45% stake at nil value, and that the Nigerian lenders had ordered it to transfer its shares to a loan trustee by Jun. 23 after the renegotiation failed. In March, Nigeria's central bank and the Nigerian Communications Commission regulator tried to prevent lenders placing the company in receivership to avoid a wider debt crisis and agreed with banks to pursue a default deal. But lenders, under pressure to avoid loan-loss provisions, have been pushing to finalise a restructuring before HY audits this month. Central bank spokesperson ISAAC OKORAFOR said representatives from the central bank and the telecoms regulator would hold talks in the next few days with lenders and IHS TOWERS, the mobile phone tower managers, as well as "equipment suppliers". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ford recalls 15 600 cars in SA - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

FORD is recalling nearly 16 000 Ikon and Figo models in SA due to a potential fire risk, it said on Friday. The models were built between 2004 and 2012 in India. "A power steering fluid leak could result in fumes being emitted from the engine compartment", the carmaker said. "It may also be possible for power steering fluid to come into contact with the vehicle's exhaust system components, creating the potential for smoke and, in extreme cases, fire". Earlier this year in SA FORD recalled 4 500 Kuga SUVs following dozens of reports of cars catching fire. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRC to produce record 1.05mt of copper in 2017 - Aaron Ross

The DRC is set to produce a record 1.05mt of copper in 2017, up 2.4% over last year, as prices recover and large projects raise output, the country's Chamber of Mines said on Friday. Congo produced a record 1.03mt in 2014 before copper prices ell due to weakening demand from China. The Chamber also forecast that gold and cobalt production this year would increase by 2.8% and 3.9%, respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 26/06/2017

At 07h06 on 26 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.90 ZAR/EUR 14.45 ZAR/GBP 16.45 Gold 1254.12 Platinum 926.00 Brent Crude Oil 45.93 All Share 51503.52

Zambia limits 10% tax on maize exports to boost output - Chris Mfula

Zambia has limited its 10% tax on maize exports in order to encourage production of the nation's main food crop, Finance Minister FELIX MUTATI said today. "We agreed on a threshold in order to encourage production. The 10% export tax will only apply when maize production does not exceed 2m tonnes", mutati SAID. The Zambia National Farmers Union said the move would enhance maize exports at economically acceptable prices. Zambia introduced the tax on maize exports in the 2017 budget in a bid to discourage maize exports following a regional shortage. In May, the country lifted a ban on maize exports after output rose to 3.61mt in 2016/17, from 2.87mt the previous season. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's govt revenues rise in May - Camillus Eboh

Nigeria's distributable government revenues rose to 462.4bn naira in May from 415.7bn naira m/m due to higher proceeds from corporate taxes, a government statement said yesterday. The revenues were boosted by "significant increases in revenues from companies income tax", the statement issued by the accountant general said. But it noted that the rise was offset by a "slight drop in the average price of crude oil from $55.38 to $55.18 per barrel and a decrease in export volume by 1.023m barrels, reduced oil revenue by $57.12m". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Malawi sees IMF loan approval as signal of donor confidence - Mabvuto Banda

Malawi's finance minister hopes the IMF's approval of a $26.9m loan could lead to more global lenders unlocking budget support that was suspended three years ago over graft allegations. The Fund on Wednesday said Malawi's economy was on the right track after it completed its ninth and final review of the country's economic performance under a programme supported by an extended credit facility, allowing the global lender to make the loan. "This is a very positive development because it signals that we are on the right track with our economic agenda and will help push for the much needed return of budget support", Finance Minister GOODALL GONDWE said. The loan brings total disbursements under the ECF arrangement, signed in 2012, to about $191.4m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 23/06/2017

At 10h41 on 23 June 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.90 ZAR/EUR 14.43 ZAR/GBP 16.44 Gold 1256.14 Platinum 931.00 Brent Crude Oil 45.93 All Share 51276.17

ECB seeks to regulate euro clearing with change to statute - Katie Martin

The European Central Bank has recommended changing its statute so that it can take on stronger oversight of euro clearing. "The amendments will allow the Eurosystem to monitor and address risks associated with central clearing activities that could affect the conduct of monetary policy, the operation of payment systems and the stability of the euro", the central bank said today. Brexit has re-opened the rift between the ECB and London over clearing after the European Court of Justice ruled in 2015 that activity could remain in London - against the ECB's wish to force activity to decamp to the eurozone. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Allied Irish completes IPO with €12bn valuation - Nicholas Megaw

