Market News

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Moody's cuts outlook on oil, gas sector - Nicholas Megaw

Growth in the oil and gas industry is likely to slow significantly over the next year as the recent rebound from the oil price crash runs its course, according to MOODY's, which has removed its positive outlook for the sector. Oil prices were heading for their highest close in more than two years yesterday, but MOODY's analysts said it did not expect the industry to reap many more gains from the recovery. Oil and gas companies suffered as Brent crude tumbled as low as $27/barrel early last year, but earnings across the sector jumped 28% in the year to June, according to MOODY's, driven by increased output, cost cuts and the recovery in prices. However, the ratings agency is not expecting prices to rise much further in the near term, and said "most gains from cost cutting have now been realised", meaning profits growth will fall to the "mid-single digits" in 2018. In light of the expected slowdown, MOODY's has shifted its outlook for the sector to stable from positive. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold climbs on N Korea tensions - Alice Woodhouse

Gold was building on gains from the previous session as investors turned to haven assets after North Korea's foreign ministry accused DONALD TRUMP of having declared war on the country. The price of the yellow metal rose 0.2% on Tuesday to $1 312.20/oz, its highest intraday level since Wednesday. Bullion rose 1% yesterday after RI YONG HO warned that Pyongyang might shoot down US warplanes flying around the Korean peninsula. Gold's strong performance lifted Australia's All Ordinaries Gold Index of gold producers as much as 1.6% today. The broader S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.1%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alibaba spends $807m to take controlling stake of logistics platform - Louise Lucas

ALIBABA is ploughing an additional $807m into CAINIAO, taking its holding in the logistics platform from 47% to 51%. It also pledged to invest Rmb100bn over the next five years. By moving to a controlling stake, the Chinese internet giant will consolidate the results of loss-making CAINIAO. ALIBABA said the deal would allow it to improve the logistics service. Some 55m parcels a day are delivered over the CAINIAO data network. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

WhatsApp blocked in China ahead of Communist Party Congress in Oct. - Hannah Kuchler

WHATSAPP has been blocked in China as the government appears to be cracking down on the messaging app ahead of the Communist Party congress next month. The messaging app has not been available since Sunday. WHATSAPP is the only FACEBOOK product to operate unhindered in China. The service has been disrupted several times in the last few months, with many users complaining they have been unable to send videos and images without using a virtual private network. But it has not previously been taken entirely offline and has usually returned to normal quickly. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Modi forms new economic advisory council as growth concerns mount - Amy Kazmin

Indian PM NARENDRA MODI has appointed a new economic advisory council as New Delhi seeks solutions to revive its faltering economic growth. The new council will be led by BIBEK DEBROY, a Cambridge-educated economist, and will also include SURJIT BHALLA, RATHIN ROY, ASHIMA GOYAL and RATAL WATAL. The council will be asked to analyse issues referred to it by MODI, and advise him on the proper course of action. MODI's government is increasingly anxious about India's economy, after GDP growth from the Apr. to June quarter fell to just 5.7%, a three-year low. It was the fifth consecutive drop in quarterly GDP growth, and brought growth levels nearly back to the doldrums of the waning days of the previous Congress government in early 2014. BHALLA has been an open, ardent advocate of lowering interest rates to help support ailing growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deloitte hit with cyber attack - Madison Marriage

DELOITTE was hit by a cyber attack earlier this year, forcing the accounting firm to contact governmental authorities about the breach and tarnishing its reputation as an expert provider of cyber security advice. The attack, described by the firm as a "cyber incident" and first reported by The Guardian, will come as a blow to the company, which views the cyber security advice it provides to large entities as one of its fastest-growing revenue streams. DELOITTE said the breach had affected "only very few clients" and that "no disruption had occurred to client businesses, to DELOITTE's ability to continue to service clients, or to consumers". It added that its response to the incident included mobilising a team of cyber security and confidentiality experts inside and outside of DELOITTE, contacting governmental authorities immediately after the firm became aware of the incident, and contacting all clients impacted. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Allergan unveils new $2bn share buyback - Adam Samson

ALLERGAN yesterday said it would launch a fresh $2bn share buyback programme, while also re-affirming its pledge to pay down almost $4bn in debt next year. The company said the share purchase will follow a recently completed $15bn buyback. "We continue to believe that ALLERGAN stock is substantially undervalued, and the share price today presents a unique investment opportunity for the company", ALLERGAN CEO BRENT SAUNDERS said. The company added that it remains committed to paying off $3.75bn in debt in 2018 as it looks to hold its investment grade credit rating. In a separate statement, ALLERGAN announced that CFO TESSA HILADO will resign from the company. She will remain in her position until a successor is named. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Major Chinese steel output cut swings into action early - Edward White

China's biggest steelmaking city yesterday began closing steel plants as part of an early and sweeping winter cutback. Tangshan, in the Hebei province, will halve steel output and limit coking coal use by almost a third during this season. The cuts come as Beijing tries to grapple with air pollution and outdated steelmaking capacity and follows orders issued by Hebei's environmental officials in Aug. In Tangshan alone, the extended winter closures will impact around 20mt of crude steel output, equivalent to about 7.5% of China's annual output. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Abe to dissolve Japanese parliament on Sep. 28 - Robin Harding

SHINZO ABE has called a general snap election for Oct. as the Japanese PM seeks to secure power to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond. ABE yesterday said he would dissolve parliament on Sep. 28 and go to the polls, adding that the security threat from North Korea could not be allowed to prevent a democratic election. The poll will decide whether Japan continues with stimulative economic policies and whether ABE has the political clout to revise Japan's pacifist constitution. He starts with a massive opinion poll lead, but the election is full of risks, with Tokyo governor YURIKO KOIKE declaring she will lead the new Party of Hope in opposition to the PM. ABE said he would raise consumption tax from 8% to 10% in 2019 as planned but redirect part of the revenue to provide free childcare for 3 to 5 year-olds. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ABB buys GE industrial solutions unit - Ralph Atkins

Swiss engineering group ABB is stepping up its acquisition programme by buying GENERAL ELECTRIC's industrial solutions business for $2.6bn. The purchase of the electrification business will result in ABB putting on hold a $3bn share buyback programme announced last year, the company said yesterday. The deal would strengthen ABB's number two position in electrification globally after France's SCHNEIDER, as well as its access to US markets, ABB CEO ULRICH SPIESSHOFER said. The company said it expected to realise $200m of annual cost synergies in five years, and that it had agreed on a supply relationship with GE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP says China's Belt and Road plan could require 150mt of steel - Henry Sanderson

China's ambitious Belt and Road initiative could result in an additional 150mt of steel demand - enough to keep the country's mills going at their current rate for the next decade. President XI JINPING's plan to revive the ancient Silk Road could double the growth rate of steel demand in China, BHP said. "This will drive demand for raw materials", ARNOUD BALHUIZEN, president of marketing at BHP, said. "This extra steel demand will ultimately be met by China". BHP said it looked at 400 core projects that will require $1.3tn of spending under XI's One Belt One Road plan, and estimated their steel use. Those projects could lead to an additional 15mt/year of steel, an additional 3%-4% demand growth, it said. That will b met by Chinese steel mills as only 10 of the 68 countries covered by the Belt and Road initiative are net steel exporters, BHP forecast. Of the 150mt of steel, 80% would be used in structures and reinforced concrete, and 20% in machinery and other equipment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mabuza says ANC needs unity candidate - Antony Sguazzin

Mpumalanga Premier DAVID MABUZA yesterday said the ruling party needs to coalesce around a unifying candidate at its Dec. conference where leaders will be elected to end infighting that is damaging the party. Factions backing NKOSAZANA DLAMINI-ZUMA and CYRIL RAMAPHOSA are "far apart", MABUSA told eNCA's The Justice Factor programme. Unless there is unity, MABUSA said he will not consent to serving in a leadership position. While he would not name a potential candidate to lead the party, he said that if it remains divided DLAMINI-ZUMA will emerge victorious. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAP to provide SA with answers - Business Report

SAP has said it will provide an update on the probe into allegations of wrongdoing in its South African business during the last week of Oct. It was reported earlier that the company paid alleged kickbacks to gain state contracts. SAP said it had initiated a probe, spearheaded by international law firm BAKER MCKENZIE, on Jul. 12. At the same time, the company placed four senior executives on administrative leave pending the finalisation of the probe. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Huge Group interim earnings to rise - BDpro

HUGE GROUP on Friday said HEPS for the HY to end-Aug. would be at least 20% higher y/y. The company declared HEPS and EPS of 10.05cps in the y/y period. HUGE began a consolidation between corporate telecoms companY TELEPASSPORT LIMITED and CENTRACELL LIMITED in 2007, evolving into a diversified telecoms company. HUGE said it would publish a further trading statement as soon as it could provide precise guidance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Minister's move may put water funding for 6m people at risk - Ana Monteiro, Bloomberg

FUTUREGROWTH ASSET MANAGEMENT said governance issues at the water board serving SA's second most-populous province raise the risk that its bonds could be suspended or terminated from the JSE, City Press reported at the weekend. Lawyers representing FUTUREGROWTH wrote to Water and Sanitation Minister NOMVULA MOKONYANE and said she had flouted the Public Finance Management Act by illegally appointing MSIZI CELE as acting CEO and accounting officer of UMGENI WATER in KZN. The minister is undertaking follow-ups to allay investors' fears and has done nothing that falls outside the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act, DWS spokesperson MLIMANDLELA NDAMASE said. He added that the minister is expediting the appointment of a new board. UNGENI WATER is satisfied that the interim independent structures are sufficient to ensure continued strict adherence to good corporate governance, a spokesperson for the utility said. UMGENI WATER's bond balance at Jun. 30 was R1.5bn, and it has remained within predetermined borrowing limits set by the Treasury. Staff at FUTUREGROWTH didn't answer a call for comment outside of office hours. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba says Myeni's contract is legal - Matthew le Cordeur

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA has told Parliament's standing committee on finance that SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS chair DUDU MYENI's extended contract is legal. This comes after the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission said her extended tenure in Sep. was illegal, according to its laws. "The minister argues that it is legal to extend Ms MYENI's term on the basis of Section 13.4.6 of the SAA Memorandum of Incorporation, which he says is in line with the Companies Act", standing committee on finance chair YUNUS CARRIM said. "We have referred the minister's correspondence to our parliamentary lawyer and will discuss the matter in the committee meeting on October 5", CARRIM added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim denies food shortages as skyrocketing grocery prices sow panic - Malcom Sharara

Cash shortages and currency uncertainties have taken a turn for the worse in Zimbabwe, as a combination of unfavourable elements and panicking individuals have seen grocery prices skyrocket in the past week. In a move reminiscent of the hyperinflation era, prices of several basic products have doubled or tripled in the past few days as panic gripped Zimbabweans trying to exhaust their bank balances before they completely lost their value. Currency rates on the black market have also skyrocketed, with $100 now selling for $150 or more for an electronic transfer. Some supermarkets have responded by restricting certain basic products to one per customer. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has issued a statement dismissing the reports. "The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would like to advise the Zimbabwean public to dismiss the social media messages that are circulating and suggesting that there is going to be a shortage of basic commoditie. These messages are meant to cause panic and despondency and mayhem to the unsuspecting and peace-loving members of the public. All such and other statements should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve", the central bank said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim currency woes to hit Edgars product range - Malcom Sharara

According to EDGARS STORES LIMITED, prevailing forex shortages in Zimbabwe will impact its product range. In a statement accompanying its results for the HY ended Jul. 1, EDGARS chair THEMBINKOSI SIBANDA said prevailing currency shortages will affect its product range, "particularly for the fourth quarter". In H1, the company's manufacturing unit made a loss of $0.3m, which SIBANDA said was the result of fabric shortages caused by the lack of foreign currency. The unit is actively seeking to secure export orders so that it can generate its own forex requirements. Meanwhile, revenue of $24.7m for the HY increased by 7% y/y, while the group gross profit margin of 43% dropped by 1% y/y. The group's profit before tax for the HY was $0.9m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba slams R100bn PIC bailout reports as untrue - Fin24, Bloomberg

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday said he "has noted with concern" reports in the media that Treasury wants to use R100bn of the funds in the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION to bail out failing SOEs. "The minister would like to clarify that these reports are untrue. No formal or informal request has been sent to the PIC for such funds. The minister finds these reports malicious and unconstructive". GIGABA has called an urgent meeting with the PIC board to deal with this matter and other issues, the statement read, adding that more information on the meeting will be provided soon. Bloomberg earlier reported that Treasury is pressuring the PIC to provide as much as R100bn to fund struggling SOEs, according to sources. The PIC has been asked by Treasury to buy its entire R12bn stake in TELKOM to pay for a bailout of SAA, sources said. PIC CEO DANIEL MATJILA has rejected the request, saying a purchase of the 39% shareholding would leave the company overexposed to the landline provider. MATJILA is willing to buy around R2bn of TELKOM shares, which would boost the PIC's stake to about 18%. Labour federation COSATU, the Federation of Unions of SA and the Public Servants Association called for vigilance to prevent workers' pension funds managed by the PIC from being used for this purpose. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUM, AngloGold agree on Kopanang payouts - Lesetja Malope

The NUM and ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI have reached an agreement in terms of which all workers at Kopanang mine in Klerksdorp will be paid their retrenchment packages before the company finalises the sale of the mine. NUM deputy president JOSEPH MONTISETSE said the parties agreed to pay off the workers before the sale, which is expected to be finalised soon. The union had signed an MoU with the mine in this regard. "This is an achievement for NUM members and other workers because the union did not want to see a sad and painful experience liek what happened to AURORA workers", MONTISETSE said. "The payout will not be provident or pension, just retrenchment packages. We have agreed that workers will get their money before October 16", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Thyssenkrupp to raise capital ahead of Tata deal - Reuters

THYSSENKRUPP will increase its capital by 10% in a sale of new shares to bolster its balance sheet ahead of a planned deal with TATA STEEL of India. The parties last week agreed to combine their European steel operations in a move to create the continent's second-largest steelmaker with revenue of around €15bn. The German company plans to issue 56 593 794 new no-par-value bearer shares to obtain "the financial leeway to support organic growth" in its industrial goods business, the company said yesterday. At Monday's closing price of €24.70, such a share sale would raise some €1.4bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Remgro acquires Unilever's spreads business in Southern Africa - Anine Kilian

REMGRO will sell its 25.75% stake in UNILEVER SA to the UNILEVER group, in exchange for full ownership of the UNILEVER spreads business in Southern Africa and R4.9bn in cash. The full value of the deal is R11.9bn, with the spreads business valued at R7bn. REMGRO on Friday said that while the investment in UNILEVER SA has been profitable, REMGRO's inability to shape the strategic direction of the business has led it to conclude that it would create more value via full ownership and control of the spreads business. REMGRO will use the cash proceeds from the sale for investment and/or capital management purposes. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jarana to start as SAA CEO on Nov. 1 - Anine Kilian

SAA on Friday announced its new CEO, VUYANI JARANA, will take up his position on Nov. 1. "The decision follows the conclusion of negotiations with his current employer [VODACOM] on his release date", SAA spokesperson TLALI TLALI said. One of JARANA's responsibilities will be to ensure the effective implementation of SAA's recently finalised five-year corporate plan. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global steel output up 6.3% y/y in Aug. - Creamer Media Reporter

Global crude steel output for the 67 countries reporting to the World Steel Association increased by 6.3% y/y to 143.6mt in Aug. China's crude steel production rose by 8.7% y/y to 74.6mt, while India's output rose by 4.1% y/y to 8.5mt. Japan's crude steel output fell by 2% to 8.7mt. Germany's production increased by 3.3% y/y to 3.6mt, while France increased output by 15.5% y/y to 1.1mt. The US produced 7.1mt of crude steel in Aug., an increase of 6.3% y/y. Africa's steel output rose by 20.9% y/y to 1.15mt. SA's production increased by 24.4% y/y to 554 000t, and Egypt's output by 23.6% y/y to 535 000t. Worldsteel reported that the crude steel capacity utilisation ratio of the 67 countries was 72.2% in Aug. - 3.3 percentage points higher than in Aug. 2016 but 0.2% lower than in July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria unlikely to cut fuel sulphur level anytime soon - Rainoil - Reuters

Nigeria's efforts to cut sulphur levels in its fuel imports are unlikely to succeed this year, RAINOIL MD GABRIEL OGBECHIE said last week. The government has delayed its target to slash allowed sulphur on imports to 50 parts per million for diesel and 150 ppm for gasoline from July to December, but OGBECHIE said the chances of meeting the fresh deadline are zero. The current maximum sulphur level is 1 000 ppm for gasoline and 3 000 ppm for diesel. RAINOIL holds a contract for crude-for-fuels swaps, which have been the main source for the country's gasoline imports in the past two years. Prices for lower sulphur fuels were included in those contracts, but OGBECHIE said as long as the government caps gasoline prices, it will not opt for higher quality fuel that would cost $10 to $20 more per tonne. "That's an extra $300 000 to $600 000 per cargo. Is the government ready to absorb that cost? The answer today is no". OGBECHIE said the government should deregulate fuel prices, which would enable it to increase quality without shouldering the cost, but noted that with elections coming in early 2019 any such move was also unlikely. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hernic Ferrochrome in business rescue - Martin Creamer

HERNIC has been placed in business rescue, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION said on Friday. The business rescue of the Japanese subsidiary is taking place under the Companies Act, following a comprehensive assessment of financial alternatives by HERNIC's board. The development was not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated earnings of HERNIC for the period ending Mar. 2018, MITSUBISHI said. The appointment of business rescue practitioners is expected to be formalised soon, MITSUBISHI said, which became a HERNIC shareholder in Mar. 2000. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Exxaro, NUM wage agreement halts strike - Martin Creamer

EXXARO COAL and the NUM have reached a three-year wage agreement, which brings the current strike at its Grootegeluk and Leeuwpan mines to a conclusion. "We are pleased that the parties were able to resolve the dispute speedily", EXXARO executive MZILA MTHENJANE said. Positive engagements continue with Solidarity, the other union recognised for collective bargaining. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

KPMG booted off BLSA - News24Wire

The board of Business Leadership SA has decided to suspend the membership of KPMG SA pending the outcome of an independent probe into the auditor's involvement in conduct related to "state capture" in SA. This follows a process of engagement with KPMG, allowing them to fully present their case, and consideration of the perspective of other important roleplayers, BLSA said. "We want to emphasise that our members remain unfettered by this announcement in how they respond in terms of individual engagement with KPMG", BLSA said, adding that it recognises "the considerable steps" announced by the firm to change its leadership and commence a process of "cultural change". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lucara sells giant Lesedi La Rona diamond - Henry Lazenby

LUCARA DIAMOND CORP has sold its 1 109ct Lesedi La Rona diamond for $53m, or $47 777/ct, it announced yesterday. The buyer, GRAFF DIAMONDS, said it will let the diamond dictate how it will be cut, "taking the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties". "We took our time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution. The price paid is also an improvement on the highest bid received at the Sotheby's auction in June 2016. GRAFF DIAMONDS is now the owner of the Lesedi La Rona as well as the 373ct diamond, purchased earlier this year, which formed part of the original stone", LUCARA president and CEO WILLIAM LAMB said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil to reinstate protection for Amazon reserve - Reuters

Brazil will reinstate a mining ban in a vast area of the Amazon rainforest, the government announced yesterday. The Mines and Energy Ministry said that President MICHEL TEMER's administration had decided to revoke an Aug. decree abolishing the National Reserve of Copper and Associates. The decision will be published in the Official Gazette later today. The reserve was established in 1984 to protect what are thought to be significant deposits of gold, copper, iron ore and other minerals from the perceived threat of foreign miners at the time. It covers a section of the Amazon, the preservation of which is seen as essential to soaking up carbon emissions responsible for global warming. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Iron ore succumbs to bear market - Reuters

Iron ore has slumped back into a bear market after posting the biggest weekly loss in 16 months amid concern that record demand in China may ease off as mills enact winter output cuts just as data from the top user signals that the economy may be cooling. Losses have likely been driven by "the realisation that if, as planned, large amounts of steel capacity are taken offline during the winter months, this will mean lower demand for iron ore", CAPITAL ECONOMICS economist CAROLINE BAIN said. "August activity and spending data suggested that the Chinese economy is starting to slow". Spot ore with 62% content in Qingdao slipped 0.8% to $63.06/t yesterday, after retreating 12% last week. Prices have lost more than 20% since peaking near $80/t in Aug. Lower-grade 58% ore has sunk into the $30s. "We expect the price of iron ore to fall further and to average just $55/t in the fourth quarter", BAIN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

KPMG still Gold Fields' external auditors - Reuters

GOLD FIELDS on Friday said KPMG remains its external auditor but it will continue to monitor future developments. KPMG cleared out its South African leadership recently after it found that work it did for firms owned by the GUPTAS "fell considerably short" of its standards. "The GOLD FIELDS board of directors has considered the matter and will be closely following future developments in this area", it said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia repositions Buzwagi to produce more gold doré - Creamer Media Reporter

ACACIA MINING will reposition its Buzwagi mine to produce only gold doré until the end of its life in 2020. This follows positive results from a processing trial that indicated the mine should be able to achieve gold recoveries of around 85% via the additional use of reagents in the leaching circuit at limited additional operating costs. Buzwagi produces both doré and a gold/copper concentrate, but the government ban on gold and copper concentrate exports has prevented the mine from shipping and selling its concentrate, which accounts for around 65% of production. ACACIA said there would be no changes to group production or cost guidance resulting from its processing change - however, Buzwagi would be able to sell an additional 8 000oz-10 000oz a month of gold for the remainder of 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South32 adds to board - Esmarie Swanepoel

SOUTH32 has made two additions to its board of directors, with the appointment of Dr XIAOLING LIU and KAREN WOOD as independent nonexecutive directors. XIAOLING will join the board on Jan. 15 and will seek election at the company's next AGM, while WOOD's appointment will be effective from Nov. 1, and she will seek election at this year's AGM. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Giant pink diamond could be Alrosa's most expensive - Bloomberg

ALROSA has unearthed a pink diamond that the Russian company says could be the most expensive it has ever found. The miner found the 27.85ct pink gem at its alluvial mines in Russia's Far East. ALROSA said the biggest pink diamond it had previously found was less than 4ct in weight. The gem-quality stone has very few flaws and could be the company's most expensive polished diamond if it decides to cut the stone, ALROSA said last week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Newcrest divests of NZ exploration asset - Esmarie Swanepoel

NEWCREST MINING has abandoned its 80% stake in the Rahu project, in New Zealand, to JV partner NEW TALISMAN GOLD MINES. NEW TALISMAN on Friday announced it had acquired NEWCREST NEW ZEALAND EXPLORATION, with the junior evaluating its options to fast-track the exploration project. Rahu is currently estimated to host 41 590oz of gold and 258 000oz of silver in the indicated and inferred categories, with exploration targets being set at 14mt, ranging between 0.5g/t and 2g/t gold for between 225 000oz and 920 000oz of gold. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tullow to resume Ghana oilfield expansion - Karolin Schaps

TULLOW OIL is back on track to expand its flagship oilfields off Ghana's coast after a two-year drilling block due to a border dispute. TULLOW on Friday said it will resume drilling at the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme oilfields around the end of 2017 and lift output to full capacity of 80 000 bpd, following an international tribunal ruling on Saturday favouring Ghana in a dispute with neighbouring Ivory Coast. The border dispute meant TULLOW had been unable to drill in the TEN area since Mar. 2015, although it was able to bring the fields onstream in 2016. TULLOW yesterday said it expects to gain necessary environmental and other permits from Ghana, but declined to give an estimate for when the TEN fields would reach full capacity. Analysts at BERNSTEIN expected the company to add around 11 000 bpd of new resources from TEN in 2018, a volume that would generate an additional $170m in cash flow from operations, assuming oil prices of around $50/barrel. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rwanda growth slows, minister sees rebound - Clement Uwiringiyimana

Rwanda's economic growth slowed to 4% y/y in Q2 2017, data showed yesterday, though Finance Minister CLAVER GATETE said he was expecting an improvement in the rest of the year. The figure was almost half the 7.5% reported y/y. Wholesale and retail trade contracted by 6%, while agriculture expanded by 6%, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda said. Industry grew by 1% while services surved 7%. GATETE said he expected Q3 and Q4 to perform better than the first two quarters, supported by stronger activity in construction, services and agriculture. A new GDP projection for 2017 will be issued around Oct. after a meeting with a team from the IMF, the minister added. The current growth forecast for 2017 is 6.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana keeps policy rate unchanged - Kwasi Kpodo

Ghana's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 21% on Monday. Central bank governor ERNEST ADDISON cited global economic uncertainties and threats to consumer price stability as reasons for the move. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sun Ltd cuts FY pretax loss - Jean Paul Arouff

Mauritius-based SUN LIMITED on Friday said it reduced its pretax loss to 93.7m rupees in the FY to end-Jun. from 567m rupees in the prior year, helped by higher revenues. The company posted revenues of 6.01bn rupees, up from 4.99bn for FY2016. It has been renovating its resorts in Mauritius and the Maldives. "The group is now well positioned to fully benefit from its revamped asset base and as a result, to progressively improve its profitability as from FY2018", SUN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rockwell put into provisional liquidation as Metis bows out - David McKay

ROCKWELL DIAMONDS has gone into provisional liquidation after the Kimberley High Court granted an order to discontinue the services of the company's business rescue partner METIS STRATEGIC ADVISORS. According to a note sent to ROCKWELL employees by METIS director PETER VAN DEN STEEN, there was still "a possibility of a deal that can take place to save the company". ROCKWELL on Sep. 18 said it was in final talks regarding a proposed transation that could "exceed liquidation value". It added that it was perplexed that the BRPs had sought to liquidate the company when it had broken even in Aug. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Asanko Gold buys Ghana prospect from AngloGold - David McKay

ASANKO GOLD has acquired the Miradani prospect neighbouring its Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana from ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI, and will begin a drilling campaign in Q4 2017. "The Mirandi Project is a very exciting exploration project with huge potential to increase our resource base and contribute to our future growth", ASANKO president and CEO PETER BREESE said. ASANKO GOLD did not disclose the acquisition fee, but said it was not "material". Apart from its prospectivity, one of the major benefits of the property is that it is located on an existing mining right which means it can be fast-tracked to production. "We have identified three drill ready targets which we will start to drill in the coming quarter and we look forward to updating the market further during H1 2018", BREESE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 26/09/2017

At 06h44 on 26 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.33 ZAR/EUR 15.79 ZAR/GBP 17.95 Gold 1310.11 Platinum 938.00 Brent Crude Oil 56.42 All Share 55839.73

Updated market indicators for 22/09/2017

At 09h22 on 22 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.21 ZAR/EUR 15.81 ZAR/GBP 17.93 Gold 1296.61 Platinum 940.00 Brent Crude Oil 56.09 All Share 55867.34

Steinhoff confident of victory in Dutch court case over fraud claims - BDpro

STEINHOFF INTERNATIONAL today said it had presented its argument to the Dutch court and was confident of a victory in a dispute with its former JV partner regarding accounting fraud allegations. The company said the verdict of the petition, brought by OM HANDELS and MW HANDELS, was expected in the next two months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Combined Motor Holdings expects higher interim earnings - Sens

COMBINED MOTOR HOLDINGS today advised that it expects HEPS for the HY to end-Aug. to increase by 5%-15% to between 122.4cps and 134.1cps, up from 116.6cps y/y. EPS is expected to rise by 30%-40% to between 124.8cps and 134.4cps, up from 96.0cps reported y/y. Interim results will be published on Oct. 16. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tharisa takes control of maturing Brits mine from contractor - Allan Seccombe

THARISA MINERALS is buying the fleet of equipment and employing the staff deployed by MCC CONTRACTS at its chrome and PGMs mine near Brits, as the company takes full control of a maturing asset. Setting its sights on 1.4mt of chrome concentrate and 150 000oz of PGMs this year, THARISA said taking in-house control of mining would allow it to hit that target. "The contractor mining model was appropriate while the Tharisa Mine was in development since it reduced the upfront capital spend on a fleet, enabled THARISA MINERALS to understand its ore body fully and allowed the company to determine the optimal fleet rquirements for mining its specific ore body", THARISA CEO PHOEVOS POUROULIS said. At the start of Oct., 900 MCC staff will be transferred onto the THARISA payroll, lifting the staff complement to 1 700 people, to exploit 18 years of open-pit mining and an extra 40 years of underground mining. It did not put a value to the transaction with MCC, nor did it say how big the fleet was that it was buying. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oil prices edge up ahead of OPEC meeting on supply cut extension - Jane Chung

Oil prices edged higher today as the market waited to see whether major oil producers would extend supply cuts beyond Mar. 2018 at a meeting in Vienna later today. OPEC and other producers are set to meet today to discuss a possible extension of an oil supply cut deal to prop up prices. GOLDMAN SACHS said talks over extending cuts are "noteworthy but premature", adding "we believe it is unlikely that committee will recommend extension of cuts this week". The Energy Information Administration this week reported that US crude output reached 9.51m bpd in the week ended Sep. 15, up from 8.78m bpd a week ago. Brent crude futures were trading at $56.51/barrel early this morning, while WTI futures were up 0.24% at $50.67/barrel. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

HPE plans 5 000 job cuts - Ismail Shakil

HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE CO is planning to cut at least 5 000 positions as part of a broader effort to reduce costs amid mounting competition, Bloomberg reported yesterday citing sources. The reduction of around 10% of the company's total headcount is expected to start before the end of this year. The cuts are likely to affect workers in the US and abroad, including management positions, Bloomberg added. HPE would not immediately be reached for comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tiffany names new chair - Jessica Dye

Just a few months after naming a new CEO, TIFFANY has announced a new chairperson, fashion industry veteran ROGER FARAH. FARAH, an executive director at fashion brand TORY BURCH and former long-time RALPH LAUREN executive, joined the jeweller's board in Mar. as one of three directors appointed in a deal with activist investor JANA PARTNERS. He will replace MICHAEL KOWALSKI, who has chaired TIFFANY's board since 2002 and previously served as CEO from 1999 until Mar. 2015. TIFFANY's new CEO, ALESSANDRO BOGLILO, will start in Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

HTC pops on Google deal - Alice Woodhouse

HTC jumped to a five-month high today after it agreed a $1.1bn deal with GOOGLE for the latter to acquire 2 000 of its staff. GOOGLE inked the deal to acquire the design and development group from struggling handset maker HTC. The parties also signed a non-exclusive license agreement for HTC's intellectual property. HTC shares rose 10% this morning after resuming trading following yesterday's announcement. The company's shares had slipped more than 12% in the year-to-date before the deal was made public. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S&P lowers Hong Kong rating after China cut - Alice Woodhouse

STANDARD & POOR's has cut its long-term rating on Hong Kong, following its cut to China's credit rating earlier this week, to reflect "spillover risks" to the territory. S&P cut its long-term rating on Hong Kong to AA+ from AAA after it cut its rating on China by one notch to A+ from AA-. "Strong institutional and political ties exist between China and Hong Kong, arising from the latter's status as a Special Administrative Region of China. Consequently, we view a weakening of credit support for china as exerting a negative impact on the ratings on Hong Kong beyond what is implied by the territory's currently strong credit metrics". MOODY's cut its rating on the territory by one notch to Aa2 from Aa1 in May, a notch lower than S&P's rating. FITCH has a rating of AA+ for Hong Kong, on par with S&P and unchanged since 2010. S&P also affirmed its A-1+ short-term issuer credit rating for Hong Kong. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ECB to publish new benchmark interest rate - Katie Martin

The ECB has announced plans to launch a new reference point for overnight interest rates, opening up a new alternative to t he private-sector benchmarks that have been hit by scandal and are in the process of reform. The central bank said its new transactions-based overnight rate will "serve as a backstop to private sector benchmark rates". Preparation is scheduled to be finalised before 2020, with an industry consultation beforehand. "Ensuring broad market acceptance is vital", it said, with a new cross-industry working group examining how to implement the plans. The rate "will be based entirely on transactions in euro that are reported by banks in accordance with the ECB's money market statistical reporting", it added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S&P cuts China rating on higher financial, economic risks - Adam Samson

STANDARD & POOR's has cut its rating on China by one notch weeks before the country is expected to launch a rare dollar bond, with the ratings agency citing rising economic and financial risks after a long period of heavy credit growth. China's rating now stands at A+ from AA-. "The downgrade reflects our assessment that a prolonged period of strong credit growth has increased China's economic and financial risks". It noted that "the recent intensification of government efforts to rein in corporate leverage could stabilise the trend of financial risk in the medium term", but warned that it "foresee[s] that credit growth in the next two to three years will remain at levels that will increase financial risks gradually". China's finance ministry is expected to sell around $2bn in US dollar-denominated bonds to foreign investors in the coming weeks, its first sale of foreign-currency debt since 2004. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Texas Instruments boosts share buybacks, dividend - Jessica Dye

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS is injecting more cash into share buybacks and raising its dividend. The US-based chipmaker yesterday said it was authorising an additional $6bn in share repurchases "over time". That comes on top of around $4.6bn that remained as of the end of June under a previously authorised repurchase programme. The company will also boost its quarterly dividend by 24% to 62cps, or $2.48 on an annual basis. It will be payable Nov. 13 to investors of record as of Oct. 31, subject to a formal declaration by its board at a meeting in Oct. Shares in TI were up 1% in after-hours trading. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's Votorantim Metais files for IPO - Andres Schipani

Brazilian miner VOTORANTIM METAIS HOLDING yesterday filed for an IPO in New York and Toronto. The filing did not specify what valuation it was aiming for, but said the net proceeds from the offering will go to the controlling shareholder, Brazilian industrial conglomerate VOTORANTIM, whose business interests span from zinc and cement to orange juice. VOTORANTIM METAIS extracts copper and zinc via operations in Brazil and Peru. It added that it wants to use some $209 from whatever the proceeds are to speed up the development of the Aripuana greenfield project in Brazil. Another $93m would go to an extension of the Vazante mine, also in Brazil, and $23m to improve the smelter's zinc recovery rate in Cajamarquilla, Peru. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deutsche Borse to cap executive pay - Philip Stafford

DEUTSCHE BORSE is to cap executive pay for board members at €9.5m per person from this financial year onwards, it said yesterday. The announcement comes less than two years after it implemented a new remuneration system for its executive board and follows talks with shareholders. The new scheme was developed while the board is being examined by both state and market regulators over whether a statement DEUTSCHE BORSE made to the market violated securities law. Hessen state authorities and national securities regulator BaFin are reviewing "the reliability" of management to run the exchange. The bourse and its CEO, CARSTEN KENGETER, are also trying to swiftly end the long-running probe into allegations of insider trading against KENGETER, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing. DEUTSCHE BORSE has agreed to pay penalties totalling €10.5m and KENGETER an additional €500 000 to settle the investigation, pending court approval. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto launches share buyback - Neil Hume

RIO TINTO has announced plans to buy back an additional $2.5bn of its shares, returning all of the proceeds from the sale of its COAL & ALLIED business to investors. The miner said it would repurchase $560m of shares in Sydney and the rest in London in coming months. The move takes to $4bn the share buybacks announced by RIO this year and makes good on a promise by its CEO JEAN-SEBASTIEN JACQUES to deliver "superior cash returns" to its peers. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Anadarko shares up on buyback programme - Jessica Dye

ANADARKO PETROLEUM shares were leading the S&P 500 yesterday morning after the company announced a $2.5bn share buyback programme through the end of 2018. With the company's current market cap of around $25bn, the buybacks would represent around 10% of ANADARKO's current outstanding common shares, according to the announcement made after market close on Wednesday. ANADARKO set an initial target of making $1bn in share repurchases before the end of 2017. "We believe this is a very attractive use of our cash given the value of our assets and the highly accretive nature of this programme", ANADARKO chair and CEO AL WALKER said. The news sent the company's shares up more than 7% by midday to $48.02. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Draghi: still too many non-performing loans across eurozone banking system - Claire Jones

MARIO DRAGHI has warned that there are still too many dud loans in the eurozone's banking system. Non-performing loans have been a major problem in some of the eurozone's weaker banking systems. DRAGHI said that while the eurozone's recent economic recovery would help reduce the proportion of non-performing loans on banks' balance sheets, there remained structural weaknesses. "These [weaknesses] include inadequate internal governance structures in banks, ineffective and costly debt recovery procedures in some Member States and misaligned incentives that prevent a quick resolution of NPLs", the ECB head said. DRAGHI said the new IFRS 9 accounting standard would help solve problems with NPLs more quickly during future financial crises. "This means that banks will have to recognise impairments earlier, curtailing excessive for bearance towards NPLs and helping ensure that banking sector repair takes place at a timelier and more comprehensive manner in future downturns". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US jobless claims slip, Philly Fed survey rises - Mamta Badkar

Initial jobless claims in the US fell to 259 000 for the week ending Sep. 16, against expectations for a rise to 300 000, the Labour Department said yesterday. The weekly figures were once again affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The four-week moving average of unemployment claims rose by 6 000 to 268 750 - the highest level for the measure since Jun. 2016. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing business outlook survey for the mid-Atlantic rose by 5 points to 23.8 in Sep., against expectations for a reading of 17.2, according to a Reuters survey. The survey's current indicators for general activity, new orders and shipments rose this month and future indicators "suggest that manufacturers have generally grown more optimistic over the past three months". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Greece considers bond swap - Eleftheria Kourtali

Greece is preparing to swap a batch of 20 bonds with a face value of around €30bn for four new ones, Athens said yesterday, while cautioning that it has not set a date for the move. The swap would increase trading activity in the debt that matures from 2023 to 2042, sources said. As it stands, market participants are reluctant to trade the relatively small issues. The move could also help in steepening the yield curve that is being artificially depressed at present since investors looking to build significant exposure to Greece are buying up large swaths of bonds, keeping yields at similar levels. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brown instructs Eskom to start legal action against McKinsey, Trillian, Koko and Singh - Paul Vecchiatto, Bloomberg

Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN has instructed ESKOM to begin legal action against companies including MCKINSEY over their involvement in disputed contracts at the utility. The minister ordered ESKOM to start taking legal steps against MCKINSEY and TRILLIAN, as well as suspended acting CEO MATSHELA KOKO and CFO ANOJ SINGH, her spokesperson said. An interim report by ESKOM and G9 FORENSIC found MCKINSEY and TRILLIAN made R1.6bn in fees and expected to make another R7.8bn, according to amaBhungane and Scorpio. SINGH was placed on leave in July after he was linked to a series of questionable deals involving the GUPTA family. KOKO was suspended pending a probe into contracts awarded to a company where his stepdaughter was a director. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Unchanged rates won't lift consumer confidence - experts - Carin Smith

The SARB's decision yesterday to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.75% will likely keep consumer confidence in the doldrums, FNB household and property sector strategist JOHN LOOS said. "The potential impact of the latest Monetary Policy Committee decision on the consumer and housing market will likely be a push to take a more conservative financial approach, given the household sector's financial weakness and significant concerns regarding SA's economic future", LOOS said. In his view, the central bank would have been justified in lowering the repo rate because of CPI being well within the bank's 3%-6% target range. CPI recorded an Aug. y/y rise of 4.8%. Given the unchanged rate decision, FNB expects average house price growth to remain in lower single-digit territory in the near term. The Aug. FNB House Price Index measured 4% y/y growth. DAVID CROSOER, executive of research and investment at PPS INVESTMENTS, also warned consumers to brace themselves for a "sobering" mini budget in Oct. and a tough "interrogation" from the ratings agencies in Dec. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAICA: We have no mandate to probe KPMG - Fin24

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants yesterday denied media reports that it was planning to investigate auditing firm KPMG. New KPMG CEO NHLAMU DLOMU earlier this week announced an agreement with SAICA to set up an "inquiry" into KPMG SA in the hopes of regaining the nation's trust. "What this would be is an additional assurance lens to ensure that the public in South Africa can truly see that we have opened up our doors", DLOMU said. But a day later, SAICA said it "does not have the legal mandate to lead independent inquiries into the conduct of audit firms". In its statement, SAICA said the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors was already conducting an independent probe into KPMG SA. "We call on the market to respect the IRBA's due process, as required by its legislation, and allow it to run its proper course", it said, adding that the IRBA's mandate included protecting the financial interests of the public. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAA still negotiating with Vodacom to release new CEO - Fin24

SAA is still in talks with VODACOM over its contract with the carrier's newly appointed CEO VUYANI JARANA. JARANA, who has officially signed his contract with SAA, must first serve out his notice period at VODACOM, which has not been disclosed. Treasury was hoping he would start in Oct. It first announced his appointment on Aug. 3. SAA spokesperson TLALI TLALI said the airline has yet to be informed of JARANSA's starting date. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Imperial CEO sees split at risk from SA turmoil - Fin24

IMPERIAL HOLDINGS CEO MARK LMABERTI will push ahead with his plan to split the company next year unless South African political turmoil or a sovereign rating downgrade forces a delay. The planned separation of the vehicles and transportation businesses into two JSE-listed entities "is taking up 30% of top management's time", LAMBERTI said this week. IMPERIAL will start the process in 2018 unless "the market goes to hell, then we obviously have to say the situation is not appropriate". "In terms of what this business should be, it should be two separate businesses... They should be listed; they are large enough to stand on their own. Our major investors have all confirmed that it is the way they feel". IMPERIAL's auto business imports, rents and sells vehicles mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, while the logistics arm transports goods in more than 30 countries around the world. The two businesses are only held together by IMPERIAL's balance sheet and a separation would allow each unit to seek debt and equity independently, LAMBERTI said. Both units would be listed on the JSE, while it may make sense for the logistics business to consider an additional overseas listing at a later time. IMPERIAL last month said it would announce the form and timing of the separation by Aug. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Grit delivers 2.7% rise in FY distribution - Natasha Odendaal

GRIT REAL ESTATE INCOME GROUP yesterday declared a distribution per share of $0.12 for the FY to end-Jun., a 2.7% rise y/y. The dividend comprised an interim dividend of $0.06/share, a clean-out dividend for the four months to Apr. 30 of $0.05 and a final dividend for the two months to end-Jun. of $0.01/share. Distributable income rose by 42.3% to $15.13m in FY2017, from $10.63m y/y. During the FY under review, GRIT increased its rental income, including from associates, by 14% on the back of rental escalations. It noted that vacancies remained stable at 3% across the portfolio, attributed to strategic vacancies at Anfa Place Shopping Centre, in Morocco, in line with the upgrade of the facility that is expected to be completed in Q4 2018. The consequent reduced rentals at Anfa Place adversely impacted on rental income by $1m against FY2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom not generating enough cash to cover interest on debt - Terence Creamer

A new report analysing ESKOM's financial position warns that the utility is simply not generating sufficient cash through operations and electricity sales to cover the interest on its borrowings, which will peak at around R500bn in the coming three years. It also argues that a return to sustainability lies not in larger tariff hikes, but in eliminating unnecessary expenditure, reducing employee costs and extending short-term support to electricity intensive businesses at risk of being forced to cut output, owing to rising power costs. Written by EATON GROUP analyst NICHOLAS SAUNDERS, the report equates the position to "using one credit card to pay off another". It also warns that there is a growing risk that government may have to provide future equity, or provide further debt guarantees. "Unnecessary expenditure and the implementation of political agendas have caused massive inefficiencies for a company that does not have the luxury of largesse", the report states. It notes that ESKOM's employee headcount has increased by 45% since 2007/08 and has remained above 47 000 people for the last four years, despite energy available for distribution having remained flat over the period. "The total energy available for distribution, coupled with the decline in sales, raises concerns regarding the level of overstaffing at the utility". Although ESKOM ended FY2016/17 with a positive cash balance of R19.9bn, the cash flow statement "would have been much worse" had it not been for new borrowing of R51bn. The author warns that the utility's debt repayment profile is therefore poised to become "massively pressurised". "ESKOM is going to be hard pressed to continue to turn a blind eye to issues that are crippling the institution", the report concludes. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

OUTA moves to freeze Gupta mines' rehab trust fund accounts - Creamer Media Reporter

OUTA plans to bring about an urgent interdict against the BANK OF BARODA to freeze the R1.75bn held in the GUPTA-owned Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines' rehabilitation trust fund accounts. OUTA yesterday said the interdict was being filed in the Pretoria High Court following the dismissal of OAKBAY's application to stop the BANK OF BARODA closing its accounts. The interdict application is expected to be heard within the next few days. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fire disrupts Vale plant in Brazil - Reuters

A fire disrupted operations at a VALE FERTILIZANTES plant in Brazil's Minas Gerais state on Thursday, the company said. The fire occurred at a water cooling tower for the plant producing sulphuric acid in its Uberaba facility around noon and was under control within an hour. No workers were hurt and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Brazilian regulators approved MOSAIC's purchase of VALE FERTILIZANTES in Aug. in a deal that makes the iron ore miner the largest shareholder in the US-based group. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pallinghurst widens H1 losses - Natasha Odendaal

PALLINGHURST RESOURCES expects its losses for the HY to end-Jun. to widen due to decreases in the valuation of the company's investments. An HLPS of $0.10 is anticipated for the HY under review, down from a loss of $0.04 y/y. In rand terms, the LPS and HLPS will be 139cps, compared with the loss of 67cps y/y. PALLINGHURST expects its NAV to be $363.1m as at end-Jun., compared with the $366.9m reported at end-Dec. 2016. The NAV/share is expected to reach $.33, down from $0.48 reported y/y. Interim results will be published on Sep. 26. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim's Jan.-Aug. gold output up 10% - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's gold production rose 10% in the first eight months of 2017 to 14.6t, buoyed by higher output from small and informal producers. Statistics from Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a subsidiary of the central bank, showed that small-scale miners delivered 7.2t of bullion during the period, up from 5.5t y/y. Deliveries from large producers fell to 7.4t from 7.85 y/y. In August alone, output totalled 2.5t, the highest this year and up from 2t in July. The central bank has said Zimbabwe could be losing up to $500m via illegal gold exports. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 22/09/2017