The Irish government raised at least €3bn in the IPO of ALLIED IRISH BANK, which valued the lender at €12bn. The offering was priced at €4.40/share, raising €3bn assuming no exercise of an over-allotment option, or €3.4bn if it is exercised. The €12bn valuation was in the middle of the bank's previously announced price-range, and in line with analyst expectations. Ireland's government will still hold between 71% and 75% of AIB's shares after the sale, and expects to slowly sell down its stake in the coming years. Dublin paid almost €21bn to rescue AIB at the height of the financial crisis, but it expects the lender to increase in value further. Finance Minister PASCHAL DONOHOE said the sale of a first stake "has created a strong platform for the state to recover all the money it has invested". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba to delay earnings report till Aug. 10 - Peter Wells

TOSHIBA has been granted permission from Japan's regulator to extend the deadline for its FY results until Aug. 10 owing to its WESTINGHOUSE unit filing for bankruptcy. It also revised its outlook for the FY to end-Mar. 2017, tipping slightly higher sales and slightly lower net income than it had previously forecast in May. Final auditing of TOSHIBA can only be carried out once the accounting and auditing procedures related to WESTINGHOUSE are completed. TOSHIBA expects to book sales of Y4.87tn in the FY to end-Mar., which is 0.8% higher than the outlook it delivered on May 15. Its net loss is now tipped to be 0.9% wider, at -Y995.2bn, compared to the May outlook. Operating profit of Y270.8bn is 0.1% higher than last month's forecast and compares to a loss of Y483bn in FY2015. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mexico hikes rates for 7th straight time - Jude Webber

The Bank of Mexico increased its key lending rate by a quarter-point to 7%, just hours after new data showed inflation hit an annual rate of 6.3% in the first half of June - its highest in over eight years. This was the seventh consecutive increase and takes the benchmark rate to a level last seen in Mar. 2009. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EU set to extend sanctions against Russia - Arthur Beesley

European sanctions against Russia over its interference in Ukraine are set to be prolonged for another six months, DONALD TUSK said yesterday. The president of the European Council said German Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL and French President EMMANUEL MACRON will brief leaders on the situation in Ukraine and the state of play on the Minsk ceasefire agreements at an EU summit currently under way. "This should allow us to extend the economic sanctions against Russia for another six months", TUSK said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chinese regulators clamp down on online videos - Emily Feng

Chinese regulators have ordered three major internet platforms to halt all video and streaming services as the country ramps up its control over online material. SINA WEIBO was among the three companies slapped with the streaming ban. IFENG and ACFUN have also been ordered to halt streaming. The three companies did not possess the necessary license to stream audio and visual content and were "not in line wiht national audiovisual regulations and propagating negative speech", the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said. SINA WEIBO has invested heavily into buying up livestreaming companies, and last year announced a partnership with the National Football League to stream games directly on its platform. Nasdaq-listed shares in WEIBO closed down 6.1% at $72.25, bringing the company's market cap to $15.8bn, from $16.8bn at the previous close. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Abu Dhabi Financial Group buys stake in Noble - Neil Hume

A fund controlled by the ABU DHABI FINANCIAL GROUP has declared a stake in NOBLE GROUP. In a regulatory filing, GOLDILOCKS INVESTMENTS said it owned 5% of NOBLE, up from a previously undisclosed 1.18%. ADFG is a privately owned group that includes investors from the Abu Dhabi royal family. It launched the $200m GOLDILOCKS fund last year, initially to target "undervalued opportunities" in the Gulf Co-operation Council. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ECB sets up instant payment service for eurozone businesses, customers - Mehreen Khan

The ECB will set up a eurozone-wide instant payment system allowing consumers and businesses to send money anywhere in the bloc "within a matter of seconds". Known as TIPS (Target Instant Payment Settlement), the 24-hour system will help facilitate instant money transfers, offered via banks, so that citizens and firms can make instant retail payments across Europe. It is due to launch in Nov. 2018. At present, it can take up to one business day for money transfers to move across the eurozone. Commercial banks will be able to use TIPS at a maximum price of 0.20c/payment for at least the first two years. Payment providers, meanwhile, will be encouraged to move towards instant settlement options from Nov. this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Commission approves sale of Grindrod's rail business - Mark Allix