At 05h56 on 22 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.27 ZAR/EUR 15.85 ZAR/GBP 18.03 Gold 1291.13 Platinum 936.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.75 All Share 55867.34

Johnson Matthey to invest £200m in battery material tech - Reuters

JOHNSON MATTHEY said it will invest an initial £200m in expanding its battery material technology business from 2018, aiming to capitalise on growth in the electric vehicle market. The company said the overall market "could be (worth) more than $30bn (in) sales when battery electric vehicle penetration increases to around 10%". Its Clean Air business is expected to show "strong single-digit sales growth" in the next two to three years, driven by share gains in European light duty market and upcoming tighter legislation, the company said. From then on, growth will slow on a move away from light duty diesel engines in Europe and the expansion of the battery electric light duty vehicle market offset growth in Asia, and strength in the heavy duty sector in North America. JM's programme of increased investment in the health sector is expected to deliver double-digit sales growth and substantial margin expansion from 2019/20. In the medium term, it targeted a 20% compound annual growth rate in its return on invested capital, and planned to deliver a progressive dividend policy and mid- to high single-digit EPS growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

First listing 'later this month' for 4AX - Sizwe Dlamini

4 AFRICA EXCHANGE is set to get its first listing on Sep. 28, according to sources. The bourse operator confirmed the listing on Thursday next week, saying there would be a briefing to commemorate the exchange's first issuers listings that would go live on the day. 4AX declined to give further details, but well-placed sources revealed that agriculture co-operative NKW would be the first to list on the exchange. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aveng raises impairments of R2.7bn - Roy Cokayne

AVENG has raised an impairment of R27bn on long-standing uncertified revenue in the FY to end-Jun., which will reduce the company's EPS and HEPS by 667c for the FY. It has also raised an impairment of R272m on plant and equipment and intangible assets at AVENG STEEL and decided on a R531m write-down of deferred tax assets in the company in line with expected future utilisation. AVENG said the impairment and write-down reduced risk and uncertainty from the group and MCCONNELL DOWELL's balance sheets. AVENG said its HLPS for the FY to end-Jun. would be between 1 587cps and 1 663cps, compared to the 75.2cps loss reported y/y. The company will publish results on Sep. 26. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB keeps repo rate steady - Reuters

The SARB kept its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 6.75% yesterday, defying expectations of a cut based on easing inflation pressures and a sluggish recovery from a recession in H1 2017. The majority of economists polled by Reuters had predicted a 25 bps cut. SARB governor LESETJA KGANYAGO admitted that the decision was tight, with the six-member monetary policy committee split 3-3 on whether to hold or cut, leading to the maintenance of the status quo. But he said it was appropriate to maintain a "balanced" monetary policy stance, with inflation expectations anchored towards the top end of the central bank's 3%-6% target band. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB concerned about 'regrettable' KPMG practices - TJ Strydom

The SARB is concerned about "regrettable accounting practices" at the local unit of KPMG, central bank governor LESETJA KGANYAGO said yesterday. "We will engage banks and audit firms primarily to understand the context so we are better placed to manage any potential financial stability risk that may arise from the issues around KPMG", KGANYAGO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Namibia's economy contracts in Q2 - Nyasha Nyaungwa

Namibia's economy shrank by 1.7% in Q2 20-17 after a revised contraction of 1.7% in Q1, the statistics agency said yesterday. "The poor performance is mainly attributed to the construction, wholesale and retail trade as well as the fishing sector that all contracted", statistician general ALEX SHIMUAFENI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUM to strike at Petra's Koffiefontein mine - Sanjeeban Sarkar

The NUM yesterday said its members would go on an indefinite strike at PETRA DIAMONDS LTD's Koffiefontein Mine in the Northern Cape. The strike will mean a total withdrawal of labour of all its members from Sep. 24, and will continue until all the demands are met. NUM's demands include a 10% wage hike across the board and a housing subsidy of R1 500 to be paid every month for three years. The union is also seeking increases in medical aid, family leave, annual leave, equal pay and an increase in the employers' contribution to the pension fund to 9%, from 7.5%. PETRA had said on Monday more than 600 workers went on strike at its Finch mine and Kimberley Ekapa Mining JV operations over pay issues. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia state power firm to end emergency power imports in 2018 - Chris Mfula

Zambian power utility ZESCO LTD expects to end emergency power imports from Mozambique in Q1 2018, director of transmission WEBSTER MUSONDA said yesterday. Zambia's power generation had improved and it will largely manage to meet its own electricity requirements, MUSONDA said, adding that ZESCO will still have the option to import power if necessary. ZESCO MD VICTOR MUNDENDE said Zambia would not ration electricity as it had enough water to generate power at its hydroelectric dams. Maximum national power demand currently stood at 2 030MW against total national installed capacity of just under 2 400MW. Zambia's electricity deficit rose to 1 000MW in 2016 as the nation cut hydropower generation due to falling water as drought hit the region. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Four Nigerian banks trade below minimum liquidity ratio - Chijioke Ohuocha

Four Nigerian banks are operating with too many non-performing loans on their books and with liquidity ratios below the minimum requirement, two members of the monetary policy committee said. They did not name the lenders but said the four banks together were equivalent to at least one systemically important bank. Financial sector stress tests showed capital adequacy ratios for the industry in Nigeria worsened to 11.51% in June, from 12.81% in April, as against a regulatory minimum of 15% for lenders with international licences. "The financial performance indicators showed that when the four outlier banks were removed, capital adequacy, non-performing loan ratio as well as liquidity ratio are all above the prudential requirement", MPC member BALAMI DAHIRU HASSAN said. NPLs stood at 15.07% in June compared with 5% regulatory limit. MPC member DOYIN SALAMI said the ratio stood at 8.17% when excluding the four lenders in question. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Malawi economic growth seen at 4.5% in 2017 - cbank - Frank Phiri

Malawi's economic growth will accelerate to 4.5% this year from 2.7% in 2016, helped by continued favourable weather conditions and macroeconomic stability, the central bank said today. In its latest Financial and Economic Review, the Reserve Bank of Malawi also projected GDP growth to hit 5% in 2018 "on the assumption of continued favourable weather conditions and macroeconomic stability". It noted that expansion in construction, wholesale and retail, and financial and insurance activities "will also contribute to the pick-up in growth". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria forex market in doldrums - Chijioke Ohuocha

Offshore funds in Nigeria yesterday offered to sell the dollar at close to its black market rate, traders said, worsening a liquidity lull on the forex market. The funds, which shifted dollars into the market last week to buy naira treasury bills, offered to sell the US currency at 365 naira, close to the black market rate of 367. Local banks were bidding to buy at just 359. The naira was quoted at 305.85 on the official market. Investor transactions totalled $102.75m on Tuesday, down from $125m on Monday and from $131m on Friday. Domestic buyers said they were expecting the local currency to firm as foreign funds piled into cheap naira assets. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim to pay $1.8bn in foreign arrears only when economy is stronger - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister PATRICK CHINAMASA yesterday said the country would not be able to pay $1.8bn in arrears to the World Bank and African Development Bank until economic fundamentals improve. CHINAMASA said a payment plan agreed with foreign lenders in 2015 could only proceed once Zimbabwe has reduced its fiscal deficit from around 10% of GDP, cut its wage bill from 92% of the budget and increased its import cover. CHINAMASA said the government had negotiated a cheaper loan to pay the $1.8bn but had decided against paying after realising that the country could still remain in a debt cycle if it did not address its economic problems. He did not give the source of the new loan but said Zimbabwe was paying 15%/year on its World Bank loan. The country's total foreign debt is more than $7bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Google pays $1.1bn for HTC smartphone staff - Edward White

GOOGLE has deepened its smartphone manufacturing operations with an agreement to pay $1.1bn to transfer around 2 000 staff from Taiwan's HTC. The companies have also inked a separate non-exclusive license agreement for HTC's intellectual property, the terms of which have not been disclosed. The arrangement does not appear to include any of HTC's manufacturing assets. GOOGLE said that many of the HTC employees who will be involved are "already working with GOOGLE to develop Pixel smartphones". The transaction is expected to close by early 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CICC jumps after Tencent buys stake - Alice Woodhouse

CHINA INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL CORP popped as much as 19% in Hong Kong today after TENCENT announced a $370m investment and strategic co-operation with the brokerage. TENCENT and CICC have agreed to cooperate on areas including wealth management and asset management in a deal that follows internet rival ALIBABA's push into wealth management via its ANT FINANCIAL division. TENCENT's WeChat boasts about 938m active users, many of which use its mobile payment system, while CICC is China's oldest brokerage. CICC shares were up 12.5% in morning trading in Hong Kong following the announcement. TENCENT shares were up 0.5%, while the benchmark Hang Seng dipped 0.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoJ holds policy steady - Alice Woodhouse

Japan's central bank opted to hold interest rates steady today as the new board member dissented in favour of further monetary easing. The bank said overnight interest rates will remain steady at 0.1%, that 10-year bond yields will be capped at around zero percent and central bank will continue to buy assets at around Y80tn a year. The decision was forecast by all economists polled by Bloomberg. New board member GOSHI KATAOKO voted for more stimulus as the current policy was not loose enough to meet the BoJ's 2% inflation target. The BoJ said the CPI is "likely to continue on an uptrend and increase towards 2%". The CPI currently sits at around 0.5%. The central bank noted the country's economy is "expanding moderately" as "exports have been on an increasing trend". It added that the Japanese economy is "likely to continue its moderate expansion". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia's c bank nationalises B&N Bank - Max Seddon

Russia's central bank today announced it will nationalise B&N BANK in the second rescue of a top lender in three weeks. B&N yesterday said it had asked for a rescue package after running into financial difficulties that saw it require emergency liquidity. The central bank sill take a majority equity stake in B&N and ROST BANK, a failing lender it is absorbing with central bank funds, through a new fund. B&N, which is heavily exposed to ROST BANK, will be the eighth largest lender in Russia once the two banks are merged. Tough neither is on the central bank's list of systemically important banks, the regulator said B&N's size made it "significant". Last month the central bank took over OTKRITIE, formerly Russia's largest privately held bank by assets, to prevent what would have been the country's biggest ever banking collapse. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's supreme court sends charges against Temer to Congress - Andres Schipani

Brazil's President MICHEL TEMER will have to use his power-brokering skills once again. A majority of judges on the country's supreme court yesterday decided to send new charges against him to the lower house of Congress for lawmakers to decide if he should be tried on allegations of graft and obstruction of justice. Last Thursday, TEMER was indicted on corruption-related charges for the second time in three months, with prosecutors alleging he led a political corruption racket that generated R$587m in illicit funds over the past 11 years. Under Brazil's constitution, TEMER will only face trial with the approval of two-thirds of the lower house. The president survived a similar congressional vote last month on whether he should face trial over charges he allegedly discussed bribes with JOESLEY BATISTA, the former chair of meatpacker JBS. Analysts expect the president will once again manage to whip the votes needed to block the charges that could potentially oust him from office. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fed raises 2017 US growth outlook, lowers inflation forecast - Mamta Badkar

Policymakers at the Federal Reserve have grown more optimistic about US economic growth and less optimistic on inflation for this year. The latest Summary of Economic Projections released by the Fed showed that the median estimate for growth in 2017 was 2.4%, up from June's outlook of 2.2%. But the median forecast for core personal consumption expenditures was lowered to 1.5% in 2017 from 1.7% previously, and 1.9% in 2018, from 2% previously. The reduction in the long-run estimates for federal funds rate to 2.8%, from 3% previously, could signal that policymakers have become less optimistic about the growth and inflation outlook. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fed plans to start balance-sheet reduction in Oct. - Sam Fleming

The Federal Reserve held open the possibility of a further increase in short-term interest rates this year as it threw its crisis-era stimulus programme into reverse. The US central bank yesterday said it would start paring back its multi-trillion dollar balance sheet in Oct., even as it kept the target range for its key rate at 1%-1.25%. While acknowledging the damage that has been afflicted by the recent hurricanes, most policymakers stuck with forecasts for another rate rise in 2017 - most likely in Dec. - as well as three further increases in 2018. The Fed's policy committee remains divided over the urgency of further tightening given a string of poor inflation figures. In a sign of worries about inflation, the median Fed policymaker now does not expect core inflation to hit the 2% target until 2019, compared with 2018 previously. In a sign of their caution over the economy's longer-term potential, officials brought down their median expectation for official rates in the long term, cutting tit from 3% to 2.8%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

WD calls Toshiba-Bain deal troubling - Tim Bradshaw

WESTERN DIGITAL said it was "disappointed" by TOSHIBA's deal to sell its flash memory business to a consortium led by BAIN, which it said had been agreed without its consent. WD has mounted a sustained legal challenge over the way TOSHIBA has conducted its protracted sale process. As part of a rival consortium, WD had been a bidder for the unit. It has insisted that its JV with TOSHIBA, via its SANDISK subsidiary, gave it the right to participate in any deal. Following the announcement of the BAIN-led deal, WD insisted it had always been seeking a "mutually beneficial outcome" and that it had "remained flexible" in its dealings with TOSHIBA. The SANDISK subsidiaries have filed a new request for arbitration against TOSHIBA with the International Court of Arbitration following yesterday's announcement. The demand in the arbitration court sought, among other things, an injunction "preventing TOSHIBA from making unilateral investments in manufacturing equipment" for the facility without first giving SANDISK a chance to make comparable investment in expansions of JV capacity for BiCS 3D NAND flash memory. WD added that its NAND supply requirements through 2018 were secure, with "no meaningful supply from Fab 6 anticipated until calendar year 2019". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pfizer sues J&J, claims 'anticompetitive practices' over Remicade biosimilar - Pan Kwan Yuk

PFIZER has opened a new front in its legal battles with JOHNSON & JOHNSON over the latter's blockbuster arthritis drug Remicade. PFIZER is suing J&J, claiming the latter has been using illegal anti-competitive tactics to thwart sales of Inflectra, PFIZER's cheaper copycat biosimilar version of Remicade. "The complaint describes how insurers originally classified Inflectra at parity with Remicade - meaning, there was no medical reason to favour Remicade over Inflectra. However, insurers reversed course after J&J threatened to withhold significant rebates unless insurers agreed to "biosimilar-exclusion" contracts that effectively block coverage for Inflectra and other infliximab biosimilars", PFIZER said. Shares in J&J fell 1.4% in early trading while PFIZER rose 1.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK growth slowdown to persist next year - OECD - Adam Samson

UK growth will fall this year and next, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reiterated in its interim report yesterday, highlighting lingering uncertainty even as policymakers have taken a more confident tone on the economy. The OECD left unchanged its Jun. forecast for UK economic growth of 1.6% and 1% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. That would mark a slowdown from the 1.8% growth that was notched in 2016. The 2018 figure is also below many of the UK's big developed market peers, such as the US (2.4%) and the eurozone (1.9%). This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aveng secures extension on current debt - Giulietta Talevi

AVENG has thrown the kitchen sink at a host of long-outstanding claims and plans to book a R2.7bn impairment charge as a result. That will push it to an FY headline loss of R6.3bn-R6.6bn - vastly outstripping its market cap of R1.46bn as of Wednesday's close. The news helped drive AVENG shares as much as 28% higher yesterday. They ended 20.7% up at R3.50. AVENG was keen to stress that the impairment will have no cash consequence on its results. It has also reached agreement with its major funding banks to renew and extend its debt, some of which is close to maturity. AVENG will publish results on Sep. 26. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Remgro reports earnings drop - Mark Allix

REMGRO yesterday said its performance in the FY to end-Jun. was "commendable given the current economic climate". HEPS rose by 32.7%, but HEPS excluding once-off costs and option remeasurement fell by 3.4%. The year under review also included a positive fair value adjustment of R687m. Excluding these items, headline earnings rose by 1.9% to R7.53bn, while HEPS fell from 1 409cps to 1 361.3cps. REMGRO said its banking and insurance investments provided good returns, while industrial and infrastructure contributions to headline earnings showed a "noticeable improvement" compared to the Jun. 2016 results. REMGRO's intrinsic NAV/share fell by 17.9% to R251.48 at end-Jun., mainly due to a 40.4% drop in the market value of the MEDICLINIC investment, as well as the dilutive effect of the rights issue. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Richemont sharpens online focus with two new appointments - Tammy Foyn

RICHEMONT has signalled a shift in focus with the creation of a new role - chief technology officer. The first incumbent is JEAN-JACQUES VAN OOSTEN, a retail industry veteran who has held the post of chief information officer at several companies including TESCO, KINGFISHER, EDS and UNILEVER. VAN OOSTEN is also a doctor of molecular genetics and a London Business School graduate. RICHEMONT chair JOHANN RUPERT said VAN OOSTEN "brings over 15 years of experience in scaling, transforming and internationalising online and multichannel businesses". RICHEMONT also announced a new head of HR. SOPHIE GUIEYSSE is a former HR director at LVMH, who also spent 10 years at CANAL + IN A SIMILAR ROLE. She replaces THOMAS LINDERMANN, a 20-year RICHEMONT veteran. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rolfes re-states headline earnings to end-Jun. - BDpro

ROLFES yesterday re-stated its expected headline earnings for the FY to end-Jun. after the identification of accounting errors and understatements of impairments relating to prior periods. Accordingly, results for the FY to end-Jun. 2016 and the interim results for the HY to end-Dec. 2016 will be re-stated. Normalised HEPS for the HY to end-Dec. has been re-stated t 28cps-32cps, form 37.8cps y/y, and to 29.9cps-48.1cps, from 55.9cps for the year to end-Jun. HEPS for the year to end-Jun. is expected to be between 37.3cps and 46.8cps, a variance of -7% to 14% from the re-stated data. Results will be published at the end of September. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kubayi wants assurances on KPMG analysis of oil sale - Paul Burkhardt, Bloomberg

A probe into SA's sale of 10m barrels of crude oil reserves may be delayed after Energy Minister MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI said she has some concerns because a key financial analysis in the investigation was conducted by KPMG. The minister said she wants assurances from the CENTRAL ENERGY FUND about the report after KPMG SA became embroiled in a corruption scandal revolving around members of the GUPTA family and the 'rogue unit' report it produced for SARS. "That is my major headache currently. I need to raise my concerns of their credibility", KUBAYI said. KPMG SA spokesperson NQUBEKO SIBIYA didn't immediately respond to email questions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bird flu costs RCL Foods R26m - Jan Cronje

RCL FOODS yesterday said it had suffered R26m in losses from culling chickens due to an outbreak of bird flu. The company said birds at sites in the Western Cape and Gauteng had been culled, with a loss amounting to around 5% of the company's breeder stock. "The company is evaluating all opportunities to minimise the possible impact of this reduced volume", it said. RCL said it would implement the "strictest possible biosecurity measures" to safeguard the health of its flocks, saying it was "working closely with government and other authorities in this regard". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Naspers seeking regulatory approval to buy AutoTrader - Matthew le Cordeur

NASPERS is seeking Competition Commission approval to acquire AUTOTRADER, it said yesterday. "Classifieds is a core segment for NASPERS and auto verticals is part of our strategy. As this transaction is subject to approval, we do not wish to add additional commentary at this stage", NASPERS investment relations officer MELOY HORN said. AUTOTRADER's online site gets over 4.5m visits each month with over 70 000 searches for vehicle. If the deal is approved, it would add to NASPERS' vision as a leading global classifieds provider. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ELB sees 143% jump in profitability - Anine Kilian

With profit for the FY to end-Jun. up 143% to R82m, from a loss of R189m y/y, ELB has seen a 147% jump in HEPS to 243cps, from an HLPS of 519cps y/y. CEO STEPHEN HEIJERS noted that the right-sizing and positioning of the company undertaken in the previous FY, together with some strengthening in certain commodity prices and a firming of the order book, has enabled the company to return to profitability. ELB's NAV/share rose by 7% to 2 530cps. The company saw strong cash generation from operations of R198m, strengthening its order book and the award of delayed projects during the period. ELB's equipment division sales rose to R985m from R686m y/y, while the engineering services division grew sales to R1.2bn from R761m and posted a pretax profit of R15m. The services division booked R30m in project closure costs and claims settlements for projects completed in 2016. ELB declared a final dividend of 50cps, for a total payout for the year of 82cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IFC provides $150m loan to assist BMW SA's production plans - Irma Venter

The INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION will assist in financing BMW GROPU SA's R6bn investment in its Rosslyn plant, set to produce the new BMW X3. The $150m loan comes as SA "seeks new sources of economic growth after a period of slowdown, driven in part by sluggish mining and manufacturing sectors", the IFC said. The auto industry is SA's largest manufacturing sector. Nonetheless, local content accounts, on average, for around one-third of each vehicle produced in SA. The IFC estimates that raising that share of local content to 45% would inject $4bn into the local economy and support 80 000 more jobs over the next three years. "[The] IFC's partnership with BMW SA supports the transfer of technology and workforce skills from global auto manufacturers to local suppliers", says IFC head of manufacturing in sub-Saharan Africa MARY-JEAN MOYO. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PotashCorp curtails some capacity; Mosaic flags Irma disruption - Henry Lazenby

POTASHCORP OF SASKATCHEWAN yesterday said it would curtail some capacity to balance its supply with market demand. The company said it will fully rely on its lowest-cost Rocanville operations, while the Allan operation will curtail output for 10 weeks starting on Nov. 19. The Lanigan mine will also curtail output for eight weeks, starting on Dec. 3. POTASHCORP said the number of temporary layoffs associated with the inventory adjustments has not been determined, as the company is assessing opportunities for reassigning employees during these shutdown periods to essential services, capital projects and maintenance activities. Meanwhile, US rival THE MOSAIC COMPANY yesterday said that despite avoiding significant damages in connection with Hurricane Irma, it expects about 250 000t-350 000t of lower production in the month of Sep. Together with the damage to MOSAIC's Bartow warehouse, this could result in a loss of up to 400 000t of finished phosphate product. The impact is slightly offset by profitability metrics tracking ahead of the third quarter guidance, with good demand and strong operational performance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

H1 2017 shows global refined copper deficit of 75 000t - Henry Lazenby

The world's refined copper balance for H1 2017 indicates a deficit of around 75 000t, including revisions to data previously presented, the INTERNATIONAL COPPER STUDY GROUP said yesterday. This is mainly owing to stagnant growth in the world refined copper supply, the think tank said in its Sep. copper bulletin. However, the copper balance in H1 2017, adjusted for changes in Chinese bonded stocks, indicates a deficit of around 5 000t. The ICSG found that world mine output has fallen by around 2% y/y, with concentrate production declining by around 1.7% and solvent extraction-electrowinning declining by around 3.5%. The decline in world mine output was mainly due to a 9% decline in production in Chile, negatively affected by the strike at the Escondida mine and lower production from CODELCO mines. A decline in Canada and Mongolia concentrates output of 22% and 21%, respectively, also weighed on global production, while a 9% drop in Indonesian concentrate production, constrained by a temporary ban on concentrate exports that started in Jan. and ended in Apr., also added to the deficit. The ICSG also cited a 10% drop in US output on the back of lower ore grades, reduced mining rates and unfavourable weather conditions at the start of the year for the lower output. These reductions in output were partially offset by a 9% and 7% rise in Mexican and Peruvian output, respectively, with both countries benefiting from new and expanded capacity that was not yet fully available in the same period of last year. Globally, mine output has improved in Q2 y/y but was still 1% below that of the same period of 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP says paid $4.7bn in global taxes - Esmarie Swanepoel

BHP paid some $4.7bn in global taxes and royalties in FY2017, with a further $1.2bn payable to the Australian government in corporate tax income payments before the end of the calendar year. Australian taxes, royalties and other payments accounted for $3.8bn of the payments made in the 2017 FY. CFO PETER BEAVEN noted that over the last decade, the company paid some $84bn in global taxes, royalties and other payments, including $60bn in Australia alone. He noted that in the FY under review, BHP's global adjusted effective tax rate was 34%, and once royalties were included, this rate increased to 44%. "This significant contribution to taxation and royalty revenue to the countries in which we operate gives governments the opportunity to provide essential services to their citizens and invest in their communities for the future", BEAVEN said. During FY2017, BHP made a total economic contribution of $261bn through payments to suppliers, wages and employee benefits, as well as dividend payments, taxes and royalties. In addition to the direct economic contributions, BHP also invested $4.6bn into its business via the purchase of property, plant and equipment and exploration spend. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Magufuli orders wall built around tanzanite mines, says govt will start buying stones - Reuters

Tanzania's President JOHN MAGUFULI last week ordered the military to build walls around its tanzanite mines and directed the central bank to buy the stone to boost reserves. "All tanzanite gemstones will be controlled and will pass through one gate and he [MAGUFULI] ordered the Bank of Tanzania to take part in the tanzanite buying trade", a statement from the presidency said. MAGUFULI ordered the military to build walls with security cameras and checkpoints around all tanzanite mining concessions in northern Tanzania "to control illegal mining and trading activities", the presidency said. "Even if someone swallows some tanzanite gemstones, they will be detected at the proposed checkpoint", MAGUFULI said. "Tanzania gets just 5% of revenues from the global tanzanite trade - all the rest of this precious gemstone benefits other people abroad. This is unacceptable". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rockfall kills two miners at Implats mine - News24Wire

Two miners died when a rock well on their heads while drilling in shaft 12 of IMPALA PLATINUM's Rustenburg mine on Tuesday morning. The men, aged 31 and 34, died at the scene, IMPLATS spokesperson JOHAN THERON said. "We are presently launching a full investigation into the circumstances of the incident. The safety of our employees enjoys priority". THERON said the company is assisting the families of the deceased miners as far as possible. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sasol considers share sale - Paul Burkhardt, Bloomberg

SASOL shares fell after it announced a new BEE transaction and said it may sell shares to fund around R12bn of obligations related to a prior plan that ends in 2018. The proposed new KHANYISA structure will result in about 25% black ownership of its South African unit. SASOL sees an equity issuance through an accelerated bookbuild as the optimal solution to finance commitments related to the previous plan, CEO BONGANI NQWABABA said in a presentation in Johannesburg. The obligations may amount to around R12bn. Shares in SASOL fell as much as 5.9% to R375/share yesterday, the biggest intraday decline since Jun. 2016. SASOL must ensure that the INZALO empowerment fund settles its debt of around R12bn. It plans to purchase the INZALO shares and cancel them, and inject any additional funds required to settle costs oand any shortfall, it said. The company will consider a sale of shares in an accelerated bookbuild to fund those obligations and minimise the risk to its investment-grade credit metrics. The new structure will include employee share-ownership plans and investors in the INZALO plan will have the opportunity to participate. SASOL will be providing "notional and other vendor funding" for KHANYISA. The KHANYISA transaction has an indicative estimated cost of R7.3bn and would increase the weighted average number of shares by 6%, based on certain assumptions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Agarwal to lift stake in Anglo - David McKay

VEDANTA chairperson ANIL AGARWAL plans to lift his personal take in ANGLO AMERICAN by buying between £1.25bn-£1.5bn worth of shares in the UK-listed company. The investment will be through AGARWAL's family trust, VOLCAN INVESTMENTS, the vehicle used in Mar. when he swooped on £2bn in ANGLO shares. AGARWAL reiterated that there was no intention to make an offer for the balance of ANGLO shares. Prior to the new offer, VOLCAN has voting rights in ANGLO of 12.43%. The precise stake that VOLCAN would control in ANGLO after this latest transaction will only be made on its conclusion. Assuming it bought the full allotment at ANGLO's current price, however, VOLCAN would gain a one-fifth stake in the company including its existing shares. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA issues $2.5bn in foreign currency bonds - Mfuneko Toyana

SA has issued a pair of dollar bonds in overseas capital markets worth $2.5bn to help finance its foreign currency commitments, Treasury said yesterday. The transactions for a 2027 and a 2047 bond at coupon rates of 4.85% and 5.65% respectively were more than two times oversubscribed, attracting bids of over $5.3bn, the Treasury said. "The South African government sees the success of the transaction as an expression of investor confidence in the country's sound macro-economic policy framework and prudent fiscal management", Treasury added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afrisam says merger offer for PPC 'fair' - Nqobile Dludla

AFRISAM yesterday said a merger proposal valuing rival PPC at $700m is fair, suggesting it has no intention of sweetening its offer. Shares in PPC fell 2.52% to R6.19 yesterday afternoon but were still bell above the R5.75 valuation in AFRISAM's proposal as the company is also being pursued by DANGOTE CEMENT and one other unspecified bidder. AFRISAM's comments come days after PPC's board said the proposal "fundamentally undervalues" SA's biggest cement producer and that it expects a higher offer. The all-share offer from AFRISAM, in conjunction with a cash offer of R2bn for a 23% stake from FAIRFAX AFRICA, values PPC shares at R5.75 but expectations of a higher bid have kept the share price above that level. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's union bank starts 50bn naira share sale - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's UNION BANK has begun a share sale to existing shareholders to raise 50bn naira after it received regulatory approval, the bank said on Wednesday. The bank said the rights issue opens for subscription on Sep. 20 and closes on Oct. 30. It plans to offer 12.1bn shares priced at 4.10 naira each, issuing five new shares to investors for every seven already held. UNION BANK, in which ATLAS MARA owns a 44.5% stake, has said it planned to raise funds to boost its capital adequacy and tap opportunities to lend to agribusinesses. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore strikes multi-year purchase deal with Angola LNG - Oleg Vukmanovic

GLENCORE is to buy LNG supplies from ANGOLA LNG over a multi-year period, adding to similar recent agreements between the producer and traders including VITOL. ANGOLA LNG yesterday said the deal was another step toward building its sales book with the most important players in the LNG market. Last month it sold product to VITOL over a multi-year period and also entered a sales deal with the trading arm of Germany's RWE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steinhoff Africa soars 10% on stock market debut - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

STEINHOFF AFRICA RETAIL surged nearly 10% on its market debut yesterday as investors looked past its parent company's legal woes in Europe and piled into the retail powerhouse. STAR listed a day before a Dutch court is due to hear a petition calling for an investigation into the annual accounts of STEINHOFF INTERNATIONAL, which is already under scrutiny for alleged accounting fraud in Germany. STAR rose as high as R22.46 on Wednesday, 9.6% above its IPO price of R20.50. The IPO raised R15.3bn, making it the biggest in Africa this year and the third biggest ever. By midday, the stock was changing hands at R21.55, giving STAR a market cap of R 75bn. STEINHOFF owns around 78% of STAR. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola SWF turns profitable on private equity investments, lower costs - Karin Strohecker

Angola's sovereign wealth fund this week said it had become profitable for the first time in 2016 thanks to the appreciation of its private equity investments in a deep-water port and agricultural projects as well as reduced operating costs. The fund, which launched in Oct. 2012 and is known as FSDEA, had $4.99bn in assets under management at the end of 2016 compared to 44.75bn y/y. Net income for the year came in at $44m after a loss of $135m in 2015, FSDEA said. Private equity investments had increased by $260m y/y with profits across two of its seven private equity funds offsetting losses elsewhere. Only $433m of the $2.7bn - or 54% of total assets - earmarked for investment in private equity, or unlisted securities and debt, had actually been allocated. Fixed income investments valued at $1.1bn had seen their share across total assets fall for the second year in a row to 22% from 25%. Operational expenses had fallen by 40% compared to the previous year, the fund said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mozambique hopes to raise $500m for renewable energy projects - Manuel Mucari

Mozambique this week offered a portfolio of small renewable energy projects to foreign investors which it hopes will attract $500m in investment and give everyone in the country electricity by 2030. "The initiative is intended to ensure that within a 15 year horizon the Mozambican population has access to electricity outside the national power grid, thanks to small autonomous systems", the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy said. It plans to do this by providing electricity to around 332 villages around the country using solar and hydro power. The portfolio has identified potential sites for projects using solar, hydro or a combination of both, and could attract an estimated investment of $500m, it said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 21/09/2017

At 07h27 on 21 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.31 ZAR/EUR 15.84 ZAR/GBP 17.96 Gold 1299.83 Platinum 940.50 Brent Crude Oil 55.11 All Share 55867.46

Cairn Energy says hearing for India tax dispute set for Aug. 2018 - Alice Woodhouse

CAIRN ENERGY has said a final hearing for its tax dispute with India over a $1.6bn tax dispute has been scheduled for Aug. 2018. CAIRN said arbitration proceedings were well advanced and that a time table for finalising document production, submissions and hearings had been agreed. Indian tax authorities in June said htey intended to seize around $350m of payments due to CAIRN. The payments include $105m from VEDANTA RESOURCES and a $250m tax refund owed to CAIRN ENERGY by New Delhi for the 2011/12 FY. The dispute dates back to 2014 when India accused CAIRN ENERGY of not paying tax owed after the UK group set up CAIRN INDIA as a subsidiary in 2006. The energy company rejects the demands as it claims New Delhi is referring to a tax law introduced in 2012. VEDANTA RESOURCES now owns CAIRN INDIA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Domino's Pizza announces share buyback scheme - Adam Samson

DOMINO's PIZZA GROUP, the UK pizza chain, today said it would initiate a £15m share buyback programme. The plans are part of a wider scheme to give capital back to shareholders, something that has also included dividends. "We consider this is a step in the right direction as in March the company indicated it would repurchase shares but since purchased none", said STIFEL analyst JEFFREY HARWOOD. DOMINO's PIZZA in July said its sales rose 10.5% y/y in the 26 weeks ending on Jun. 25. Underlying profits before tax were up 9.1% at £44.6m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba to sell NAND to Bain-led consortium - Leo Lewis

TOSHIBA's board today agreed to sell its prized NAND flash memory chip unit to a consortium led by BAIN CAPITAL in a Y2.1tn deal designed to rescue the Japanese conglomerate from delisting. Sources said the winning group, which includes at least a $3bn investment by APPLE and smaller commitments from DELL, SEAGATE, KINGSTON and SK HYNIX, were currently in the process of ironing out minor details but were likely to sign the deal later today. TOSHIBA itself will also play a role in the purchasing entity, while the two Japanese state-backed financial institutions - the INNOVATION NETWORK CORPORATION OF JAPAN and the DEVELOPMENT BANK OF JAPAN will join as investors after TOSHIBA and the winning consortium have settled legal differences over a JV with WESTERN DIGITAL. As part of the legal effort to secure the BAIN deal, its bid will see TOSHIBA initially selling the memory business separately from its interests in the JV. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel sign MoU to merge European operations - Patrick McGee

THYSSENKRUPP and TATA STEEL have reached an understanding to merge their European operations to create the continent's number two steel producer after ARCELORMITTAL. After more than a year of talks, an MoU was announced early this morning by the German group, just weeks after TATA removed a central obstacle by agreeing with British regulators to hive off a pension scheme for its UK business. The MoU calls for a 50/50 JV that would produce annual synergies of €400m-€600m, THYSSENKRUPP said. The parties expect to sign a formal merger at the start of 2018 and complete the deal by the end of next year. Combined, the new company would generate pro forma sales of €15bn and employ some 48 000 people at 34 locations. It would ship 21mt of steel per year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Best Logistics to raise $450m in IPO - Yuan Yang

BEST LOGISTICS has priced its IPO at $10/share in what is still due to be the biggest IPO of a Chinese company this year on the NYSE despite muted investor interest. The logistics firm now expects to raise $450m, less than half of the $1bn expected earlier this month, through an offer of 45m shares at $10 apiece - at the bottom of the $10-$11 range that sources had disclosed yesterday. The company, which is backed by ALIBABA, had earlier this month expected to offer 53.56m shares at $13-$15/share. Stocks begin trading at 09:30 in New York today. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FedEx blames TNT Express cyberattack for earnings miss - Mamta Badkar

FEDEX yesterday lowered its FY outlook and said its fiscal Q1 fell shy of analysts' forecasts as its results were hit by the TNT EXPRESS cyberattack, Hurricane Harvey and weaker performance at its ground segment. Net income fell to R596m in Q1, from $715m y/y. That translated to EPS of 219cps in Q1, down from 265cps y/y. Adjusting for one-time items, earnings of 251cps missed analysts' forecasts for 309cps. Global operations of TNT EXPRESS were "significantly affected" following the NotPetya cyberattack, which resulted in the disruption of its communications systems. The cyberattack had a negative impact on earnings of around 79cps, while Hurricane Harvey had an impact of about 2cps. Operating income in the company's ground segment rose 3% to $626m, slower than the 14% growth seen in the y/y period and 7% growth in the prior quarter. Despite this, revenues ad FEDEX rose 4.1% to $15.3bn, broadly in line with forecasts. The company lowered its outlook for FY2018 to reflect the estimated impact of the cyberattack. It now expects earnings in the range of $11.05-$11.85/share, down from its previous outlook for earnings of $12.45-$13.25/share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan exports record 9th straight month of growth - Alice Woodhouse

Japan's exports grew at a higher pace than forecast in Aug. as outbound shipments to North America and Asia rose. The value of outbound shipments from Japan rose 18.1% in Aug., according to the Ministry of Finance, recording a ninth straight month of growth and coming in above a median estimate of 14.7% from economists polled by Reuters. This was also higher than the 13.4% growth booked in July. Inbound shipments rose 15.2% in Aug., again coming in higher than economists' forecasts of 11.8% but below the 16.3% recorded m/m. These figures resulted in a trade surplus of Y113.6bn, which was higher than the forecast of Y93.9bn but well below the Y418.8bn surplus recorded in July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP CEO's pay jumps 20% - Edward White

BHP CEO ANDREW MACKENZIE enjoyed pay of $7.1m in the FY to end-Jun., up 20% y/y as the company bumped up pay for its top executives. MACKENZIE had a base salary of $1.7m, the same as the year before, but received an additional $1.2m bonus and an increase in share-based payments. MACKENZIE's remuneration more than doubled from 42.2m to $4.6m. That reflects the resumption of his short-term bonus, which was not issued in 2016 amid the fallout of the SAMARCO tailings dam disaster and a worse financial performance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 20/09/2017

At 10h33 on 20 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.27 ZAR/EUR 15.93 ZAR/GBP 17.93 Gold 1312.58 Platinum 949.50 Brent Crude Oil 55.11 All Share 55741.49

SA inflation rebounds in Aug. - Adam Samson

Consumer price inflation picked up in Aug. after striking its lowest level since 2015 in the prior month. CPI rose 4.8% in Aug. y/y, up from 4.6% in July, Statistics SA said today. Economists had forecast a reading of 4.9%. On average, prices increased by 0.1% between July and Aug., Stats SA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Maersk sells oil tanker unit - Richard Milne

AP MOLLER-MAERSK has sold its oil tanker business for $1.2bn to the family investor that is the Danish conglomerate's controlling shareholder. AP MOLLER HOLDING, which owns more than half the voting shares in MAERSK, will pay $1.17bn in cash for the fleet of 161 oil tankers. It will then set up a new ownership group for MAERSK TANKERS to include Japan's MITSUI and other potential partners. The sale is the second stage of a four-part split of energy-related activities to leave MAERSK in the future concentrated on container shipping and logistics. It sold its oil business last month to TOTAL for $7.5bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pan African declares dividend, forecasts rising output - Allan Seccombe

PAN AFRICAN RESOURCES reported a steep drop in FY profit due to lower gold production. It reported a 43% decline in post-tax profit to R310m for the FY to end-Jun. PANAF declared a R185m dividend for the period, translating to 8.279cps. Gold output fell to 173 285oz, a 15% drop, due to difficulties at its Evander gold mine in Mpumalanga. The gold price was flat y/y at R542 773/kg, while the all-in sustaining cost rose to R514 435/kg from R405 847l/kg. Evander was suspended for 55 days during the year to refurbish a shaft, while the company's Barberton mines were disrupted by community unrest. Both mines were issued temporary safety stoppage notices by the Department of Mineral Resources. Net debt fell to R67m by the end of Jun. from R340m y/y, as cash holdings more than tripled to R160m. The company issued shares for nearly R700m during Apr. Cash from operations fell by R453m to R339m. Looking ahead, the company pegged its FY output at 190 000oz. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Economist Cees Bruggemans dies - BDpro

Former FNB CEO MICHAEL JORDAAN yesterday led tributes to leading economist CEES BRUGGEMANS, who has died. "As bank CEO it was my privilege to meet with CEES BRUGGEMANS weekly. A huge intellect has passed. RIP", JORDAAN said. BRUGGEMANS was FNB's chief economist from 1985 to 2012. He continued working as a consultant after leaving the bank. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AfroCentric reports rise in FY HEPS - Karl Gernetzky

AFROCENTRIC reported a 42.77% rise in normalised HEPS to 44.03cps for the FY to end-Jun., with the company reporting normal organic growth, as well as healthy growth in client medical scheme memberships. Group operating profits rose by 49.89% to R564.1m, and net profits before tax rose by 35.2% to R366.7m. The company said it had also met the profit undertaking set by SANLAM, which acquired an effective 28.7% stake in the group's wholly-owned subsidiary, MEDSCHEME, for R703m. AFROCENTRIC declared a final dividend of 14cps, up 16.67% for the final period. It also released adjusted and re-stated results for prior years on Tuesday, to comply with misinterpreted accounting standards. Interest accrued on the SANLAM conditional put option obligation of R24.96m was accounted for in 2016 as an adjustment to equity, instead of being provided for through the statement of comprehensive income. The company said that from management's analysis, the change to EPS and HEPS was immaterial. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NEPI Rockcastle buys Budapest mall - Alistair Anderson

NEPI ROCKCASTLE has bought a large mall in Budapest, Hungary, for €275m. Subsidiary ARENA PROPERTY KFT has agreed to buy all the issued shares in, and claims against, SYMMETRY ARENA INGATLANKEZELO KORLATOLT FELELOSSEGU TARSASAG, which owns the 66 000m² Arena Plaza, Budapest's second-largest shopping centre. The mall, which opened in Nov. 2007, has grown its annual footfall to more than 10m people. Turnover growth has been above 7% a year for the past two years. NEPI ROCKCASTLE plans to refurbish the centre, improve the leisure and entertainment offering, and bring in new tenants. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RMI posts double-digit FY profit growth - Hanna Ziady

RAND MERCHANT INVESTMENT HOLDINGS delivered double-digit growth in normalised earnings from continuing operations for the FY to end-Jun., thanks to strong earnings growth in DISCOVERY and OUTSURANCE. Normalised earnings rose 18% to R3.9bn for the FY. For the period under review, OUTSURANCE grew normalised earnings by 25% to R2.5bn, largely due to a favourable claims experience. DISCOVERY's 8% rise in normalised earnings to R4.7bn was driven by its life and health businesses in SA and the UK. MMI's normalised earnings were flat at R3.2bn, while HASTINGS in the Uk delivered earnings of R246m for the four months to end-Jun. RMI's stake in the UK direct insurer is valued at R9.9bn. Its stakes in DISCOVERY, MMI and OUTSURANCE are valued at R20.7bn, R8.1bn and R29.2bn respectively. Gross market value of its portfolio was up 9% over the year to R68.5bn. RMI kept its dividend unchanged at 118cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kubayi sees no hurry for new coal, gas power projects - Paul Burkhardt, Bloomberg

Programmes to add coal and gas power generation from IPPs should wait until policies are updated and the nation's future needs are clearer, Energy Minister MMAMALOKO KUBAYI said yesterday. She said the government is also seeking a "middle ground" with developers in the programme to add renewable-energy projects. "Let's look at how much capacity do we need, and when", KUBAYI said, adding that the calculations should include economic growth estimates and determinations of how much generation is required from each technology. The gas-to-power programme included plans for around 3 000MW of capacity from proposed plants on SA's coast, the Department of Energy said last year. Its coal baseload programme was designed to add 2 500MW of capacity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S Africans disclose R35bn in offshore assets - Jan Cronje

South Africans have declared almost R35bn worth of foreign assets under the government-initiated special voluntary disclosure programme that closed last month. Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said that 2 002 SVDP applications were received by the cutoff data of Aug. 31, and the government had already identified over R1bn in tax liabilities. "Of the 2 002 applications received, 305 applications have been processed, resulting in 280 SVDP agreements being concluded with tax liabilities totalling R1 031 627 067", GIGABA said. Of this amount, R822m in tax has been collected to date. GIGABA added that the total tax top-up to SA's coffers from the voluntary disclosure programme could be as much as R4bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

KPMG International chair apologises to SA - Jan Cronje

KPMG INTERNATIONAL chair JOHN VEIHMEYER yesterday apologised for the work the firm did in SA. "I sincerely apologise for what went wrong in KPMG South Africa. This is not who we are", VEIHMEYER said. He said KPMG had already taken "significant actions" including the appointment of NHLAMU DLOMU as the new CEO of KPMG SA. "She immediately issued an apology to the country. NHLAMU represents the best of KPMG, and has proven to be a strong and effective leader", VEIHMEYER said. Other actions included the announcement of governance reforms and eight partners leaving the firm. "Further appropriate steps will be taken if any new information comes to light", VEIHMEYER said. He said the work the firm had done was "not reflective of the quality of KPMG's work in South Africa over many years, or indeed the work we do for clients globally. We are determined to learn from the failings that we have found in these specific client activities. In particular, we will further strengthen the monitoring of which clients we choose to work with and how we handle potentially sensitive client engagements". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hulisani dumps KPMG - Renee Bonorchis, Bloomberg

HULISANI LTD yesterday became the third corporate to replace KPMG as more businesses announced they were dumping the company due to work it did for the GUPTAS. HULISANI said it wanted shareholders to vote to appoint PWC as its auditors. It joined SASFIN and SYGNIA in terminating ties with KPMG. HULISANI met KPMG to find out what was happening before deciding that they will recommend to investors that the firm be asked ot resign as its auditor, CEO MARUBINI RAPHULU said. The company was concerned about the reputational risk of being associated with the GUPTAS even though KPMG couldn't be faulted for its audits, RAPHULU said. "We like to do business in an ethical way", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sasol disbands debt-ridden Inzalo, launches replacement - Yolandi Groenewald

SASOL today announced it will disband its SASOL INZALO BEE scheme when it matures next year. In its place it will launch a new scheme, the R21bn KHANYISA empowerment scheme. INZALO shareholders will receive no pay-out after the scheme was unable to service debt due to low oil prices and lacklustre share performance. Based on the closing SASOL Ordinary share price of R389 on Sep. 4, INZALO shareholders will not receive any SASOL shares when it ends in 2018 due to the fund's debt. KHANYISA will draw from the lessons learned from INZALO to evolve into a stronger, more successful fund. SOLBE1 shareholders will be given the right to participate in KHANYISA, and will also be issued with bonus shares. KHANYISA's ownership structure is intended to achieve around 20% direct black ownership in SASOL SA for a period of up to 10 years. It will be anchored in SASOL's South African assets and will be vendor financed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Avian flu hits two Quantum Foods farms - Andries Mahlangu

QUANTUM FOODS became the latest major South African poultry producer to report a bird flu outbreak, when it today announced that a highly contagious strain had affected at least two of its commercial layer farms in the Western Cape. "The outbreak has only been confirmed at two layer houses but as a preventative measure, management has decided to depopulate the two sites in totality", QUANTUM said. "This affects 9% of the group's current national table egg supply. This outbreak occurred despite stringent bio-security measures in place at all QUANTUM FOODS farms". SOVEREIGN FOODS last week culled at least 5 000 birds at its Uitenhage production pipeline. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

STADIO enters BBBEE transaction - Fin24

BRIMSTONE INVESTMENT CORPORATION yesterday announced it has successfully entered into an empowerment transaction with CURRO subsidiary STADIO. STADIO is an investment holding company that focuses on the acquisition of, investment in, growth and development of higher education systems. CURRO is in the process of unbundling STADIO, with the intention of listing it separately on the JSE on Oct. 3. The transaction, valued at a minimum of R100m and a maximum of R200m, will be settled from BRIMSTONE's available cash resources. The BBBEE transaction has been structured in two legs. BRIMSTONE will pay R100m for STADIO shares through a private placement, and has committed to underwrite a maximum of R100m worth of stadio shares in the event that the STADIO shares are not all taken up by black investors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sasfin drops KPMG over Gupta, SARS scandals - Matthew le Cordeur

SASFIN yesterday announced it has dropped KPMG as its JSE sponsor as well as its auditor after 18 years over concerns over good governance stemming from the GUPTA saga and its fumble on the SARS "rogue unit" report. This comes as SASFIN yesterday reported a 16.34% drop in HEPS to 611cps. SASFIN will be changing its independent sponsor from KPMG SERVICES to DELOITTE & TOUCHE SPONSOR SERVICES from Tuesday, it said. The Institute of Directors of Southern Africa has also suspended co-branding activities with KPMG, including sponsorship of its golf day. "In view of the well-publicised concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG as well as SASFIN's commitment to good governance in respect of auditor independence and auditor tenure, SASFIN has decided to put its audit out to tender. This process is expected to begin in November 2017". Meanwhile, SASFIN's poor results for the FY to end-Jun. was due to an increase in the credit-loss ratio arising from two unusual credit losses, and the impact of a mark-to-market loss on the company's strategic investment in EFFICIENT GROUP. "Excluding the impact of EFFICIENT in both years, the group's headline earnings would have been down 0.77% at R216.807m (2016: R219.491m)", SASFIN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toys R US SA safe from US bankruptcy filings - Allison Jeftha

Despite its global affiliate facing mounting debt and filing for bankruptcy, for the local TOYS R US and BABIES R US business is booming. The South African business plans to expand its national footprint by opening more stores in Gauteng, the Western Cape, North West province and Mpumalanga. Meanwhile, TOYS R US INC, which incorporates the brand in the US and Canada, announced that it filed for bankruptcy due to a debt load from a previous buyout and fierce competition in online shopping. Although the bankruptcy filing by the company may have global implications, especially for Chinese toy manufacturers, some 38% of the company's revenue came from foreign markets in the latest fiscal year. This has no effect on the South African stores, which are in a licenced agreement with TOYS R US INC and function independently from the TOYS R US global affiliates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EOH focuses on own IP, Africa and Middle East for growth - Schalk Burger

EOH is growing its own software, services and solutions, while gradually expanding its presence in the rest of Africa and the Middle East. At a presentation of the company's results for the FY to end-Jun., CEO ZUNAID MAYET noted that spend on ICT in SA is growing by around 5.6%/year. Revenue grew by 21% y/y to R15.49bn, while profit increased by 29% to R1.80bn. Cash on hand rose by 29% to R2.51bn. EOH achieved 63% of its revenue growth from organic growth, and this accounted for 68% of profit before tax. HEPS rose by 16% y/y to 832dcps and the dividend was raised by 16% to 215cps. EOH was continuing its investments in businesses in Africa and the Middle East, with it taking a minority or equal stake in businesses as it expanded in these markets. Cash generated by operations rose to R2.30bn and was used to fund operations and organic growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Corruption rampant in SA - Anine Kilian

There are a multiplicity of factors that drive corruption in both public and private institutions throughout SA, Corruption Watch chair MAVUSO MSIMANG said yesterday. In the public sector, people occupied key positions without having a competent understanding of their jobs. "Incompetence plays a major role towards institutionalised corruption", MSIMANG said. He noted that there were many challenges in corporate governance regarding corruption, pointing out that, through fraudulent conduct in both public and private enterprises, a lot of money was being diverted away from people, particularly the most vulnerable in society. MSIMANG said South African society was severely affected by corruption. "It is so pervasive and commonplace that people seem to give up, they think they need to be corrupt to get ahead". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Consortium to acquire 30% stake in Ethos Private Equity - Creamer Media Reporter

RMI INVESTMENT MANAGERS and ROYAL INVESTMENT MANAGERS will, as the RMI & RIM CONSORTIUM, acquire a 30% stake in ETHOS PRIVATE EQUITY via a series of transactions. The deals will include a vendor-facilitated BEE component that will ensure that 25% of the company continues to be owned by a broad base of historically disadvantaged shareholders. ETHOS said the capital raised through these transactions will enable it to accelerate the execution of its strategy of building a significant alternative asset management business in sub-Saharan Africa. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

North West needs R17bn to upgrade road network - ANA

The North West province needs R17bn to upgrade its roads, Premier SUPRA MAHUMAPELO said yesterday. "We have given Transport Minister [JOE] MASWANGANYI our total gravelled road network. He is going to be coming to us on how we can work together to finance. The problem is we do not have the R17bn needed, excluding maintenance", MAHUMAPELO said. He said the provincial government would provide graders to work on gravel roads throughout the province, but the problem was that there is a shortage of people skilled in driving graders. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Many in CT ignoring water restrictions - News24Wire

Many Capetonians are failing to adhere to level 5 water restrictions, with only one out of two limiting their daily personal water consumption to 87 litres, the City of Cape Town said yesterday. Mayoral committee member for water and waste services XANTHEA LIMBERG said that a large percentage of residents were seemingly not bothered by the restrictions and increased water tariffs. City-wide consumption on Monday had increased to an average of 624m litres per day, compared to 614m litres the prior week. This is 124m litres above the City's 500m litres per day target. The City said its drought efforts were centred around reducing collective water usage to 500m litres per day, while bringing on board alternative water sources which could produce an estimated 500m litres of water per day. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia to tender for 4th voice mobile service provider - Reuters

Zambia plans to invite bidders for a fourth mobile phone voice service provider following approval of a new licensing regime, Transport and Communications Minister BRIAN MUSHIMBA said yesterday. Zambia approved a law in Jun. allowing more mobile phone voice service providers to boost competition. MUSHIMBA said the communications regulator would select a fourth service provider in the next 6-12 months. Zambia has over 12m mobile phone subscribers representing a penetration rate of almost 75%, the latest government statistics show. MTN, BHARTI AIRTEL and ZAMTEL are currently the only mobile phone operators offering voice services in Zambia. A fourth mobile telecoms firm, MOBILE BROADBAND ZAMBIA - trading as VODAFONE ZAMBIA - was issued with a licence last year but its operations are restricted to data services. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PSG invests $50m in local property business Amdec - Reuters

PSG GROUP spent R675m for a 50% stake in EVERGREEN LIFESTYLE, part of local property business AMDEC, as it eyes expansion into the lucrative retirement property sector, the companies said yesterday. "Our investment mandate is to invest in and work with businesses that show high growth potential", said NICO DE WAAL, CEO of PSG ALPHA, a unit of PSG. The deal will accelerate the growth of the EVERGREEN LIFESTYLE brand and allow for the rapid development of the many other retirement villages currently in the planning stages - from the current 500 homes to about 3 000 homes over the next three years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Buenaventura eyes $2bn copper project in Peru - Reuters

BUENAVENTURA is considering making a bid on a $2bn copper project in Peru as the miner's gold output dwindles and copper prices rally, chairperson ROQUE BENAVIDES said yesterday. Speaking at the Perumin industry convention in Arequipa, BENAVIDES said BUENAVENTURA has already bought the paperwork required to take part in the Nov. 15 auction for ANGLO AMERICAN's former project Michiquillay. He said BUENAVENTURA could develop Michiquillay by sharing infrastructure with two other proposed mines in the northern region of Cajamarca. The proposed $4.8bn gold project Conga that BUENAVENTURA and NEWMONT MINING shelved due to violent protest in 2011, and CHINA MINMETALS' Galeno gold and copper project. "There might be synergies among Michiquillay, Galeno and Conga. None of those three projects can be developed separately", BENAVIDES said without specifying why. ANGLO returned its contract for Michiquillay to Peru in 2014 due to capital constraints, and had estimated that the deposit could produce some 200 000t/year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petra mines impacted by labour disruption - Creamer Media Reporter

PETRA DIAMONDS' Finsch and Kimberley Ekapa Mining JV operations are being affected by a labour disruption that started on Monday evening. Underground and surface mining operations are affected, but plant treatment is continuing at near normal capacity, treating surface material and available stockpiles. PETRA said its Cullinan and Koffiefontein mines are not affected. The company is in ongoing talks with the NUM, with which it has been negotiating a wage agreement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gem recovers 115ct diamond at Letseng - Creamer Media Reporter

GEM DIAMONDS has recovered a high-quality 115ct D colour Type IIa diamond from its Letseng mine, in Lesotho. This follows the recovery of five other diamonds of over 100ct so far this year from the mine. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye-Stillwater announces $450m convertible bond offering - Martin Creamer

SIBANYE-STILLWATER yesterday announced the impending launch of a $450m convertible bond offering linked to the refinancing of the outstanding portion of the bridge loan the company raised to buy STILLWATER MINING in the US. The senior unsecured guaranteed convertible bonds, which fall due in 2023, will be issued by the company on Sep. 26. The bonds are expected to pay a coupon of 1.625%-2.375% a year half yearly in arrears in equal instalments. The initial conversion price is expected to be set within a premium range of 30%-35% above the volume weighted average price of SIBANYE-STILLWATER's shares on the JSE. The bonds will be convertible into new and existing shares or a combination of both. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP pressed to quit Australian mining lobby over climate views - Reuters

BHP yesterday urged shareholders to vote down a resolution aimed at getting the company to quit Australia's top mining lobby group, but said it will separately review its membership of industry bodies. BHP agreed to let investors vote on the resolution submitted by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, which says BHP should quit any industry groups whose views on climate change and energy policy conflict with the company's own views. The company will hold AGMs in London on Oct. 19 and in Australia on Nov. 16. BHP has long acknowledged that global warming is occurring and that the world must limit climate change. In contrast, the Minerals Council of Australia vociferously campaigned to kill Australia's carbon price and is pushing for government support for new coal-fired power plants. The ACCR is calling for BHP to review its membership or representation in industry bodies lobbying on energy and climate change and quit any bodies where it pays a membership fee if their positions do not align with the company's views. BHP said its board was supportive of some elements of one of two proposed resolutions, but recommended that shareholders vote against it as the resolution as a whole was not in the company's interests. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim maize reserves at 17-year high - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's maize reserves have hit 1mt, the highest in more than 17 years, state media reported yesterday. The government said above average rainfall and state-funded farming inputs had lifted maize output to 2.1mt this year. "For the strategic grain reserve we have surpassed the one million (tonnes) of maize", Agriculture Minister JOSEPH MADE told the Herald newspaper. Zimbabwe since 2001 has relied on maize imports and food aid to feed itselt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gecamines to set new rules to share out mining proceeds - Aaron Ross

Congo state miner GECAMINES yesterday said foreign partners in copper and cobalt projects may have artificially minimised the company's proceeds and that it intends to implement new controls to "hold its partners accountable". GECAMINES said the preliminary results of audits conducted on its partnerships indicate that GECAMINES' partnerships may have now been managed in the best interest of all shareholders, particularly the minority shareholder GECAMINES". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia to resume talks with IMF - Chris Mfula

Zambia's Finance Permanent Secretary MUKULI CHIKUBA yesterday said the country will resume talks with the IMF over an aid programme in Oct. and hopes to get IMF board approval by the end of 2017. "The engagement with the fund is pretty advanced. We have addressed most of the structural issues and agreed to them", CHIKUBA said. "The work that is remaining with the IMF includes spending plans for the rest of 2017. We will resume engagement with the fund in October and hope to get board approval by December". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

World Bank cuts SA's 2017 growth forecast - Mfuneko Toyana

The World Bank yesterday halved its 2017 growth forecast for SA after the economy fell into recession earlier this year. It said 2017 growth would likely be 0.6%, down from an earlier estimate of 1.1%. Growth is seen ticking up to 1.1% next year and reaching 1.7% in 2019. The bank warned that any prospect of recovery would "remain fragile" unless SA succeeds in becoming more productive. "South Africa is not benefiting from the global economic rebound", World Bank southern Africa specialist SEBASTIAN DEUSSUS said, adding that the country is well placed in export markets "but we don't see the country's exports breaking into new markets". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 20/09/2017

At 07h24 on 20 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.30 ZAR/EUR 15.98 ZAR/GBP 17.99 Gold 1312.09 Platinum 954.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.11 All Share 56011.16

Updated market indicators for 19/09/2017

At 09h46 on 19 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.31 ZAR/EUR 15.95 ZAR/GBP 18.01 Gold 1308.16 Platinum 956.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.11 All Share 55949.92

Iron ore prices to fall as Chinese steel output nears peak - RBA - Edward White

Australia's central bank is expecting a drop in the price of iron ore in the short-term as Chinese steel demand hits a ceiling and global supply continues to expand. Ore with 65% iron content delivered to Qingdao was priced at $73.50/t yesterday, having lifted 38% over the past three months. According to minutes from its Aug. meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia believes iron ore prices had been supported at higher levels because of sustained strong demand for steel in China. "However, prices were expected to fall in the period ahead because of the ongoing expansion of global iron ore supply following an extended period of strong investment". RBA members noted that as China had reached a similar level of steel production per capital to that of industrialised economies, its output was "likely to be close to its peak" and that future growth in Chinese steel output would not add much to global demand for iron ore in the future. Chinese iron ore and steel import volumes have declined since May and are now at their lowest point since late Oct. 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. The central bank also noted that longer-term, there was potential for India to have a noticeable effect on commodity markets as investment in residential construction and transport infrastructure increased. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Norway's oil funds says its market value tops $1bn for first time - Richard Milne

Norway's oil fund has topped $1tn for the first time in its history. The fund, which started in 1996, reached NKr7 811bn on Wednesday morning. Officials confirmed it was the first time it breached the $1tn barrier. In a country of just 5.2m people, the fund has been an extraordinary success, growing faster than ministers imagined to become one of the world's largest investors, owning on average 1.3% of every listed company in the world. At the end of 2016, about half of the fund's assets were due to the returns on its investments, about 45% due to inflows form oil and gas revenues, and the rest due to currency movements. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China boosted holdings of US Treasuries in July - Joe Rennison

China increased its holdings of US Treasuries by $19.5bn to $1.166tn in July, fresh data showed yesterday. China is the largest foreign holders of treasuries after it surpassed Japan in June 2017, reclaiming the top spot after it had been knocked off it in Oct. 2016. The top five holders remain unchanged, with Ireland and Brazil both adding to their holdings, and the Cayman Islands selling $6bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Femsa launches €2.5bn offering in Heineken - Jude Webber

HEINEKEN's controlling shareholder, L'ARCHE GREEN NV will boost its stake in the brewer by buying €200m of the €2.5bn in shares being put up for sale in a surprise offering by Mexico's FEMSA after the partners fell out in July over distribution rights in Brazil. L'ARCHE GREEN NV is the company through which the HEINEKEN FAMILY controls HEINEKEN HOLDING NV. It currently holds 51.709% in HEINEKEN HOLDING NV, which in turn holds an interest of 50.005% in HEINEKEN NV. Together HEINEKEN HOLDING NV and HEINEKEN NV make up HEINEKEN GROUP. FEMSA currently holds a 20% stake, consisting of 14.94% of HEINEKEN HOLDINGDS and 12.53% of HEINEKEN NV. FEMSA earlier announced it had launched an IPO for up to €2.5bn - or some 5% - in HEINEKEN GROUP. Under the terms of its 2010 corporate governance agreement, it said it will maintain its current rights including a seat on HEINEKEN's board and two seats on its supervisory committee. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia's banking woes mount as state-run firms withdraw billions - Max Seddon

State-run firms are withdrawing billions from Russia's largest privately held lenders as panic spreads following the largest ever bank collapse in that country's history. The state corporations withdrew Rbs12.3bn, or 36% of state-held deposits, from B&N BANK and Rbs11.1bn, or 17% of state-held deposits from CREDIT BANK OF MOSCOW. The deposit run recalls the crisis at OTKRITIE, which was Russia's largest privately held lender until the central bank stepped in to rescue it last month. State-run corporations percipitated a depositor panic that saw the bank lose a third of its balance sheet over the summer. The central bank says OTKRITIE falsified its accounts, manipulated its bond prices, and estimates it has a balance sheet hole of up to Rbs400bn. OTKRITIE borrowed Rbs728bn from the central bank in Aug., including form an emergency unsecured credit line, taking its total obligations before regulators to over Rbs1tn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ukraine prices $3bn bond deal at 7.375% - Kate Allen

Ukraine has raised $3bn in its first international bond deal since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, in what its government considers to be a significant step on the road back to economic normalisation. The 15-year deal, priced at 7.375%, includes exchanging $1.7bn of bonds due to mature in 2019 and 2020 for the longer-dated paper. Order books neared $9bn. One banker involved with the deal said that "market conditions are very positive for issuers lower down on the credit spectrum. Investors are being forced to search for pastures new, that has been the theme so far this year". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DP World to buy Drydocks World - Simeon Kerr

Dubai's DP WORLD has agreed to buy DRYDOCKS WORLD and a maritime business park in the emirate for $405m. DP WORLD agreed to buy DUBAI WORLD's DRYDOCKS WORLD ship repair unit via a cash injection of $225m. DP WORLD also said it would buy another DUBAI WORLD unit, DUBAI MARITIME CITY, for $180m. The DRYDOCKS transaction, expected to close before the end of Q1 2018, was contingent on a successful completion of DRYDOCK's restructuring process. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rosneft to ink deal with Kurdistan for new gas pipeline to Turkey - Henry Foy

ROSNEFT is in advanced talks on financing a regional gas pipeline in Iraqi Kurdistan, as the Russian company looks to increase its presence in the region. The company yesterday said it is negotiating with the Kurdistan Regional Government on a project to build a gas pipeline system "in an accelerated mode". The project involves the commissioning of the pipeline and the first gas supplies to domestic consumers in 2019, and starting in 2020, the beginning of gas exports. The pipeline would provide natural gas to power plants and factories in the region and also exports to Turkey and Europe, ROSNEFT said, adding that the assumed throughput capacity would ensure 30bn cubic metres of exports a year, in addition to domestic supplies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toys R Us files for bankruptcy protection - Anna Nicolaou

TOYS R US filed for bankruptcy protection late last night as the US toy retail chain grapples with a shift towards online shopping. The company said it secured $3bn of debtor-in-possession financing to keep its 1 600 stores operating "as usual" during the restructuring of $5bn of long-term debt. "Today marks the dawn of a new era", TOYS R US CEO DAVE BRANDON said, adding that "the financial constraints that have held us back will be addressed in a lasting and effective way". The company had hired law firm KIRKLAND & ELLIS to help with the restructuring. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investec to review KPMG contract in SA - Madison Marriage

INVESTEC has become the latest South African company to review its relationship with KPMG after the accounting firm became embroiled in a growing political scandal involving the GUPTAS. INVESTEC's audit committee will meet tomorrow to discuss whether to sever its ties with KPMG in response to a statement issued by the auditor last week admitting its South African unit had ignored "red flags" about working for the GUPTAS. One INVESTEC private banking client urged the bank to drop the auditor. "I expect [INVESTEC] to sever ties with KPMG. KPMG is compromised and cannot expect to carry on business as usual as an auditor", the person said. KPMG has already lost SYGNIA as a client as a result of its involvement with the GUPTAS, while BARCLAYS AFRICA is reviewing its relationship with the accounting firm. Other large banks in SA also have contracts with KPMG. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

McKinsey faces legal action over Gupta-linked Eskom saga - Yolandi Groenewald

The DA yesterday announced it would lay fraud, racketeering and collusion charges against MCKINSEY after the US global consultancy firm was implicated in the ESKOM corruption scandal. MCKINSEY stands accused of having subcontracted 30% of its business with ESKOM to GUPTA-linked TRILLIAN, in what critics say essentially amounted to a bride to secure the contract for MCKINSEY. Reports suggest the contract was lucrative for MCKINSEY, making up more than half of its Africa revenue. Corruption Watch also last week announced it would approach the US justice system to probe MCKINSEY. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Egypt knocks SA from top investment spot in Africa - Fin24

Egypt has knocked SA from its long-standing top spot regarding investments in Africa, according to RMB's latest Where to Invest in Africa report for 2018, published yesterday. This is the first time SA has not been in top spot since the report was initiated seven years ago. Nigeria has for the first time not featured in the Top 10, in part due to the erosion of its short-term investment appeal by recessionary conditions. Egypt displaced SA largely because of its superior economic activity score, while SA has shown sluggish growth rates, which have deteriorated markedly over the past seven years. While the report found that SA also faces mounting concerns over issues of institutional strength and governance, some things still count in the country's favour. These include the rand, equity and capital market, which report notes are still "a cut above the rest" compared to many other African nations facing liquidity constraints. "From a global perspective, African countries are still at the lower end of the global performance spectrum, which continues to be dominated by the US, UK, Australia and Germany", the report states. Morocco retained its third position for a third consecutive year, while Ethiopia displaced Ghana to take fourth spot "mostly because of its rapid economic growth, having brushed past Kenya as the largest economy in East Africa". Ghana's slide was mostly due to perceptions of worsening corruption and weaker economic freedom. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CompCom refuses to release rand probe records - Renee Bonorchis

The Competition Commission has declined STANDARD BANK GROUP's request to release details of its probe into currency manipulation. The refusal is the latest chapter in a saga that started in May 2015, when the Commission alleged that banks colluded to rig the value of the rand. The inquiry followed a global probe into manipulation of the currency market. GRETA ENGELBRECHT, STANDARD BANK's lawyer, told the Competition Tribunal that the lender's request had been turned down on Sep. 4. She said the Commission has "constructed reasons" not to surrender the records of its probe and asked the Tribunal to set a time for the Commission to release the documents. Yesterday's development follows much to-ing and fro-ing between the lender and local authorities. After the Commission in Feb. recommended that more than a dozen banks be fined for allegedly manipulating the rand, STANDARD BANK asked the body for a meeting that same month, but was turned down. The bank then requested the records of the Commission's investigation and was told by the end of Mar. they were being prepared. A lawyer for the Commission, TEMBEKA NGCUKAITOBI, told yesterday's hearing that it is improper for the Tribunal to question the Commission's refusal to surrender the documents. The Tribunal will give its decision in due course, chair NORMAN MANOIM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim mulls weekday alcohol sales ban - Malcom Sharara

DELTA CORPORATION and AFRICAN DISTILLERS are set to either brace themselves for a fight with Harare or face reduced sales amid plans to restrict alcohol consumption in the country. According to The Sunday Mail, the government's new National Alcohol Policy is meant to curb alcohol sales. The policy proposes barring the sale of alcohol during the week, regulating hours of sale, and providing guidelines for the consumption of alcohol during special events like weddings on the basis of the venue in which they are held. The policy is said to be the brainchild of former health minister Dr TIMOTHY STAMPS, who is now health adviser in the office of the president and cabinet. STAMPS argues the policy will help maintain good health and protect the public against alcohol abuse, but the move will have a negative impact on sales and demand for beverage companies if implemented. It will also mean loss of government revenue from taxes on companies such as DELTA. For the FY to end-Mar., DELTA paid $18.5m in corporate tax and $52.7m in excise duties and levies. The brewer also paid around $79m in VAT. Downstream industries will also be affected by the policy if it is implemented as reported. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

OUTsurance to buy stake in Grindrod-owned investment manager - Fin24

OUTSURANCE will buy a 25% stake in passive investment manager CORESHARES to boost its new OUTVEST investment arm. CORESHARES made the announcement yesterday. It is owned by GFS HOLDINGS, which is owned by GRINDROD. CORESHARES focuses on the growth of ETFs, smart beta or factor investing, advancements in financial technology, including robo advisors, and the growth in adoption of passive investing, while OUTVEST is a digital automated advice business. "Having worked closely with CORESHARES over the last two years in the development of OUTVEST and through direct balance sheet index investments, we believe CORESHARES is poised to become a dominant player in the passive investment market and are grateful to have the opportunity to join them on their path to success", OUTSURANCE CEO WILLEM ROOS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim smelter too pricey - Implats - Fin24

According to IMPALA PLATINUM it cannot afford to build a platinum smelter for its 50%-owned Mimosa mine in Zimbabwe, as ordered by the government in that country. Harare in 2013 proposed a 15% tax on raw platinum exports to compel miners to invest in smelting and refining capacity in Zimbabwe. The tax was supposed to come into effect in Jan. 2015, but was pushed to 2018 to allow the miners time to set up the facilities. But IMPLATS group executive for growth projects, GERHARD POTGIETER, has since said the project will not be affordable. POTGIETER told that IMPLATS had recently completed a feasibility study on the smelter and found it unaffordable. "This is a clear stance between ourselves and SIBANYE-STILLWATER", he added. Mimosa is jointly owned by IMPLATS and SIBANYE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Discovery banking could be up and running in 2018 - Carin Smith

DISCOVERY could be launching its banking offering in 2018, CEO ADRIAN GORE said yesterday. DISCOVERY in Oct. 2016 received authorisation from the Registrar of Banks to establish a banking presence in SA, subject to certain conditions. "We have confidence in our shared value model. It forms part of the evolution of our Discovery Card. We have built a quality client base and a great team. We feel there are potential opportunities in banking to add value for our customers", GORE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dawn investors approve Grohe exit - BDpro

DISTRIBUTION AND WAREHOUSING NETWORK yesterday said that most of its shareholders supported the proposal to exit its investment in GROHE DAWN WATERTECH. GDW is an investment holding company of the WATERTECH COMPANIES involved in the manufacture and supply of taps, mixers, sanitary ware and related plumbing accessories. DAWN said it had received written undertakings from five shareholders, holding 72.5% of the total shares in issue. Last week, the company announced it was selling its 49% stake in GDW for R324.5m as part of a strategy to exit non-core assets. The 49% stake will be sold to the LIXIL CORPORATION, which already holds 51% of GDW. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steinhoff's former JV partner takes complaint to Dutch court - Tammy Foyn

The STEINHOFF accounting fraud allegations took a fresh twist yesterday when the company said that a Dutch court had been petitioned over its accounts for the period to end-Sep. 2016. In the statement, STEINHOFF reiterated that its accounts complied with IFRS requirements and expressed confidence that the appeal would be dismissed. The petition, brought by OM HANDELS and MW HANDELS, was for a proceeding in Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, and will be heard on Thursday. "The dispute relates to the resolution of the redemption of a joint venture in a European retail venture which is currently pending for hearing in Germany", STEINHOFF said, adding that the petition covers the treatment of a joint investment. STEINHOFF consolidated the investment as prescribed and in compliance with IFRS. "In order to strengthen his case, the opposing party is questioning the consolidation", the company added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Discovery FY HEPS up 20% - Maarten Mittner

DISCOVERY increased diluted and undiluted HEPS for the FY to end-Jun. by 20% to 683.1cps, it said yesterday. A final dividend of 98cps was declared, payable on Oct. The core new business annualised premium income of the company rose 16% to R16.9bn, and normalised profit from operations rose 10% to R7bn. DISCOVERY HEALTH's normalised operating profit rose 11% to R2.5bn and new business annualised premium income was up 18% to R6.1bn. New business annualised premium income at DISCOVERY LIFE rose 17% to R2.175bn, and earnings rose 10% to R3.588bn. Operating profit at DISCOVERY INVEST grew 12% to R744m and assets under administration grew 14% to R69.5bn, with 76% of linked funds in DISCOVERY FUNDS. New business growth was 3%. At DISCOVERY INSURE gross written premiums rose 32% to R2.1bn, driven by new business annualised premium income growth of 19% to R895m. Net interest income at DISCOVERY CARD rose 9.7% and non-interest revenue rose 10%. New business in DISCOVERY's UK division rose by 1% to £118m, the number of insured lives approached 1m, and operating profit grew 10% to £44.4m. At Vitality Health operating profit grew by 89% to £16.4m but Vitality Life experienced a drop of 1% in new business to £61.8m and a 11% drop in normalised operating profit to £28.1m due to the impact of Brexit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Davies approves operator for Musina-Makhado SEZ - Creamer Media Reporter

The Department of Trade & Industry has issued a special economic zone operator's permit for the Musina-Makhado SEZ to SOUTH AFRICAN ENERGY METALLURGICAL BASE, a subsidiary of China's SHENZHN HOI MOR RESOURCES. The permit authorises the operator to develop, operate and manage the South African energy and metallurgical zone. "This development will go a long way in accelerating much needed economic growth, attracting foreign and domestic direct investment, expanding the manufacturing sector and mineral beneficiation, as well as creating employment in the region", Trade & Industry Minister ROB DAVIES said. The Musina-Makhado SEZ comprises a pipeline of a minimum of eight catalytic projects with a total investment in excess of R40bn. The complex will initially comprise a power plant, steel plant, stainless steel plant, coking plant, ferrochrome plant, ferromanganese plant, ferrosilicon plant, pig iron metallurgy plant and lime plant. The official handover of the permit will take place in China during the Brics Exhibition later today. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibo moves closer to concluding PPA, securing project financing for MCPP - Creamer Media Reporter

KIBO MINING says it is near concluding a power purchase agreement, as well as securing project financing for its Mbeya coal-to-power project in Tanzania. An MoU, as a precursor to a final PPA with TANESCO, has passed all the relevant legislative stages and is awaiting final confirmation from Tanzania's Attorney General. Once signed, the MoU will provide a fixed framework within which the fundamental commercial and technical components of the PPA will be negotiated and agreed. KIBO is also in advanced talks with potential project level investors after several international entities expressed an interest in providing full project level equity funding for MCPP. "With the final negotiation of the PPA approaching, full feasibility studies complete and development finance on its way to being secured, this nationally significant project is reaching a tipping point that I believe will see stakeholders rewarded", KIBO CEO LOUIS COETZEE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CompCom welcomes merger filing fees increase, new merger threshold determination - Natasha Odendaal

The Competition Commission yesterday lauded the planned increase in merger filing fees for intermediate and large mergers, as well as the new determination of merger thresholds, both effective Oct. 1. This followed Economic Development Minister EBRAHMI PATEL's gazetting of the amendments to the Commission's rules and the determination of merger thresholds on Sep. 17. Merger filing fees have been increased from R100 000 to R150 000 for an intermediate merger and from R350 000 to R500 000 for a large merger. The lower threshold for intermediate mergers has been increased from R560m to R600m for the combined turnover or asset value and from R80m to R100m for the turnover or asset value of the target firm. The threshold for large mergers remains unchanged. PATEL also published for comment the proposed amendments to the method of calculation used for the purposes of calculating the asset value or turnover of a firm for purposes of a merger notification. The amendments seek to clarify the valuation of assets and the calculation of turnover of firms, replace the reference to the generally acceptable accounting principles, and replace the repealed Companies Act of 1973 with the current Companies Act of 2008. Interested parties have 30 days from the date of publication to provide their input. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil mining reform is raising costs for industry - Vale exec - Reuters

Mining reforms in Brazil are raising the cost of operating without generating increased interest in investing in the sector, VALE expective CLOVIS TORRES said yesterday. President MICHEL TEMER in July issued decrees to boost mining royalties, create a new industry regulator and streamline regulations, arguing that efficient and transparent rules would bring in more investment. That has not been the case, TORRES said. "If it was already difficult to attract external investment for mining, the outlook became even more cloudy (after the reforms), TORRES told an industry conference. He said companies were in part frustrated that the reforms were announced by decree, a move that limited public discussion. "VALE has gone years without opening a new mine because we can't get a licence... how is a junior company going to wait for years?" he said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale to meet debt target before implementing new growth plans - Reuters

The new growth strategy being evaluated by VALE would only be implemented once the company meets its debt reduction targets, an executive director for the iron ore producer said yesterday. VALE is also interested in investing in the electricity sector itself or via a JV, including potentially bidding for COMPANHIA ENERGETICA DE MINAS GERAIS hydroelectric projects, said CLOVIS TORRES, an executive director at VALE. However, the company is concerned over legal issues related to auctions, which have been marred by disputes after CEMIG lost the renewal of their licences. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

First Cobalt exits volatile DRC - Henry Lazenby

FIRST COBALT will not complete a strategic alliance over seven cobalt exploration properties close to several major copper/cobalt operations in the Central African Copperbelt of the DRC, it announced yesterday. The Toronto-headquartered miner will instead focus its efforts in 2017 on the Canadian Cobalt Camp, in Ontario, where it is in the process of consolidating a large land package. A three-way merger with COBALT ONE and COBALTECH MINING is on track to beh completed later this year, resulting in a combined land position of more than 10 000ha in the Cobalt Camp containing about 50 past producers and mine workings. The high number of advanced exploration targets ready for immediate work in the region greatly offsets the potential in the DRC properties now, the company advised. FIRST COBALT president and CEO TRENT MELL believes the Canadian Cobalt Camp is emerging as one of the most prospective targets for cobalt exploration, while the DRC remains "very appealing geologically" but the investment climate has deteriorated since the strategic alliance was announced in May, and before the company has significantly expanded its footprint in Canada. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mountain Province reports lowest prices yet for Gahcho Kue diamonds - Henry Lazenby

The seventh sale of diamonds produced from MOUNTAIN PROVINCE DIAMONDS' 49%-owned Gahcho Kue mine, in Canada, saw the average price of rough stones fall to the lowest level since sales started in Jan. The Sep. tender included an unusually large proportion of small stones and fewer high-end goods. MOUNTAIN PROVINCE sold 463 000ct of rough diamonds at an average price of $59/ct, bringing total proceeds to $27.1m. Sales at the first three tenders, which took place in Q1, averaged $72/ct. This rose to $86/ct at the May sale and to $95/ct in June, before slipping to $72/ct in July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eastplats' report confirms Barplats reserves, economics - Natasha Odendaal

EASTERN PLATINUM's independent technical report, chrome mineral reserve estimate and economic assessment on its Barplats Zandfontein UG2 tailings storage facility, located at Crocodile River mine, has been completed, the company said yesterday. The ITR confirmed mineral resource estimates of 13.68mt at an average grade of 20.72% chromium oxide and a mineral reserve estimate of 6.4mt, containing 1.4mt of chromium oxide at an average grade of 22.36%. The ITR recommended further investigations into the PGMs opportunities and suggested that EASTPLATS consider a feasibility study on PGM recovery in the TSF, as there may be substantial value there. Estimated capital costs for the project were projected at R219m, while an operating cost of R71.26/RoM tonne processed had been reported. "The project is forecast to generate a positive cash flow in month ten and break-even in month 25. Positive cash flows averaging R12.9m a month, after payment of royalties, are forecast over the remaining life of mine", EASTPLATS said. The report showed an estimated after-tax net present value of R42.2m, using a 13% discount rate, with an annualised internal rate of return of 24% over 33 months. At a free-on-mine price of R870.79/t for 40% chrome concentrate, the project could achieve a cash margin of 10% and an operating margin of 14%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Orion seeks to develop new, modern copper mine over historical success - Natasha Odendaal

With its secondary listing on the JSE now done, ORION MINERALS is looking to reignite the development of a South African mining asset it believes was abandoned well before its prime - the Prieska zinc/copper project in the Northern Cape. ORION has injected over R150m in SA over the past two-and-a-half years to progress its base metals development strategy in the country, including the March acquisition of AGAMA EXPLORATION AND MINING, which through its subsidiary companies, holds an effective 73.33% stake in a portfolio of projects, which included the Prieska project. The mine had historically produced 430 000t of copper and 1mt of zinc in concentrate from 1971 to 1991, when the mine was closed and rehabilitated. It is considered to be one of the world's largest volcanogenic massive sulphide base metals deposits. Another R100m is expected to be spent by ORION over the next 12 months on feasibility studies and exploration to determine the accuracy of historically reported remaining reserves of 23.76mt at 1.57% copper and 4.26% zinc. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana seeks option to buy unusually big diamonds from its mines - Reuters

Botswana is amending its law to give the government the first option to buy diamonds that are unusually large, or have other unusual features found in its mines, such as the world's second-biggest 1 109ct diamond discovered two years ago. A draft bill amending the Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Act says any producer coming into possession of what it terms an "unusual" rough or uncut diamond shall notify the minister within 30 days after which the government shall have the first option to buy the stone. The bill did not give a precise definition of "unusual". The amendment was motivated by the recover of "Lesedi La Rona", the largest diamond uncovered in over a century. The tennis ball-sized stone was found in Nov. 2015 at LUCARA DIAMOND CORP's mine in Botswana and is yet to find a buyer after it failed to sell at a SOTHEBY's auction in Jun. 2016. LUCARA also unearthed another 812.77ct stone, The Constellation, at the same mine, which fetched $63m at an auction in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Goldplat sees growth opportunities at Ghana recovery business, Kenya mine - Creamer Media Reporter

GOLDPLAT expects growth in its recovery business to come from its GOLD RECOVERY GHANA subsidiary in FY2018. The company noted the difficulty in procuring sufficient appropriate quality carbon material within Ghana for treatment by GRG forcing the subsidiary to procure material from West Africa and Latin America. GRG is also working with the Ghanaian government to assess the potential of cleaning up artisanal tailings, which could potentially be a significant opportunity for GRG. Meanwhile, production and profitability at the GOLDPLAT RECOVERY LIMITED subsidiary in SA are expected to remain at the same levels as in the 2017 FY; however, the focus will shift to the more profitable carbon-in-leach products in SA and the procurement of additional by-products from outside of SA. Growth from mining operations will be focused on the Kilimapesa expansion project, in Kenya. GOLDPLAT yesterday said profit from operating activities from continued operations for the FY to end-Jun. rose by 140% to £2.91m as a result of a strong performance at both GRG and GPL. GOLDPLAT invested £2.21m in capex, of which £1.48m was spent on the completion of stages one and two of the Kilimapesa expansion. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PnP accepts Bitcoin as payment option for groceries and services - Business Report

In a statement released by ELECTRUM, a South African-based company that provides enterprise software for payments technology has enabled PICK N PAY to accept Bitcoin payments in-store. The Bitcoin infrastructure for the project was provided by LUNO, a global Bitcoin company active in Africa and Southeast Asia. LUNO enables local consumers to easily buy, sell, send and spend Bitcoin. ELECTRUM provided the cloud-based enterprise payments platform used for the Bitcoin transactions. "We've worked closely with PNP for several years as a key technology provider. Our mission is to support innovative enterprises like PICK N PAY, and together we use the advanced ELECTRUM software-as-a-service technology to move quickly on new opportunities, whilst at the same time delivering the best possible shopping experience". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya's Nakumatt Supermarkets to merge with local rival Tuskys - Duncan Miriri

Kenya's NAKUMATT SUPERMARKETS will merge with local retailer TUSKYS to help alleviate a severe cash flow problem that has left it with empty shelves and led to the closure of some outlets, NAKUMATT MD ATUL SHAH said yesterday. Privately-owned NAKUMATT had accumulated debts of $150m by the start of 2017. An attempt to sell a 25% stake to a foreign fund for $75m, reported by Reuters in Jan., failed, leaving NAKUMATT with empty shelves as suppliers balked at providing stock. The group operated 68 outlets in Kenya and neighbouring states at the start of 2017 but has since closed some due to the financial troubles. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kinross to spend $1bn to expand mines - Kanishka Singh

KINROSS GOLD said it plans to expand two gold mines, including the second phase of its Tasiast operation in West Africa, spending more than $1bn to boost output and lower costs. The Phase 2 expansion at Tasiast in Mauritania, which would have an initial capital cost of $590m, will raise the mine's mill capacity to 30 000t/day from 12 000t, KINROSS said. That would lift average annual gold output at Tasiast to 812 000oz at an all-in sustaining cost of $655/oz. The company said it will spend a further $445m to add five years of production to its Round Mountain mine in Nevada, currently scheduled to end in 2022. That project will add 1.5moz of gold reserves. KINROSS plans to finance both projects with existing liquidity and operating cash flows. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

International arrivals lift ACSA's profits - Tanisha Heiberg

AIRPORTS COMPANY SA yesterday reported a 10.8% rise in FY profit, lifted by growth in international traffic. ACSA said profit rose to R2bn in the FY to end-Mar., from R1.8bn y/y. Domestic passenger numbers rose by 2.2%, but international departing passengers grew by 6.1%, helping to raise total revenue to R8.6bn. ACSA CEO BONGANI MASEKO said the parastatal continued to be resilient despite sluggish GDP growth, and had been able to trim its debt over the past five year. Debt stood at R9bn at end-Mar. 2017, down from R17bn in 2012. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Implats in talks that could lead to 2 500 job cuts - Ed Stoddard

IMPALA PLATINUM has started talks with the government and unions that could see up to 2 500 workers laid off at its Rustenburg operations west of Johannesburg, the company said yesterday. IMPLATS last week said job cuts were possible after it posted an FY2017 loss. The company said further reductions could be in the pipeline at Rustenburg, which has a labour force of 31 000, as the group struggled to return to profitability. "It is expected that some 2 500 people could be affected near term, but this does not preclude further optimisation processes that may be required in future to ensure the continued sustainability of the operation", IMPLATS said. It noted that labour productivity rates have declined over the last few years and output levels at the Rustenburg operation have been reduced from a historical base of around 1moz/year to 680 000-720 000 ounces forecast for FY2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya holds benchmark lending rate at 10% - Duncan Miriri

Kenya's central bank held its main lending rate at 10% as expected on Monday, saying food supplies were likely to improve and lower pressure on inflation. The Monetary Policy Committee said inflation rose by half a percentage point to 8% in Aug., mainly due to shortages of some foods because of transport disruptions after the Aug. 8 national election. "A normalisation of supply, the expected short rains, and supportive measures taken by the Government are expected to further lower food prices in the near term", the MPC said. Gross bad debts in the banking sector had jumped to 10.7% in the FY to end-Aug. from 9.9% in June, the MPC said, adding private sector credit growth had ticked up to 1.6% in the FY to end-Aug., from 1.4% in July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

KPMG under fire for withdrawing SARS report - Mfuneko Toyana

SARS yesterday accused KPMG of unethical and unlawful behaviour in withdrawing a report that suggested former finance minister PRAVIN GORDHAN ran a rogue unit to spy on politicians. KPMG cleared out its South African leadership en masse on Friday after a damning internal probe into work the firm did for the GUPTA family. In particular, it acknowledged flaws in a report for SARS, completed last year, which implied that GORDHAN had helped set up the rogue unit in the service. On Monday, however, SARS commissioner TOM MOYANE defended KPMG's original report and accused the firm of "abhorrent, unethical, and unprofessional conduct" in withdrawing it. "I want to say the report by KPMG is not flawed. In fact the report from KPMG confirms conclusively, deeply so, that there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing in this organisation", MONAYE told a news conference. He said KPMG's withdrawal left SARS with no option but to consider legal action against it. The revenue service would also cut all ties with KPMG and assess work the auditor had performed in the past decade. MOYANE said KPMG had no right to make information in the report public or to withdraw parts of the document without consulting SARS. "SARS sees KPMG's conduct as nothing else but a dismal attempt to portray SARS, its leadership, and in particular (the) SARS Commissioner as incompetent, corrupt, inefficient and involved in a witch-hunt", MOYANE said. The ANC yesterday said the Standing Committee on Public Accounts would ask KPMG to appear before it and account for its conduct on the SARS report. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 19/09/2017

At 06h16 on 19 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.30 ZAR/EUR 15.91 ZAR/GBP 17.96 Gold 1307.31 Platinum 959.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.38 All Share 56050.10

Affordable luxury group SMCP unveils plans for IPO - Harriet Agnew

SMCP, the fast-growing Parisian group of affordable luxury brands, has confirmed plans for an IPO. The parent company of SANDRO, MAJE and CLAUDIE PIERLOT said it has filed a registration document with the French market regulator to float. SMCP's controlling shareholder, China's SHANDONG RUYI, intends to remain the controlling shareholder in SMCP following the IPO. SMCP has almost doubled its revenues in the past three years. It also announced results for the HY to end-Jun., in which total net sales grew 16.4% y/y to €439m and EBITDA grew by 20% to €73m. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH, JPMORGAN and KKR CAPITAL MARKETS are leading the flotation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petra warns on Tanzania-induces hit to banking facilities - Henry Sanderson