The Competition Commission has recommended the proposed sale, without conditions, of GRINDROD's rail construction businesses to WBHO CONSTRUCTION and FAKU FAMILY ENTERPRISES for an undisclosed sum, to the Competition Tribunal. WBHO CONSTRUCTION is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WILSON BAYLY HOLMES-OVCON. "The transaction is still confidential between the parties and subject to final approval by the Tribunal", WBHO spokesperson SHEREEN VALLY-KARA said. The Commission said the proposed transaction was unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition and did not raise any public interest concerns. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Parliament to seek court order to set aside Public Protector action - Matthew le Cordeur

Parliament has joined ABSA and the SARB in heading to court to get Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE's remedial action set aside, as they believe it is unlawful. Parliament yesterday said it will "initiate a court application to have this remedial action set aside on the basis of its unconstitutionality". MKHWEBANE on Monday ordered the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services to initiate a process to change the Constitution "in pursuit of improving socio-economic conditions of the citizens of the republic". She said they must amend a paragraph in the Constitution that removes reference to protect the value of the currency. "Parliament believes that the remedial action, which is binding in terms of the law, usurps the powers of the institution under the Constitution. Section 57 of the Constitution empowers the Assembly to control its internal arrangements, proceedings and procedures". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nuclear energy will enrich SA - Zuma - Liesl Peyper

Nuclear energy will bring profits and dividends to SA for thousands of years to come, President JACOB ZUMA said yesterday. He repeated previous statements that government intends on procuring nuclear energy at a pace and scale the country can afford as part of its energy mix. ZUMA also came out in favour of nuclear energy as an income generator for SA. "It will bring a lot of money to the country. In any business there is capital that builds the business and then the business comes to a point where it breaks even". ZUMA categorically denied that he or any family member has benefited from any nuclear-related transaction. "I don't know of any transaction. Nothing, nothing, nothing", ZUMA said in response to a comment from DA leader MMUSI MAIMANE telling the president that the truth about nuclear will surface one day. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caxton's bid to halt Media24/Novus merger dismissed - Fin24

The Competition Tribunal yesterday rejected CAXTON's application to stop the MEDIA24 merger with NOVUS HOLDINGS. The Tribunal said CAXTON wanted clarity on the control structure relating to the tie-up. It dismissed the application on this basis, indicating that the control structure was no relevant to the proposed transaction in light of a condition attached to a de-merger. The condition was recommended by the Competition Commission. In the case of a de-merger, MEDIA24 would divest its majority stake in NOVUS to NASPERS, and maintain a 19% non-controlling stake in NOVUS. "In terms of this condition MEDIA24 will sell down its existing stake in NOVUS to a level at which MEDIA24 will no longer exercise control over NOVUS", the Tribunal said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSE-listed firms must disclose empowerment status - Fin24

Companies listed on the JSE will have to publish a compliance report on their BBBEE status. This follows amendments to the Listing Requirements to ensure that its listed companies have a policy in place to promote racial diversity at board level, the bourse operator said yesterday. These amendments have been implemented in conjunction with amendments dealing with the King IV Report on Corporate Governance. "The implementation date of the required disclosure in the annual report of the policy on the promotion of race diversity at board level will be 1 June 2018. As such all annual reports issued on or after 1 June 2018 will have to comply with the required disclosure", the JSE said. Publication of the annual compliance report pursuant to the BBEE Act is required from 19 June 2017. Listed companies are required to publish their BBBEE annual compliance report on their company website and are further required to make an announcement on SENS that this has been published. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Abraaj plans Libstar IPO - source - Dinesh Nair, Bloomberg

ABRAAJ GROUP is planning an IPO of South African food and personal car maker LIBSTAR, which may value the company at as much as $1bn, sources said. ABRAAJ, which bought a controlling stake in LIBSTAR in 2014, is working with JPMORGAN CHASE & CO and STANDARD BANK on a planned share sale this year which may raise about $300m, the sources said. The company is leaning towards a listing on the JSE though a potential sale in London is also under consideration. No final decisions have been made. ABRAAJ is also planning an IPO of its North African hospitals business. LIBSTAR is one of the largest unlisted food and personal care manufacturers in the country and employs around 6 700 people. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dladla appointed acting Eskom CEO - Terence Creamer