PETRA DIAMONDS today said restrictions on exports from Tanzania following the seizure of over $14m worth of diamonds in the country could hit its lending facilities. If the company is unable to resume sales from its Williamson mine before the end of the year, the company may breach covenants on its loans. "PETRA will monitor the situation very closely and take decisive action if required to preserve shareholder values", the company said. It said the parcel of 71 654.45ct of diamonds had still not been released by the Tanzanian authorities. PETRA has net debt of $555.3m and has extended covenants on its banking facilities until end-Dec. It said its net profit for the FY to end-Jun. fell 54% to $29m from $63.6m y/y, impacted by the strength of the rand and lower than expected output due to delays at its Cullinan plant. PETRA produced 4m carats of diamonds, below its guidance of 4.4m-4.6m carats. Revenues rose 11% to $477m, from $430.9m y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rolling Stone owner exploring sale of stake - Hudson Lockett

WENNER MEDIA, the majority shareholder of Rolling Stone, yesterday confirmed it was exploring the sale of its stake in the iconic US pop culture magazine "to best position the brand for future growth". The statement by WENNER MEDIA president GUS WENNER confirmed a report by The New York Times that the company was putting the publication up for sale after 50 years. "We have made great strides transforming Rolling Stone into a multi-platform company, and we are thrilled to find the right home to build on our strong foundation and grow the business exponentially", WENNER said in a statement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DP World hits out at Jakarta after cancelling long-term port contract - Naomi Rovnick

DP WORLD has cancelled a long-standing contract to operate a large shipping terminal in Indonesia and claimed the Indonesian government does not recognise the contribution to its economy made by global maritime investors. DP WORLD said it had "reached a decision not to renew its operating contract' with PT TERMINALS PETIKEMAS in Surabaya due to differences with the government over terms for renewing the agreement. DP WORLD owns 49% of TPS, which represents gross capacity of 2.1m twenty foot equivalent units out of its total of 85m TEUs. DP WORLD chair and CEO SULTAN AHMED BIN SULAYEM expressed dissatisfaction with the Indonesian government, saying it is "unfortunate that the significant positive contributions made by global terminal operators in Indonesia have not been fully recognised, despite our successful track record. We are therefore disappointed that the operating contract renewal terms offered by the Indonesian authorities did not meet our threshold for continued investment". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China home price growth slows to 13-month low - Hudson Lockett

The cost of new housing in China rose at the slowest pace in more than a year in Aug. as official metrics showed price growth in top-tier cities experiencing a marked deceleration. The cost of new housing in 70 major cities grew 8.3% in Aug., data from China's National Bureau of Statistics showed. That marked the ninth consecutive month of deceleration from a peak of 12.6% in Nov. 2016 as well as the slowest rate of growth since Jul. last year. In y/y terms prices rose in all but two of the 70 cities surveyed last month, with only Shenzhen and Chengdu marking contraction of 1.9% and 0.3% compared to the prior year. Price growth in Beijing slowed 3.7 percentage points for a rise of 5.2%, while prices in Shanghai rose just 2.8%, slowing 4.5 percentage points from July's pace. Prices rose just 0.2% in m/m terms, the slowest sequential growth since Jan. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Singapore exports bolstered by electronics, gold shipments - Hudson Lockett

Growth in Singapore's non-oil domestic exports grew at double the previous month's pace in Aug., boosted by still faster growth in outbound electronics shipments and gold. Non-oil domestic exports rose 17% y/y in Aug., according to International Enterprise Singapore, up from a revised rise of 7.6% in July (8.5% previously). That bested a median forecast of 11.8% growth from analysts surveyed by Reuters. Outbound shipments of electronics grew 21.7% for the period, up from a pace of 15.3% in July. Exports of non-electronic products grew 15% y/y, bouncing back from growth of just 4.4% in July as shipments of non-monetary gold rose 137.7% for the period. Exports to Singapore's top 10 markets grew, with China, Hong Kong and South Korea leading the pack at paces of 43.2%, 41.9% and 62%, respectively. In m/m terms, on-oil exports rose 4.5% compared to July, up from a revised contraction of 2.5% in the prior month (previously -3.5%) and beating forecasts of a 3.1% rise. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ANZ responds to report it is selling wealth management unit - Hudson Lockett

ANZ BANKING GROUP this morning responded to a weekend report it had received bids of more than A$4bn for WEALTH AUSTRALIA, which includes its life insurance and funds management operations. The Australian Financial Review this weekend reported that ANZ had received at least one offer "in the high [A$]4 billions" for the unit ahead of a Friday deadline, and that METLIFE and ZURICH had both submitted bids. ANZ noted the increased media speculation but added that "the process is ongoing" and that it "remains in discussion with a number of parties as it continues to work through its options", which it said included exploring capital market solutions to create a stand-alone business. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 18/09/2017

At 09h33 on 18 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.22 ZAR/EUR 15.76 ZAR/GBP 17.92 Gold 1315.96 Platinum 966.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.38 All Share 56039.40

Myeni's chairing of SAA is illegal - CIPC - Xolisa Phillip

SAA chair DUDU MYENI's stay at the helm of the airline's board is illegal. She has served three consecutive terms as a non-executive director at SAA, making her ineligible for any further extensions to be on the board. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission has written to Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA, informing him of the illegality of MYENI's contract extension both in terms of SAA's memorandum of incorporation and the Companies Act. SAA has 10 business days within which to file notice of MYENI's extension with the CIPC, which enforces the Companies Act. The national carrier has yet to file the notice. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CME to exit CDS clearing business, cedes ground to ICE - Gregory Meyer

CME GROUP will no longer clear credit default swaps, ceding ground to rival INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE in a business established after the financial crisis. In 2009, both CME and ICE began clearing CDS, but the latter has absorbed more business. The average daily notional value of derivatives cleared at ICE's US credit clearinghouse is $34bn, according to the company. CME clears about $1.5bn in notional credit default swaps daily. CME has been trimming businesses that don't make money. Earlier this year it announced the closure of its loss-making London exchange and clearing house after failing to gain traction among European customers. The company said it will exit the CDS clearing business by mid-2018, returning $650m in clearing funds to members at the clearing house. Another $50m contributed by CME will be returned to its treasury. CME will continue to clear OTC interest rate swaps and forex products, where margin money can be offset against margin held for similar futures contracts. Clearing interest rate swaps and CDS contracts has contributed 2% of CME's $3.6bn in annual revenue. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Portugal wins back investment-grade status at S&P - Pan Kwan Yuk

Portugal won back one of its investment grades on Friday, with S&P raising its rating on the country by one notch from BB+/B to BBB-/A-3. S&P said the upgrade reflects the progress Portugal has made in reducing its budget deficit. It kept its outlook on the country at stable. "The stable outlook balances our expectation of solid economic growth and further budgetary consolidation, as well as receding external financing risks over the next two years, against the risks of a weakening external growth environment and vulnerabilities emanating form high, albeit falling, private- and public-sector debt", the ratings agency said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US consumer sentiment dips as hurricanes cloud outlook - Jessica Dye

Consumer sentiment dimmed slightly in Sep., with expectations for the future weighed down by the fallout from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers' preliminary reading for Sep. came in at 95.3 on Friday, slightly edging out the consensus expectations for 95, according to Factset. That's down from the 96.8 registered in Aug., although an improvement over the 91.2 figure for Sep. 2016. Consumers' assessment of current economic conditions hit 113.9, the highest point since 2000. However, expectations of future conditions were impacted by the hurricanes that devastated the southeast US over the past few weeks, falling to 83.4 from 87.7 in Aug. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US industrial output hit by Harvey - Pan Kwan Yuk

US industrial output fell by most in more than eight years in Aug. as Hurricane Harvey shut down refineries along the Gulf coast and halted oil and gas production activities in Texas. Production at US factories, mines and utilities contracted 0.9% in Aug., the Federal Reserve said on Friday. The drop - the first in seven months - confounded forecasts of a 0.1% rise and marks the biggest one-month decline since May 2009. Fed officials estimated that Harvey shaved some 0.75 percentage points off total output. Mining output in Aug. fell 0.8% as the hurricane temporarily curtailed drilling, servicing and extraction activity for oil and natural gas. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US retail sales suffer surprise drop in Aug. - Pan Kwan Yuk

US consumers tightened their purse strings in Aug. with retail sales dropping by the most in six months. Retail sales contracted 0.2% in Aug. from July, the commerce department said on Friday. The drop confounded forecasts of a 0.1% rise. The commerce department also revised down its reading for July retail sales growth to just 0.3%, compared to its previous estimate of a 0.6% rise. So-called control retail sales, which exclude volatile items, fell 0.2%, badly missing forecasts for a 0.3% increase. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia cuts interest rates - Katie Martin

Russia's central bank has cut interest rates by half a percentage point, taking the key rate to 8.5%. It noted that inflation is close to 4% while the economy keeps growing. "In order to maintain inflation close to 4%, the Bank of Russia will continue to conduct moderately tight monetary policy", the bank said in a statement. It added: "During the next two quarters, the Bank of Russia deems it possible to cut the key rate further. While making its decision hereinafter, the Bank of Russia will assess the risks of inflation's material and sustainable deviation from the target, as well as consumer price movements and economic activity against the forecast". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Irish GDP growth rebounds - Nicholas Megaw

Ireland's headline economic growth figure bounced back in Q2 after a weak start to the year, but indicators of underlying demand in the economy were more mixed. GDP rose 1.4% in the quarter to end-Jun., after a 2.6% contraction in Q1. On a y/y basis, output increased 5.8%. Personal consumption of goods and services - a component of the overall GDP figures which is considered an important measure of domestic activity - fell 1.1% over the quarter. However, the statistics agency's new "Total Domestic Demand" indicator, which is being developed as an alternative to GDP that excludes imports of intellectual property and trade in aircraft, increased 4.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dutch govt cuts ABN Amro stake - Adam Samson

The Dutch government has tapped into a rally in ABM AMRO to further cut down its stake in the lender, launching a €1.53bn offering that fetched the best pricing to date. Sixty-five million depository receipts were floated at €23.50 apiece, bringing the state's stake in the group down to 56% from 63%. ABN AMRO's stock has posted a strong performance over the past year, rising by almost 30%. The lender has gone through a large restructuring since the financial crisis, with its operations shifting largely to the domestic market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BSI Steel warns of lower interim earnings - Sens

BSI STEEL LIMITED on Friday advised investors that basic EPS and HEPS for the HY to end-Sep. are expected to be at least 40%, or 1.7cps lower than the 4.2cps reported in the y/y period. Interim results will be published before the end of Dec., and a further more detailed trading statement will be published in due course. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bloodbath at KPMG - Lesetja Malope

The continuing purge of directors at KPMG and its promise to return or donate fees it earned on "sub-standard" work for the GUPTAS and SARS won't make up for the damage it wrought, according to IRAJ ABEDIAN, CEO of PAN AFRICAN INVESTMENT AND RESEARCH SERVICES. This came after KPMG on Friday released a lengthy statement on its role in auditing GUPTA-owned companies and providing the ammunition that was used to hound former finance minister PRAVIN GORDHAN out of Cabinet. ABEDIAN said the auditing firm should pay for the damage it caused, and not just repay the fees it charged while doing it. "This includes damage to the economy, as the report contributed to credit ratings agencies' downgrading of the country's sovereign credit rating". ABEDIAN said the departures of directors did not amount to proper accountability. "Directors must lose their certifications. Some must go to jail". The list of departed or departing executives at KPMG now includes CEO TREVOR HOOLE and chair AHMED JAFFER. COO STEVEN LOUW is also gone. JACQUES WESSELS, the lead partner working on audits of unlisted GUPTA companies, will face disciplinary action. KPMG wants to dismiss him. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investec warns 6-month profit unlikely to be improved - Karl Gernetzky

INVESTEC on Friday warned investors that it was unlikely to have significantly improved profit for the HY to end-Sep. Adjusted operating profit had, however, "grown comfortably" despite tough economic conditions. Its wealth and investment business was expected to report results comfortably ahead of the prior period, while the asset management division was expected to report results in line with the prior period. Recurring income as a percentage of total operating income was expected to be around 75%, compared to 72% in the previous comparable period. To end-Aug., third-party assets under management rose 6.1% to £160.0bn, and customer deposits increased 1.3% to £29.5bn. Total impairments rose to just more than £60m, from about £45m. INVESTEC's interim results will be published on Nov. 16. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAA 23% flight cut decision faces headwinds - Fin24

SAA's decision to implement a turnaround strategy has come under fire from NUMSA. "The airline's plans will inevitably result in job losses and it unilaterally made this decision without consulting any of the trade unions", the union said yesterday. SAA is on course to cut flights by 23% by Dec. 2017, it was revealed last week. The carrier has already removed one narrow-body aircraft from its fleet, and will take down four more by Dec. This will result in an overall flight reduction of 23%, with a 37% reduction in domestic flights, an 11% reduction in regional flights and a 4% cut in international flights. NUMSA is of the view that the decision amounts to an attack on workers, which the union believes have been at the forefront of exposing rampant looting at the national carrier. The union vowed to use all the weapons at its disposal to root out the cancer of corruption which it said is threatening SAA's survival. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Insurance sector's creditworthiness pressured - Moody's - Lameez Omarjee

Deteriorating profitability and asset risks will continue to add pressure on insurers' creditworthiness, said MOODY's, which assigned a negative outlook to the industry. According to a report issued by the ratings agency this week, the creditworthiness of the insurance sector is expected to remain under pressure for the next 12-18 months. "Our negative outlook for South Africa's insurance sector reflects the challenging operating conditions, which create headwinds for insurers' profitability and increase their asset risk", MOODY's senior analyst BRANDAN HOLMES said. "Low economic growth will weaken insurers' profitability through lower new business volume and pressure on persistency". MOODY's said reduced investor and consumer confidence would contribute to "sluggish" economic growth, which will add pressure to new business volumes of insurers. This is particularly true for discretionary savings and investment products. This will reduce fee income and profit margins. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Parliament to probe massive Transnet locomotive tender - Jan Cronje

Parliament's standing committee for trade and industry on Friday agreed to launch an inquiry into TRANSNET's controversial acquisition of 1 064 locomotives at a cost of R50bn. According to DTI regulations, rail rolling stock is one of 21 government-designated commodities that must adhere to localisation rules. These rules stipulate that the government, when awarding tenders, must only award tenders to companies that conform to these rules. DA MP DEAN MACPHERSON said the oversight committee had agreed to consider the inquiry's terms of reference after Parliament returns from recess in early Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Serious risks facing SA banks - analysts - Fin24

Although SA's banking sector has the ability to withstand a tough environment, there are significant risks on the horizon, OLD MUTUAL EQUITIES banking analyst NEELASH HANSJEE said at the weekend. HANSJEE said the sector remains fairly protected by their strong balance sheets and the diversification of their earnings. However, there are risks such as a local currency downgrade by credit rating agencies and a crisis of confidence with the possibility of a low growth environment for longer. "The direct impact of a local currency downgrade is an increase in the funding costs for banks which would introduce some margin pressure. This may get passed on to the consumer through higher borrowing costs". HANSJEE said the indirect impact is the greater levels of uncertainty it creates in the economy. "The crisis of confidence has been rising through political and economic uncertainty. Leaders and companies are uncertain on how to act as it becomes difficult to have visibility on the way forward". This has filtered through into confidence levels, investment and growth. "We are taking a more conservative view, given the current operating environment for banks. Lower growth and lower interest rates are likely to slow revenue as margins get snipped and credit quality may deteriorate from here, placing pressure on earnings", HANSJEE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SASSA seeks Treasury funding to replace Net1 - Antony Sguazzin

SASSA is in talks with the Treasury to provide additional funding so that it can comply with a Constitutional Court order to replace NET1 UEPS TECHNOLOGIES as the distributor of more than R150bn of welfare payments a year to at least 17m people. SASSA wants funding to finance a pilot project so it can conduct a trial for the SA POST OFFICE to make the payments even though it only has funding to pay NET1, it said. "The lack of budget may negatively impact on SASSA's ability to pilot and may result in disruption of social grants payments on Apr. 1 2018", it said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Harmony most likely buyer of Kopanang - Lesetja Malope

With two of the three initial bidders for ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI's Kopanang mine having received letters of rejection, the door seems open for HARMONY GOLD to win. One of the rejected buyers is the owner of the Tau Lekoa gold mine in Orkney. The other is a member of Kopanang's own management. According to sources, the two local bidders were sent letters of rejection last week, leaving HARMONY as the probable new owner. An announcement will likely be made early this week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Orion on track to develop Prieska zinc/copper project - Anine Kilian

ORION MINERALS, which will list on the JSE later today, is focused on fast-tracking the development of its Prieska zinc/copper project. The company plans to leverage the secondary listing to open up more efficient local funding options through the addition of a new market. The company acquired AGAMA EXPLORATION AND MINING in Mar., which, through subsidiary companies, holds an effective 73.33% stake in a portfolio of projects, including an advanced volcanic massive sulphide zinc/copper exploration project with near-term production potential at the Prieska zinc/copper site. ORION CEO ERROL SMART said the JSE listing would enable South Africans to participate more actively in the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chinese group to buy auctioned Mapochs mine - Martin Creamer

The provisionally liquidated Mapochs mine has been sold to INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES LIMITED of China, BIDDERSCHOICE MD PIETER GELDENHUYS said on Friday. In Feb. 2016, the EVRAZ HIGHVELD STEEL & VANADIUM business rescue practitioners announced that they would seek to sell individual components of the steel and vanadium company following a failure to conclude the sale of the entire business to IRL. The Mapochs mine has its own rail network, train station and train store and formerly operated at a rate of 2.2mt/year. Sold were the mine's right to extract magnetite ore that includes vanadium and iron ore, and many other metals and minerals. The successful bidder has also acquired crushers, conveyors, electrical substations, thickener plants and other mining infrastructure on the 6 211ha property consisting of various farm portions, as well as various residential properties in Roossenekal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto CFO to retire - Creamer Media Reporter

RIO TINTO on Friday announced that CFO CHRIS LYNCH would retire by the end of Sep. 2018. LYNCH joined the board in Sep. 2011 and was appointed CFO in Apr. 2013. Planning for the CFO succession is in progress, the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya revenue collection lags target due to election slowdown - Duncan Miriri

Kenya's revenue collection for the fiscal year starting last July has fallen behind by 29bn shillings as investors postpone projects due to uncertainty over elections, a senior Treasury official said on Friday. The revenue target was 1 549.4bn shillings for the FY. KAMAU THUGGE, the principal secretary in the ministry of finance, said the government had cut non-essential expenditure to fund a repeat presidential election scheduled for Oct. 17. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold in talks to sell Kopanang mine - TJ Strydom

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI is in talks to sell one of its South African mines, it said on Friday, having previously outlined plans for the mine's closure as part of a restructuring process. The company in June said it was considering retrenching 8 500 workers to restructure its South African operations. "Based on unsolicited expressions of interest received from a number of parties, ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI initiated a process to assess the sale of the Kopanang mine. In this regard, a memorandum of understanding has now been signed with a selected party", the company said, without elaborating. Shares in ANGLOGOLD were up 1.1% at R130.07 by midday on Friday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PPC sees higher offer from Fairfax - Nqobile Dludla

PPC on Friday said it expected Canada's FAIRFAX AFRICA INVESTMENTS to raise its R9.2bn takeover offer. The all-share offer from AFRISAM and FAIRFAX on Sep. 4 valued PPC shares at R5.75, but expectations of a higher bid have kept the share price above that level. On Thursday DANGOTE CEMENT said it was interested in buying PPC. However, if none of the offers from prospective bidders materialise and if the AFRISAM merger doesn't proceed, PPC said it could continue as a standalone business. Shares in PPC were up 1.12% at R6.31 on Friday afternoon. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steinhoff African unit prices IPO - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

STEINHOFF prices the IPO of its African unit at R20.50 on Friday, the middle of the marketed range and valuing the business at around R71bn. STEINHOFF is spinning off its Africa-focused chains into an entity dubbed STEINHOFF AFRICA RETAIL, with a controlling stake in SHOPRITE. The company said the split between emerging and developed market retail businesses would allow investors keen on exposure to Africa to invest directly in STAR. The flotation is planned for Sep. 20. STEINHOFF will sell 750m shares, or about 22% of STAR in the flotation. It will retain around 78% of the listed entity. The offering - in private placement to invited investors - had been marketed at R18-R23/share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 18/09/2017

At 07h12 on 18 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.13 ZAR/EUR 15.69 ZAR/GBP 17.86 Gold 1317.93 Platinum 966.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.49 All Share 55645.15

Rockwell perplexed as BRP opts to place 3 subsidiaries into liquidation, despite possible offer - Henry Lazenby

ROCKWELL DIAMONDS on Friday said it remains in the dark as to why business rescue practitioner METIS STRATEGIC ADVISORS had opted on Thursday to file a motion in the Kimberley High Court to place the three subsidiaries back in provisional liquidation, when a rescue offer is set to be finalised later today. ROCKWELL reported that several discussions with three interested parties regarding a rescue transaction resulted in a letter of intent by one party being sent to METIS on Wednesday. The letter informed the BRPs that an offer was to be expected, it was more than liquidation value, and they were invited to a meeting to finalise this on Monday. However, despite being involved in the talks for several weeks, METIS proceeded with a motion on Thursday to liquidate the three subsidiaries. It also informed ROCKWELL on Friday that it will place the operational Wouterspan mine under care and maintenance. "The company is unclear why the BRPs chose not to wait to file such motion based on the outcome of the final discussions regarding a proposed transaction", it said, adding that it "plans to continue the discussions on Monday". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye-Stillwater lifts PGM grade at Stillwater mine extension - Henry Lazenby

SIBANYE-STILLWATER has successfully extended the PGM mineralisation at the Blitz project, in Montana - a brownfields extension of the existing Stillwater mine. The company on Friday said mineralised ore at the project has been intersected in a development end on the 5300 E level and 10-stope block area of the project, sampling a grade of 79g/t over the full intersection width of the orebody, totalling 3.8 m. This reflects a much higher grade than the compliant proven and probable reserve grades for the Stillwater mine as at Dec. 31 of 19.55g/t. SIBANYE-STILLWATER advised that all rock from this initial ore intersection is currently being stockpiled. Project development is continuing to establish the infrastructure required to start with first production from the Blitz project. Blitz is expected to lift output from the US PGM operations by around 300 000oz of palladium and platinum a year, once operating at a steady state slated for end 2021 to early 2022. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya cuts 2017 growth forecast - Duncan Miriri

Kenya lowered its 2017 economic growth forecast to 5.5% due to drought and political uncertainty, a top official said on Friday as the government cut non-essential spending to free up funds for a repeat presidential election. The drought earlier this year hurt agriculture, which accounts for 30% of output, finance ministry principal secretary KAMUA THUGGE said. He noted that some investors are also delaying decisions after the Supreme Court nullified the results of an Aug. 8 presidential election citing irregularities in the tallying process. A repeat poll is scheduled for Oct. 7. Nairobi had initially projected a 5.9% growth for this year but the economy expanded 4.7% in Q1, mainly due to the poor agricultural performance. THUGGE said growth would rise to 6.5%/year in the medium term, "contingent on having good weather". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigerian inflation slows for 7th month in Aug. - Alexis Akwagyiram

Annual inflation in Nigeria slowed for a seventh consecutive month in Aug., easing to 16.01%, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. The rate of annual inflation was 0.04% lower than in July. The highest increases were recorded in clothing materials and articles of clothing, garments, passenger transport by air, motorcycles, shoes and other footwear, the statistics agency said. A separate food price index showed inflation at 20.25% in Aug., down from 20.28% in July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barclays Africa scrutinises KPMG relationship amid Gupta scandal - Renee Bonorchis, Bloomberg

BARCLAYS AFRICA is reviewing its relationship with KPMG as the auditing firm comes under scrutiny for work on behalf of companies linked to the GUPTA family. SA's largest lenders, including BARCLAYS AFRICA's ABSA unit, last year closed bank accounts of businesses tied to the family. ABSA met with KPMG, KPMG INTERNATIONAL and the company's lawyers and was given preliminary feedback on some aspects of the auditing firm's internal investigation into its Gupta work, the bank said in an emailed resonse to questions yesterday. KPMG told ABSA it will provide more details when it presents the findings of its probe by the end of Sep. "After carefully considering the further information requested and the findings, ABSA will be in a position to make a decision as to whether to continue to engage KPMG as its eternal auditors", the lender said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C extends data bundles - Kyle Venktess

CELL C has responded to ICASA's regulation of data by dropping out-of-bundle rates and extending bundle expiry. CELL C executive SURIE RAMASARY said the move came amid increasing customer appetite for data and a spike in data usage. "Data traffic has growth exponentially and usage is exploding... We are working to keep customers happy through volume extensions and price reductions". CELL C has extended the validity period of its 10GB, 20GB and 30GB data bundles from 30 days to 90 days to ensure customers have time to use the larger data bundles before they expire. It will also reduce its out-of-bundle data rate for prepaid customers on its lowest tariff plan to 15c/MB, effective Oct. 1. From Sep. 20, CELL C customers can extend the validity of their data bundles indefinitely by purchasing another data bundle before the current one expires, starting from R29 for 100MB. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South32 ups stake in Arizona Mining - Esmarie Swanepoel

SOUTH32 will acquire an additional 15m shares in ARIZONA MINING, taking its stake in the Canadian company to 19.9%. SOUTH32 in May acquired an initial 45m shares, or a 15% stake in ARIZONA for an investment of C$110.3m. It today said the new shares would be acquired by a third-party financial institution over the next 12 months, with final costs for the deal to be determined at completion, and would be based on the daily volume weighted average price of ARIZONA MINING shares over the period. "This incremental investment increases our interest in the highly prospective Hermosa project, and demonstrates our commitment to work with ARIZONA MINING to unlock its full potential", SOUTH32 CEO GRAHAM KERR said. Prefeasibility studies at the Hermosa-Taylor project show the project will have a net present value of around $1.26bn and an after-tax internal rate of return of 42%. The project currently has an 8.6mt measured resource, grading 4.2% zinc, 4% lead and 1.6 opt silver as well as 63.8mt of indicated resource and 38.6mt of inferred resource. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya cuts 2017 GDP forecast to 5.5% - Duncan Miriri

Kenya's government cut its 2017 economic growth forecast on Friday to 5.5% from an initial 5.9%, senior Treasury official KAMAU THUGE said. THUGE said growth would then rise to 6.5%/year in the medium term. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Wetherspoons sales rise on 'very strong' summer - Adam Samson

JD WETHERSPOON posted a rise in annual profits and sales, helped by a "very strong" summer holiday season. Like-for-like sales rose 4% in the year to Jul. 30, beating analysts' forecasts of 3.9%. Overall the pub operator's revenues rose to £1.66bn, from £1.6bn y/y, with pre-tax profits rising 15.6% to £76.4m. Excluding exceptional items, profits would have been £102.8m. Gains were boosted by an extra week in the fiscal year. WHETHERSPOONS said it had an upbeat season, and that since the end of July, like-for-like sales have increased 6.1%. CEO TIM MARTIN cautioned that "this is a positive start, but is for a few weeks only - and is very unlikely to continue for the rest of the year". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fortescue CEO to step down - Alice Woodhouse

FORTESCUE METALS GROUP today announced that CEO NEV POWER will step down in Feb. ANDREW FORREST, FORTESCUE's chairperson, said POWER would step down on Feb. 16 after seven years at the helm. The company did not name a successor but said it was confident of finding quality internal and external candidates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tillerson calls on Russia, China to take "direct action" over N Korea - Alice Woodhouse

US Secretary of State REX TILLERSON has called on China and Russia to take "direct actions of their own" against North Korea following Pyongyang's missile test on Friday that flew over northern Japan. TILLERSON called on all countries to take new measures against KIM JONG UN's regime and singled out China as it supplies North Korea with most of its oil and Russia as the largest employer of North Korean forced labour. Tokoy earlier said the missile passed over Hokkaido at roughly 07.06 am local time and flew east for 2 000 km before falling into the Pacific ten minutes later. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 15/09/2017

At 10h48 on 15 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.13 ZAR/EUR 15.65 ZAR/GBP 17.64 Gold 1327.25 Platinum 977.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.05 All Share 55612.28

Brazil's chief prosecutor files new criminal charges against Temer - Andres Schipani

Brazil's chief prosecutor, RODRIGO JANOT, yesterday filed two new criminal charges against President MICHEL TEMER, accusing him of being the ringleader of a criminal organisation and obstruction of justice. TEMER was accused of leading a bribery ring involving politicians of his PMDB party. The obstruction of justice charge stems from his alleged discussion of bribes with JOESLEY BATISTA, the former chair of meatpacker JBS, who has since been detained. TEMER has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. Under Brazil's constitution, he will only face trial with the approval of two-thirds of the lower house of Congress. TEMER survived a similar vote last month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Google accused of gender pay discrimination in class action - Richard Waters

GOOGLE has been sued by three former employees over allegations that it pays women less than men. The case follows criticism from the US Department of Labour over what it claimed was "extreme" pay discrimination against women. The company has vehemently denied any pay bias, though it has resisted pressure from some shareholders to publish data on current pay levels. The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, was filed in California state court on behalf of three women who worked at the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley for between three and eleven years. The company systematically pays women "lower compensation than GOOGLE pays to male employees performing substantially similar work under similar working conditions", the lawsuit claimed. GOOGLE has claimed that any pay differences reflect different levels of experience and job descriptions, rather than any gender disparity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tiffany drops after QIA offloads $414m stake - Pan Kwan Yuk

TIFFANY lost more of its shine yesterday after the QATAR INVESTMENT AUTHORITY cut its stake in the jeweller. The stock fell 5.1% to a two-week low of $90.67 after the sovereign wealth fund revealed it had sold 4.4m TIFFANY shares at $94.16 apiece, or for about $414.3m. The sale price represents a 1.4% discount to the stock's closing price of $95.51 on Wednesday and lowers the QIA's holding in the company from 13% to 9.5%. Last month, TIFFANY reported a seventh straight quarter of shrinking same-store sales, with the closely watched industry metric falling across all its markets bar Japan. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sell-off deepens for base metals - Neil Hume

The base metals sell-off continued yesterday with copper hitting a four-week low and zinc slipping below $3 000/t. Disappointing industrial data from China was the trigger for the sell-off. Copper for delivery in three months on the LME fell 1.1% to $6 482/t, having earlier touched its lowest level in Aug. Zinc lost $40 to $2 990/t, aluminium eased $16 to $2 093/t and nickel shed $90 to $11 345/t. Chinese industrial production growth of 6% y/y missed expectations of 6.6% and declined from last month's print of 6.4%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US CPI clocks biggest rise in seven months - Pan Kwan Yuk

US consumer prices rose more than expected in Aug. as Hurricane Harvey shut down refineries along the Gulf Coast and sent gasoline prices sharply higher. The headline CPI rose 0.4% last month, data from the Labour Department showed yesterday. The advance helped push the y/y price increase to 1.9%, compared to the 1.7% pace recorded in July. "Increases in the indexes for gasoline and shelter accounted for nearly all of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index", the department said. The energy index rose 2.8% in Aug. and the gasoline index increased by 6.3%. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, gained 0.2% m/m - in line with forecasts. The 12-month rate remained stuck at 1.7% for the fourth month in a row. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Turkish keeps rates on hold despite political pressure - Nicholas Megaw

Turkey's central bank kept all its interest rates on hold at its Sep. meeting after a recent uptick in inflation, despite political pressure for lower rates. The central bank began a tightening cycle late last year in the face of opposition from President RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN. Analysts at COMMERZBANK noted that "the rhetoric from politicians and President ERDOGAN's economic advisors is once again escalating, asking banks to lower interest rates" despite an improving economic outlook which has relieved some of the immediate pressure to boost growth. Turkey's economy expanded by 2.1% in Q2, one of the strongest growth rates in the world, though COMMERZBANK has questioned the reliability of the official figures. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoE keeps rates on hold but preps market for rise - Chris Giles

The Bank of England has issued its strongest guidance in a decade that it is poised to raise interest rates, setting the stage for a nail-biting decision at the Nov. meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee. Voting seven to two against an immediate hike in rates at the Sep. meeting, a majority of MPC members indicated that unless there is a sudden string of bad economic data "some withdrawal of monetary stimulus is likely to be appropriate over the coming months". The Sep. meeting's minutes repeated August's statement that all MPC members thought interest rates would need to be tightened more quickly than current market expectations. In its assessment of the economy, the Committee judged that the economic news pointed "if anything to a slightly stronger picture than anticipated", indicating that currently a majority on the MPC thinks that the data has cleared the bar for a rate hike in the near future. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Atlantic Leaf beats fundraising target by more than 50% - Alistair Anderson

ATLANTIC LEAF PROPERTIES had successfully closed its accelerated book build, it said yesterday. Demand was strong and the company raised £47m, well in excess of the £30m target. CEO PAUL LEAF-WRIGHT said the company was "extremely pleased to have achieved this level of investor support, which allows us to continue to advance our strategy". The majority of the proceeds raised will be used to fund the acquisition of a 45% stake in a portfolio of DFS properties in the UK, as per the communication released earlier this week. About 46.3m new shares were placed at a price of £1.015/share on the Mauritian register, and at R17.60/share on the South African register. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India's gem hub backs campaign for more diamond ads - Fin24

India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council has agreed to contribute $2m to the DIAMOND PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION, a group designed to promote gems and backed by miners, according to executives from both organisations. India is the global hub of diamond cutting, polishing and manufacturing. Around 90% of the world's diamonds pass through the nation, where as many as 1m people are employed in the industry. While the funds are modest, it is a sign of broader support for diamond marketing in the face of increasing competition as wealthy shoppers turn to splurging on high-end electronics. The DPA has previously been funded by miners, but is now reaching out to court gem traders, manufacturers and retailers. The group raised its budget almost 10-fold this year to about $57m, with the vast majority coming from dominant producers DE BEERS and ALROSA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oracle beats earnings forecasts - Richard Waters

ORACLE yesterday reported quarterly revenue and earnings numbers that topped market expectations. The figures were buoyed by a 51% jump in cloud revenues, to $1.5bn. Thanks in part to last year's acquisition of NETSUITE, cloud applications revenue rose 62% to $1.067bn, while the platform and infrastructure businesses were up 28%. The company's shares had already risen by 37% this year ahead of the earnings announcement. Revenue from new software licences fell 6% in the latest period, to $966m. Overall revenue for the quarter - ORACLE's fiscal Q1 - rose 7% to $9.2bn, compared with forecasts of $9bn. Pro-forma EPS of 62cps were up 12%, and 2cps ahead of most analysts' forecasts. ORACLE executives said they were looking for total y/y revenue growth of 2%-4%, adjusted EPS of 64-68c per share and cloud revenue growth of 39%-43%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PIC's Matjila rejects 'spurious' allegations as board seeks answers - Ana Monteiro, Bloomberg

PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION CEO DAN MATJILA rejected an allegation that he misused funds as "spurious" ahead of a board meeting later today that could decide his future at the helm of Africa's biggest money manager. The Star yesterday reported that MATJILA has been told by PIC deputy chair XOLANI MKHWANAZI to respond to an accusation he used PIC funds to finance a personal project related to someone he is allegedly in a relationship with. MATJILA cut short a trip to the US to be able to attend the meeting, he said by phone. The PIC has almost R1.9tn in assets. The accusation against MATJILA originates from a website said to be connected to the GUPTAS. They want MATJILA replaced with disgraced former ESKOM CEO BRIAN MOLEFE, The Star reported, citing people at Treasury it didn't identify. MATJILA has led the PIC since Dec. 2014. The money manager has 10 non-executive directors, eight of whom were appointed by former finance ministers PRAVIN GORDHAN and NHLANHLA NENE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

De Beers said to hire leak hunter to probe gem data breach - Franz Wild

DE BEERS hired an external investigator to find the source of possible leaks of its most sensitive price data, according to sources. The company hired investigators from KPMG in SA to find the source of the leaks, sources said. DE BEERS suspected at least one employee sold pricing information to customers before the diamonds were offered for purpose, the sources said. "We've been aware of rumours of information sharing in the industry and undertook an investigation. While we didn't find specific evidence that any of our intellectual property was intentionally shared externally, we have taken steps to tighten internal controls around access to, and communication of, commercial information", the diamond group said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PPC surges on Dangote approach - Paul Wallace

DANGOTE CEMENT yesterday said it approached PPC about a takeover deal, signalling the start of a possible bidding war for SA's biggest cement maker. DANGOTE communicated its interest to PPC's board "with respect to the acquisition of the entire share capital", the Nigerian company said. The approach follows a joint offer from AFRISAM and FAIRFAX FINANCIAL. While PPC will consider all bids, the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION supports a tie-up with AFRISAM and FAIRFAX, sources said. PPC shares surged 4.03% to R6.20 by midday yesterday after reaching an intra-day high of R6.40. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tshwane turns to court over broadband deal - Alex Mitchley

The City of Tshwane has approached the North Gauteng High Court to set aside a multimillion rand deal for broadband in the city, claiming the previous ANC-led administration entered into an unlawful contract. The City this week announced it has asked for the court's assistance to set aside the Tshwane Broadband contract with THOBELA TELECOMS. "In November last year the Auditor-General found the deal to be irregular, and determined its value at R2.736bn", mayoral spokesperson SAMKELO MGOBOZI said. MGOBOZI said it was important to distinguish this agreement from that between the City and PROJECT ISIZWE NPO for the provision of free WiFi which the current administration is committing to putting on solid financial footing so that they continue to provide free WiFi to the residents of Tshwane. Allegations against the THOBELA contract include a violation of the Preferential Procurment Act and its Regulations as well as two vendors from the same holding company submitted bids and were not eliminated. The contract which is set to run for 18 years comes at a cost of R2.736bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stakeholders to push back at upcoming hearings into Eskom's 2018 hike - Terence Creamer

NERSA has outlined the process it will follow to assess ESKOM's request for a 19.9% tariff hike for the 2018/19 FY, setting a deadline of Oct. 13 for the submission of written comments. NERSA has approved the utility's request to submit an application for only a single year once the MYPD3 cycle, which ran for five years, expires on Mar. 31 2018. NERSA would host public hearings in all nine provinces between Oct. 30 and Nov. 16, with the first hearing scheduled for Cape Town and the last for Johannesburg. ESKOM has confirmed that a 19.9% average increase would translate to a 27.5% municipal tariff adjustment on Jul. 1 2018. The utility claims that the two major contributors to the price increase relate to a sales volume rebasing (9.4%) and growth in independent power producers (5.5%). There are already signals that business and labour will resist this double-digit application, which follows a series of above-inflation tariff hikes since the start of SA's power crisis a decade ago. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Exxaro, NUM to resume wage negotiations - Creamer Media Reporter

EXXARO has received a revised set of demands from the NUM and the parties will resume wage negotiations today. The union on Wednesday announced that it planned to start strike action at 06:00 on Thursday. Meanwhile, EXXARO said talks with Solidarity were continuing. "We are working closely with all other stakeholders to minimise any potential impact on coal supply", the company added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SANRAL says won't scrap e-tolls - News24Wire

Scrapping e-tolls is not on the table, SANRAL said on Wednesday. This came after there was confusion over whether the roads agency would abandon Gauteng's e-toll scheme, after The Citizen reported this week that SANRAL had acknowledged that the project is a failure. The newspaper reported that SANRAL is considering throwing its weight behind a fuel levy, after most Gauteng motorists still refuse to pay e-tolls. But SANRAL spokesperson VUSI MONA said fuel levies have always been under consideration. "It was not regarded as the best funding model for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. Of concern is that the fuel levy is a regressive tax that impacts disproportionately on the poor. With e-tolls, taxis and buses are exempt. With a fuel levy, they are not". MONA said SANRAL could not make the decision to abandon e-tolls. "Government selected tolls as the most affordable, equitable and fair way to fund the GFIP". Fin24 reported that of the more than 1.8bn invoices issued by SANRAL in the past 24 months, more than 1.3bn were unpaid. As at the end of Mar. 2016, the amount owed to e-tolls by non-registered users came to R7.2bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dawn to sell stake in GDW - Creamer Media Reporter

DISTRIBUTION AND WAREHOUSING NETWORK's share price rose by 21% after the company confirmed it would sell its 49% stake in GROHE DAWN WATERTECH to LIXIL CORPORATION, which owns the other 51% of GDW. DAWN's stake in GDW is considered to be noncore to the group. DAWN CEO EDWIN HEWITT said the deal "represents a key step in the process and allows us to focus on the implementation of our turnaround plan to restore the business to profitability". As part of the deal, GDW will repay DAWN's shareholder loan claim against GDW, pursuant to which DAWN will receive an aggregate consideration of R324.5m. DAWN plans to use the proceeds from the transaction for its core South African operations after settling a R200m revolving credit and overdraft facility with ABSA, as well as all transaction costs. DAWN will remain the long-term master distributor for th GDW product range in SA and a number of other African markets. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Capitalworks launches $300m SSA investment company - Creamer Media Reporter

CAPITALWORKS GROUP has launched AFRICA CAPITALWORKS, an investment company that will deploy permanent equity capital in midmarket companies in strategically selected sectors across sub-Saharan Africa, but excluding SA. AFRICA CAPITALWORKS aims to raise $300m and has already secured early support and substantial investment, including from UK development finance institution, the CDC, as well as from the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION on behalf of its client, the SA Government Employees Pension Fund. "Both CDC and PIC recognise the significant imbalance between the supply of and demand for long-term capital in the rapidly growing and developing sub-Saharan African economies and the midmarket companies within them and share AFRICA CAPITALWORKS' thesis that longer-term capital is one of the best ways to address this imbalance", CAPITALWORKS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Treasury denies report it plans to sack PIC head - Reuters

The Treasury yesterday denied a newspaper report that it was about to sack DAN MATJILA, CEO of the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION, saying the report in The Star was baseless. Citing unnamed sources, The Star said MATJILA would be replaced by a member of the board this week. "These allegation are unfounded, baseless and are causing unnecessary panic over an internal matter at the PIC. There are no preconceived plans whatsoever to remove Dr MATJILA", Deputy Finance Minister SFISO BUTHELEZI said. "The PIC board has indeed called for a meeting on Friday with the CEO, but this is to discuss and get clarification from him on internal matters", BUTHELEZI added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ballard surges on design that reduces platinum in fuel cells - Bloomberg

BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS shares surged to a three-year high after it announced a technology breakthrough that replaces most of the platinum used in fuel-cell power systems. BALLARD gained 24% to $4.59 in New York. High-cost precious metals in fuel cells have hindered broader adoption of the technology, and BALLARD has been working to eliminate as much platinum as possible from its products. The Non Precious Metal Catalyst design reduces the amount of platinum by more than 80%, KEVIN COLBOW, VP of technology and product development, said this week. "Since platinum contributes 10% to 15% of the cost of a fuel cell stack today, we are very excited about the potential cost savings". The technology will initially be used for small applications like portable military electronics that will help reduce the battery weight that soldiers often carry, BALLARD CEO RANDY MACEWEN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Olam invests $150m to produce 8bn eggs annually in Nigeria - Bloomberg

OLAM INTERNATIONAL invested $150m in animal-feed mills and poultry farms in Nigeria as it seeks to boost its agribusiness venture in that country. These include bird- and fish-feed mills with the capacity for 360 000t each, located in the norther Kaduna and western Kwara states, and a hatchery to produce 1.6m day-old chicks weekly, OLAM said. Feeds produced are estimated to support the production of 8bn eggs and 100m kg of poultry a year. "Our new facilities will invigorate the industry by closing the supply gap in animal feed", OLAM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aspen buys remaining rights to AstraZeneca's anesthetics - Janice Kew, Bloomberg

ASPEN PHARMACARE is resuming dealmaking, agreeing to buy more rights to ASTRAZENECA's anesthetic medicines for $555m while reporting FY profit that beat analysts' estimates. EPS rose 16% to 1 463cps in the FY to end-Jun., the company said. Analysts expected 1 461cps. Sales came in at R41.2bn, up 16% y/y. The AZ deal, which includes medicines such as Diprivan and Naropin, builds on ASPEN's 2016 acquisition of other anesthetics from the same company. On top of the $555m up-front agreement, ASPEN will pay as much as $211m in performance-related installments until Nov. 2019. For its part, AZ will continue to manufacture and supply the drugs to ASPEN for up to five years. The deal gives AZ an up-front payment while eliminating annual royalty payments the company was set to receive from ASPEN. If the agreement is consolidated in fiscal 2018, it could add 10% to ASPEN's operating profit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Uganda signs oil exploration deal with Aussie firm - Elias Biryabarema

Uganda yesterday signed an oil exploration deal with Australian firm ARMOUR ENERGY LIMITED, the first signing under a competitive licensing round launched in 2015. The production sharing agreement covers the Kanywataba block located near Lake Albert on the border with the DRC, officials said at the signing in Kampala. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's current acc. deficit widens in Q2 - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's current account deficit widened to 2.4% of GDP in Q2 as an increased trade surplus was offset by a larger shortfall on services, income and current transfer payments, the SARB said yesterday. The overall deficit was wider than forecast by economists surveyed by Reuters, who had expected it to match the Q1 figure of 2.0%. The rise in the value of exported gold and merchandise goods helped widen the trade surplus to R65bn, from R57bn q/q. The services, income and current transfer account deficit widened to 3.7% from 3.3%. Transfers rose on a 42% y/y increase to R14bn in the amount SA paid to its trading partners in the SADC. The net income deficit widened as both dividend payments to non-resident investors and dividend receipts from abroad fell, the central bank said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria plans to shut three refineries for complete overhaul - Alexis Akwagyiram

Nigeria plans to shut its three refineries for a total overhaul, a spokesperson for the NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION said yesterday. NDU UGHAMADU said a date had not been set for when the work would commence at the refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna. He said the aim was to meet a target to have them operating at 90% capacity by the end of 2019. UGHAMADU said they currently operate at around 60% capacity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SocGen launches digital wallet to double SSA customer base - Maya Nikolaeva

SOCIETE GENERALE is betting on a new digital walled called YUP to help meet its target of doubling retail clients in sub-Saharan Africa to 2m by 2020. The French lender is seeing double-digit revenue growth in SSA and is one of the few international banks to embark on expanding in retail banking in the region. Several of its peers have in contrast announced plans to exit or retreat from the continent to focus on core markets. SOCGEN says that as banks in the region deal with less than 20% of the population, Africa could yield rapid growth from a low base. "IT's this population, 72%, that would make SOCIETE GENERALE's activities grow", said SOCGEN regional head ALEXANDRE MAYMAT. The bank has launched YUP specifically for the African market and introduced it in Ivory Coast and Senegal this year, with plans to roll it out in four more countries by the end of 2018. The wallet allows customers to transfer money, receive cash and pay bills with a mobile phone. SOCGEN aims to earn money from commissions on transactions, as well as loans and savings products it plans to introduce later for YUP. It expects the product to break even in three years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya lawmaker warns any move to change bank rate cap will fail - Duncan Miriri

Kenya's national assembly will throw out any bill aimed at altering the interest rate cap imposed on commercial banks last year, the legislator who sponsored the rate-capping law said yesterday. A year ago, Nairobi capped commercial lending rates at 4 percentage points above the central bank rate, which stands at 10%, and also imposed a minimum deposit rate of 70% of the central bank rate. It accused lenders of failing to pass on the benefits of growth in the industry by charging more than 20% interest rates on loans. Bank bosses say the cap has cut lending to risky borrowers, curbing economic growth. JUDE NJOMO, the legislator who sponsored the rate cap bill, sait there was no evidence that banks would now voluntarily reduce their rates, after dithering for many years. "I have talked to a number of members of parliament. I have talked to a number of business people and they are really against any attempt to change that law... It is doomed to fail", NJOMO said. "They may not be making the super profits that they were making before, but we have seen they are still registering good profits at the end of each financial year", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria starts sale of 100bn naira sukuk - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria has started the sale of a 100bn naira debut sovereign sukuk on the local market to fund road infrastructure, the Debt Management Office said yesterday. The seven-year Islamic bond is structured as a lease with yield of 16.47% rental rate, payable semi-annually. Subscription for the bond, which is guaranteed by the government, will close on Sep. 20. The planned sukuk issue will target retail and institutional investors, with FIRST BANK and Islamic wealth manager LOTUS CAPITAL managing the sale. The DMO said the bond will be tradabe on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and on FMDQ OTC platform and that it may re-open the offer in case of an undersubscription. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fitch could stabilise Kenya's rating if election rerun goes smoothly - Claire Milhence

FITCH RATINGS' negative outlook on Kenya's sovereign debt could be withdrawn if a rerun presidential election goes "relatively" smoothly and debt to GDP levels fall, the ratings agency said yesterday. FITCH currently rates Kenya as B+ with a negative outlook and this has not been altered since the Supreme Court's decision to nullify the presidential election. A new vote has been scheduled for Oct. 17. "If the second election goes relatively smoothly and... if they achieve a decline in their debt to GDP levels it could lead to a withdrawal of the negative outlook", FITCH analyst JAN FRIEDERICH said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Opposition calls for McKinsey to appear at parliament inquiry - Joe Brock

The DA yesterday called for MCKINSEY to answer questions at a parliamentary inquiry following a Reuters report about the consultancy's alleged involvement in a corruption scandal. Parliament's Committee on Public Enterprises is investigating whether MCKINSEY knowingly let funds from ESKOM be diverted to a GUPTA company as a way of securing a $78m contract to advise ESKOM. MCKINSEY has denied any wrongdoing and says it will cooperate with the authorities if evidence of any impropriety emerges. Reuters this week reported that MCKINSEY ignored suspicions raised over several years by senior staff that companies it worked with were set up to steer state contracts. "We will cooperate fully with any official inquiries and investigations", MCKINSEY spokesperson STEVE JOHN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 15/09/2017

At 07h29 on 15 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.10 ZAR/EUR 15.62 ZAR/GBP 17.57 Gold 1329.66 Platinum 980.00 Brent Crude Oil 55.05 All Share 55850.32

Bahrain prices $3bn bond deal; demand tops $15bn - Kate Allen

The Kingdom of Bahrain has priced its $3bn, three-tranche bond issue at 5.25% for 7.5-year money, with a 12-year maturity at 6.75% and a 30-year tranche at 7.5%. Strong investor demand drove books to top $15bn. The deal includes an $850m, 7.5-year maturity sukuk - the biggest Islamic finance bond to launch since the start of a row over sukuk bonds issued by UAE-based energy companY DANA GAS threatened to derail the Islamic finance market earlier this year. In addition to the sukuk Bahrain has raised $1.25bn in a 12-year maturity, and $900m in a 30-year debt tranche. Bahrain is rated BB- by S&P and BB+ by FITCH, both with a negative outlook. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China retail sales, investment growth slower in Aug. - Hudson Lockett

Growth in retail sales and industrial output in China slowed unexpectedly last month as expansion in fixed asset investment dipped more than expected. Retail sales surprised on the downside in Aug., growing 10.1% y/y against forecasts of a 10.5% median forecast from economists polled by Reuters. They had climbed 10.4% in July. Sales growth was lower still at larger enterprises, coming in at 7.5%. Softer consumer spending came as urban fixed-asset investment grew 7.8% for the eight months ended Aug., down from 8.3% at end-July. State-controlled firms were more active, with investment up 11.2% for the period compared to a rise of 6.4% from privately owned entities. Industrial output also disappointed, slowing 0.4 percentage points from the prior month to notch growth of 6% in Aug., against forecasts of a rise to 6.6%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Samsung launches $300m fund to invest in autonomous driving tech - Alice Woodhouse

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS has established a $300m fund to invest in automotive start-ups and autonomous driving technologies. The company said the new SAMSUNG AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATION FUND will focus its investments on connected car and autonomous driving technologies, including sensors, machine vision and safety solutions. The company said its goal in the automotive market was to bring technologies to market that can "make cars safer while creating a more comfortable and convenient mobility experience". The first recipient of investment from the fund will be TTTECH, an Australian entity that provides software integration for automated driving platforms. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hermes hits record H1 profit - Harriet Agnew

French luxury house HERMES confirmed that operating profitability reached an all-time high in H1 2017, but stressed it would not be able to duplicate the feat in H2. The company today said its operating margin during H1 2017 reached 34.3% of sales, up from 33.9% y/y. This was driven by organic growth across all regions and the positive impact of currency hedging. CEO AXEL DUMAS said the favourable currency move is a "one-off and not repeatable in the second half". Consolidated net profit rose 11% to €605m, representing 22.3% of sales. The group's net cash grew from €2.32bn at end-Dec. to €2.43bn at end-Jun. Like-for-like sales rose 8.3% in Q2 to end-Jun. y/y, reaching €1.36bn. That is compared to the 11.2% pace experienced in Q1. Revenues grew in all regions, led by Asia ex-Japan, which was driven by strong momentum in China. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global diamond demand inches higher - Henry Sanderson

The global diamond jewellery market hardly grew last year. Global jewellery demand rose by 0.3% to $80bn, but fell by 4.8% in China and by 13% in India, according to research commissioned by DE BEERS. The US was the one bright spot, with diamond jewellery demand up by 4.4%. Last month DE BEERS said it will invest more than $140m in marketing this year, its biggest spend since 2008. The company said it hopes it can shift the association of diamonds with marriage to include other events in a person's life. "For decades, diamonds have been marketed almost exclusively as gifts of love and symbols of marriage. While this universal and powerful motivation will remain the bedrock of the industry, new opportunities are clearly emerging as the position of women in society and economy evolves", DE BEERS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aussie media stocks rise on reports of deal to scrap ownership laws - Alice Woodhouse

Australian media companies were rising this morning following reports the government has reached a deal to scrap controls on media ownership. The government has reached an agreement to secure the support of senator NICK XENOPHON that will see the two longstanding controls over media ownership scrapped in return for grants for small publishers and money for 200 cadetships, ABC reported. The two rules set to go are the "two out of three rule" preventing one individual or company from owning a newspaper, radio or television station in one license area, and the "reach" rule which prevents a single television broadcaster from reaching more than 75% of the country's population. SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA rose 1.7%, FAIRFAX MEDIA climbed 1.8%, SEVEN WEST MEDIA was up 0.7% and NINE ENTERTAINMENT rose 0.4%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China to blacklist companies violating overseas investment rules - Alice Woodhouse

China will blacklist companies that violate overseas investment rules as part of a wider crackdown on 'irrational and unauthentic" foreign acquisitions, China Daily reported this morning citing a government official. The blacklist will be shared across government departments and allow regulators to oversee investment activities, the newspaper said citing ZHANG HUANTENG, a senior official with the National Development and Reform Commission. Blacklisted companies will not be banned from making overseas investments but will receive punishment if they become "discreditable" to regulators, ZHANG said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US federal agencies told to stop using Kaspersky Lab software - Leslie Hook

The US Department of Homeland Security said it was banning software from KASPERSKY LAB from being used by federal agencies due to concerns over links between the company and the Kremlin. The announcement, which gives federal agencies 90 days to cease using any KASPERSKY software, is the clearest indication to date of the government's concerns that Moscow may have been using the cybersecurity company as a backdoor to tap communications. KASPERSKY has around 400m users worldwide and is best known for its free anti-virus software. KASPERSKY said it was disappointed with the decision and still hoped to clear its name by working with the DHS as the department investigates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tunisia parliament passes controversial economic reconciliation law - Heba Saleh

The parliament in Tunisia has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a controversial law allowing reconciliation with public officials involved in corruption who served in government before the Arab Spring uprising in 2011. The legislation met widespread resistance when it was first proposed two years ago, and the government has had to amend it to exclude businessmen from its scope. Reconciliation under the law will only be extended to those who did not benefit personally but were not in a position to disobey orders to commit irregularities. Activists have said the law is a setback to democracy in the country and that it puts in place an opaque process to whitewash corruption and cover-up acts that should be aired under the country's transitional justice process. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

LSE Group strengthens grip on LCH clearing house - Philip Stafford

The LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP is to further strengthen its grip on LCH, the clearing house it has majority control of, with the purchase of several stakes owed by its minority shareholders. After the market's close yesterday, LSE said it had agreed to buy the holdings of several unnamed shareholders, for up to a maximum of 6.8% of LCH's share capital. The deal would raise the LSE's stake from 57.8%, which it has held since it took control of LCH in 2013. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trump bars China-backed bid for semiconductor company - Jessica Dye

President DONALD TRUMP yesterday said he would stop a China-backed bid for US-based chip maker LATTICE SEMICONDUCTOR, citing national security risks to halt the $1.3bn deal. The order directed the companies to take all steps to drop the proposed deal within 30 days. LATTICE in Nov. said it had struck a deal with an affiliate of private equity firm CANYON BRIDGE to sell itself for $1.3bn, including debt. Among the deal's backers was CHINA VENTURE CAPITAL FUND CORPORATION LIMITED, an entity owned by Chinese SOEs. The White House noted that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US had recommended against the transaction's approval. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 14/09/2017

At 11h02 on 14 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.14 ZAR/EUR 15.63 ZAR/GBP 17.34 Gold 1322.90 Platinum 975.50 Brent Crude Oil 54.75 All Share 55872.48

GPI plunges into loss - Andries Mahlangu

GRAND PARADE INVESTMENTS plunged into a headline loss in the FY to end-Jun., with the food portfolio continuing to struggle as the company suffered along with consumers in SA. The headline LPS for the period was 4.59cps, a 331% decline from headline earnings of 1.99cps y/y. Revenue of R962m was up 25% from R772m y/y, boosted by Dunkin' Brands and Burger King. But the headline loss was R20.12m, more than double the previous year's R9.28m. The entire food portfolio posted losses, with Burger King narrowing its loss to R11m from R29.9m y/y. Intrinsic NAV/share rose 2.5% and gearing was reduced to 16.8% from 27.1% y/y. "Consumer spending will continue to be strained in the short to medium term due to the impact of these [sovereign credit rating] downgrades starting to negatively affect food and fuel prices through higher inflation and import costs", GPI said in its results statement. The company said it would persist with its strategy to grow its food business, and would "look to continue investing in food businesses via premium restaurant brands and supply chain services and product to support the restaurant brands". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cost-cutting counterbalances Aspen's currency losses - Tammy Foyn

ASPEN PHARMACARE took a knock from a stronger rand in the FY to end-Jun. but its HEPS were flattered by the devaluation of its Venezuelan business in the prior year, and cost-cutting helped offset some of the currency losses. Revenue rose 16% to R41.2bn, but that increase would have been 22% at constant currencies. Normalised HEPS were also up 16% to 1 463cps, and would have been 21% higher at constant exchange rates. HEPS rose 46%. The currency translation was a R3.5bn loss, against a R5.2bn profit y/y. ASPEN said its synergies programme delivered savings of R1.2bn, partially offsetting the currency hit. The company said its anaesthetics division posted revenue of R7bn. ASPEN's financing costs fell to R2.4bn from R3.2bn y/y. A gross dividend of 287cps was declared for the period under review. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Implats slashes production forecast - Allan Seccombe

IMPALA PLATINUM posted a hefty FY loss this morning, with a R10bn impairment and gross loss feeding into decisions to review assets and take a much tougher stance on loss-making shafts and seek shallower, cheaper options. IMPLATS lowered its output forecast to 750 000oz of platinum by 2022, well below the 830 000oz of platinum it had pegged for 2020 during last year's annual results presentation. IMPLATS recorded a post-tax loss of R8.1bn for the FY to end-Jun. compared with a R43m loss y/y. A R10.2bn impairment against payments to the BAFOKENG nation was made during the year. Operationally, higher costs of sales exceeded revenue, pushing the company into a gross loss of R529m compared with a R4m profit y/y. Platinum output rose to 1.53moz compared with 1.44moz y/y, but the company noted there were "sub-optimal" performances at its wholly-owned mines and its shared Marula mine. The loss-making Marula mine had to return to profit in the immediate near term or face closure, IMPLATS warned. Marula made a headline loss of R737m, with community disruptions to the mine weighing heavily during the period under review. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Equity Express granted licence to operate as exchange - Sizwe Dlamini

EQUITY EXPRESS SECURITIES EXCHANGE has been granted a licence to operate an exchange by the Financial Services Board. In a statement published yesterday, the FSB said: "The registrar received and considered an application for an exchange licence from EQUITY EXPRESS and has granted EESE an exchange licence with terms and conditions after careful consideration of objections received". EESE CEO ANTHONY WILMOT said the granting of the stock exchange licence complemented services the company had been providing to existing clients. "EESE will be operating an exchange that is prefunded on a similar basis to the JSE... This exchange will list equity instruments and have a broker community similar to the other registered exchange". WILMOT said EESE would not be in direct competition with the JSE but rather provide an alternative for companies for an exchange specialising in issuers with shareholder restrictions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Radical economic transformation just code word for theft - Rupert - Corinne Gertler, Bloomberg

RICHEMONT executive chair JOHANN RUPERT yesterday said "radical economic transformation", the policy championed by President JACOB ZUMA to reduce racial inequality, is no more than theft. "Radical economic transformation is just a code word for theft. That's what's happening there. They're raiding the state's coffers. And it's public knowledge", RUPERT said on the sidelines of RICHEMONT's AGM in Geneva. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba must review Myeni's reappointment at SAA, committee resolves - Matthew le Cordeur

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA must review the reappointment of SAA chair DUDU MYENI, the standing committee on finance resolved yesterday. MYENI was supposed to complete her third term as chair of the ailing airline at the end of Aug., but Treasury said she can only be replaced at the carrier's AGM, which can only occur in Nov. due to a delay in the publishing of its annual financial results. ANC MP DEREK HANEKOM said clarity was needed, as MYENI had reportedly stated she would only go when President JACOB ZUMA left office. The committee tasked parliament's legal adviser, Advocate FRANK JENKINS, to explain why a review was required. In his official advise, JENKINS said MYENI will not be able to stand for a fourth term, according to SAA's memorandum of incorporation. What needed clarity was whether Treasury extended her appointment or if it reappointed her to the position. Based on legal advice, the committee requested that GIGABA review the reappointment of MYENI and respond within seven days. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C drops roaming rates in 58 countries - Fin24

CELL C this week announced that it has reduced its international roaming rates. The price drop affects roaming rates to 58 countries covering 99 networks. From Sep. 13, customers roaming on any of these countries will pay a standard R10/minute for making and receiving calls, R10/MB of data and R2.99/SMS on certain networks. This will make pricing simple and transparent for customers travelling abroad. Customers are advised to manually select discounted networks when roaming to ensure that they always pay the lowest roaming charges. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Econet pays premature dividend to beat Zim bank balance blues - Malcom Sharara

ECONET WIRELESS ZIMBABWE has paid a Q1 dividend for the first time since dollarisation. In an unprecedented move, the company said it has declared a dividend of 0.386cps amounting to $10m for Q1 to end-May 2017. Zimbabwean companies normally pay interim or final dividends, but with bank balances losing value by the day, ECONET has decided not to wait until the half-year, when the value of the $10m would have depreciated. To make payments using electronic money, Zimbabweans are charged a premium of 30%-50%. In another first, ECONET increased its share buyback threshold to 20% against the usual 10% for most Zimbabwean companies. This was reportedly at the request of the company's foreign shareholders, who prefer the company to pursue share buybacks rather than paying cash dividends. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin says licence not at risk after Ministry warning - Reuters

The Department of Mineral Resources has told LONMIN that it failed to meet some of its social and labour obligations, the company said on Tuesday, but added it did not think its operating licence was in danger. LONMIN received a letter last week from the DMR detailing the areas the company had neglected, company spokesperson WENDY TLOU said. She did not specify which requirements the company had not met but said it was talking to the government and would ask for extensions where applicable. "Everybody is concerned that we do meet the requirement to retain your licence to operate", TLOU said. "It's not something that is causing us massive worry". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zimbabwe Alloys hands over half of its mining claims to govt - Reuters

ZIMBABWE ALLOYS, the country's second-largest ferrochrome producer, has ceded half of its mining claims to the government, the state-owned Herald news paper reported yesterday. Harare last June threatened to seize half of the company's 39 175ha of mining ground, but ZIMALLOYS stood firm saying it should be compensated for the claims. The Herald said the company gave up the mining claims last month and was negotiating with an unnamed Indian investor to recapitalise the company. ZIMALLOYS, together with ZIMASCO, held 80% of Zimbabwe's chrome ore claims and the government argued that the companies should surrender some of that ground to allow more new investors to mine chrome ore. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUM members to embark on strike at two Exxaro coal mines - Anine Kilian

The NUM has served EXXARO RESOURCES with a notice to embark on a protected strike at the Grootegeluk and Leuwpan mines. The union submitted wage demands on Apr. 13 and accuses EXXARO of failing to resolve the wage impasse. "The union demands a wage increase of 10%, a service increment of 0.5%, housing increase of 10% or R5 000, a standby allowance of 10%, family responsibility leave of eight days, and a long-service award for 15 years of one Krugerrand", NUM deputy general secretary WILLIAM MABAPA said. The strike began at 06:00 this morning. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Engen to lay off some workers - Dineo Faku

Job cuts are looming at ENGEN PETROLEUM amid a shake-up of the business. The company said it was in talks with employees to streamline the business in a bid to remain competitive. Group communications manager GAVIN SMITH said ENGEN, which employed 3 000 people, had examined its operational structure, with employees, that had resulted in certain positions being affected. "ENGEN and its employees have been engaged in a company-wide initiative to create an efficient organisation that will enable more focus on the customer in order for ENGEN to remain competitive and drive growth". Trade union CEPPWAWU said voluntary packages had first been offered to the management level in Feb. and had members who were on the low level had been offered packages. "We never though that so many people would apply for VSP. Our duty is to preserve jobs and people have applied for packages because they have a lot of service with the company... While they (ENGEN) anticipated shedding mainly older, white workers, they have been inundated by take-up of applications for packages for voluntary severance packages from black staffers in all categories", CEPPWAWU national coordinator JERRY NKOSI said. SMITH declined to say how many employees would be affected, saying "any estimate as to the total reduction in the number of jobs at this stage would be pure speculation". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Old Mutual Wealth will absorb MiFID Research Costs - Renee Bonorchis, Bloomberg

OLD MUTUAL WEALTH, a unit of OLD MUTUAL, said the company is already absorbing the cost of external research for funds and will continue to do so when European regulations come into force in 2018. "The real cost is the implementation of the regulation. We suspect MiFID will improve transparency and the market will adapt and find a way to create value. It will separate those that are creating value from those who are riding the coattails of big brand names", OMW CEO PAUL FEENEY said. "We want what the regulator wants -- good customer outcomes. There will be some unintended consequences, such as if a fund's value drops 10% or more in a quarter, you must now write to a client and tell them -- without advising them -- even if that fund is part of a diversified portfolio. There's a maze we have to negotiate". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane agrees to withhold Charter as CoM drops interdict - David McKay

The Chamber of Mines will not proceed with an interdict of the redrafted Mining Charter after Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE agreed in writing that the document would not be implemented until its review was heard - an event scheduled for Dec. 13 and 14 before a full panel of judges. The Chamber said the agreement had been struck after it had been approached by legal counsel representing ZWANE. The Chamber brought an urgent interdict against the Charter in which it argued the redraft brought provisions that had never been discussed with the mining industry. The application for the interdict was to be heard in the High Court on Sep. 14 and 15. In terms of the agreement, ZWANE has given a written undertaking that the Reviewed Mining Charter will not be implemented until judgment has been handed down in respect of the CoM's review application, which has rendered the granting of an interdict by the court not necessary at this stage, the Chamber said. "Importantly, we now have a very clear and agreed schedule going forward, which will see this case being heard before the end of the year. This again, is a significant 'win' for the industry", CoM spokesperson CHARMANE RUSSELL said. ZWANE has also agreed to make reference to his written undertaking to the CoM when referring in public to the Reviewed Mining Charter. He must also note that the Chamber has brought review proceedings to set aside the Charter. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jasco FY earnings hit by unusual items in tough market - Natasha Odendaal

Unusual items have dealt a blow to JASCO's FY earnings as the electronics group navigates a difficult environment. The company yesterday reported a 61% drop in both headline earnings and HEPS to a respective R5.6m and 2.5cps in the year to end-Jun. Earnings decreased by 43% to R8.1m, along with EPS, which fell to 3.6cps from 6.3cps y/y. Earnings and headline earnings were impacted by a number of unusual factors, excluding which, earnings for the FY would have been up 3% on the R14.2m reported y/y. JASCO attributed the negative impacts on earnings to the exit of unprofitable security customer contracts and the resultant retrenchment process costing R4.3m; further business development costs of R3m in East Africa; unused foreign tax credits of R2.3m in Kenya; the R2.2m transaction cost of two acquisitions; and investments in the newly-established Middle East operation, which shaved R1.8m from earnings. JASCO also absorbed a R1.1m knock from fraudulent transactions perpetrated by a senior employee in the enterprise business and the related costs to investigate the transactions and the R900 000 skills developing costs owing to "more onerous requirements" from the new BBBEE codes. JASCO maintained its profitability and margins during the period, with revenue registering a marginal 3% drop to just over R1bn due to lower volumes, and operating profit remaining stable at R41.9m. The net operating margin of 4% in 2017 was similar to last year's 3.9%. The company expected the current economic climate to prevail throughout 2018, continuing to impact results. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Altron expects higher H1 earnings - Natasha Odendaal

ALLIED ELECTRONICS expects a 16%-36% rise in HEPS for the HY to end-Aug. to between 36cps and 42cps, compared with the 31cps recorded y/y. Basic EPS are expected to reach a minimum of 20cps for the period, up from the 6cps reported y/y. HEPS for continuing operations for the period are expected to decrease by 13%-17% to between 45cps and 47cps, compared with 54cps reported y/y. On a normalised basis and excluding one-off costs, EBITDA and headline earnings from continuing operations are expected to grow more than 10%. Basic EPS are expected to fall to 41cps-45cps, around 16%-24% lower than the 54cps reported y/y. Interim results will be published on Oct. 25. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUMSA downs tools at KZN plastic factory - ANA

NUMSA members have downed tools at MPACT PLASTICS in Pinetown, Durban, in protest against unequal wages and benefits. NUMSA said workers at MPACT were withholding their labour because they were fighting for equality in the workplace. At least 140 MPACT contract workers are on strike for equal pay and benefits enjoyed by permanent staff. Permanent employees yesterday also joined the strike in solidarity with the contractors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CRG again warns of its 'serious' financial position - Anine Kilian

CENTRAL RAND GOLD has reiterated that its financial position remains extremely serious. "The company carries significant debt and has many creditors. The directors are actively pursuing financing opportunities for the company and are in discussions with several parties about those opportunities", CRG said. It highlighted that any such financing could see the company potentially disposing of all, or a significant part of, its operations to a third party, as operations were proving difficult to achieve under the company's current capital structure. Meanwhile, CRG said its concentrator plan has arrived in SA after some delays and has been transported to site in containers. The containers will be off-loaded by today after which construction will commence. The concentrator plant will be fully on line by Dec. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB expected to cut rates this month - Vuyani Ndaba

The SARB is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate by another 25 basis points next wek, taking it to 6.50%, as inflation is considered likely to moderate, a Reuters poll found yesterday. Seventeen of the 26 respondents said the central bank will cut its repo rate by 25 bps. One said it would cut 50 bps and eight said the SARB will leave it unchanged. Last month, the median forecast suggested the central bank would wait until Nov. before trimming borrowing costs and economists gave a median 50% chance of a Sep. cut. That likelihood rose to 55% in the latest poll. Inflation is expected to average just 5.3% this year and 5.1% next, lower than last month's medians. Growth is expected at 0.7% this year, 0.1 percentage point better than last month's median but next year's forecast was unchanged at 1.2%. The economy grew 0.3% last year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's Q3 business confidence up slightly but still negative - Rahul B

SA's business confidence rose marginally in Q3 but remained in negative territory as most investors remained dissatisfied. The latest RMB/BER business confidence index rose to 35 points in Q3, from 29 q/q, remaining firmly below the 50-mark. The latest survey results suggest seven out of every 10 respondents remained unsatisfied with business conditions. "While the small increase in the third quarter RMB/BER BCI is encouraging, the improvement must be seen in the broader context of continues weak domestic demand, subdued business activity, low profitability and heightened political uncertainty", RMB chief economist ETTIENNE LE ROUX said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA retail sales up in July - Mfuneko Toyana

South African retail sales rose by 1.8% y/y in July after increasing by a revised 3.2% in June, data from Statistics SA showed yesterday. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 2.8% y/y rise in retail sales in July. On a m/m basis, sales contracted by 0.6% and were up 2.1% in the three months to July compared with the same period a year ago, the statistics agency said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zimplats profit rises despite lower output - Macdonald Dzirutwe

ZIMPLATS posted a sharp rise in FY profits as higher platinum prices and recouped Treasury bills offset lower output, the platinum miner said yesterday. The company reported profit before tax of $101m in 2017, up from $29.3m y/y. Platinum production slid to 281 080oz from 290 410oz y/y, the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria plans 140bn naira T-bill sale next week - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria plans to sell 140.9bn naira worth of treasury bills at an auction next week, the central bank said yesterday. The bank said it plans to offer 28.12bn naira of three-month debt, 23.68bn naira in six-month bills and 89bn naira in one-year notes, using the Dutch auction system, on Sep. 21. Settlement will be made next day after the auction. The central bank issues T-bills twice a month to help the government fund its budget deficit, support commercial lenders in managing liquidity and curb inflation. Nigeria has a series of debt issues linked up this year, including a 100bn naira debut domestic sukuk it is marketing to fund infrastructure projects. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zimplats to give up some unused land to Zim govt - Macdonald Dzirutwe

ZIMPLATS will return some of the land it has not used for mining to the government of President ROBERT MUGABE, CEL ALEXANDER MHEMBERE said yesterday. He said the company would not be seeking compensation for the land at this stage. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA misses tax revenue forecast in Q1 - Wendell Roelf

The SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE collected R13.1bn less tax than forecast in Q1 of the current fiscal year, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA announced yesterday. "We are currently assessing the implications of this for the fiscal framework", the minister added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pressure on SARB a key credit risk - Moody's - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

MOODY's yesterday warned that the gradual erosion of SA's institutional framework and recent pressure on the central bank to change its price and inflation targeting mandate were key risks to SA's credit rating. MOODY's senior analyst ZUZANA BRIXIOVA also told a conference in Johannesburg that space for the Treasury to implement counter-cyclical fiscal policy to keep deficits in check had been eroded. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAA to shrink services as part of revamp - Wendell Roelf

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS will fly 23% fewer flights by the end of 2017 as it retires fire aircraft as part of a revamp aimed at returning to profit. The loss-making national carrier received state funds in July to help it repay debts. It also depends on government debt guarantees of around R20bn. "One narrow-body aircraft has left the fleet, with four more expected to leave the fleet by December 2017", acting CEO MUSA ZWANE said, adding that the impact of the reduced flights would mostly be felt among domestic passengers, although regional and international routes will also be impacted. Treasury DG DONDO MOGAJANE said the department was planning to bring a special appropriation bill for R10bn to parliament within a month. Talks were continuing with lenders ahead of a Sep. 30 deadline when debts of around R6.8bn are due to mature. SAA is in talks to make an initial part-payment on R1.8bn owed to CITIBANK and help stave off a default by month-end, MOGAJANE said. "Currently, most of then are prepared to roll over and the issue is up to when", he added. SAA CFO PHUMEZA NHANTSI said they were negotiating to have the loans extended by at least 18 months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 14/09/2017

At 07h07 on 14 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.12 ZAR/EUR 15.59 ZAR/GBP 17.34 Gold 1321.44 Platinum 977.00 Brent Crude Oil 54.75 All Share 56152.54

Toshiba inks agreement with Bain-led consortium to accelerate talks over Nand sale - Peter Wells

TOSHIBA has signed a non-binding MoU with a bidding consortium led by BAIN CAPITAL in the hopes of agreeing a sale of its prized NAND memory chip business by the end of this month. An agreement on the sale of the unit could be signed next week, but TOSHIBA said the non-binding nature of the MoU "does not eliminate the possibility of negotiations with other consortia. BAIN's consortium includes APPLE, at least one blue-chip Japanese company and other tech companies, and involves Y600bn of debt provided by TOSHIBA's main lenders. Government-backed lenders the INNOVATION NETWORK CORPORATION OF JAPAN and the DEVELOPMENT BANK OF JAPAN will step in with investment in financial support once legal issues with WESTERN DIGITAL are resolved. TOSHIBA CORPORATION would itself be an investor. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IEA: Global oil markets have started to rebalance - Anjli Raval

Global oil demand is outpacing forecasts and excess crude inventories are falling, yet prices will only rise "modestly", the International Energy Agency said. Oil consumption will rise in 2017 by an upwardly revised 1.6m bpd to 97.7m bpd, the energy watchdog said in its latest monthly oil report. Strong demand from the US and Europe in Q2 and robust consumption from elsewhere will outweigh an expected slowdown from Hurricanes in the US. Meanwhile, global oil supply fell in Aug. by 720 000 bpd on unplanned outages and scheduled maintenance, mainly from countries outside of the OPEC cartel, the IEA said. Non-OPEC supplies fell by more than 500 000 bpd to 58m bpd but is still more than 1m bpd higher y/y with growth dominated by the US, Kazakhstan, Russia, Canada and Brazil. Growth is forecast to average 700 000 bpd in 2017 and nearly 1.5m bpd in 2018 as higher production from Canada and the North Sea offsets weaker US and Brazilian estimates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 13/09/2017

At 11h38 on 13 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.10 ZAR/EUR 15.68 ZAR/GBP 17.37 Gold 1332.00 Platinum 984.00 Brent Crude Oil 54.22 All Share 56177.97

Newcrest shares up as flagship mine reopens - Edward White

NEWCREST MINING has restarted operations from the second of two key areas at its Cadia East gold mine in Australia. Shares in the group rose as much as 0.81% in Sydney this morning. Output from the mine was halted on Apr. 14 after what the company described as a "large seismic event". The East Panel Cave 2 area of the mine came back online in July, and the company announced today that extraction at East Panel Cave 1 has now recommenced. Remediation work is expected to be completed by end-2017 and production rates are on track to be fully restored by Mar. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dimon warns Q3 trading revenues at JPMorgan could be lower - Laura Noonan

JPMORGAN CEO JAMIE DIMON warned that his bank's trading revenue could be down by 20% in Q3, echoing warnings by other bank bosses and confirming analysts' forecasts. The comments were made at the BARCLAYS financial conference in New York. JPMORGAN's trading revenue fell 14% in Q2, marginally better than the 15% fall across the five big Wall Street banks as they suffered from low volatility and harsh comparisons with 2016, when the US presidential election and Brexit fuelled a trading boom. DIMON told the investors in the audience that if they "pay too much attention to trading this month", they might miss the bigger picture of the investment bank's outlook, noting studies predicting a doubling of billion-dollar companies and assets under management over the coming years. DIMON added that he expected equities capital markets, debt capital markets, assets under management, cash management, and custody to all rise and that JPMORGAN was making investment positions itself to capture those growing markets. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bunge strengthens edible oil presence with Loders deal - Neil Hume

BUNGE yesterday said it would acquire a controlling stake in palm and tropical oil producers IOI LODERS CROKLAAN for almost $1bn, as it looks to strengthen its food and ingredients business. The grain trader is acquiring the 70% stake from Malaysia's IOI GROUP. The deal comes just a month after BUNGE announced a sharp drop in Q2 earnings and lowered earnings guidance. "Together with LODERS, we will have a comprehensive product offering derived from seeds and tropical oils", BUNGE CEO SOREN SCHRODER said. The purchase may be viewed as expensive, however. Based on an enterprise value of $1.35bn, BUNGE is paying almost 13 times next year's expected EBITDA of $105m. That multiple drops to 7.3 once $80m of synergies are taken into consideration. BUNGE expects to realise $45m of cost synergies from combining procurement, administration and other functions and a further $35m from cross-selling. It plans to retain the LODERS brand, which will operate as part of its food and ingredients business. BUNGE said it had arranged a $900m credit facility with SUMITOMO MITSUI BANKING CORPORATION that it could use to fund the deals. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SoftBank draws more than $20bn of demand for bond sale - Robert Smith

Investors have placed more than $20bn of orders for a jumbo bond sale from Japan's SOFTBANK. The company on Friday said it was looking to raise seven- to 10-year dollar bonds alongside eight- and 12-year euro bonds, in order to refinance bank loans. SOFTBANK is set to close the deal later on Tuesday, guiding investors that it will issue around $1bn of 7-year bonds and $1.5bn of 10-year bonds, alongside €1.25bn to €1.5bn of eight-year bonds and €500m-€700m of 12-year bonds. Yields on the dollar bonds have been fixed at 4.75% and 5.125% respectively, while the euro pieces will price around the 3.25% and 4.25% marks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DowDuPont to rejig break up plan after review - Ed Crooks

DOWDUPONT has revised its plan to break up into three separate entities, in response to shareholder concerns about the size and focus of the proposed new businesses. Its new plans were welcomed by activist shareholders. The demerger plan is essentially the same as it was before - DOWDUPONT will break into three companies, one making plastics and materials, one in agricultural chemicals and seeds, and one making a range of specialised products. What has changed is the allocation of the group's operations between those companies. More than half a dozen businesses that had previously been intended for the plastics and materials company will instead be allocated to the specialised products group. The moves are intended to ease concerns that the materials science business would not be focused on plastics and petrochemicals, but instead also have a broad portfolio of speciality chemicals operations. DOWDUPONT executive chair ANDREW LIVERIS said the reconfigured break-up plan would "better align select businesses with the market verticals they serve, while maintaining integration and innovation strengths within strategic value chains". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

OPEC raises oil demand growth forecast for 2017, 2018 - Anjli Raval

OPEC has revised higher its global oil demand growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 as consumption in Q2 surpassed expectations. The cartel's research arm said better than expected figures from industrialised nations in the West and China has led it to raise its oil demand growth estimate for 2017 to 1.42m bpd. This is an upward revision of around 50 000 bpd, with total consumption forecast at 96.8m bpd. World demand growth in 2018 will increase by 1.35m bpd, which is an increase of 70 000 bpd from the previous report, to 98.12m bpd. OPEC's current production is still slightly higher than the amount of crude the group estimates will be needed from the cartel this year, at around 32.7m bpd. Oil supply from outside of OPEC is expected to grow by 780 000 bpd in 2017, unchanged m/m, to 57.8m bpd. Production from these countries will grow by a downwardly revised 1m bpd next year, to 58.8m bpd. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China, HK demand boosts Richemont jewellery sales - Ralph Atkins

RICHEMONT has reported a 12% rise in sales in the five months to end-Aug., in constant currencies, boosted by jewellery and robust performances in Hong Kong and China. The luxury group reported a 17% rise in sales by its jewellery "maisons" in the period at constant currencies. Asia Pacific region sales were up 23%. In Europe, sales rose 3%, but RICHEMONT said growth was in double digits in the UK as a result of the weak pound, which makes luxury goods attractive to tourists. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA Express to miss results deadline - Carin Smith

Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN yesterday informed parliament she will not be able to table the annual report and audited financial statements of SA EXPRESS for the 2016/17 FY by end-Sep. In terms of the Public Finance Management Act, BROWN is required to table the annual reports and results of SOEs for which she is responsible in Parliament within six months after the end of the FY to which those statements relate. "In terms of the Companies Act, SA EXPRESS is required to demonstrate its ability to continue operating on a going concern basis for a period of at least 12 months after the signing of the annual financial statements by satisfying the solvency and liquidity test set out in the act", BROWN informed Parliament in a letter dated Sep. 11. "SA EXPRESS has yet to satisfactorily demonstrate such ability to the Auditor General. As a result the audit cannot be completed in order to finalise the 2016/17 annual financial statements." The minister undertook to table the annual report and financial statements as soon as the going concern status of the airline has been resolved and the audit has been concluded. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Atlantic Leaf makes UK acquisition - Fin24

ATLANTIC LEAF PROPERTIES yesterday announced plans to grow its earnings and further increase its projected forward distribution for FY2018. This will be done via a 45.03% acquisition of a portfolio of UK-based retail warehouse and industrial property portfolio, in a JV with LMP RETAIL WAREHOUSE JV HOLDINGS, controlled by a London-listed REIT. The deal is expected to generate a cash-on-cash return to ATLANTIC LEAF of 9.33%, increasing the current year's forecast distribution of 9.0 pps to 9.1pps. Management has further given guidance of 5%-7% in distribution for 2018/19 which, based on the current share price of around R17.00, translates to a forward yield of 9.5%. ATLANTIC LEAF is subsequently embarking on an accelerated book build to raise £30m via the placing of new shares on the JSE. The capital raise will be conducted at a minimum of £1.015/share and is supported by a pre-commitment given by VUKILE PROPERTY FUND. The majority of the proceeds would be deployed into the new acquisition. ATLANTIC LEAF's investment will be around £24m for the net equity of the JV. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Growing risk ANC election could hit SA ratings, confidence hard - Fin24

There is a growing risk of a postponement of the Dec. 2017 ANC leadership election and this could be a significant negative event for SA's ratings outlook, confidence in the country and the rand, according to CITI RESEARCH analyst GINA SCHOEMAN. "We expect politics to become even more volatile from here one - negative campaigning is already under way, as are acts of violence (in provinces)", SCHOEMAN said. She was commenting after the High Court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday declared the 2015 KZN provincial ANC election of SIHLE ZIKALALA as provincial chair null and void. ZIKALALA is an ally of President JACOB ZUMA. "December is still a long way off and we have our doubts that President JACOB ZUMA will accept the potential outcomes from a ruling that so obviously favours a RAMAPHOSA-win", she said. "The court ruling means the balance of power in KZN could now flip to pro-RAMAPHOSA. The ANC is studying the judgment and will make decisions soon". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Arise acquires stake in Equity Group - Fin24

ARISE has acquired a 12% stake in EQUITY GROUP HOLDINGS, the parent company of EQUITY BANK. ARISE, owned by shareholders NORFUND, FMO and RABOBANK, is now the single largest shareholder in EQUITY GROUP, which boasts operations in six East African nations. "ARISE aims to strengthen and develop effective, inclusive financial systems through collaborative long term partnerships with leading institutions such as the EQUITY GROUP", ARISE CEO DEEPAK MALIK said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Standard Bank CEO move a big win for transformation - Gigaba - Lameez Omarjee

SIM TSHABALALA's appointment as sole CEO of STANDARD BANK marks progress of transformation within the financial services sector, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said yesterday. The minister congratulated TSHABALALA after the bank announced earlier in the day that he would be the sole CEO after joint-CEO BEN KRUGER stepped down. KRUGER will continue as an executive director. "Along with the work that is currently ongoing in Parliament to address the slow pace of transformation in the financial sector, Mr TSHABALALA's appointment comes as a step in the right direction", GIGABA added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Task team set up to address lack of adherence to local-content regulations - Terence Creamer

Trade & Industry Minister ROB DAVIES yesterday said a task team has been established to assess how to improve local-content enforcement across government departments and SOEs, in line with instruction notes issued by the Treasury. The instruction notes outline which products have been designated by the DTI for local procurement by the public sector and cover a range of items. DAVIES acknowledged that "leakages" and "slippages" in the area of localisation persisted. Government was having a particular problem verifying local content compliance by suppliers of 1 064 locomotives to TRANSNET and 600 commuter trains to PRASA. The task team was paying particular attention to how the SABS's local-content verification mandate could be funded. DTI DG LIONEL OCTOBER said the task team would assess how to fund the verification and whether the SOE and the supplier had a role to play in bankrolling the audits. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Master Plastics maintains profitability despite challenging economic environment - Anine Kilian

Despite revenue and cost management remaining a challenge amid difficult economic conditions, MASTER PLASTICS continued to benefit form emerging trends in its core defensive and niche market segments for the HY to end-Aug. The company yesterday said its focus on efficiencies and waste management had enabled it to maintain its level of profitability, as reflected in its EBITDA and PBIT margins of 11.8% and 8.8%, respectively. Basic earnings reached R15.6m and headline earnings R15.8m. Capex of R11.9m was incurred during the period, with a further R6.6m having been committed since. The company is currently evaluating various investments to support growth in its chosen markets and existing customer base. Looking ahead, MASTER PLASTICS will continue to focus on the execution of its stated business strategy and look to invest in opportunities to enhance efficiency and in support of organic growth being led by the existing customer base. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Number of black industrialists supported by DTI scheme rises to 62 - Terence Creamer

The Department of Trade & Industry yesterday reproted that the number of Black Industrialist Scheme beneficiaries has increased to 62 and that the incentive is well on its way to meeting its target of supporting 100 black industrialists by the end of the current fiscal year. Minister ROB DAVIES also honoured an earlier commitment to release the names of all recipients of government incentives. The document was released in Parliament on Tuesday, together with the DTI's own annual report. During the FY to end-Mar., a total of 36 BIS projects were approved, which DAVIES said allowed the beneficiaries to undertake investment projects of R3.1bn. The DTI estimated that the funding helped to create 3 979 jobs and retain 3 837 jobs. DAVIES gave no indication as to whether the BIS would be retained beyond 2017/18, saying only that, owing to fiscal limitations, it was unlikely that the DTI would be able to materially expand the incentives on offer. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zuma wants all to share in SA's wealth - Jan Cronje

President JACOB ZUMA this week said implementing the National Deveopment Plan was still government policy, but offered few details on how this was being done. Speaking in Cape Town on the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the NDP, ZUMA said the plan had been "mainstreamed and is the government's programme of action". He spoke more about the type of country the plan hopes to achieve in 2030, than how the plan is being implemented at the moment. "(The plan) envisages a growing economy that is responsive to the demands of a fast changing world, that does not only benefit the few. It should be an economy where all share in the country's wealth", ZUMA said. He said the country needed to "fundamentally change" patterns of ownership, management and control in favour of all South Africans, particularly poor black South Africans. "There can be no prosperity for some while the majority languishes in poverty. We will utilise all the levers of power to significantly enhance the level of ownership of the private sector by black people". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bell Pottinger collapses - Joe Mayes, Bloomberg

BELL POTTINGER yesterday filed for administration. The PR firm named financial adviser BDO to oversee the process, the newly appointed accountant said. The firm lost staff and clients over its controversial work for the GUPTAS in SA and was expelled from the UK's PR trade body last week. "Following an immediate assessment of the financial position, the administrators have made a number of redundancies", a BDO spokesperson said. "The administrators are now working with the remaining partners and employees to seek an orderly transfer of BELL POTTINGER's clients to other firms in order to protect and realise value for creditors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ascendis reports strong headline earnings growth - Anine Kilian

ASCENDIS HEALTH has reported strong growth in normalised headline earnings of 92% to R645m for the FY to end-Jun. Revenue rose by 64% to R6.4bn, with acquisitions contributing R2.3bn. Despite a challenging economic environment, the group's normalised EBITDA rose by 78% to R1.1bn, with the EBITDA margin strengthening by 130 bps to 16.9%. CEO Dr KARSTEN WELLNER said following the company's acquisitions of Cyprus-based REMEDICA HOLDINGS and European nutrition business SCITEC, ASCENDIS has been transformed into a global healthcare business with a natural hedge against currency fluctuations. "These acquisitions have been game changing, as 60% of our earnings are now generated outside South Africa". The group's foreign revenue rose by 497% to R2.8bn and accounts for 43% of total sales. Looking at the year ahead, WELLNER said the company would continue to pursue its proven strategy of organic, acquisitive, synergistic and international growth to create shareholder value. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Comair shows strong profit growth in tough conditions - News24Wire