The board at ESKOM yesterday announced that JOHNNY DLADLA had been appointed acting group CEO with immediate effect. In a statement the board said DLADLA's appointment followed "intense consultations" between Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN and itselt "to arrive at a prudent choice". "Both parties are of firm belief that DLADLA's experience and expertise will stabilise ESKOM in the short-term", the statement read. Acting ESKOM chair ZETHEMBE KHOZA said DLADLA has 22 years of experience within ESKOM, 17 of those invested in various non-regulated businesses and five years as CEO for ESKOM ENTERPRISES and its subsidiaries. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Implats AGM to vote on new share issue - Martin Creamer

IMPALA PLATINUM yesterday announced details of an AGM to approve the issue of 175m new shares. The company said shareholders would be convened on Jul. 24 to vote on resolutions authorising, among others, the conversion of the company's entire authorised and issued share capital from par value shares to no par value shares; an increase in authorised share capital from 844 008 000 ordinary shares to 944 008 000 ordinary shares; the amendment of the company's memorandum of incorporation to take account of the ordinary share conversion and authorised share capital increase; and the issuing of a maximum of 175m new ordinary shares on conversion of the 2022 convertible bonds. This relates to IMPLATS on May 25 offering to buy its 2018 dollar and rand convertible bonds and simultaneously launch a dual offering of 2022 dollar and rand convertible bonds. The 2022 bonds are currently cash-settled instruments and the AGM has been convened to allow shareholders to vote their approval for IMPLATS to settle these via the issuing of new IMPLATS ordinary shares for bondholders exercising their conversion rights. If investors do not approve the proposed resolutions, the 2022 convertible bonds will remain subject to cash settlement, which could constrain IMPLATS' ability to pursue new business opportunities, among others. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

VWSA trust makes first investment to grow black supplier base - Irma Venter

VOLKSWAGEN GROUP SA yesterday officially launched its BBBEE Initiatives Trust, which aims to increase the number of black-owned suppliers in the automotive sector value chain. The trust will do this by primarily providing financial assistance and, where required, nonfinancial assistance, such as business development advice and market access through supplier development relationships. This advice and support will be provided to qualifying black-owned suppliers, as well as white-owned suppliers that are interested in becoming black-owned. The immediate aim of the trust is to support at least three other suppliers in 2017. "The... trust is one of the initiatives that VOLKSWAGEn introduced to implement our strategy of deepening localisation, and increasing our competitiveness and business sustainability. [It] will also contribute to the economic growth of the region", VWSA chair and MD THOMAS SCHAFER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Building confidence down in Q2 - Megan van Wyngaardt

The FNB/BER Building Confidence Index fell sharply to 32 for Q2, down from 43 in Q1, with all of the measured subsectors registering a drop in confidence. "The broad-based nature of the decline in confidence suggests that the sector is facing increasing pressure from a number of different fronts", FNB property strategist JOHN LOOS said. The current level of the index indicates that close to 70% of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions. The biggest decline was reported by hardware retailers where confidence fell 24 index points to 13 - the lowest level since Q2 2012. Confidence among building materials manufacturers also fell to a multiyear low of eight index points, from 25 in Q1. Confidence of main building contractors declined to 36 from 42 q/q. The business confidence of building subcontractors shed four points to 38 in Q2. After showing some promise in Q1, activity at the start of the building pipeline slowed. Both architects and quantity surveyors were more pessimistic regarding activity, with 49% and 46% respectively stating that business conditions were satisfactory, down from 55%. Looking ahead, LOOS noted that, while residential activity was predicted to improve somewhat, it was unlikely to be sufficient to offset the weaker nonresidential market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Raubex chair to retire in Sep. - Megan van Wyngaardt

RAUBEX's chairperson KOOS RAUBENHEIMER will retire from his position on Sep. 8, the company said yesterday. He will be succeeded by current non-executive director FREDDIE KENNEY. RAUBENHEIMER founded RAUBEX in 1974 and progressively developed the company into a leader in the local construction industry. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.