COMAIR yesterday reported a 54% rise in profits to R297m for the FY to end-Jun., as well as a 28% increase in cash generated by its operations. Income generated by its non-airline brands now constitutes 20% of earnings. CEO ERIK VENTER said the results, including the strong performance of the non-airline operations, supports COMAIR's strategic focus. EPS was 63.6cps, up from 41.5cps y/y, while HEPS came in at 67.0cps, from 36.5cps y/y. Cash generated from operations grew by 28% to R257m. Dividends declared for the period under review rose by 5cps to 21cps. VENTER said the weak local economy and narrow profit-margins in the airline industry have favoured the pursuit of growth from COMAIR's non-airline businesses. The total domestic passenger market rose by 2.3% while COMAIR grew passenger numbers by 2% resulting in an increase in airline revenue of 2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Attacq FY HEPS up 92% y/y - Anine Kilian

ATTACQ's diluted HEPS rose by 92% to 22.8cps for the FY to end-Jun., while vacancies across its retail and office portfolios rose. Basic EPS rose to 23cps from 12cps, while profit for the FY fell by 56.7% to R600m. "This is mainly owing to the strengthening of the rand, fair value adjustments and a one-off payment of R480m in the previous year", CEO MORNE WILKEN said. Adjusted NAV/share rose 3.2% to 2 259cps during the period, and net rental income rose to R1.86bn from R1.1bn y/y. WILKEN noted that growth in the company's NAV/share was negatively impacted by the strong rand, marked-to-market losses on ATTACQ's interest rate swaps and impairments on certain investments in the rest of Africa and Central Europe. ATTACQ is targeting a maiden dividend payment from its income-producing assets, of 73cps for the FY to end-Jun. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Clover FY earnings fall after record performance of 2016 - Natasha Odendaal

CLOVER's latest FY results have been hurt by the prolonged drought, a wetter and cooler summer and currency volatility. "CLOVER faced an exceptionally challenging year as South African food producers and retailers had to content with several complex and ongoing issues in the economy", CEO JOHANN VORSTER said yesterday. CLOVER's operating profit fell 44.3% to R314.5m for the FY to end-Jun., with the operating margin decreasing to 3.1% from 5.7% in 2016. Headline earnings decreased by 65.9% to R121.6m, while HEPS fell 66.2% to 63.9cps. During the FY under review, revenue rose by 2.4% to R10bn, with revenue from sale of products increasing 3.3% to R9.4bn owing to 6.8% higher selling prices and revenue from services rendered to principals down 6.3% to R641m. Continued subdued consumer sentiment and competitive pricing resulted in a 3.5% drop in overall volumes and loss of market shares in certain categories. CLOVER incurred one-off restructuring costs of R46.8m for the consolidation of the City Deep distribution centres into Clayville, as well as other sales, manufacturing and distribution efficiency drives. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAfrican employers set for modest hiring in Q4 - Schalk Burger

Local employers report modest hiring intensions for Q4 2017, with 10% of employers expecting to increase staffing levels, 5% forecasting a decrease and 84% anticipating no change, according to MANPOWERGROUP SA MD LYNDY VAN DEN BARSELAAR. Hiring prospects remain relatively stable when compared with the prior quarter, but are 4% lower than in Q4 2016. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the hiring outlook is set to increase by 5% during the final quarter of 2017. Opportunities for job seekers are expected to be strongest in the restaurants and hotels and the transport, storage and communication sectors; and weakest in mining and quarrying. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRC H1 mining revenue up 9%, oil revenues up 140% - Reuters

The DRC collected $294.3m in revenues from the mining sector in H1 2017, up 9% y/y, the finance ministry said this week. It also noted that revenues collected from the oil and gas sector jumped by 140% y/y in H1. The two sectors combined account for roughly 95% of the country's export revenues. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana Diamonds plans additional drilling at SA project - Mia Breytenbach

BOTSWANA DIAMONDS' shares on the LSE rose by nearly 20% yesterday as the company announced it would start large diameter drilling at the Zebediela project in Oct. Zebediela, located in Limpopo, forms part of the Vutomi JV project at Frischgewaagt. Seventeen reverse circulation percussion holes have recently been drilled at Zebediela on the farms Frischgewaagt, Hartbeesfontein and Doornrivier. The drilling programme, along with previous geological and resource development work, is targeting the declaration of an inferred resource on the project by the end of the year. Meanwhile, at Ontevreden in the North West, detailed ground geophysics have been completed, producing a minimum anomaly size of 100 m X 70 m. Samples of the high interest Group 2 kimberlite have been taken for kimberlitic indicator analyses and these are being processed through internal facilities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's praises SA miners' restructuring initiatives - ANA

MOODY's yesterday praised the restructuring initiatives made by South African gold and platinum miners in a bid to protect the sustainability and profitability, saying these were benefiting their credit profiles. MOODY's VP and senior analyst DOUGLAS ROWLINGS said the changes will also shore up the production profiles of gold miners following a cycle of under-investment in reserves development since 2013. Local mining groups' restructuring initiatives will protect their credit quality by returning South African operations to a state in which they are free cash flow-generating, ROWLINGS said. "Improved free cash flow generation and accumulating offshore cash balances will be channelled towards expansion opportunities outside South Africa, reducing their operating risk profiles". MOODY's expected mining companies to keep a tight rein on capex if there is no framework that provides policy certainty and predictability. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petropavlovsk H1 profit surges - Mariaan Webb

PETROPAVLOVSK yesterday reported a 166% jump in profit for the HY to end-Jun. as revenue jumped 20% on higher production from its hard-rock mines and an increase in the average realised gold price. PETROPAVLOVSK posted profit of $24.5m in H1 2017, compared with $9.2m y/y. Revenue rose 20% from $254m in H1 2016 to $304m in the period under review, due to a 19% increase in production and a 5% increase in the average realised gold price to $1 255/oz. Production came in at 232 400oz in the period, from 195 600oz y/y. The company expects to produce between 420 000oz-460 000oz in the FY. All-in sustaining costs rose 27% y/y to $965/oz. PETROPAVLOVSK's net cash from operating activities rose more than twofold to $74.6m, which ASHBY said gave the company confidence to proceed with its capital expenditure programme. The company invested a total of $84.8m in H1 2017, compared with $11.9m y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Adani invests in Australian renewables - Esmarie Swanepoel

ADANI has started work on its first solar plant after receiving development approval from the Isaac regional council, in Queensland. The 65MW first stage of the solar plant is expected to cost more than A$100m to complete, and will be built on a 600ha block that is part of the Rugby Run grazing property. Further stages of the project are set to take total generation capacity up to 170MW. ADANI has executed the initial stage of works to expedite a network connection application to feed into the existing network supply in Queensland. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PIC said to back Fairfax-Afrisam in PPC saga - Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

PPC's largest shareholder, the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION, is supporting a joint offer for the cement maker from AFRISAM GROUP and FAIRFAX FINANCIAL HOLDINGS as the tie-up would create a national champion, sources said. The PIC sees the three-way deal as a way for an enlarged cement maker to expand more effectively on the continent. It also sees significant cost savings from the combination. PPC's board will consider all offers equally, a company spokesperson said. The PIC owns around 11% of PPC, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It's also the biggest shareholder in AFRISAM with around 60%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DoE, Eskom clash over maintenance costs - Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

The Department of Energy and ESKOM caused a stir in parliament when they clashed on whether the government should regulate the funding for the maintenance of electricity infrastructure. This came after ESKOM executive MONGEZI NTSOKOLO yesterday told MPs that the utility had not caucused with the DoE on the Approach to Distribution Asset Management programme that will deal with the funding of maintenance. Most of the infrastructure used by municipalities and ESKOM is over 40 years old and needs billions of rands to be replaced or refurbished. NTSOKOLO told the portfolio committee on energy that they did not need to go to the Treasury to ask for money or guarantees for the maintenance of infrastructure. This was in contrast to the presentation by THABANG AUDAT of the DoE that they need separate funding for the maintenance programme. AUDAT said there was a huge under-investment in the maintenance of infrastructure. He said in 2008 the maintenance backlog was R27bn and in 2014 this had increased to R68bn. The maintenance backlog for municipalities was R32bn and for ESKOM R35.8bn. "We need an industry-wide policy (on) how to maintain infrastructure", AUDAT said. ESKOM said it was opposed to the idea and regretted that it did not discuss the idea with the department before their appearance in Parliament. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AEEI acquires majority stake in Orleans Cosmetics - Business Report

AFRICAN EQUITY EMPOWERMENT INVESTMENTS has acquired a majority stake in cosmetics distribution company ORLEANS COSMETICS. ORLEANS is the exclusive Southern African distributor of imported, high-end cosmetic brands such as Gatineau and NUXE. These products are sold to leading retailers as well as to spas and beauty salons. AEEI Group CEO KHALID ABDULLA said ORLEANS "was acquired to expand our health and beauty division, which is right on track in terms of organic and acquisitive growth and in line with AEEI's Vision 2020 strategy". It is anticipated that AEEI's invesment in ORLEANS will have a pay-back period of 3-4 years. This payback excludes the anticipated exponential capital appreciation expected from the investment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Grit concludes empowerment transaction - Roy Cokayne

GRIT REAL ESTATE INCOME GROUP, previously named MARA DELTA, has in a related party empowerment transaction sold 11.15% of the company to DRIVE IN TRADING, a BEE holding company investing in listed property stocks. DRIVE IN TRADING subscribed for 23.25m ordinary shares in GRIT as part of the successful rights offer by GRIT in June. DRIVE IN TRADING's subscription for GRIT shares was originally funded by a $32.55m short-term loan advanced by the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION, and the company subsequently secured a senior term loan facility with BANK OF AMERICA of $33.4m to settle the short-term loan. As security for the loan, the PIC has agreed to repurchase all the present and future liabilities and obligations of DRIVE IN TRADING under the loan facility, up to an amount of $35m, should a trigger event occur in terms of the contingency repurchase obligation agreement. The transaction still requires the approval of GRIT shareholders but the company has received irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the deal from investors holding 51.2% of the shares in the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold price rise lifts Mali's 2016 state mining revenues - Tiemoko Diallo

Mali's state revenues from mining companies rose 1% in 2016 to 247.3bn CFA francs from 2015 due to a rise in gold prices, the mining ministry said yesterday. MAMADOU SIDIBE, deputy director of statistics and planning at the ministry, said the gold price rise had offset a fall in exports and roughly stable production. The price of gold rose around 8.5% in 2016. Mali's industrial gold output rose to 46.9t in 2016 from 46.5t in 2015, while total exports including artisanally mined gold fell to 67t from 70t. The revenues included 163.79bn CFA francs in taxes, 46.62bn CFA in customs duties and 36.88bn CFA in dividends and other income streams, SIDIBE said, adding that gold had contributed 5.7% to GDP last year, against 6.2% in 2015. Industrial output is expected to drop this year to 45t as new mines prepare to come online in 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana triples minimum bank capital requirement to 400m cedis - Kwasi Kpodo

Ghana's central bank has raised the minimum capital required for banks three-fold to 400m cedis as part of measures to ensure financial stability, spokesperson BERNARD OTABIL said yesterday. The previous capital requirement for banks and new entrants was 120m cedis. OTABIL said the increase took effect from Sep. 11 and that the lenders have up to the end of 2018 to meet them. "Going forward, banks will require a more sophisticated and robust capital framework... consistent with the growing risks... banks are currently facing", a statement by the central bank said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hoegh Autoliners denies SAfrican price-fixing allegations - Ole Petter Skonnord

Norwegian shipping firm HOEGH AUTOLINERS yesterday denied allegations made by SA's Competition Commission that it and Japanese rival MITSUI O.S.K LINES had colluded to fix transport tariffs to and from SA. HOEGH specialises in transporting cars, controlling 50 specialised vessels or around 7% of the global fleet in this market. The Commission said HOEGH had been referred for prosecution on seven charges relating to collusive tendering, price fixing and market division. "From around 2009, MOL and HOEG engaged in prohibited practices in that they agreed and/or engaged in concerted practices as competitors to fix prices, divide markets and tender collusively", the Commission said. HOEGH deined the allegations and vowed to defend itself. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUMSA demands 15% wage hike in coal sector - Ed Stoddard

Trade union NUMSA has demanded GLENCORE raise coal mining wages by 15%, it said yesterday, almost triple the inflation rate of 4.6%. The union said it was also pushing for a 20% rise in all allowances. It is scheduled to meet with the Chamber of Mines this week to discuss wages. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Public Protector discussed SARB mandate with presidency - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE consulted President JACOB ZUMA's legal team on a proposal to change the SARB's mandate, the central bank said in court papers, describing her lack of disclosure of the meeting as a "glaring omission". MKHWEBANE triggered a political row and a plunge in the rang when she proposed changes to the mandate in June to promote growth rather than currency and price stability. SARB's General Counsel, JOHANNES DE JAGER, said in an affidavit filed to the High Court that MKHWEBANE was required under the constitution to conduct her investigations independently and impartially, and talks with the presidency destroyed that independence. "There is no legitimate basis on which this ought to have been discussed with the presidency", DE JAGER said in the affidavit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 13/09/2017

At 06h57 on 13 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.98 ZAR/EUR 15.55 ZAR/GBP 17.27 Gold 1331.78 Platinum 984.00 Brent Crude Oil 54.22 All Share 56366.16

Remgro FY HEPS to rise 31%-35% - Karl Gernetzky

REMGRO yesterday said it expected FY HEPS for the 12 months to end-Jun. to be up to 35% higher y/y, largely as a result of a positive fair value adjustment. The R687m adjustment related to the decrease in value of bondholders' exchange options. That compares with a negative option remeasurement of R730m in 2016. The previous year's results were also affected by one-off transaction costs amounting to R788m, which related to the MEDICLINIC INTERNATIONAL rights issue and AL NOOR HOSPITALS GROUP transaction. REMGRO had in 2016 issued exchange bonds in terms of its acquisition of MEDICLINIC shares, and obtained bridge financing as part of its acquisition of AL NOOR shares. HEPS were expected to be between R146.67 and R151.15, or between 31% and 35% higher. Results will be published on Sep. 20. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stronger EM currencies put pressure on Master Drilling's profits - Allan Seccombe

MASTER DRILLING reported a small rise in interim profit as it brought two more raise bore drilling rigs into production during the period. Revenue for the HY to end-Jun. rose by 12.5% to $60.52m. However, the cost of sales for the period rose by $37.7m from $32m y/y. Profit for the HY rose to $10m from $9.7m and the company did not declare an interim dividend. "The stronger emerging-market currencies during the current reporting period... had an adverse impact on earnings', CEO DANIE PRETORIUS said. MASTER DRILLING expected to maintain its utilisation rate at around 70% for the balance of this FY and intended pushing this up to the mid-70% range next year. Africa overtook Latin America as the largest source of revenue for the company during the HY, generating $27.4m, up from $22m y/y. South America accounted for $26.8m, barely changed y/y. Africa's gross profit rose to $13m from $10.6m, while South America saw gross profit slip to $8.6m from $10m. MASTER DRILLING has a projects pipeline worth $226m and a committed order book of $225m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ben Kruger steps down as joint CEO of Standard Bank - Andries Mahlangu

BEN KRUGER will step down as joint CEO of STANDARD BANK with immediate effect, the lender said this morning. This leaves SIM TSHABALALA as the only head of Africa's biggest bank by assets. KRUGER will remain an executive director, reporting to the CEO. His new role will include a mixed bag of responsibilities, including contributing ot management of Africa regions; guiding the continued digitisation of the group' broadening the lender's relationship with the INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA, helping with the management of the group's risks; and maintaining key client relationships. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AVI FY HEPS up 9.4% - BDpro

AVI has reported a 9.4% rise in FY HEPS to 508cps, in line with recent guidance. Revenue rose 8.2% to R13.18bn, after it increased selling prices to counter the effect of a weaker rand. AVI said the trading environment was likely to be as challenging in the new FY, with little prospect of meaningful improvement in consumer spending. A final dividend of 243cps was declared, taking the total to 405cps, up 9.5% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Adcock to buy Genop Healthcare - Tammy Foyn

ADCOCK INGRAM has concluded an agreement to buy local specialist marketing and distribution company GENOP HEALTHCARE. GENOP's historical revenue was R400m/year, ADCOCK said in a voluntary Sens announcement. It did not say how much it had agreed to pay as the deal is not a categorised transaction under JSE listing rules. GENOP has three divisions - opthalmic and optical; skincare; and a vision care and pharmaceuticals division. The deal further expands ADCOCK's eyecare products range. ADCOCK said the acquisition would enable it to diversify its product offering, as there was very little overlap between the two companies' product portfolios. The deal also gave it "one of the largest suppliers of optical instruments in SA". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tata Steel sheds UK pension fund, boosting prospects for Port Talbot - Michael Pooler

TATA STEEL has ditched its £15bn UK pension fund after receiving the green light from regulators, boosting the prospects of the Port Talbot steelworkers. The company said it had received approval from the Pensions Regulator and tha tit had separated the British Steel Pension Scheme from is UK business. TATA had claimed that the retirement fund was a financial drag that threatened to pull the steelmaker into insolvency, throwing thousands of jobs and a bedrock industry into doubt. The resolution follows months of talks between the company, UK pensions bodies and regulators and trade unions and will offer renewed hopes for the future of the sector. The separation of the pension scheme was done via a rarely-used mechanism called a regulated apportionment arrangement, which was cleared by regulators. As part of the deal, TATA STEEL UK has paid £550m into the scheme and also given it shares equivalent to a 33% stake in the business. TATA will also sponsor a new pension scheme, which all members of the old scheme will have the option to transfer inti, that will have lower future annual increases for pensioners. TATA STEEL UK said this would "pose significantly less risk" for the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BP files for NY IPO of pipeline MLP - Adam Samson

BP has cemented its plan to offer investors exposure to some pipeline assets, filing yesterday to float BP MIDSTREAM PARTNERS on the NYSE. The filing with the US SEC comes after the British group said in July it was considering such a spin-off. BP MIDSTREAM PARTNERS will be organised as a so-called master limited partnership, or MLP. MLPs are frequently used in the energy sector and are designed to distribute their excess cashflow to investors in a way that provides tax benefits. A BP subsidiary will become the general partner that controls almost all aspects of the MLP's operations, while investors will be able to buy limited units. BP said it expects to generate "stable, fee-based cashflows" with "limited direct exposure to commodity price fluctuation". BP MIDSTREAM PARTNERS's initial assets will consist of infrastructure servicing crude oil, natural gas, refining products and dilutes for BP and other third parties. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 12/09/2017

At 09h55 on 12 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.87 ZAR/EUR 15.41 ZAR/GBP 17.00 Gold 1327.07 Platinum 987.00 Brent Crude Oil 53.91 All Share 56224.61

Philippines July exports beat expectations - Alice Woodhouse

Exports from the Philippines bounced back in July, coming in above economists' estimates as imports fell for a second consecutive month. Outbound shipments rose 10.4% y/y in July, compared to a 0.8% rise m/m. This was above the median estimate of 8.9% compiled by Bloomberg. Inbound shipments fell 3.2% y/y in July against a 2.5% fall in June. The figures saw the country's trade deficit fall by $497m to $1.65bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tata Steel hits 6-yr high on European steel merger progress - Edward White

Shares in TATA STEEL rose to a six-year high today after the company moved closer to merging its European steel operations with those of THYSSENKRUPP. TATA shares rose as much as 4.6% after the German company said an agreement "could be possible before the end of this month" and the Indian group announced it would offload its British retirement fund. The merger would mark a major consolidation in an industry plagued by overcapacity. A THYSSENKRUPP supervisory board meeting is expected for Sep. 23 or 24. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent Music signs rights deal with Alibaba - Yuan Yang

TENCENT MUSIC is increasing its dominance of China's music-streaming industry ahead of a rumoured $10bn IPO by sealing a deal with ALIBABA. The deal, announced this morning, gives ALIBABA the right to stream music from some of TENCENT's exclusive deals with international music labels such as SONY and UNIVERSAL MUSIC, in exchange for reciprocal rights to ALIBABA's catalogue of Chinese and Japanese classics. China's online music market is among the fastest-growing in the world, with 20% growth in recorded music last year compared to the global average of 6%. China's paid music market is expected to grow 58.6% this year to Rmb2.99bn, according to Jefferies. TENCENT's three music-streaming apps dominate the domestic market with a combined total of 526m monthly active users as of Jun. 2017. They take up 78% of the total market by revenue, Jefferies said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Corbyn hints at staying in single market - Jim Pickard

Labour leader JEREMY CORBYN has hinted that the UK could stay in the single market after Brexit in the latest sign of his party softening its stance on leaving the EU. CORBYN said the question was "open for discussion" - despite having said in July that it would be impossible. "We want a relationship which allows us to trade within the single market", CORBYN told BBC Radio 4. "Whether that's formal membership, which is only possible, I believe, if you're actually a member of the EU, or whether it's an agreed trading relationship, is open for discussion. The outcome is more important than the nomenclature on the way", CORBYN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Citigroup sees 15% drop in Q3 trading revenues - Adam Samson

CITIGROUP CFO JOHN GERSPACH yesterday said the bank expects trading revenues to fall around 15% in Q3 y/y. He made the remarks at a banking conference in New York. Banks' trading divisions posted a particularly strong performance in Q3 2016 as investors responded to the Brexit vote that took place towards the end of Q2 2016. CITI's so-called FICC revenues surged 35% over Q3 2016, exceeding analysts' forecasts. The second quarter of 2017 featured a similar, if less dramatic, easing in FICC trading revenues given the tough comparison. FICC revenues fell 6% "given low volatility in the current quarter and the comparison to higher Brexit-related activity a year ago", GERSPACH said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AbbVie dips after two patients deaths in drug study - David Crow

Shares in ABBVIE dipped 0.3% in morning trade yesterday after the company announced that two patients had died during clinical trials of its experimental drug for arthritis. The company said one patient had died from heart failure while the other cause of death was unknown. However, the group said the drug, Upadacitinib, did bring about "low disease activity" in more than half of patients after 24 weeks. ABBVIE is testing the drug in a "difficult to treat" group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who do not respond to established therapies like its own medicine Humira. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cargill sells US steel fabrication centres to Metal One - Gregory Meyer

CARGILL has agreed to sell its US steel fabrication centres as it continues to shuffle its portfolio in search of improved returns. CARGILL is selling its eight centres in states from Florida to Colorado to METAL ONE of Japan, the parties said yesterday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "This acquisition will be a great strategic fit with our current asset base in North America", said METAL ONE CEO SHUICHI IWATA. DAVID DINES, president of CARGILL metals and shipping, said the company would continue to be active in global ferrous metals markets, "offering tailored physical supply and financial solutions in iron ore and steel though our business in the Asia Pacific region". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Google appeals EU antitrust fine - Rochelle Toplensky

GOOGLE yesterday appealed its record €2.4bn European antitrust fine for abusing its dominance to favour its own shipping services. The company filed its appeal with the General Court in Luxembourg against Brussels' June decision. It did not seek to block the regulator's request to change its search engine to treat comparison shopping equally with its own service. GOOGLE sent its proposed fix to EU competition commissioner MARGRETHE VESTAGER at end-Aug., which the latter said "pointed in the very right direction" but could only be judged once in effect. GOOGLE must implement the solution by Sep. 28 to avoid fines for delay of up to 5% of the average daily global turnover of parent ALPHABET. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's Natura sets earnings target after closing Body Shop deal - Andres Schipani

Brazilian cosmetics giant NATURA yesterday outlined its new governance and management structure after having finalised the purchse of THE BODY SHOP from L'OREAL for an enterprise value of €1bn. NATURA calls its new structure "Three Brands, One Vision". "With the acquisition of THE BODY SHOP, NATURA is accelerating its strategy of expanding its international footprint and building a purpose-driven, multibrand, multichannel cosmetics group. The combination will result in a group with proforma retail revenues of $6.0bn, EBITDA of $467m". NATURA has set ambitious targets - to double THE BODY SHOP's EBITDA of $82m by 2022, and boosting EBITDA margin from its 2016 level of 8.4% to 12%-14%. It also wants to deleverage, returning to its end-2016 net debt:EBITDA ratio of 1.4 times from 3.6 times by end-2022. NATURA promoted board member ROBERTO MARQUES to executive chair of the board to help build the synergies of three brands. NATURA's three founders - LUIZ SEABRA, GUILHERME LEAL and PEDRO PASSOS - will remain co-chairmen of the board. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Teva sells Paragard contraceptive business - Jessica Dye

TEVA has agreed to sell the rights and business of its Paragard birth-control device to a unit of THE COOPER COMPANIES for $1.1bn, as the Israeli firm continues to pursue asset sales to slim down and refocus its global business. The sale will include the Buffalo, New York facility where Paragard is made. Paragard is a non-hormonal intrauterine device with revenues of around $168m for the trailing 12-month period to end-Jun. COOPER estimated the market for IUDs in the US to be about $1bn, with growth expected in the mid-single digits. TEVA said it would use proceeds from the sale to repay term loan debt under its senior credit facility. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UN Security Council adopts new N Korea sanctions - Jessica Dye

The UN Security Council last night unanimously adopted a new package of sanctions targeting North Korea. The latest package would ban the country from exporting textiles, limits exports of oil to North Korea and calls for the end to JVs with the country. It also takes steps to stop North Koreans working abroad from sending their earnings back to the country and provides new tools for combatting smuggling of prohibited products by sea. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin's woes make its stock top sell call on JSE - Neo Khanyile, Bloomberg

LONMIN is struggling to find admirers among analysts, who have doubled the number of sell recommendations on its JSE-listed stock in the past two years. The platinum miner has 16 sell calls, more than any other member of SA's FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In Sep. 2015, eight analysts suggested selling. "...they're still the highest-cost major miner. The only real way out of it for them is for platinum prices to really start moving, but they're still in the red zone for me. It just doesn't make cash", LIBERUM CAPITAL analyst BEN DAVIS said. After dropping 40% this year, analysts expect LONMIN's stock to fall by a further third in the next 12 months in Johannesburg. Two rate the stock a hold, with one buy recommendation. LONMIN's London-traded shares are expected to drop 32% in the next year, with 15 analysts rating them a sell. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Construction sector urged to get water wise - Carin Smith

The construction industry should make use of treated effluent water wherever possible, Cape Town deputy executive mayor IAN NEILSON said yesterday. "We urge you to review how water is used in the construction industry", NEILSON told the annual congress of the Master Builders SA. He also noted the need for office developments to look into hold-flush toilets and waterless toilets. He said Cape Town's population has increased by 30% to 4m people over the past decade. "Therefore, we have to use natural resources sparingly. This can only be done through partnerships with the private sector and between all spheres of government". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zuma may again sack critics in cabinet - analyst - Amogelang Mbatha, Bloomberg

President JACOB ZUMA may again reshuffle his cabinet to remove some of his most strident critics and give a post to his ex-wife, NKOSAZANA DLAMINI-ZUMA, analysts said. DLAMINI-ZUMA will be eligible to join the cabinet once the party completes its plan, announced last week, to install her as an MP. "She's deployed to parliament, which means that she may go to cabinet", political analyst AUBREY MATSHIQI said. "In order to rebalance his power, ZUMA will probably go after those who have been vocal in their condemnation of him". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Save SA calls on corporate SA to cut ties with KPMG - Jan Cronje

The Save SA campaign yesterday called on corporate South Africa to "urgently review business relations with KPMG". The group said it put out the call "in light of ongoing revelations about the audit firm's central role in facilitating state capture". It called on local companies to "cancel their contracts where possible" with the auditor, adding "KPMG could be the next BELL POTTINGER". In response, KPMG spokesperson NQUBEKO SIBIYA said: "KPMG INTERNATIONAL is currently leading all aspects of the comprehensive review in relation to KPMG SA's work with the GUPTA GROUP, and the review is nearing conclusion. KPMGI and the KPMG SA Board will accept and act on the findings of the review. Should any wrong-doing be found, we are committed to driving absolute accountability and all required actions will be implemented". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's maintains negative outlook for SA banks - Jan Cronje

MOODY's has maintained its negative outlook for the local banking sector, saying that projected sluggish GDP growtn and an "unpredictable domestic political context" would weaken banks' loan quality and profitability. It said weak operating conditions were driving the negative outlook. MOODY's analyst NONDAS NICOLAIDES said that SA GDP growth was expected to remain low for the remainder of 2017. MOODY's expects subdued GDP growth and rising competition to curb banks' pricing power this year, particularly in the corporate segment, driving down revenue growth. It further noted that banks were operating in an "unpredictable domestic political context" with unfavourable commodity prices, weak consumer demand and still-rising unemployment. "Over the next 12 to 18 months, MOODY's expects South Africa's weak economy to pose a challenge to the performance of bank loans." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Showmax thrown in free for DStv Premium customers - Fin24

DStv Premium customers will now get SHOWMAX, worth R99/month, at no charge. "More and more customers are telling us they love to binge-watch box sets on DStv Catch Up and SHOWMAX. It's the way the world is moving and that's why we're offering all our Premium customers SHOWMAX, so the can enjoy this exceptional experience", MULTICHOICE SA CEO MARK RAYNER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Transnet says retrenchment reports misleading, inaccurate - Terence Creamer

TRANSNET has described as "misleading" and "inaccurate" reports that it has embarked on a retrenchment process. Some media reports have suggested that the utility may retrench up to 8 000 workers. But in a statement, TRANSNET said it was not contemplating any forced retrenchments. "Any statement about retrenchments at TRANSNET is ill-advised, devoid of truth and may sew uncertainty among our employees". The company reaffirmed that it was offering a voluntary severance package to workers, but stressed that this was "completely voluntary". The utility stressed that it was in a strong financial position that was continuing to pursue its capital investments, despite the challenging economic environment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba urges tax practitioners to help combat illicit financial flows - ANA

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday urged tax practitioners to assist government in combating corruption, money laundering and illicit financial flows which deprive taxpayers of their deserved benefits. GIGABA said the tax revenues collected kept SA running. "We encourage you as tax professionals to help us send the message that individuals and businesses should obey the law, disclose their offshore assets, and pay their fair share, before they are caught", GIGABA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ivanhoe confident of expanding Kamao-Kakula into top three global copper deposit - Natasha Odendaal

IVANHOE MINES is confident that the Kamoa-Kakula deposit, ranked the fifth largest copper deposit in the world, will take one of the top three rankings on the back of the "unprecedented rate of growth" of the high-grade copper resource in the DRC. IVANHOE yesterday announced assay results from another 43 holes as part of the ongoing 2017 drilling campaign at Kamoa-Kakula. "The remarkable consistency of the ultra-high-grade copper mineralisation at the Kakula discovery is unlike anything geologists have ever seen in the DRC's copperbelt. The discovery remains open in virtually all directions, so the real question is, how much bigger and better is Kakula going to get?" IVANHOE executive chair ROBERT FRIEDLAND said. The preliminary economic assessment that is under way to examine expanded production scenarios at KAMOA-KAKULA is progressing well, with the results expected to be released in Q4. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSE listing on the cards for Orion - Natasha Odendaal

Australia's ORION MINERALS expects to start trading on the main board of the JSE on Sep. 18 as it progresses its base metals development strategy in SA. ORION, which has received approval from the JSE for a secondary listing under the gold mining sector, plans to leverage the listing to open up more efficient local funding options through an additional market. The company focuses on mining for zinc, copper, nickel, gold and PGMs in SA and Australia. Its aim is to fast-track the development of its Prieska project with the funds principally used to progress the intensive resource drilling campaign and define a maiden mineral resource estimate for the currently under way bankable feasibility study. The secondary listing will facilitate the direct investment in ORION by South Africans and allow the company to market itself and raise its profile in SA. ORION has a market cap of around R195.6m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Goldplat heads to High Court over Rand Refinery dispute - Creamer Media Reporter

GOLDPLAT has taken to the High Court of SA, Gauteng Local Division, to recover the fees owing and payable to subsidiary GOLDPLAT RECOVERY by RAND REFINERY. This followed GOLDPLAT's comments in Apr. that failure to resolve the dispute between the parties over a binding MoU for the processing of a batch of silver sulphide material would see the matter head to court. At the time, GOLDPLAT said the ultimate recovery amount was in the range of R13.5m. "We are disappointed that we have been unsuccessful in our efforts to resolve this dispute without reverting to legal action, but we remain confident of full recovery of the amounts owed to GOLDPLAT RECOVERY", GOLDPLAT CEO GERARD KISBEY-GREEN said. Amid the dispute and impending litigation, he assured that GOLDPLAT had traded above market expectations for the FY to end-Jun., and that the company remained "business as usual" despite the dispute. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PorashCorp, Agrium merger gets no-strings thumbs up from Canada's competition bureau - Henry Lazenby

Merging firms POTASHCORP and AGRIUM INC say they have received an unconditional approval from the Canadian Competition Bureau for their proposed merger of equals. The transaction is working its way through the regulatory review and approval process in several jurisdictions. The CCB has granted unconditional approval for the proposed merger by issuing a no-action letter on Monday. It concluded that the proposed transaction is not likely to lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition regarding potash fertiliser, phosphate fertiliser and nitric acid. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Land Bank bond auction easily raises R1bn - Sandile Mchunu

The LAND BANK has raised R1bn in a bond auction with new investors showing keen interest. The bank said its team had gone into the auction with a target of raising R750m with an option to upsize the issue allocation of R1bn. CFO BENNIE VAN ROOY said the total value of bids received rose to R5.1bn, with more than 90% falling within pricing guidance. "The bank managed to clear all three notes below pricing guidance, effectively securing listed debt financing at significantly cheaper rates than six months earlier", VAN ROOY said. The bond auction comes after LAND BANK reported a 10% rise in net interest income to R1.3bn in Aug. for the FY to end-Mar. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

African Bank to repurchase up to R3bn of domestic bonds - Dineo Faku

AFRICAN BANK has offered to repurchase up to R3.2bn of domestic bonds in a bid to reduce the interest repayments on its debt. The bank said it had issued an invitation to noteholders to sell any or all of their holdings in certain senior unsecured notes issued under its R25bn Domestic Medium Term Note programme. The repurchase comes as MOODY's said that despite SA's backdrop of subdued economic growth, high unemployment and overall weak consumer credit, the performance of secured loans was likely to hold up well over the next 12 months. SASFIN stockbroker NESAN NAIR said the AFRICAN BANK offer was linked to debt inherited from its previous incarnation. NAIR said the new debt restructure had given rise to new bonds that were the subject of the announcement. "As a consequence, the cost of this debt, in terms of interest, is related to the cost of the debt on the old debt instruments, which was very high. The Good Bank now sits with a large amount of cash having collected on the loans it issued to its customers over the last three years", NAIR said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia's economy to grow 4.3% this year - Mfuneko Toyana

Zambia's economy will grow 4.3% this year and 5.1% in 2018, boosted by improved agriculture and mining output and a recovery in electricity generation, the central bank said on Monday. "There has been strengthening confidence in Zambia's medium to long-term economic prospects as reflected by the participation of non-resident investors in the Government securities markets", the Bank of Zambia said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA in danger of missing 2017 growth target - Gigaba - Mfuneko Toyana

SA is in danger of missing its 1.3% growth target in 2017 due to poor performance of major sectors of the economy that will likely restrain tax revenues, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said yesterday. The country aims to collect just under R1.3tn in taxes during FY2017/18 to end-Mar., versus the R1.14tn collected a year earlier. "Our current level of growth is simply insufficient and not enough... We cannot be complacent about the 2.5% second quarter growth that got us out of technical recession", GIGABA said. That 2.5% expansion in Q2 followed contractions of 0.6% in Q1 and 0.3 in Q4 2016. With growth and revenues expected to underperform and analysts predicting a budget shortfall of as much as R50bn, the deficit is unlikely to come down, raising the risk of credit downgrades deeper into junk territory. "The 2.5% growth does not provide us with a glimmer of hope... the R1.265tn target for this year will be a stretch. It will be difficult in these sluggish economic conditions", SARS commissioner TOM MOYANE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore's Zambia unit agrees to pay new higher electricity tariffs - Chris Mfula

GLENCORE's Zambian unit MOPANI COPPER MINES will pay increased electricity prices caused by the removal of state energy subsidies, the mines minister said yesterday, following a dispute with its electricity supplier. COPPERBELT ENERGY CORPORATION slashed supply to MOPANI due to a dispute over new, higher tariffs. "They (GLENCORE) signed the agreement with COPPERBELT ENERGY CORPORATION. The agreement is just acknowledgement of the new tariffs", Mines Minister CHRISTOPHER YALUMA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia sees copper output easing this year - Chris Mfula

Zambia's copper production is expected to inch lower this year mainly due to lower output from VEDANTA's KONKOLA COPPER MINES, the mines ministry said yesterday. Total copper output is forecast to drop to 753 992t from 774 290t in 2016, the ministry said. Production at KCM will fall by 40% while output at BARRICK GOLD's Lumwane mine should decline by 15%. The government had said in June that copper output was expected to rise to 850 000t in 2017, owing to expansion of existing mines and ongoing greenfield projects. The Zambia Chamber of Mines said output would depend on power supply, infrastructure and stability of the fiscal and regulatory regime. "Resolution of the pricing and provision of power remain paramount to the immediate future of mining in Zambia", Chamber of Mines President NATHAN CHISHIMBA told Reuters. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim stock exchange hits new highs as currency, cash problems worsen - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's stock market hit a record high on Monday, propelled by local investors seeking a safe haven in an economy suffering acute shortages of forex. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange's main industrial index touched 301.03 points, the highest since it was rebased in 2009 when Zimbabwe dumped its hyperinflation-hit currency in favour of the US dollar. Market capitalisation reached $8.5bn. It has more than doubled since Jan. and added $1.77bn in the past week. Businesses and individuals struggling to access cash from banks have found the stock market a safe bet for maintaining the value of their money. ZSE data showed the industrial index has risen 108% since Jan., putting it among the world's best performers. In the last week alone, the index is up 26%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's Shoreline Energy inks $300m gas deal with Shell - Alexis Akwagyiram

Nigerian energy company SHORELINE has signed a $300m agreement with the local unit of SHELL to develop gas infrastructure around Lagos, both companies said yesterday. SHELL in Jun. said it would place more emphasis on gas rather than oil in Nigeria, which has the world's ninth-largest proven gas reserves at 187tn cubic feet. SHORELINE said the deal was to develop, buy, market, distribute and sell natural gas in the Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki and Epe districts - areas that contain the city's business hub and some of the country's most expensive residential properties. It said the agreement provided exclusive rights to distribute and sell gas in those areas. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 12/09/2017

At 07h26 on 12 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.96 ZAR/EUR 15.52 ZAR/GBP 17.08 Gold 1325.29 Platinum 984.00 Brent Crude Oil 53.91 All Share 56008.77

House passes $15bn storm aid, debt-ceiling increase - Jessica Dye

A legislative package tying together more than $15bn in storm aid and a short-term debt-limit extension has cleared a final hurdle in Congress. The US House of Representatives voted 319-90 in favour of the bill, the results of a surprise deal struck between President DONALD TRUMP and Democratic leadership last week. The Senate signed off on the legislation on Thursday and it now heads to TRUMP for his signature. The deal averts, for now, a potentially ugly clash over the debt ceiling, with an agreement to fund the government and raise the debt limit into Dec. The deal also provides more than $15bn in funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Venezuela asks to restructure Russian debt - Henry Foy

Venezuela has asked Moscow to restructure the country's debt, Russian finance minister ANTON SILUANOV said on Friday, in a sign of the Latin American nations' deepening financial distress. Russia has become a critical lender to Venezuela, through state loans and financial assistance by ROSNEFT to Venezuela's PDVSA. SILUANOV said talks were taking place within the Paris Club of creditors and "on the other hand, we are directly engaged in bilateral contacts in order to work out a mechanism for restructuring the debt. I am confident that we will find acceptable solutions with Venezuela". ROSNEFT extended $1bn in additional credit to BVDSA earlier this year in the form of pre-payments for oil supplies, bringing total lending to its Venezuelan counterpart to US$6.5bn. Last month ROSNEFT said PDVSA had repaid around $750m of that in oil shipments, and $500m in interest payments, taking the total outstanding to $5.7bn, plus $300m in unpaid accrued interest. All outstanding obligations are scheduled to be settled by the end of 2019. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Prada says turnaround efforts 'may take longer than expected' - Nicholas Megaw

PRADA's CEO PATRIZIO BERTELLI acknowledged that turnaround efforts at the luxury group "may take longer than expected" as investments made to improve its in-store and ecommerce operations dragged down profit margins in H1. Revenues in the HY to Jul. 31 were 5% lower y/y at €1.5bn. Although the sales decline was slower than last year, profits continued to fall faster than revenues, with net income down 18% to €116m. Unlike rivals, PRADA has struggled to regain momentum after weaker growth and a corruption crackdown in China caused an industry-wide slowdown. Still, the company said it has made "considerable headway" with efforts to improve its digital strategy, growing its social media presence and improving partnerships with online retailers like NET-A-PORTER. The company spent €105.6m on improvements during the period, which also included efforts to improve the image at its bricks and mortar stores and strengthen its supply chain. BERTELLI said "the complex task of restructuring our operating processes... is progressing well", but added that more remains to be done. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 11/09/2017

At 11h07 on 11 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.89 ZAR/EUR 15.49 ZAR/GBP 17.00 Gold 1337.11 Platinum 1003.00 Brent Crude Oil 53.79 All Share 56065.02

UK industrial output improves but remains 'subdued' - Nicholas Megaw

The UK's manufacturing sector started Q3 on a stronger footing after falling into contraction earlier in the year, but overall growth in industrial output remained sluggish despite consistently optimistic confidence surveys. Total industrial output rose 0.2% m/m, down from 0.5% growth in June. On a y/y basis output was 0.4% higher, up from 0.3% in the previous month. Manufacturing was significantly stronger after weak car production contributed to a weak Q2. The ONS said new car models helped overall output to increase 1.9% y/y, better than the 1.7% economists had forecast. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Akzo Nobel issues profit warning - John Murray Brown

Dutch chemicals group AKZO NOBEL on Friday issued a profit warning, just weeks after settling a biter shareholder fued over its decision to reject a takeover bid from US rival PPG INDUSTRIES. AKZO said results for 2017 would be "higher than 2016 although by less than the previously communicated increase of €100m". The company said it was facing a range of challenges from "unfavourable foreign exchange rates, continued headwinds for the marine and protective coatings industry, temporary disruption to the manufacturing and supply chain during the third quarter and current margin pressure from greater than expected raw material cost inflation". In a separate announcement on Friday, the company said CFO MAELYS CASTELLA was stepping down due to health reasons. HANS DE VRIESE, the group controller, becomes interim CFO while the company looks for a permanent replacement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petra suspends ops at Tanzania mine as govt probes industry - Nicholas Megaw

PETRA DIAMONDS has suspended operations at one of its mines in Tanzania and said a number of "key personnel" are being questioned by authorities amid a government probe into malpractice in the diamond sector. PETRA said a parcel of diamonds from its Williamson mine has been blocked form exports to its marketing office in Antwerp, and said operations at the mine have been stopped "f or health and safety and security reasons" while its personnel "cooperate" with authorities. "All operations related to the mine are conducted in a transparent manner and in full compliance with legislation in Tanzania and the Kimberley Process. The government has complete oversight of the diamonds produced at the mine, which are physically controlled by a number of different government representatives in conjunction with PETRA from the point of recovery until the point of sale", PETRA said. It added that it is not responsible for provisional valuations of diamond parcels made before they are exported. Shares in PETRA were down 23.6% in early morning trade in London, at 68.8p, bringing its losses for the year to date to more than 56%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Primark strength leads ABF to lift FY outlook - Adam Samson

ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS today said its outlook for profits in its latest FY has "further improved" since July on the back of strength in its Primark retail division. The company said it expects to report "good growth in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share for the group for the full year". Sales at Primark are expected to have climbed 20% y/y on a comparable week basis. Excluding currency movements, ABF forecast a 13% rise in sales, driven by increased retail selling space and a 1% rise in like-for-like sales. ABF said Primark performed "particularly well" in the UK, where sales are estimated to rise 10%, with its market-share in the clothing market increasing "significantly". Meanwhile, sales and profits at the group's sugar division are expected to be "well ahead of last year on a comparable basis adjusting for Illovo's change of year end in 2016". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Natura Cosmeticos selects new Body Shop CEO - Andres Schipani

Brazil's NATURA COSMETICOS has secured JEREMY SCHWARTZ's successor at the helm of THE BODY SHOP. The unnamed person will be taking up his position by the end of 2017. The move comes as the Brazilian cosmetics giant on Friday finalised its purchase of the British high street stalwart from L'OREAL for an enterprise value of €1bn. "We know that the brand, despite being global, is essentially British. We have already taken the decision to replace the CEO and the person we will appoint in the coming two month's it's a British guy with experience in retail", GUILHERME LEAL, the co-chair of NATURA's board told the FT. He did not provide further details on who the incoming CEO is, but is confident that this new phase will help THE BODY SHOP to lift flailing sales, after the British retailer had faced increasing competition from other brands offering similar products based on natural ingredients with no animal testing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BYD climbs as China examines ban on combustion engine cars - Alice Woodhouse

Chinese electric carmaker BYD jumped as much as 7.2% in Hong Kong on Monday after a senior official said Beijing is studying banning the production and sale of traditional fuel cars. BYD was up 5.8% in morning trade after XIN GUOBIN, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and IT, said the ministry had started to research a possible timeline to ban combustion engine cars, according to a report from Xinhua. Such a move would follow that of the UK and France, which both announced plans in July to prohibit the production of diesel and petrol cars by 2040. Australian lithium producers also spiked on the possibility of greater demand for the metal for vehicle batteries. GALAXY RESOURCES rose as much as 6.8% and OROCOBRE was up 3.4% this morning. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

N Korea threatens 'greatest pain' as US pushes for tougher sanctions - Edward White

North Korea has responded with more fiery rhetoric on Monday as the US sought tougher sanctions against Pyongyang from the UN. "The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK will cause the US the greatest pain and suffering it had ever tone through in its entire history", North Korea's foreign ministry said in a statement today. "The world will witness how the DPRK tames the US gangsters by taking series of action tougher than they have ever envisaged", it added. Following North Korea's most recent nuclear test, the US is pushing the UN to impose new sanctions on the country, including a ban on oil imports, the hiring of North Koreans as overseas workers and purchasing of the country's textile exports. There was little appearance of a market reaction, with major stock indices in the Asia Pacific region all up in Monday morning trading. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP, Rio fall after iron ore price dips - Alice Woodhouse

Australian iron ore producers fell this morning after the price of the commodity slipped on Friday. BHP, RIO TINTO and FORTESCUE METALS were among the worst performers on Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX200, after iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to Qingdao fell 1.7% to $74.36/t on Friday. BHP shares fell 2.7% while RIO dipped 2.5% and FORTESCUE slipped 3%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Offshore renminbi weaker after PBoC reported to ease shorting restrictions - Edward White

After a record three-month run where it gained 4.5% against the dollar, the renminbi is showing signs of softening following reports that the People's Bank of China is easing restrictions on shorting the currency. The offshore renminbi had eased as much as 0.3% to Rmb6.5162/$ in early trading today. Reports over the weekend stated that the PBoC has signalled it will roll back banks' forex forward reserve requirements, reducing to zero the amount institutions must set aside when buying currency forwards, down from 20%. The measure would unwind restrictions implemented in late 2015 when the Chinese currency entered prolonged depreciation after being suddenly devalued in Aug. that year. There had been expectations the renminbi would remain strong ahead of the Chinese Communist Party's congress next month. Analysts believed it unlikely central bankers in Beijing would risk serious market volatility ahead of the five-yearly meeting of China's leadership, which starts on Oct. 18. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan machine orders bounce back in July - Alice Woodhouse

Japanese machine orders grew at the fastest rate in 18 months in July, coming in higher than expected. Core machine orders rose 8% m/m in July, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute, bouncing back from a 1.9% contraction in June. This was above a median forecast from economists surveyed by Reuters of 4.4% growth. On a y/y basis, orders fell 7.5%, contracting more sharply than the previous month's 5.2% fall. This was a larger fall than the 7.3% contraction forecast by economists. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Diamonds funding Zim's political oppression - Fin24

Harare is using money earned from diamond exports to fund its Central Intelligence Organisation, blamed for a raft of human-rights abuses as it's helped to keep President ROBERT MUGABE in power, Global Witness said. The London-based group said stones dug from the Marange fields are channeled through Dubai, India, the Netherlands and SA by a complicated web of cross-owned companies based in places as diverse as Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Mauritius. The companies have one thing in common - partnerships with businesses owned by Zimbabwe's government or its military. The earnings are funneled back to the CIO and army "off budget", Global Witness said. "The future of Zimbabwe's diamonds now hangs in the balance. Dwindling reserves are demanding greater investment from an industry shaped by state-sponsored looting and short-term thinking", the body said. It blames the government, which owns at least 50% of the diamond mining companies in Marange and selectee each of its partners. With debt of over $10bn and deteriorating infrastructure, diamond wealth could have lifted Zimbabwe from the mire of unemployment, unpaid civil service wages and factory closures, Global Witness said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Why did R70bn Chinese contracts bypass tender laws, asks DA - Fin24

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA had to explain why Chinese parastatals were awarded R70bn worth of contracts without a public tender, DA MP ALF LEES said yesterday. City Press yesterday reported that two mega-contracts between the government and a Chinese parastatal are set to go ahead, despite neither qualifying for deviation from procurement laws. The Department of Water and Sanitation and PRASA seem set to hand two contracts to a Chinese parastatal with neither a public tender nor permission from Treasury to bypass tender laws. City Press obtained confidential documents that the two SOEs were in funding talks with the EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF CHINA. The documents also appear to show that EXIM will only provide the finance on condition that the construction on both projects is done by the CHINA COMMUNICATIONS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY. The talks centre on the construction of the Moloto Rail Development Corridor, estimated to cost R57bn, and the Mzimvubu Water Project, estimated to cost taxpayers more than R16bn. LEES said the deal seems to be flouting all competitive tender processes. He said GIGABA had to give assurances to both Parliament and the public that these two contracts would not go ahead without procurement laws being adhered to. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's secured loans will see only limited weakness - Moody's - Fin24

Despite SA's subdued economic growth, high unemployment and overall weak consumer credit, the performance of secured loans is likely to hold up over the next 12 months, MOODY's said on Friday. The ratings agency forecast real GDP growth of 0.5% and 1.2% for 2017 and 2018, respectively. "Any weakness in South Africa's secured loan performance over the next 12 months is expected to be limited, given the strong lending criteria that are in place", MOODY's VP ANTONIO TENA said. "Consequently, we expect only a moderate rise in mortgage-related non-performing loans, which is a view shared by most of the lenders that we recently surveyed". TENA said securitisations backed by mortgages continue to benefit from low losses. "In contrast, unsecured loan origination volumes have risen to levels not seen since 2013, mainly due to the wide unavailability of consumer credit, which has broadened out to the wider population, with on average, weaker credit profiles". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dangote may enter bidding war for PPC - Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

ALIKO DANGOTE is among those considering counteroffers for PPC that could signal a bidding war for the cement maker, according to sources. DANGOTE CEMENT sees a bid for PPC as a way to accelerate expansion outside Nigeria, sources said. One person said PPC will consider any rival offers to the joint approach by FAIRFAX FINANCIAL and AFRISAM and present them to shareholders in early Oct. LAFARGEHOLCIM and HEIDELBERGCEMENT are also monitoring PPC's situation, while TITAN CEMENT SA of Greece is also looking at the South African company. The companies' interest was sparked after FAIRFAX offered to buy R2bn of PPC's shares and support a merger with AFRISAM last week. PPC at the time said the proposal "significantly undervalued" the business. The FAIRFAX proposal would give the Canadian company a stake of more than 30% in the combined PPC/AFRISAM entity. The value of the bid would rise when savings generated by sharing PPC and AFRISAM infrastructure are taking into account. The PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION, the biggest shareholder in both PPC and AFRISAM, would prefer a higher cash component of more than R6/share, people said, adding that FAIRFAX hasn't ruled out increasing its offer. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brown not satisfied with Eskom's Trillian report - ANA

Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN's office on Friday said she has studied the report provided to her by ESKOM to clarify its relationship with TRILLIAN, but wanted more information from the utility. According to sources, ESKOM's report contained several gaps, which BROWN wanted answers on. ESKOM recently admitted it had lied about payments of more than R1.5bn to GUPTA-linked TRILLIAN CAPITAL HOLDINGS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afrox sees 22% jump in headline earnings - Anine Kilian

AFRICAN OXYGEN has reported a 22% rise in HEPS to 93.3cps for the HY to end-Jun. CEO SCHALK VENTER attributed this improvement to increased volumes and operational efficiencies. He said AFROX also increased EBITDA "owing to an increase in volumes, recovery of cost inflation from pricing and continued effective cost containment". Because of the improvement in volumes in certain sectors of the business, revenue rose by 6.8% to R2.80bn. VENTER said the volume improvement, supported by effective cost management, led to an increase of 10.5% in EBITDA to R578m. The EBITDA margin improved by 70 basis points to 20.7%. Meanwhile, the company's improved profitability and its continued focus on balance sheet optimisation resulted in a net cash position of R194m. Capex of R169m was lin line with that of prior years, reflecting a lack of demand growth in the current economic climate. The company's return on capital employed improved by 380 bps to 22.4% from higher profits and asset optimisation. AFROX declared a cash dividend of 46cps for the HY under review. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

W Cape drought set to continue - Creamer Media Reporter

While SA's north-eastern half has largely recovered from drought conditions owing to a good rainfall season, the south-western region is likely to continue experiencing severe drought conditions. With the Cape's rainy season drawing to a close, South African Weather Services' Dr EUGENE POOLMAN said the Standardised Precipitation Index showed severe dry conditions continuing over the south-western part of the country. The likelihood of an El Nino occurrence remain minimal as forecasting systems predict that neutral conditions will prevail in summer. But POOLMAN cautioned that seasonal forecasts tend to be less reliable for longer lead-times during neutral conditions than during El Nino or La Nina. "It is very important to keep monitoring any developments that may provide more clarity on the current expectations for the coming seasons", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zuma launches first provincial InvestSA One Stop Shop - ANA

President JACOB ZUMA on Friday officiated over the official opening of the first provincial InvestSA One Stop Shop in t he Western Cape. "For a long time there have been concerns form the business and investor community that bureaucratic hurdles in the state make investing in South Africa difficult. The launch of InvestSA One Stop Shop for the Western Cape Province this morning is our concrete response as government to these concerns", ZUMA said. The facility will house 14 partners, including national, provincial and local government departments, to facilitate easier access to the domestic market for investors. The One Stop Shop would provide a host of professional services for establishing businesses in the province. Two other provincial One Stop Shops are expected to be launched in Gauteng and KZN later this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Industry has lost faith in Zwane - CoM - Esmarie Swanepoel

The Chamber of Mines on Friday told delegates at the Africa Downunder mining conference in Perth that the industry in SA had lost confidence in Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE and in the leadership of the DMR. In a scathing presentation, CoM CEO ROGER BAXTER said "significant" corruption allegations had not been cleared, while the related proposed judicial commission of enquiry into State capture had not yet been established. "The industry does not believe that the approaches adopted by the DMR are serving the national interest of the country. The negative impacts of the unilaterally imposed revised Mining Charter, the proposed Section 49 rights moratorium, the nonresolution of the charter ownership issues, and imposition of inappropriate Section 54 safety stoppages are a major crisis for the sector", BAXTER said. He noted that as a result of the political and legislative uncertainty in SA, there was a virtual freeze on investment in the resources sector, making it extremely difficult to get an investment committee to approve any new greenfield project in the country. BAXTER noted that dividends in the mining sector amounted to R6bn in 2016. However, the levy imposed by Mining Charter III would have meant that some R5.7bn of that funding would have gone to BEE partners, with the remaining R300m to be divided among the remaining shareholders in the industry. "Who is going to invest in the mining sector after that?" BAXTER asked. Furthermore, the Charter also made provision to appropriate R3bn/year from the mining sector into the Mining Transformation Development Agency, a body which not only had no proposed governance structure, but had an unclear mandate. "The industry is of the firm view that the DMR's Mining Charter Three is designed to benefit a select few at the expense of the whole country", BAXTER said. "Fro, our perspective, we have lost confidence that this Minister is the right Minister to be leading the department. Now, if the main industry association that

Pan African's tailing treatment project to boost Mpumalanga economy - Ilan Solomons

Government, trade unions and traditional leadership have heaped praise on PAN AFRICAN RESOURCES for the development of its R1.7bn Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant project, located at the company's Evander gold mine in Mpumalanga. Speaking at a sod-turning ceremony on Friday, Mineral Resources DG Advocate THABO MOKOENA said the project came at a critical juncture, as his department had recently faced the challenge of mass retrenchments due to the restructuring and mothballing of operations. MOKOENA said PANAF's fortitude to persevere with the project and bring it to realisation despite these challenges was "highly praiseworthy" and stood as an example to the rest of the industry of what could be achieved. PANAF CEO COBUS LOOTS said the project would create more than 700 jobs during the construction phase and about 250 permanent jobs once the plant was in production. The project is expected to produce 689 000oz of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of around $550/oz over its 13-year life span. Construction is scheduled to be completed by Q3 2018, with the first gold pour targeted for Q4 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China's CEFC buys into Rosneft as Glencore, Qatar cut stakes - Reuters

Chinese conglomerate CEFC will buy a 14.16% stake in ROSNEFT from a consortium of GLENCORE and QATAR INVESTMENT AUTHORITY in a move that further strengthens the energy partnership between Moscow and Beijing. The deal comes as the US imposes a new round of economic sanctions on Russia making it difficult for large Western firms like GLENCORE to develop partnerships and increase ties with state-owned firms such as ROSNEFT. GLENCORE said CEFC will buy shares at a premium or around 16% to the 30-day volume-weighted average price of ROSNEFT shares. The deal has yet to close pending final negotiations and on receipt by CEFC of all necessary regulatory approvals, GLENCORE said. GLENCORE and QIA, which together bought a ROSNEFT stake of around 19.5% in 2016, will retain stakes of 0.5% and 4.7%, respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ministers implicated in Tanzania diamond-mining probe quit - Bloomberg

Two Tanzanian ministers resigned last week after President JOHN MAGUFULI told government officials suspected of wrongdoing in a probe into the country's diamond- and Tanzanite-mining industries to step down. EDWIN NGONYANI, deputy minister of works, transport and communication, said he resigned on Thursday evening. GEORGE SIMBACHAWENE, minister in the office of the president in charge of regional administration and local government announced his resignation in a YouTube video posted by Azam TV, a Dar es Salaam-based broadcaster. "I chose to resign because I have been implicated by the two reports presented to the president today and so that the state organs can investigate freely", NGONYANI said. Two committees formed in July to scrutinize the gem-mining industry found widespread irregularities that led to unfavourable contracts and a loss of government revenue, according to a statement posted on the parliament's website on Wednesday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lucapa sells more diamonds, eyes 2nd mine - Esmarie Swanepoel

Diamond miner LUCAPA has reported gross proceeds of $7.4m from its seventh sale of alluvial diamonds from the Lulo project in Angola. The company said it had sold 3 214ct in the last tender at an average of $2 298/ct. The latest sale brings gross proceeds for 2017 to $24.3m, with sales prices averaging $1 640/ct. LUCAPA MD and CEO STEPHEN WETHERALL said the company was targeting production at its recently acquired Mothae mine, in Lesotho, by Q2 2018. He noted that an optimised development plan was currently being developed for the project, which would be submitted to the board. LUCAPA previously tipped a phased development approach for the Mothae kimberlite project to generate early cash flow. Under Phase 1, LUCAPA will process around 2mt of mainly weathered, near-sufrace kimberlite material at a rate of 720 000t/year over the first three years of operation. The Phase 2 development plan will only be implemented once Phase 1 has been fully commissioned. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibo wins GE innovation award for Mbeya - Natasha Odendaal

KIBO MINING has been awarded the GENERAL ELECTRIC Innovative Project Development Deal of the Year 2017 for its Mbeya coal-to-power project in Tanzania. "With innovation, we have been able to improve the economic viability of the project, which is crucial to Tanzania's energy dynamic", KIBO CEO LOUIS COETZEE said. He added that the company was receiving strong endorsements from the corporate, financial and political arenas as it worked to deliver an "exceptional project". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ferrum Crescent raises funds for exploration in Spain - Creamer Media Reporter

FERRUM CRESCENT has raised £193 304 before costs, which the company will use for additional exploration and evaluation activities at the Toral and Lago lead/zinc exploration projects in Spain, and for general working capital. The funds were raised via a placement of 214.78m shares at an issue price of 0.09pps. The placing is conditional on admission of the placing shares to trading on the AIM. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India likely to miss mineral block auction target - Ajoy K Das

India's Mines Ministry is likely to miss its goal of completing the auction of 71 non-coal mineral blocks across seven provinces in the current FY, despite a flurry of activity to ease federal rules. The unpreparedness of provinces to conduct auctions is largely blamed for the tardy allocation of the already identified mineral assets. The Mines Ministry last week decided to convene a stock-taking meeting with all mineral bearing provinces to "understand the reasons for their going slow on auction", a government official said. Over the past few weeks, the Ministry had initiated the process of reframing the National Mineral Policy 2008 and Mineral Auction Rules 2015. The stated objective is to ease the process of allocating mineral assets for prospective bidders, including reducing the mandatory minimum number of bids received to consider an auction valid and the lowering of the minimum threshold net worth limit for prospective bidders for mineral blocks. According to the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, over the past two years only 29 of the 58 identified mineral blocks could be successfully allocated, while the rest had to be annulled, owing to problems relating to land and land acquisition administrative support at the provinces. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Growth target in sight for Mas, Prime Kapital - Luyolo Mkentane

MAS REAL ESTATE last week said its development JV with PRIME KAPITAL and its recent acquisitions would help the company achieve its targeted annual growth in dividends per share of more than 20%/year over the next three years. MAS CEO LUKAS NAKOS said the PRIME KAPITAL JV opportunities had exceeded initial expectations, with the venture now targeting in excess of €1bn of high quality developments across Europe. "In order to fund this pipeline, MAS has increased its commitment to the PRIME KAPITAL development JV from 200m up to a maximum of 350m of preference share capital, on the same terms as the previous commitment. MAS' equity stake in the PRIME KAPITAL development joint venture remains at 40%", NAKOS said. Under the terms of the original agreement entered into in Mar. 2016, PRIME KAPITAL as a main partner had committed to invest an initial 30m for ordinary equity in the JV, for a 60% equity interest, while MAS had committed an initial 20m for ordinary equity in the JV, for a 40% equity stake. MAS' income-generating property portfolio for the FY to end-Jun. grew 91 from €242.6m in the y/y period to €463.4m. Rental income surged from €14.2m y/y to €27m in the year under review. MAS further reported a profit before tax of €40.2m for the FY, from €2.3m y/y, while it reported a profit after tax of €34.5m in the period under review from €1.4m. NAKOS said the board would consider distributing retained earnings during forthcoming financial periods as the company pursues various highly accretive property developments, both directly and via the PRIME KAPITAL development JV. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania says to nationalise diamond consignment seized from Petra - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

Tanzania on Saturday said it planned to nationalise diamonds whose value it put at $29.5m belonging to a mine majority-owned by PETRA DIAMONDS after it accused the miner of under-declaring its mineral exports. The diamonds were seized at the main airport in Dar es Salaam on Aug. 31 as they were being exported by WILLIAMSON DIAMONDS LTD to Antwerp, Belgium. "While WILLIAMSON DIAMONDS LTD declared in its documentation that the value of the diamonds was $14.798m, a fresh valuation done by the government established that the actual value of the diamonds is $29.5m", the Finance and Planning Ministry said in a statement. "Among the legal action to be taken include the nationalisation of all the diamonds seized after it was established that there was cheating involved in declaring the actual value of the minerals", the ministry said. PETRA owns a 75% stake in WILLIAMSON DIAMONDS, with the balance held by the government. The WILLIAMSON mine accounted for 18% of PETRA's revenue last year. The statement said Finance and Planning Minister PHILIP MPANGO had also ordered a criminal probe to be launched against all officials involved in declaring the value of the diamonds and issuing export permits. A parliamentary committee on Thursday said there were "gross irregularities" in the manner in which the Tanzanian government diluted its shareholding in WILLIAMSON from an initial 50% to the current 25%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mugabe says Zim's economy recovering despite currency woes - MacDonald Dzirutwe

President ROBERT MUGABE on Friday said Zimbabwe's economy was slowly rebounding and would be driven by mining and agriculture. He told a meeting of the ruling ZANU-PF's central committed that the country was on the way to regaining its status as a regional breadbasket and was expecting a bumper maize harvest in 2017, without giving details. "We are going to leverage on diamonds and other minerals, alongside agriculture, so that together they drive our economic recovery trajectory", MUGABE said. "Our economy is slowly on the rebound, I am sure you will agree we are improving", he said. Zimbabwe has not been able to borrow on international financial markets since 1999. Last month, the central bank ordered platinum and chrome miners to surrender 80% of their export earnings - up from 50% - to contain the dollar shortage. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mauritius to provide forex support to export sector - Jean-Paul Arouff

Mauritius is to provide foreign currency support to its sugar and other export-oriented sectors to cushion them against the impact of the strong rupee, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. Businesses have been calling on policymakers to intervene over recent weeks after export revenues fell 8% to 20.5bn rupees y/y in the HY to end-Jun. PRAVIND KUMAR JUGNAUTH, who is both PM and finance minister, on Friday said the government would introduce an exchange rate support scheme. The rupee traded at 32.34 against the dollar and at 38.92 against the euro on Friday. The rupee is 9% up against the dollar so far this year, and 5% down against the euro. The statement gave no overall support amount, but said the support will be provided based on a difference between the rate at which an exporter exchanged their dollars and a reference rate of 34.50 rupees per dollar. The ministry said it would set a maximum support of 2.50 rupees per dollar and the scheme would start on Sep. 11 and run for six months. Under the programme, sugar planters and millers will be provided with 1 250 rupees per tonne of sugar financial support. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambia awards Chinese firm road expansion project - Chris Mfula

Zambia has awarded a Chinese firm a $1.2bn contract to expand part of a key road linking Zambia to the DRC and neighbouring countries, President EDGAR LUNGU said on Friday. CHINA JIANGXI CORPORATION FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION will build the 321km Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway over four years. LUNGU said the carriageway will improve the flow of traffic "thereby drastically reducing road traffic accidents on our roads". He did not say how the project will be financed. The project is expected to create more than 3 000 jobs during the construction phase. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim businesses warn Mugabe growing deficit could destabilise banks - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwean business leaders told President ROBERT MUGABE last week that his government's expanding fiscal deficit was unsustainable and that financing it through local borrowing could destabilise the banking sector. At the first such meeting in 10 years, executives from various sectors and representatives from foreign airlines told MUGABE and his cabinet ministers they must exercise fiscal discipline. "The current levels of the fiscal deficit and the mode of financing, against diminished fiscal revenue sources, is measurably unsustainable", said CHARLES MSIPA, who represented the business leaders at the meeting in Harare. "This scenario invariably leads to an unsustainable domestic debt build up, with significant adverse implications on the banking sector stability", MSIPA said. He sad foreign currency shortages meant businesses were struggling to pay for imports, echoing a warning by a retailers' association last week that problems importing could lead to shortages of basic goods. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 11/09/2017

At 07h14 on 11 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.91 ZAR/EUR 15.51 ZAR/GBP 16.94 Gold 1346.26 Platinum 1008.00 Brent Crude Oil 53.75 All Share 55724.67

Eskom says will sign renewable deal - Yolandi Groenewald

ESKOM will comply with the decision by Energy Minister MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI that it must sign power purchase agreements with renewable IPPs by the end of Oct. ESKOM spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE said the utility was working with the Department of Energy in preparatin for the signing of the agreements. KUBAYI last week said ESKOM would have to sign outstanding power purchase agreements by the end of Oct., but that the tariffs in the agreement would have to be renegotiated and can't be more than 77c/kWh. While wind and solar power in the last bidding rounds come close to the 77c and should be able to sign on, concentrated solar power will likely present a bigger challenge. Wind power's average tariff was 136c/kWh in the first round but had fallen to 68c/kWh in the fifth round. Photovoltaic power's tariff amounted to 329c/kWh in the beginning but dropped to 82c in the last round. For concentrated solar power the tariff came to 320c/kWh. In the last round it had fallen to 162c during the day, rising to 437c/kwh for power produced at peak periods. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Higher imports weigh on German trade surplus - Adam Samson

Germany's large trade surplus narrowed more than expected in July after an increase in imports into the country pushed the figure lower. The trade surplus came in at €19.5bn in July from €22.3bn m/m on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. That was lower than the €20.7bn that economists in a FactSet poll had forecast. Imports rose 2.2% m/m in July on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Exports ticked up 0.2%. Analysts had expected a 2.8% rise in imports and a 1.5% rise in exports. Year-to-date the surplus is running at €141.8bn, lower than €148.4bn logged in the y/y period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tsunami warning issued after earthquake off Mexican coast - Edward White

A tsunami warning has been issued across much of Central America's western coast after an earthquake struck off the southwestern coast of Mexico on Friday. The warning of a potential tsunami threat was issued by the US Tsunami Warning System and covers Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica. The quake measured 8.0 on the Richter scale. It struck 119 km from Tres Picos, which is near Mexico's border with Guatemala, just before midnight on Thursday local time. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Harvey drives US jobless claims to highest level since 2015 - Mamta Badkar

The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits last week hit the highest level since Apr. 2015 with jobless claims being impacted by Hurricane Harvey, however labour productivity rose more than initially thought in Q2. Initial jobless claims last week jumped to 298 000 in the week ended Sep. 2, an increase of 62 000 from the prior week, the labour department said. That was higher than economists' expectations for 241 000 and the numbers reflected the impact of Hurricane Harvey that slammed into Texas and Louisiana, which killed at least 46 people in flooding and left many without homes. The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims moved higher to 25 250, up from 236 750 previously. Unit labour costs rose 0.2%, shy of expectations for a 0.3% gain. Labour costs were down 0.2% from the year ago quarter. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brussels rejects UK proposals on Irish border, questions Davis' commitment - Jim Brunsden

EU chief Brexit negotiator MICHEL BARNIER hit out at UK proposals for how to manage the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit, saying he would not allow a solution that undermined EU law. BARNIER yesterday said the EU27 is committed to avoiding a post-Brexit "hard border" on the island of Ireland, and that a "unique" solution would have to be found. But he criticised what he said were moves by the UK to use the Irish border as a "test case" for future customs relations between Britain and the EU. "This will not happen... What I see in the UK's paper... worries me", BARNIER said. He said the UK has a responsibility to come forward with solutions, as it is a guarantor of the Good Friday peace agreement. He spoke shortly after the commission published the minutes of an internal meeting in Jul. in which BARNIER and eurozone president JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER raised concerns about DAVID DAVIS' commitment to the negotiating process. BARNIER said DAVIS "did not regard his direct involvement in these negotiations as his priority". He confirmed that DAVIS raised the issue of a transition period after Brexit during the last negotiation round in Brussels, but said he was still awaiting proposals from the UK on how this might work. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Amazon sets out plans for new HQ - David Keohane

AMAZON has announced plans to invest $5bn and create up to 50 000 jobs at a second company headquarters in North America. "We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters", CEO JEFF BEZOS said, adding that HQ2 "will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs." AMAZON said its investments in Seattle in the period 2010-2016 generated an additional $38bn in investments for the city's economy. The company did not specify where its new headquarters would be, but laid out preferences on the chosen area's population and on "communities that think big and creatively". Potential locations can submit proposals to the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Noble gets breathing space from lenders - Neil Hume

NOBLE GROUP has secured vital breathing space from its lenders as it attempts to find a buyer for its oil business. The company said its banks had agreed to push back the repayment deadline on a $2bn credit facility until Jan. 15. "This extension will facilitate the ongoing sale process for the group's global oil liquids business", NOBEL said. NOBLE chair PAUL BROUGH this week said the sale of the oil business should be agreed by the end of Sep. The $2bn credit facility has already been extended to Oct. The commodity trader is also trying to persuade other lenders to waive a debt covenant tied to a separate $1.1bn credit facility that has to be repaid in May 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/09/2017

At 08h49 on 08 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.80 ZAR/EUR 15.44 ZAR/GBP 16.80 Gold 1353.35 Platinum 1016.00 Brent Crude Oil 54.49 All Share 55878.19

Eurozone GDP revised up in Q2 - Paul McClean

Economic growth in the eurozone accelerated at a faster pace than previously thought in Q2, expanding 2.3% y/y against previous estimates of 2.2% growth. In its regular reassessment of the quarterly figures, Eurostat said growth in the bloc clocked in at 0.6% q/q, as previously thought, and 2.3% on an annual basis. Across the whole of the EU, GDP grew 2.4%, with every constituent country logging growth and the Czech Republic expanding fastest at 2.5%. Portugal and the UK recorded the slowest growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eli Lilly to cut 3 500 jobs - Mamta Badkar

US pharmaceutical group ELI LILLY announced job cuts and site closures as part of an effort to cut costs, streamline operqations and invest in new medicines and growth. The company said it plans to trim 3 500 jobs - about 8% of its global workforce. Over 2 000 of the cuts are expected to come from the US, with the majority of those cuts coming from a voluntary US early retirement programme. The remaining cuts are likely to result from site closures. The reductions are expected to be largely completed by the end of Dec. ELI LILLY hopes to achieve annualised savings of around $500m from 2018, which will be "equally split" to improve cost structure and reinvest in the business. The group said it will move production from its animal health manufacturing facility in in Larchwood, Iowa, to an existing plant in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The company will also close an R&D office in New Jersey and the Lilly China Research and Development Centre in Shanghai. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US refineries processed less crude last week amid Harvey hit - Anjli Raval

US refiners processed less crude last week as hurricane Harvey pummeled Texas and Louisiana and shut down energy industry operations. Data from the US energy department for the week ending Sep. 1 showed refinery utilistaion rates fell to 79.7% of total capacity, while the amount of crude processed by plants fell by 3.3m bpd to 14.5m bpd. US crude stockpiles rose by 4.6m barrels for their first weekly gain in more than two months, the Energy Information Administration said. Gasoline inventories were down 3.2m barrels during the week, which was less than analysts' forecasts for a 5.4m barrels fall. Distillate stockpiles dropped 1.4m barrels, again less than forecasts of a drop of 3.5m barrels. US crude output fell by 749 000 bpd to 8.8m bpd, while exports dropped by 749 000 bpd to 153 000 bpd. Crude oil imports fell by 73 000 bpd to 6.93m bpd. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tajikistan raises $500m in international bond market debut - Kate Allen

Tajikistan has raised $500m in its inaugural international bond, which has priced at 7.125% for a 10-year term in the latest evidence of keen investor appetite for high-yielding sovereign debt from infrequent and new issuers. The country opened books on the deal yesterday morning, offering 8%. Robust demand, however, saw the order book top $4bn, allowing it to hone the yield downwards. The cash will be used to fund an ambitious $3.9bn power project. The Rogun hydroelectric dam would have an installed capacity of 3 600MW and be the tallest in the world, producing as much power as three nuclear plants, according ot research by the Economic Intelligence Unit. The bond issue increases Tajikistan's external public debt from 35% of GDP to 50%. CITIGROUP and RAIFFEISEN BANK acted as bookrunners on the deal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bell Pottinger staff told firm likely to go into administration next week - David Bond

Staff at BELL POTTINGER have been told that the PR firm is likely to go into administration early next week as attempts to find a buyer to salvage the firm look to have failed. According to two sources, the stark news was delivered to the group's employees at its London headquarters by chair MARK SMITH and a representative from accountants BDO. BDO had been hired to try and find new investment as clients and key staff deserted the PR agency in the wake of reports it had stoked racial tensions in SA through its work for the GUPTAS. But sources told the FT that any chance of finding a buyer had faded and that the agency was now heading for insolvency. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Comcast shares down on reports of subscriber loss in Q3 - Jessica Dye

Shares in COMCAST fell sharply yesterday after reports that the cable giant could lose as many as 150 000 video subscribers in Q3. COMCAST video executive MATT STRAUSS said the company could lose 100 000-150 000 subscribers in the period, versus analysts' forecasts for it to grow its subscriber ranks. STRAUSS cited the impact of hurricane Harvey and increasing competition, Bloomberg reported. The prediction sent COMCAST shares down more than 6% to $38.64. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ICE to 'Go West' with Chicago-to-Tokyo network - Nicole Bullock

INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE and a consortium of high-speed traders have teamed up to sell access to an ultrafast network between the financial centres of Chicago and Tokyo. Dubbed 'Go West', the wireless and cable rout is set to launch in Q4. It was started by top traders including DRW, IMC, JUMP TRADING and XR TRADING in a bid to pool resources at a time when market makers are being pressured by an environment of rising costs and low volatility and volumes. The deal will enhance an existing wireless network that ICE sells to financial services companies, while Go West gets a reseller for bandwidth its architects won't be using. The Go West network also connects with a data centre in Illinois for CME GROUP. The network uses a system of wireless towers, fiber-optic lines and submarine cables to connect Chicago to Tokyo. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan Q2 GDP revised lower - Alice Woodhouse

Japan's economy grew at a slower pace than originally estimated in the quarter to end-Jun., as the contribution from business investment came in lower than previously thought. GPD grew by an annualised 2.5% in Q2, down from a preliminary estimate of 4%. This figure was below a median forecast of 2.9% from economists surveyed by Reuters. On a q/q basis, GDP growth was lower than preliminary figures after being revised to 0.6%, down from 1% previously. Capex was revised down to 0.5% q/q from the previous reading of 2.4%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hyunda China plant resumes ops but payment dispute persists - Edward White

Production at one of HYUNDAI MOTOR's factories in CHina has resumed while talks over a payment dispute with a key supplier continue. The plant in Hangzhou suspended production on Tuesday after a supplier refused to deliver parts. The plant restarted operations yesterday afternoon after the supplier resumed provision of parts to HYUNDAI's Chinese JV, although negotiations are continuing over the delayed payment. The supply disruption this week followed a more severe interruption last month when output from four factories in China was stopped for several days over a payment dispute. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China exports underperform in Aug. - Hudson Lockett

Growth in China's exports slowed more than anticipated in Aug. as demand from major trading partners softened, while imports enjoyed an unexpected boost. The dollar value of outbound shipments from China rose 5.5% y/y in Aug., the General Administration of Customs said today, down from growth of 7.2% the previous month. Growth in exports to most major trading partners slowed, with those to the US up 8.4% in value compared to a rise of 8.9% in July. Exports to EU countries rose 5.2%, while shipments to Japan grew just 1.1%. Inbound shipments rose 13.3% y/y, marking the tenth straight month of expansion and outperforming a median forecast predicting import growth would slow to 10%, compared to 11% in July. Those flows resulted in a trade surplus of $42bn, dropping almost $5bn from the prior month and defying expectations it would rise to $48.6bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

200 000 chickens culled in W Cape - Jan Cronje

More than 200 000 chickens have died or been culled in the Western Cape as a result of an outbreak of bird flu, leading to over 100 job losses, according to Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities ALAN WINDE. There are an estimated 29m commercially farmed chickens in the province, and 185 000 "backyard" birds. WINDE said 17 cases have been confirmed in the province since Aug. 9, including eight among commercial ostrich farmers, two at commercial chicken farms, one at a duck farm and seven among wild birds. He added that poultry products from grocery stores were safe to eat. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BLSA wants details on Hawks probe against Gordhan - Fin24

Business Leadership SA on Wednesday aired its concern about former finance minister PRAVIN GORDHAN's alleged victimisation by the Hawks. It called on the Hawks to confirm whether they dare indeed investigating GORDHAN. BLSA said the business community has lost confidence that SARS, the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority are independent and acting without fear or favour. The association said suspicions raised by the "surprising and unexplained" senior personnel changes announced last week at Treasury added to fears about the politicisation of this key institution. BLSA wants the Hawks to explain why they have chosen to focus on GORDHAN in the midst of evidence of corruption contained in the #GuptaLeaks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARS mum on suspended Makwakwa's salary, benefits - Liesl Peyper

JONAS MAKWAKWA, former second-in-command at SARS, has been earning a full salary with benefits and other provisions for close to a year since his suspension on Sep. 15 2016. The monetary amount of the salary and benefits are a mystery as SARS said it was not at liberty to divulge "personal information" of staff members. Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday said SARS was prohibited from discussing the personal and confidential information of employees. MAKWAKWA was suspended following reports that he allegedly made "unusual and suspicious" deposits totallign R1.2m into a number of bank accounts between 2010 and 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BrightRock celebrates Sanlam deal - Fin24

Needs-matched life insurance company BRIGHTROCK has achieved 62% growth y/y in new business annualised premium income during its FY. BRIGHTROCK shared an update on its business performance on the back of an announcement released by SANLAM, in which it said all suspensive conditions to the transaction that will give SANLAM a 53% stake in the life insurance provider have been fulfilled, including regulatory approval. From a zero base in Apr. 2012, BRIGHTROCK has grown to cover a total of over 860 00 lives covered as at end-Jun. Total annualised premium income was R867m for the FY to end-Jun., while total cover in force now exceeds R180bn. BRIGHTROCK CEO SCHALK MALAN said the company's exponential growth trajectory is one of the key reasons for its new partnership with SANLAM, which will provide significant capital investment enabling BRIGHTROCK to deliver on its future plans. Under the agreement, the parties will continue to function as independent businesses, retaining their own brands, life insurance licences and management teams. The deal with SANLAM was implemented with effect from Sep. 1 at a total transaction price of R721m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Slight rise in SA platinum output - Malcom Sharara

SA's output for refined platinum grew by 3% for Q2 2017, according to the latest global production report by the World Platinum Investment Council. Supply from SA at 1 045 koz was slightly higher than the 1 015 koz achieved in the prior quarter. This is a reduction of 155 koz or 13% y/y. Global refined production for Q2 was 11% lower y/y. "This is partly owing to a smelter run-out and rebuild in South Africa in late 2016 and early 2017, for which built-up volumes have yet to be processed", according to the report. Meanwhile, global platinum ETF holdings expanded by 20 koz in Q2 2017, a slower pace than seen in Q1. SA added to its holdings which grew by 62 koz in Q2, a significant improvement over the 15 koz rise seen in Q1 2017. Global refined supply is forecast to fall by 1% to 5 970 koz in 2017, with SA's output predicted to decline by 0.4% to 4 240 koz this year. Mine restructuring and shaft closures announced to date are expected to result in the loss of 110 koz y/y, all taking place in SA. Global demand is also forecast to decline by 6% y/y to 7 810 koz owing to contractions in each of the main demand sectors. Automotive demand is projected to slip by 2% as a drop in China outweighs gains in all other regions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kgosana steps off Imperial audit committee as KPMG review nears completion - Matthew le Cordeur

KPMG INTERNATIONAL's review of the South African auditor, following allegations that former CEO MOSES KGOSANA had a cosy relationship with the GUPTAS, will be completed by the end of this month. The Institute of Directors yesterday announced it is temporarily suspending all co-branded activities with KPMG. The IoDSA said it met KPMG to discuss the allegations and the board decided to temporarily suspend, among others, sponsorship of its golf day and involvement in the audit committee forum, while investigations are underway. Secondly, IMPERIAL HOLDINGS yesterday announced that KGOSANA was stepping down as chair of its audit committee, but will remain on the board. This comes after KGOSANA resigned from ALEXANDER FORBES in July, a month before he was set to be appointed chair. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tiered licenses mooted to help new entrants into fin services - Matthew le Cordeur

Treasury supports a proposal to adapt stringent banking licence regulations to allow smaller, black-owned banks to emerge, it said this week. It was commenting on a draft report on the transformation of the financial sector. The draft report supported proposals submitted during the hearing for the establishment of a major black-owned bank, citing the R50bn stokvel economy, which could capitalise such a bank. It also supported the urgent bank licence required for POSTBANK, which Treasury also supported provided it satisfied the licence requirements. The report recommended that Treasury and the regulators considered "ensuring that the licensing and regulatory environment is conducive and encourages the entry of such black-owned banks into the market". This could be achieved by developing a tiered bank licensing structure. ISMAIL MOMONIAT, head of tax and financial sector policy at the Treasury, said a tiered system "'is consistent with the proposed development framework to be developed for the banking and insurance sectors. It does not mean an unlevel regulatory playing field that favours certain participants with lower requirements for doing the same banking or insurance activity". "Rather financial institutions with businesses that bring lower prudential risk would need to satisfy proportionately lower regulatory requirements, as is contemplated by the micro-insurance framework provided for under the Insurance Bill currently also in parliament". MOMONIAT said they need to explore the implications of regulators favouring black-owned firms when issuing banking licenses for first time entrants. "We will need to explore what this means in practice to guard against unintended consequences". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Spur sales top R7bn as consumer pressure tightens - Fin24

SPUR CORPORATION grew restaurant sales from continuing operations by 4.2% to R7.2bn in the FY to end-Jun. 2017, as discretionary spending came under increasing pressure and deteriorating economic conditions and growing uncertainty gripped the country. Franchised restaurant sales grew by 4.4% in SA and by 2.4% in rand terms in international restaurants, excluding the impact of the closure of the group's operations in the UK and Ireland in the prior FY. Headline earnings from continuing operations fell by 25.9% to R135.1m and by 8.4% on a comparable basis. Diluted HEPS from continuing operations were 25.9% lower at 140.8cps. The annual dividend fell by 5.7% to 132cps. SPUR CORPORATION expanded its global restaurant footprint to 591, with the opening of a net 11 net outlets in SA and 5 in foreign markets. Financial difficulties for middle-income South African families contributed to sales in Spur Steak Ranches declining by 2.1%. Sales in the final quarter were also impacted by the social media fallout following a customer incident at a SPUR outlet in Johannesburg. RocoMamas continues to be one of the fastest growing restaurant brands in the casual dining sector in SA and opened its 50th outlet during the year. Sales grew by 78.1% as eight new outlets were opened in SA. Pizza and Pasta, incorporating Panarottis and Casa Bella, grew sales by 13.3% despite intense competition in the pizza market. John Dory's increased sales by 14.3% and The Hussar Grill by 35.6%, with Sales in Captain DoRegos declining by 17.6%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Statoil acquires interest in two South African exploration licences - Anine Kilian

Norway's STATOIL has acquired an interest in two South African oil and gas exploration licences. It has bought a 35% stake in exploration right 12/3/252 Transkei-Algoa from EXXONMOBIL EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION SA. The licence covers around 45 000 m² in water depths of up to 3 000 m. EXXONMOBIL retains a 40% interest in the licence, while IMPACT AFRICA holds the remaining 25% interest. STATOIL has also bought a 90% interest in exploration right 12/3/2557 East Algoa from OK ENERGY, which retains a 10% stake. The licence covers around 9 300 m². This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Manufacturing output down 1.4% y/y in Jul. - Reuters

SA's manufacturing output fell 1.4% y/y in July after contracting by a revised 2.2% in June, Statistics SA said yesterday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output would contract by 0.35% y/y in July. Factory production on a m/m basis grew by 1.5% and was up 0.9% in the three months to end-Jul., compared with the previous three months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shell rolls out electric car charging points in UK, aims to test SA market - Irma Venter

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL is exploring the possibility of adding electric vehicle charging points to its forecourts in a number of countries. "As electric vehicles take off, so too will the number of charging points that SHELL provides across our global retail network", the company said. It is currently introducing electric charging points on forecourts in the UK. The company says it is also offering customers more efficient charging by means of so-called 'smart charging technology'. This technology helps to integrate EVs into the power grid at times when overall demand is at its lowest, helping balance the grid. In SA, SHELL believes that demand for EVs is still in its formative stages, with few vehicle manufacturers offering this technology locally. "Whilst this is the case, we will, together with our partners, be looking to test the market over the coming years. We will also be developing a business model within the context of a regulated fuels environment and high electricity prices". The company did not elaborate any further on its strategy for the local market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

4Sight Holdings to list on AltX in Oct. - Anine Kilian

4SIGHT HOLDINGS will list on the JSE's AltX in Oct. The company seeks to raise up to R300m, which will be used for acquisitions and the incubation of new products in diverse sectors. "We foresee a growth in demand for real-time decision solutions in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The underlying power to unlock economic value lies in the use of scientific and engineering skills applied cross-functionally with disciplines such as econometrics, medical sciences, bio-informatics, and astrophysics", says CEO Professor ANTONIE VAN RENSBURG. 4SIGHT, through subsidiaries, earns its income mainly from licensing intelligent algorithms in a software-as-a-service annuity revenue model. 4SIGHT acquired DIGITATA MAURITIUS on a share for share basis in June. It plans to expand further via organic growth and acquisitions, seeking profitable businesses with deep data science skills. The next round of strategic acquisitions will be concluded before Dec., enabling the company to offer mining and manufacturing customers the ability to optimise value chains and plant operations in real time. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mining production growth slows in July - Anine Kilian

Mining production growth slowed to 0.9% y/y in July, compared with output growth of 13% y/y in June. Statistics SA's latest mining production report showed that manganese ore, chromium ore, diamonds and gold were the main contributors to the increase. Iron ore and PGMs were negative contributors, each decreasing by 5%. Coal production was down 1.9% y/y. Seasonally adjusted mining output fell by 0.4% m/m in July. Seasonally adjusted mining production rose by 0.1% in the three months to end-July compared with the previous three months. Mineral sales fell by 3.9% y/y in Jun. 2017. Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices fell by 1.4% m/m in June. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Magufuli orders officials to resign over diamond probe - Reuters

Tanzania's President JOHN MAGUFULI yesterday said he had ordered a review of a contract belonging to PETRA DIAMONDS in the country and asked senior public officials to resign over the outcome of a probe into the sector. "I have endorsed all the recomendations of the parliamentary probe committees for the review of the Williamson Diamond mine contract", MAGUFULI said, referring to the mine that PETRA owns. The president said he had also ordered law enforcement agencies to investigate allegations of under-declared diamond exports. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

TFR sets new record for coal railed to RBCT - Creamer Media Reporter

TRANSNET FREIGHT RAIL has set a new record for coal railed to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, with 7.46mt transported to the terminal in Aug. This compares with the previous record of 6.9mt. RBCT CEO ALAN WALLER attributed the milestone to a joint collaboration between the terminal and TFR, while TFR CEO RAVI NAIR commended all stakeholders who were involved in the achievement of this record. He added that the strides taken by the company to improve efficiencies played a major role in the achievement of the milestone. TFR embarked on a seven-day annual shutdown of the coal line during July to effect the necessary maintenance activities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fatality at Amplats - ANA

An ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM employee has died from his injuries after suffering chemical burns in an accident at the company's Precious Metals Refinery in Rustenburg. AMPLATS said the incident occurred on Aug. 21 but the worker succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday this week. "We are providing support and assistance to all involved during this difficult time. An independent and comprehensive process is under way to understand the circumstances. We continue to focus our energies on working towards zero harm for all our employees", AMPLATS FD IAN BOTHA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lafarge SA appoints new Country CEO - Thembelilhe Mkhonza

LAFARGE SOUTH AFRICA this week announced the appointment of ROSSEN PAPAZOV as country CEO. PAPAZOV will join the company with effect from Oct. 1. For the last four years he has been country CEO for HOLCIM in Azerbaijan, where he successfully achieved a business turnaround during a period of economic crisis in that country. "LAFARGE SOUTH AFRICA believes that PAPAZOV's experience will be invaluable in guiding the company to address the challenges it faces in the highly competitive local building materials market", the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afreximbank offers $300m to private investors in equity - Duncan Miriri

The AFRICAN EXPORT-IMPORT BANK is offering up to $300m in depositary receipts to private investors to boost capital for lending to industries on the continent, executive VP for governance GEOGRGE ELOMBI said yesterday. The depositary receipts offer investors the same rights as normal shareholders, but issuing them does not come with the same regulatory requirements as issuance of normal shares. ELOMBI said the fresh capital will help AFREXIMBANK to secure further funds via borrowing, to lend to investors who wish to process African commodities like cocoa growers in Ivory Coast. "There is a need to do something about the industrial base in the continent. Otherwise we will continue to be exposed to periodic market shocks in export commodities", ELOMBI said. The Cairo-based bank, which focuses on boosting trade in and with Africa through financing, has assets of $12.46bn, with $10.84bn of that being loans. The depositary receipts, which are priced at $4.30/unit with a minimum investment size of $30 000, are aimed at the sophisticated investor like pension funds. The offer is open until Sep. 22, and the receipts will be listed on the Mauritius bourse on Oct. 4, allowing secondary trading in the depositary receipts to commence. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Southern Africa beats target for new power generating capacity - Tanisha Heiberg

Southern African countries have exceeded their 2016 power generation targets by 11%, Energy Minister MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI said yesterday. The South African Power Pool commissioned 4 180W of new generating capacity last year, ahead of a 3 757MW target. "The region has for the first time in the last decade moved the region from a supply deficit to surplus", KUBAYI said. The capacity came from various projects in the region with SA increasing its generating capacity via independent power producers and new units coming on line at coal-fired power plants. ESKOM last month said it would start selling more of its surplus capacity as new plants come on line. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's radical economic transformation policy could turn off investors - Moody's - Mfuneko Toyana

MOODY's yesterday warned that proposed plans by SA's government to implement "radical economic transformation" could turn away investors and rising poverty may curb Treasury's efforts to rein in fiscal deficits. The ratings agency said that plans for land redistribution, preferential procurement and other forms of affirmative action could deter investors. "Some proposals, such as the recently drafted mining charter, present risks to growth by reducing regulatory stability and further undermining investor confidence", MOODY's senior analyst ZUZANA BRIXIOVA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 08/09/2017

At 05h17 on 08 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.79 ZAR/EUR 15.38 ZAR/GBP 16.76 Gold 1349.46 Platinum 1013.70 Brent Crude Oil 54.16 All Share 55878.19

First Quantum sells another precious metals stream on Cobre Panama - Henry Lazenby

Canadian precious metals streaming firm FRANCO-NEVADA has added another gold/silver stream on FIRST QUANTUM's $5.5bn Cobre Panama project, in Panama. FIRST QUANTUM intends to use the proceeds to partially fund its acquisition of a further 10% stake in Cobre Panama from JV partner LS NIKKO COPPER. FRANCO-NEVADA has agreed to pay $178m as an upfront advance payment upon closing of he deal, which is expected to occur by the end of this month. In return, it will pay an ongoing price of 20% of the spot price of gold and sliver until 302 000oz of refined gold and 4.8moz of refined sliver have been delivered. Thereafter, the ongoing price will increase to 50% of the prevailing spot price of gold and silver. FIRST QUANTUM recently said the process to put in place project financing for Cobre Panama continues. Market sounding of banks and export credit agencies was recently undertaken, with the total funding process completion targeted for the end of 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 07/09/2017

At 11h20 on 07 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.83 ZAR/EUR 15.34 ZAR/GBP 16.76 Gold 1338.84 Platinum 1002.00 Brent Crude Oil 54.16 All Share 55197.15

Clover warns on profit citing drought, rand - Tanisha Heiberg

CLOVER INDUSTRIES expects its annual profit to fall by as much as 67% due to prolonged drought conditions and rand volatility, the company said today. CLOVER forecast HEPS of 62.4cps-66.1cps for the FY to end-Jun., down from 188cps reported y/y. "Stagnant and falling selling prices and rising input costs are forcing CLOVER to make difficult decisions to sustain short-term operations, while still aligning these decisions with long-term growth objectives", the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ARM doubles profit, helped by higher metal prices - Tanisha Heiberg

AFRICAN RAINBOW MINERALS reported a 166% jump in FY profit today, helped by higher commodity prices. Diluted HEPS from continuing operations rose to 1 742cps for the FY to end-Jun., from a restated 654cps y/y. ARM said the rise was mainly as a result of higher US dollar prices realised for all the commodities in its portfolio relative to y/y period. The company raised its dividend to 650cps from 225cps y/y. It set aside a provision of R330m for a possible settlement with miners who contracted lung disease. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA aims to pass delayed mining law by Dec. - Zwane - Wendell Roelf

Amendments to SA's Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act are expected to be passed by Dec. and provide greater investor certainty, Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE said today. Changes to the MPRDA were initially passed by parliament three years ago but were sent back to legislators by President JACOB ZUMA in 2015 due to concerns over its constitutionality. "We are continuing to support the parliamentary processes towards our new target date of December 2017 for promulgation. This is not a Department of Mineral Resources goal, but a national one", ZWANE said in a speech to a conference in Australia. Regarding the contentious Mining Charter, ZWANE said: "The 2017 Mining Charter is law, and all right-holders in South Africa are expected to implement it". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's downgrades China's 5th largest bank to junk - Gabriel Wildau

MOODY's has downgrade BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS, China's 5th-largest lender by assets, to junk status citing its increasing reliance on pricey and volatile wholesale funding. The agency downgraded BOCOM's baseline credit assessment one notch to Ba1 from Baa3, crossing the divide between investment grade and junk. "The downgrade of BOCOM's BCA is driven by its weaker funding profile when compared to other state-owned Chinese banks, as well as its pressured profitability as a result of an environment of increasing market funding costs", MOODY's said. The ratings agency noted that BOCOM's wholesale funding rose to 34% of tangible assets at end-Jun. 2017, up from 26% at end-2015. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Atlas Mara unveils record HY profits - Martin Arnold

BOB DIAMOND has hailed the highest ever interim profits from ATLAS MARA as proof that his efforts to turn round the business are starting to show results. DIAMOND said: "Despite ongoing economic challenges across our markets, in the first half of 2017 we have begun to demonstrate the potential earnings power that ATLAS MARA can deliver". The company 's net profits for the HY to end-Jun. were $11.5m, up from $1.2m y/y. "With this performance momentum, and the support shown by both our existing and new investors, we can accelerate delivery on our strategy". The company last year launched a restructuring programme to strip out $20m of costs and raised $200m of fresh equity earlier this year by selling a large minority stake to FAIRFAX HOLDINGS of Canada. ATLAS MARA's total loan book fell 8% y/y to $1.33bn at end-Jun. The company said this reflected "a cautious risk appetite in certain markets coupled with a slower recovery of economic conditions prevalent in 2016, constraining demand for credit". Loan impairments were flat at $10m and the company's ratio of non-performing loans to its total loan book fell from 13.2% to 12%. Revenues in the markets business rose by a third to $27.4m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US trade deficit grows less than expected - Mamta Badkar

Data published yesterday showed the US trade deficit of goods and services increased less than expected in July while officials have begun renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. The US trade shortfall widened to $43.7bn in July, up $0.1bn m/m, the Census Bureau said. That compared with Reuters' estimates that the deficit would swell to $44.6bn. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit rose $27.9bn or 9.6% y/y. The US-China trade deficit in goods also climbed to $33.56bn in July, from $32.58bn in June and stood at $204.2bn year-to-date, compared with $191.2bn y/y. While the US-Canada trade deficit increase in July m/m, the deficit with Mexico narrowed for the month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fed vice chair Stanley Fischer to leave in Oct. - Jessica Dye

The Federal Reserve's vice-chair, STANLEY FISCHER, has handed in his resignation, announcing yesterday that he intends to leave in mid-Oct. FISCHER has been a member of the Fed's board of governors since 2014. He said in a brief resignation letter he will step down "on or around" Oct. 13, citing personal reasons. FISCHER said in his resignation letter that in the wake of the financial crisis "we have built upon earlier steps to make the financial system stronger and more resilient and better able to provide the credit so vital to the prosperity of our country's household and businesses". He praised Fed chair JANET YELLEN, calling it a "great privilege" to work alongside her "as well as many other dedicated and talented men and women throughout the Federal Reserve system". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nordea to move HQ to Finland - Richard Milne

NORDEA will move its headquarters from Sweden to Finland after the Nordic region's biggest bank decided it wanted to be based inside the eurozone's banking union. The lender has been in conflict with the Swedish government over proposed tax hikes and extra regulation, and it has debated moving its headquarters for the past six months either to Helsinki or Copenhagen. Helsinki won out as Finland is already inside the banking union, while Denmark and Sweden have only said they would consider joining the arrangement. "The level playing field and predictable regulatory environment offered by the banking union are, we believe, in the best interest of NORDEA's customers, shareholders and employees", NORDEA chair BJORN WAHLROOS said. The bank said the move would save it around €1bn in resolution fees and deposit guarantees that it would no longer have to pay. It estimated that the resolution fees next year would be up to €200m higher than this year, while those in 2019 would be up to €150m more. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil cuts rates - Joe Leahy

Brazil's central bank has cut interest rates by 100 bps as it pushes ahead with a rapid easing of monetary policy following a precipitous fall in inflation. The central bank cut rates to 8.25%, the eighth cut in the nearly year-long easing cycle, which comes as Brazil's economy has emerged from its longest recession on record. "The behaviour of inflation remains very favourable, with diverse measures of inflation in low levels", the central bank said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto climbs after 50% lift in coal reserves at Australian mine - Edward White

RIO TINTO shares rose 1% today after the company announced a 50% rise in reserves at one of its Australian coal mines amid ongoing speculation the operation had been placed on the market. RIO lifted its resource estimate for the Kestrel mine from 123mt to 185mt. The underground mine, in which RIO owns an 80% stake, produced about 5mt of coal annually, and is one of several Australian coking coal assets the company has reportedly put up for sale. Last month, RIO completed a $2.6bn sale of its COAL & ALLIED assets to YANCOAL. RIO shares were up 1% at A$68.92 in morning trade in Sydney. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alibaba-backed Best IIPO launches $1bn New York IPO - Hudson Lockett

ALIBABA-backed BEST LOGISTICS has launched its IPO in New York and is seeking up to $1bn in what could be the largest float of a Chinese entity in the US this year. The company, known as BEST INC in the US, filed in June, seeking to tap investor enthusiasm for China's ecommerce and logistics industries. BEST was valued at $3bn in a funding round in 2016, and ALIBABA is the company's biggest shareholder at 23.4%. Bankers began a week-long roadshow today with initial price guidance of $13-$15/share, valuing the sale at $807m-$932m. If the greenshoe option of adding up to 15% more shares is fully exercised, the sale could raise up to $999.8m. The price range represents 18-20 times the company's expected 2019 profits, according to bankers involved in the deal. BEST's June filing showed its revenues had almost trebled over the previous three years to $1.3bn, while losses nearly doubled to $198m last year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australia Jul. trade balance misses estimates - Edward White

Australia's trade surplus came in well below forecasts in July with declines in key commodity exports offsetting a drop in imports. The country posted a seasonally adjusted trade surplus of A$460m in July, down from A$888m in June, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The number for Jul. was almost half the A$875m forecast by a Reuters survey. Exports and services credits fell 2% to A$31.0bn, with non-rural goods dipping 3% to A$18.9bn while rural goods were up 2% at A$4.2bn. Imports were down 1% to A$30.6bn, led by consumption goods falling 2% to A$8.4bn and intermediate and other merchandise goods declining 1% to A$9.0bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German industrial output fails to improve in July - Paul McClean

German industrial output failed to improve in July, remaining flat after swinging to an unexpected loss in June in a poor start to the quarter for a sector that accounts for nearly a third of the country's economy. Official figures from Destatis show that total industrial output growth in Germany was flat at 0% in July, unchanged after June's 1.1% contraction. Analysts had expected it to grow by 0.6% in July. Production in industry excluding energy and construction was up by 0.3%, while capital and consumer goods production fell 0.3%. Analysts said the data, coming after a drop in new orders unveiled yesterday, should not prompt worries over the state of the German economy. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ashmore profits leap after return of EM inflows - Jennifer Thompson

Emerging markets investment house ASHMORE slightly beat analysts' expectations with a 23% rise in profits in the FY to end-Jun., underlining the brighter tone of the asset class. Pretax profit reached £206.2m in the period, compared to analysts' consensus of £200m. However revenues proved slightly disappointing, growing 11% to £257.6m, less than the £268.3m analysts were looking for. Assets under management rose 12% in the period, to $58.7bn. ASHMORE's total dividend for the year was held steady at 16.65pps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

HTC drops as much as 8% after Aug. sales down by half - Alice Woodhouse

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC fell as much as 8% today after the company reported Aug. sales had fallen and local media suggested GOOGLE was in the late stages of talks to buy its smartphone team. Figures published yesterday showed HTC's Aug. sales had fallen 54% y/y. Taiwanese newspaper China Times today report that GOOGLE was already in the late stages of discussions to buy HTC's smartphone research and development team. The claims follow a Bloomberg report late in Aug. that the company was exploring options ranging from selling its Vive VR headset business to spinning off the VR business or a full sale of the company. HTC shares closed down 6.6% in Taipei on Thursday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Higher gold price and weaker dollar boosts SA's reserves - BDpro

SA's gold and forex reserves got a boost from the higher gold price and the weaker dollar in Aug., the SARB said today. Gold reserves were $152m higher at $5.262bn, and forex reserves rose $13m to $39.132bn. Gross reserves were $175m higher at $46.921bn. This followed a $606m fall to $46.746bn in July. The SARB said the positive effects of the stronger gold price and weaker dollar were "partially offset by foreign exchange payments made on behalf of the government". The balance of foreign currency deposits received was negative, reflecting a net outflow of $7.4bn, an improvement of $37m from July. The forward position improved by $20m to $3.133bn, and the international liquidity position increased to $42.646bn - up $232m from July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FirstRand FY normalised earnings up 7% - BDpro

FIRSTRAND today reported that normalised earnings, as well as basic and diluted normalised EPS rose 7% for the FY to end-Jun. The lender raised its ordinary dividend for the period by 13% to 255cps. Basic and diluted HEPS rose 6% to 423.7cps. Return on equity softened to 23.4%, from 24% previously. Total net interest income rose 7% at group level, while non-interest revenue increased by 8%. Normalised earnings at FNB rose 5% to R12.9bn and comprises 53% of total earnings. RAND MERCHANT BANK increased normalised earnings 11% to R6.9bn, and WESBANK 2% to R3.9bn. FNB customers grew 3% while premium customers were up 75. Total costs rose 7%, down from 11% in 2016, due to investment in insurance and asset management franchises, platforms to extract further efficiencies and building the footprint in the rest of Africa. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Italtile board gives go-ahead for buyout of Ceramic Industries - Creamer Media Reporter

The board of ITALTILE is satisfied that the acquisition of CERAMIC INDUSTRIES and EZEE TILE ADHESIVE MANUFACTURERS can proceed, despite the condition imposed by the Competition Tribunal. The Tribunal last month approved the deal on the condition that ITALTILE employees may not receive or gain access to any information of CIL relating to third-party customers. This includes information regarding the terms and conditions on which CIL contracts with its third-party customers. CIL is ITALTILE's primary supplier of tile, sanitaryware and baths, but it also supplies other customers, including CASHBUILD, MASSMART nad TILETORIA. ITALTILE will acquire 14.46m CIL shares for R1.75bn in cash and the issue of 150.94m ITALTILE shares. This will raise its stake in CIL to 95.47% from 21% previously. The deal will also result in ITALTILE increasing its stake in EZEE TILE, a manufacturer of grout, adhesives and related products, from 46% to 71.54%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Woodside steadily building offshore position in Africa - Esmarie Swanepoel

Australian energy major WOODSIDE will continue to grow its portfolio of offshore petroleum assets across the African region, executive VP for global exploration PHIL LOADER said yesterday. Speaking on the sidelines of the Africa Downunder conference in Perth, LOADER said the company was steadily building a position in Africa, targeting areas that offered attractive commercial opportunities. "We are not mortgaging the company to go exploring, we are taking a prudent approach to risk and uncertainty, and we have a world-class exploration team and are making the right decisions", LOADER said. He noted that unlike other players in the sector, WOODSIDE was differentiating between risk and uncertainty, with the company taking two to three years to do the initial groundwork on a possible asset before investing funds. LOADER warned that offshore exploration in the African region was not a risk-free environment, adding that the natural environment often offered more competition than other oil explorers. WOODSIDE currently holds some 5 300km² of acreage offshore Gabon, owning a 40% stake in two exploration blocks. It also holds a 35% stake in the SNE oil block offshore Senegal, as well as some 47 519km² in acreage offshore Morocco. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dlamini wants less oversight for SASSA - Amolegang Mbatha, Bloomberg

Social Development Minister BATHABILE DLAMINI has asked the parliamentary speaker to rein in "onerous" requests by a committee overseeing the state welfare agency's efforts to end a contract with NET1 UEPS TECHNOLOGIES to distribute the payments. DLAMINI, in a letter to speaker BALEKA MBETE, said efforts to find a new payment system were at a "sensitive" stage and SASSA needs to finish its work "without compromise or perceived undue influence". She complained that the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the portfolio committee overlapped and constantly requested appearances by SASSA officials. "We are concerned about the onerous reporting requirements placed on SASSA officials who are called to appear almost every week", DLAMINI wrote. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Media24 approves unbundling of Novus shares - Kyle Venktess

MEDIA24 has announced its approval of the unbundling of the majority of its shareholding in NOVUS HOLDINGS. MEDIA24 gave the green light to the unbundling, comprising of around 151.8m NOVUS shares, the company said. The announcement comes after the Competition Tribunal approved a merger filing between the two companies on Aug. 3 this year. MEDIA24 will retain a non-controlling 19% stake in the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

African airlines show increased passenger demand - Fin24

African airlines experienced a 6.5% rise in traffic compared to a year ago, down from 9.8% demand growth in June, according to the International Air Transport Association. Capacity rose 1.7% and load factor jumped 3.4 percentage points to 74.1%. Globally passenger traffic results for Jul. show strong but moderating demand growth. Total revenue passenger kilometres rose 6.8% y/y, down from 7.7% y/y growth recorded in June. Capacity rose by 6.1%, and load factor rose 0.6 percentage points to a July record of 84.7%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sanlam upbeat despite decline in profits - Lameez Omarjee

SANLAM remained upbeat despite recording an 18% drop in headline earnings in the HY to end-Jun. y/y. While normalised headline earnings saw a 5% rise to R4.481bn, deferred tax assets of R1.275bn in respect of certain assessed losses in the policyholder funds after the introduction of a separate Risk Policy Fund for local insurance companies during 2016 saw the headline earnings dip 18% to R4.565bn, from R5.597bn y/y. "We expect the economic and operating environment to remain challenging for various reasons across our footprint for the remainder of the year. However, we are confident that our staff and management will continue to diligently execute on the strategic priorities we have identified and we believe this will sustain our performance going forward". The net value of new covered business rose by 11% at a margin of 2.61%, which exceeds the comparable 2016 margin, it said. Net results from financial services rose by 1%, new business volumes fell by 4%to R110bn and net fund inflows of R19bn were brought in compared to R22bn in 2016. It reported an increase of 1% in net results from financial services y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ARC ready for JSE listing, stays mum on Elandsfontein mine - Elvira Wood

AFRICAN RAINBOW CAPITAL INVESTMENTS has attracted so much interest among prospective investors that it has decided to issue a further 35m shares. ARC will make its debut on the JSE today, with its shares on sale at R8.50. But environmentalists in the Western Cape have contemplated if investors are aware that it will probably still be a significant period before one of ARC's largest investments will begin to earn an income. According to ARC's pre-listing statement, it acquired a 25% stake in the Elandsfontein mining company for R350m. Elandsfontein is not listed and according to the statement, it focuses on "agriculture and food production". ARC says the intrinsic value of its stake in Elandsfontein amounts to R423m. The newly listed company will lend R338m to Elandsfontein, as part of the original transfer to the new portfolio. The company expects to earn R33.2m in interest when the loan is repaid. The loan is unsecured and there are no fixed terms for repayment. Elandsfontein is a phosphate mine that is being developed near Langebaan on the West Coast. Although ARC says in its listing documents that the mine is currently in a "care and maintenance" phase, parent company KROPZ earlier in Aug. indicated it would postpone Elandsfontein's commissioning for an extended period. One of the reasons the company cites for this decision is the "long delay in the issuing of the mine's water use license". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Heavy rainfall predicted in late summer, says water dept - Anine Kilian

Although no heavy rains are expected at the start of the summer season, the South African Weather Services is predicting heavy showers towards the end of the period. "The good news is that the El Nino phenomenon that brings with it the drought, will not hit South Africa this summer", the Department of Water and Sanitation said yesterday. However, the country's dam levels are continuing to slide. The DWS's latest weekly report noted that average dam levels have dropped from 67.6% last week to 67.1% this week. The Vaal dam is at 88.5%, compared with last week when it was at 89.2%. In the Western Cape, dams have reached critically low levels as the rainy season draws to a close, with an average of 33.7%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SANRAL reveals cause of N3 pedestrian bridge collapse - Anine Kilian

The collapse of the Geldenhuys pedestrian bridge on the N3 last month was caused by an impact force on the pier in the median of the highway, an investigation commissioned by SANRAL has established. An independent probe into the incident by SUPERSTRUCTURE CONSULTING ENGINEERS has found that the impact was caused by an 18.1t coil of steel that was found lying 100 m north of the collapsed bridge on the N3 northbound. The report stated that, statistically, it is an extremely rare occurrence for a bridge support to be subject to an impact force of such an extreme magnitude at a height. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AMD used to recover gold from dumps - DRDGold - Martin Creamer

Acid mine drainage is being used to relieve the cost burden of the large volume of water needed to recover gold from mine dump material, as well as lower the demand placed on scarce drinking water. DRDGOLD this week revealed that it is currently receiving eight megalitres of treated AMD water a day from the TRANS-CALEDON TUNNEL AUTHORITY, which is roughly the same quantity of treated sewage water that it receives daily from the sewage treatment plantoperated by the EAST RAND WATER CARE COMPANY. DRDGOLD's requires large quantities of water to mine, pump and process tailings. Its agreement with the TCTA allows for the outsourcing of up to 30 Ml of treated AMD a day from the statutory water authority, which has built an AMD treatment facility on the site of the south west vertical shaft of DRDGOLD's defunct East Rand Proprietary Mine in Germiston. By using AMD and sewage water, DRDGOLD has succeeded in significantly limiting its use of potable water, which is part of a strategic intent articulated several years ago. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold invests more in Brazil-focused Orinoco - Esmarie Swanepoel

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI will increase its stake in ASX-listed ORINOCO GOLD by taking part in a capital raise. ORINOCO yesterday launched a fully underwritten one for two nonrenounceable entitlement issue, priced at 2c apiece, to raise A$4.98m. ANGLOGOLD, which already holds a 17.1% stake in ORINOCO, has entered into a priority sub-underwriting agreement to subscribe for A$1m of the entitlement issue, taking its ownership in ORINOCO to 18.1%. In addition, ANGLOGOLD has also made a A$3m prepayment against its $9.5m exploration earn-in agreement with ORINOCO over the Faina Goldfields project, in Brazil, taking its total commitment as part of the capital raise to A$4m. The balance of the earn-in commitment will be spent to earn a 70% stake in the Faina Goldfields tenement area. With ANGLOGOLD completing an early payment, ORINOCO has agreed to remove any yearly staged spending milestones, with ANGLOGOLD only obligated to spend the amended total exploration spend of around $7.16m by the end of the 36 months from the date of the formal earn-in agreement. ORINOCO said proceeds from the capital raise will be used to strengthen its working capital position at the Cascavel mine, in Brazil, where processing operations had recently restarted. Furthermore, the company will use the funds to gain full ownership of the Cascavel project, acquiring the outstanding 30% interest from its minority partners. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Queensland releases more gas acreage - Esmarie Swanepoel

The Queensland government has opened a further 400km² of prospective land in the Surat and Bowen basins for tender, following a successful pilot project. The government earlier this week awarded SENEX ENERGY 58km² of tenements in the Surat basin coal seam gas acreage, to explore for gas as part of efforts to supply gas to the domestic market. The Queensland Resources Council said the state government was taking decisive action to ease the gas squeeze, with CEO IAN MACFARLANE praising the state government for leading with a proactive approach to the looming east coast gas shortage. MACFARLANE called on the governments of New South Wales and Victoria to follow in the footsteps of the Queensland government and work with industry, "otherwise gas will just move from one state to another while prices rise". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RBPlat in $74m Maseve deal - Martin Creamer

ROYAL BAFOKENG PLATINUM has entered into a $74m term sheet transaction with PLATINUM GROUP METALS to acquire the concentrator plant and surface assets of the Maseve mine, including power and water. Maseve borders RBPLAT's Styldrift I project, with both on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex near Rustenburg. RBPLAT said the agreement affords it immediate access to an operational concentrator plant to treat Styldrift I ore plus the strategic flexibility to potentially extend the life-of-mine of the South Shaft Merensky operations. Payment to MASEVE INVESTMENTS will be made up of $62m in cash and $12m in RBPLAT shares. PTM plans to focus on its Waterberg project, a palladium dominant development asset that hosts most of the company's mineral reserves and resources. The Canada-listed firm said the cash proceeds of the sale would be used to repay debt. Maseve will retail ownership of the mining rights, power and water rights, as well as certain surface rights and improvements. The payment Maseve receives will be remitted to PTM RSA in partial settlement of loans. RBPLAT will be granted a management contract for the Maseve mine for carrying out care-and-maintenance services during the period between the date of grant of the competition approval and the date of Ministerial consent. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Teck raises Q3 coal sales volume forecast - Reuters

TECK RESOURCES of Canada yesterday raised its forecast for sales volumes of its steelmaking coal in Q3, and also said it expects to realise an average price of around $158/t to $163/t. TECK said it now expects to sell between 7.2mt and 7.5mt of coking coal in Q3 due to strong demand, up from a previous forecast of at least 7mt. The Q3 price index for premium quality steelmaking coal sold under contract is $170/t. TECK typically receives around 94% of the benchmark price. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Peabody clears more debt - Henry Lazenby

PEABODY ENERGY has notified lenders that it will repay a further $150m of its senior secured term loan, bringing total debt repaid in Q3 to $300m. The company said it is seeking amendments to accommodate a repricing of the company's senior secured term loan, which after the prepayment will total $647.6m. PEABODY will also modify terms to provide further flexibility for share repurchases and dividends, in line with the company's capital return targets, along with other potential changes. PEABODY advised there is no assurance that it will be successful in amending the terms of its term loan, including its repricing, and any amendments are subject to market and other customary conditions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ivanhoe plans 'new era of production' for historic DRC mine - Natasha Odendaal

IVANHOE MINES has entered into talks to start a "new era of production" at the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-silver-germanium mine, in the DRC, that could deliver one of the highest-grade major zinc mines worldwide. IVANHOE, which recently upgraded Kipushi in conjunction with JV partner GECAMINES, is now plannig to restore production, with the JV - the KIPUSHI CORPORATION - focusing initial mining on the Big Zinc deposit. Talks are under way with GECAMINES and DRC's national railway company SNCC, along with possible project financiers, to advance agreements to launch the new era of commercial production, IVANHOE executive chair ROBERT FRIEDLAND said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania raises fuel prices - George Obulutsa

Tanzania's energy regulator yesterday raised the maximum retail prices of petrol and diesel, citing rising costs of petroleum imports, but cut the price of kerosene. The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority raised the retail price of petrol by 0.53% and diesel by 3.1%. Kerosene prices were cut by 1.04% in the latest monthly caps, which take immediate effect. "The increases in petrol and diesel local pump prices have been caused by increases in the world oil market prices and bulk procurement system premiums", EWURA said. The regulator raised the price of petrol in Dar es Salaam by 10 shillings to 1 989 shillings per litre, and that of diesel by 57 shillings to 1 887 shillings per litre. Kerosens fell by 19 shillings to 1 811 shillings per litre. Inflation slowed to 5.2% y/y in July from 5.4% in June, due to slower rises in food and fuel prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodafone sells down stake in Vodacom - TJ Strydom

VODAFONE has sold down its stake in VODACOM by 5.2 percentage points, it announced yesterday, sending the African group's share price down by more than 6%. The sale of 90m shares for R14.85bn in a private placement reduces VODAFONE's stake in VODACOM to 64.5%. The sale follows VODAFONE's move to consolidate its African holdings by selling most of its holding in SAFARICOM to VODACOM in exchange for a larger stake in the South African company. That deal pushed the proportion of the South African company's shares that are traded on the JSE below the bourse's minimum threshold of 20%. "As part of the SAFARICOM transaction, VODAFONE therefore committed to VODACOM that it would sell down a sufficient number of shares to ensure that VODACOM will meet the 20% minimum free float requirement on the JSE", VODAFONE and VODACOM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's business confidence at lowest in over 30 years - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SACCI's monthly business confidence index fell to 89.6 in Aug., the lowest level since the mid-1980s, from 95.3 in July. "Lower merchandise import and export volumes mainly caused the sharp monthly decline of the BCI in August 2017. Lower consumer inflation and new vehicle sales made only moderate positive monthly contributions", SACCI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China to loan Guinea $20bn in exchange for minerals - Saliou Samb

China yesterday agreed to loan Guinea $20bn over almost two decades in exchange for mineral concessions focused mainly on bauxite, Mines Minister ABDOULAYE MAGASSOUBA said. The projects guaranteed by the loan included CHINA POWER INVESTMENT CORP's planned alumina refinery and ALUMINIUM CORP OF CHINA's bauxite project, both in Boffa, northwest Guinea. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 07/09/2017

At 07h42 on 07 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.80 ZAR/EUR 15.26 ZAR/GBP 16.70 Gold 1334.97 Platinum 1001.00 Brent Crude Oil 54.16 All Share 55480.20

Shoprite guilty of reckless lending, fined - Yolandi Groenewald

SHOPRITE has been fined R1m after being convicted of reckless lending. The National Consumer Tribunal handed down judgment today after a probe showed that the retailer did not conduct adequate checks to find out if its lenders could service its loans. National Credit Regulator CEO NOMSA MOTSHEGARE said the probe showed SHOPRITE entered into credit agreements with consumers without conducting a reasonable and objective assessment of their ability to afford the loans. The credit regulator said the retailer's business units SHOPRITE INVESTMENTS and SHOPRITE INSURANCE COMPANY sold retrenchment and occupational disability cover to pensioners and consumers receiving government grants. The tribunal found that SHOPRITE committed prohibited conduct under the NCA, and imposed fine of R1m against the retailer. It also ordered SHOPRITE to appoint a debt counsellor at its own costs to assess if the consumers mentioned in the referral are over-indebted. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Higher copper prices boost Codelco profits even as output drops - Neil Hume

CODELCO has reported a big rise in HY profits even as output declined. Aided by higher prices, the company said gross profits in the HY to end-Jun. almost doubled to $990m as production from its mines slipped to 798 000t, from 843 000t y/y. In spite of the decline, CODELCO said it was on course to produce 1.7mt of copper this year. CODELCO CEO NELSON PIZARRO yesterday said Chinese copper demand was likely to remain solid in the near future. Copper has been one of the best-performing major commodities of 2017. The price has risen 25% this year to almost $7 000/t, helped by Chinese demand and a string of outages at major mines. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK sells £4bn of debt maturing in 2065 - Kate Allen

The UK has sold £4bn of ultra long-dated gilts in a syndication that tapped its existing 2065 bond. The sale was the UK's last non-index linked syndication for 2017. Orders topped £25bn and the high demand meant that the UK's Debt Management Office increased the size of the offering by £800m above what it had originally planned. Ninety percent of the buyers were domestic UK investors. The issuance was priced at 132.145 bps, the equivalent of a yield of 1.547%. The UK has now raised £55.5bn of its £114.2bn debt issuance planned for the year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US factory orders fall by most since 2014 - Mamta Badkar

US factory orders fell in July by the most in nearly 3 years signalling a speedbump for the manufacturing sector. Factory orders fell 3.3% in July, in line with forecasts, the Commerce Department said yesterday - the biggest drop since Aug. 2014. That followed a 3.2% increase the previous month. Orders for durable goods fell 6.8%, sharper than the 2.9% fall economists have forecast. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircrafts, considered a proxy for business spending, rose 15. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 06/09/2017

At 11h29 on 06 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.93 ZAR/EUR 15.44 ZAR/GBP 16.86 Gold 1339.67 Platinum 1007.00 Brent Crude Oil 53.13 All Share 55841.00

Noble Group expects to sell oil business this month - David Sheppard

Struggling commodity trader NOBLE GROUP said it expects to find a buyer for its global oil business this month, as it continues to shrink its operations in a bid to stave off defaulting on its debts. Speaking at a special general meeting, NOBLE chair PAUL BROUGH told investors the sale should be agreed by the end of Sep. "The events in Houston over the last week, I think, have made it a little difficult for some of our investors, but we're still sticking to that timetable", BROUGH said. NOBLE's lenders want to see progress on the oil business sale before agreeing to extend the trader any more credit. The trading house has around $2.6bn in credit facilities and bonds coming due in the next year, with rating agencies warning of a risk of a default. The credit facility necessary for the day-to-day running of its oil business has already been extended to Oct. by its lenders, putting pressure on the company to complete its sale soon. Shareholders at the meeting approved a deal to sell NOBLE's gas and power operations to MERCURIA for $261m to help pay down debt. NOBLE has warned it may lead to a book loss of $133m due to the value the business was carried at in the accounts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia buys $3m in put options to hedge against gold price falls - Henry Sanderson

ACACIA MINING had bought $3.2m of put options on gold to help shore up its balance sheet. The embattled miner said it bought put options on 210 000oz of gold at a strike price of $1 300/oz. The options expire in equal installments of 35 000oz/month over the next six months. The purchases are part of measures to "mitigate cash flows" after ACACIA announced this week it would cease underground operations at its main mine in Tanzania, Bulyanhulu, over the next month. "While investors generally don't like hedged gold producers, as it reduces the exposure to the gold price, ACACIA badly needs to protect its balance sheet with the Tanzanian concentrate ban still in effect, VAT refunds having stopped and the company likely to end the year in net debt", analysts at NUMIS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Standard Bank: 'The only question' is by how much the pound will fall - Paul McClean

It's been a good couple of weeks for the pound, but not all are convinced it will last. According to a bearish note from analysts at STANDARD BANK, sterling will fall by another 5% in trade weighted terms and will come close to parity against the euro in the next year. STEVE BARROW, head of G10 strategy at STANDARD BANK, said the pound is "likely to shed more ground" in the coming months, and will hit £0.97 against the euro in the next year. He warns that while there will likely be periods of hope among the gloom, the "only question is the margin by which the UK - and the pound - will lose". "The real problem for the pound is that Brexit is more of a marathon than a sprint. So while there might be the odd occasion when the pound 'wins' a sprint on citizens' rights, or some other issue, the outcome of the whole race has probably been determined already... A 15% fall in sterling since the referendum suggests that the market already thinks that the UK has lost big. We still think it could be a bit bigger still in the final instance, perhaps by another 5% in trade-weighted terms", BARROW wrote. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German factory orders unexpectedly fall for first time since Apr. - Adam Samson

Germany's industrial sector disappointed in July, according to data published today that showed orders at the country's factories unexpectedly declining. New manufacturing orders fell 0.7% in July m/m, compared with expectations in a FactSet survey of a 0.1% rise. The decline was the first since Apr. 2017. Domestic orders dropped 1.6% in July, with new orders from the eurozone sliding 1%. In a bright spot, orders from other countries ticked up 0.6%, signalling that a strong euro was not yet sapping demand for Germany's manufactured goods. Orders for intermediate goods fell 0.4%, big-ticket capital goods fell 0.7% and consumer goods shed 3%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba considers WD proposal to renegotiate JV - Leo Lewis

TOSHIBA is weighing a two-page proposal from WESTERN DIGITAL that would see the US group dropping a legal action, renegotiating the terms of a JV and pulling out of a consortium bidding Y1.9tn for TOSHIBA's prized flash memory business. The sudden emergence of the WESTERN DIGITAL proposal could in theory bring TOSHIBA closer to making a decision on the sale of its prized chip business - a deal its creditors are keen for the conglomerate to secure in order to avoid delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. TOSHIBA officially remains in talks with three separate bidding consortiums over the sale of the memory business. The new WD proposal was described by sources familiar with its contents as "unclear in key areas" - although the new possibilities that it raises will be discussed by TOSHIBA's executive committee and likely by the full board over the next few days. Shares in TOSHIBA closed up 4.8% in Tokyo. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gazprom signals initial China gas pipeline volumes - Edward White

GAZPROM has signalled the initial volume it will supply to China when the new trans-Siberian gas pipeline comes online in 2020. The Russian company is building a 3 000km-long pipeline as part of a $400bn gass deal inked in 2014, which is expected to annually supply as much as 38bn cubic metres of gas by 2025. A GAZPROM executive said the company would initially supply around 4.6bn cubic metres via the Power of Siberia pipeline in 2020. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australia Q2 GDP rises 0.8%, misses forecast - Alice Woodhouse

Australia's economic growth for the quarter to end-Jun. came in just short of economists' forecasts as lower coal and iron ore prices for the period impacted export revenues. GDP grew 0.8% q/q in Q2, up from 0.3% q/q, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was slightly below economists' estimates of 0.9%. The y/y rate rose to 1.8%, from 1.7% q/q. this was a scrape below forecasts of 1.9% growth. Domestic spending picked up during the period, rising 1% boosted by household consumption which rose 0.7%. The country's manufacturing industry grew 1.8% during the period. GDP growth for 2016 and 2017 was 1.9%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's senate approves landmark lending reform - Joe Leahy

Brazil's senate has passed a landmark reform to reduce subsidised lending by the country's main long-term lender, the national development bank BNDES. Under the changes, the BNDES will change its basic lending rate from one freely determined by a government-run committee to a market rate based on the five-year treasury rate. The transition, which is to start next year and take five years, has been hailed by free market advocates as opening long-term lending in Brazil to greater competition from the private sector. They also argue that removing the larger volumes of subsidised lending stemming from BNDES will make it easier for the central bank to conduct monetary policy and will ease pressure on the government's ballooning budget deficit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

HP Enterprise shares up as earnings beat forecasts - Hannah Kuchler

HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE beat forecasts on revenue and earnings in what CEO MEG WHITMAN said was an "encouraging sign" for the company. Shares in HPE rose 4.6% to $14.69 in after-hours trading in New York. In Q3, revenue rose 3% y/y to $8.2bn, or 6% when adjusted for currency and divestitures. This was higher than the average analyst estimate for sales of $7.5bn, driven by growth in the enterprise group and the financial services unit. Adjusted diluted EPS were 30cps, beating the consensus forecast for 26cps. Net earnings were $200m. HPE issued its outlook for the FY, forecasting adjusted diluted net EPS of 136cps-140cps. For Q4, diluted net EPS is expected to be between zero and four cents per share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investors shun $20bn T-bills auction as debt limit looms - Eric Platt

Investors shunned a $20bn auction of Treasury bills yesterday in the latest tremor to be felt as the US nears its debt ceiling. The US Treasury sold new four-week bills with a yield of 1.3% on the day, the highest it has had to pay at an auction of the maturities since 2008. The obligations mature on Oct. 5, after the Sep. 29 deadline by which STEVEN MNUCHIN, US Treasury secretary, has told congressional leaders they should act. Investors expect the government to be fully out of cash by early- to mid-Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Capitec expects interim HEPS to rise up to 18% - BDpro

CAPITEC expects its headline profit to rise by up to 18% in the HY to end-Aug. y/y. In a voluntary trading update this morning, the lender said it expected HEPS to rise to 1 745cps-1 790cps. Interim results will be released in late September. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MMI keeps dividend steady despite tough trading environment - BDpro

MMI has maintained its annual dividend for the FY to end-Jun., despite a tough trading environment taking its toll on earnings and new business. Diluted core HEPS were unchanged, but diluted HEPS fell 11% during the period. New business shed 23% to R547m, embedded value was off 1% at R42.5bn and the return on embedded value fell sharply, to 4.7% from 12.8% y/y. MMI declared a dividend for the year of 157cps, unchanged y/y. At MOMENTUM RETAIL, new business fell 9% to R228m and the present value of new business premiums fell by 3% to R22.8bn. To address this, MMI plans to double the number of MOMENTUM agents to 1 600 over the next four years. Earnings in this segment fell 15% to R1.27bn. METROPOLITAN RETAIL's new business fell 7% to R178m but present value of new business premiums was up 5% to R5.2bn. Earnings fell 6% to R660m. MMI said it planned to sharpen its focus on SA and, in its international operations, to focus more on Southern Africa. New business in the rest of Africa grew 3% to R73m and the present value of new business premiums was up 3% to R2.5bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Adcorp replaces ousted CEO - BDpro

ADCORP HOLDINGS has named former MMI executive INNOCENT DUTIRO to succeed RICHARD PIKE as its new CEO. DUTIRO headed the African and Asian division of the insurance firm. PIKE and former COO NELIS SWART agreed to stand down from their roles with immediate effect at the start of Aug., following a board reshuffle. MARK JURGENS has been acting CEO and will become COO once DUTIRO takes the helm on Oct. 1. ADCORP also announced the sale of its 34% stake in India's NIHILENT TECHNOLOGIES to DIMENSION DATA for $25.5m. The sale will be effected via Mauritius-based HATCH INVESTMENTS. DIDATA will subscribe for HATCH shares, and then HATCH will buy back the HATCH shares held by ADCORP subsidiary ADCORP WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS, the unit that housed the NIHILENT investment. ADCORP said it had invested around R141m in NIHILENT so far. Its share of profit from the investment in the FY to end-Feb. was R23.4m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rhodes Food plunges more than 10% - Karl Gernetzky

RHODES FOOD GROUP fell more than 10% on the JSE yesterday after the company said international turnover had declined by 21.89% in the 10 months to end-July. HEPS were expected to be between 25% and 35% lower at 86.6cps-99cps, the company said. Group turnover increased 9.9% during the period, and regional turnover by 21.1%. The international business had been affected by the stronger rand, which had appreciated 11.9% during the period. Management expected trading across the regional and international businesses to continue at similar levels for the last two months of the FY. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent backs German startup behind high-speed flying jet taxi - Marie Mawad, Bloomberg

With a promise to haul passengers from downtown Manhattan to JFK Airport in just five minutes, flying jet taxi designer LILIUM GMBH raised $90m from investors including TENCENT. The Munich-based startup wants to use the money raised to build a prototype that can seat five people and fly as fast as 300km/hour, after its existing two-seater test model had a successful first flight in Apr., Chief Commercial Officer REMO GERBER said. Other backers include Luxembourg private bank LGT GROUP, OBVIOUS VENTURES and UK investor ATOMICO, bringing the company's total capital raised to more than $100m. "We think our technology could be rapidly adopted in urban areas or between cities - all you need is a landing pad", GERBER said. "We're looking for partners who can operate it, at a cost similar to train transport or taxi for passengers". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

African airlines show largest air freight demand increase - Fin24

African carriers posted the largest y/y rise in air freight demand of all regions in Jul. 2017 with freight volumes growing 33.7% - the second fastest monthly rise in seven years, according to figures published by the International Air Transport Association. Capacity increased by 4.5% over the same period. Demand has been boosted by robust growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia, which increased 80% y/y in June, and by 65% in H1 2017. The IATA report shows that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres, rose by 11.4% in Jul. 2017 compared to the same period a year ago. This was the fourth time in five months that double-digit annual growth was recorded. Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres, grew by 3.7% y/y in Jul. 2017. Demand growth continues to outstrip capacity growth, which is positive for airline yields and the industry's financial performance, according to IATA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sanlam Private Wealth Africa opens office in Mauritius - Fin24

SANLAM PRIVATE WEALTH has opened its first office in Africa outside SA. SPW MAURITIUS is a crucial building block in the unit's expansion. SPW AFRICA will follow the SANLAM GROUP footprint across the continent, in partnership with SANLAM's existing partners in several African countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. Mauritius will form the hub of SPW AFRICA's expansion strategy, consisting of SPW MAURITIUS, focusing on wealth management, and SUMMIT TRUST MAURITIUS, offering multi-jurisdictional fiduciary and tax advice and services to private clients and a range of company administration services to the corporate market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stor-Age enters UK market with R1.3bn acquisition - Creamer Media Reporter

STOR-AGE will acquire a 97.3% stake in UK self-storage operator STORAGE KING for R1.3bn. The acquisition is in line with the JSE-listed company's strategy of targeting international self-storage markets with attractive growth potential to complement its South African operations. CEO GAVIN LUCAS says STORAGE KING represents an excellent entry point into the UK market and a springboard for future offshore expansion. STOR-AGE will settle the purchase price via debt and equity. It has negotiated for a refinanced £25m debt facility in STORAGE KING, which will effectively see STOR-AGE pay £53m, or about R887m, for the 97.3% stake in STORAGE KING. The STORAGE KING portfolio comprises 13 properties throughout England with a bias towards the South East and East, and an average occupancy of 78% of gross lettable area. The deal is expected to close in Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fairvest FY distributions up 10% y/y - Anine Kilian

FAIRVEST PROPERTY has grown its distributions by 10.04% y/y to 18.33cps for the FY to end-Jun., exceeding market guidance. Revenue grew 18.4% to R331.1m, due to income growth in its historic portfolio, as well as the acquisitions concluded during the FY. A strong focus on cost containment and more efficient recoveries of municipal charges improved the net property expense ratio to 15.5%, relative to 17.3% y/y. CEO DARREN WILDER said the property portfolio's value had increased by 14.5% to R2.20bn. The growth is attributable to acquisitions to the value of R113.5m, as well as capex incurred of R35.7m, offset by the disposal of the SASSA House asset for R40m. Over the next 24 months, FAIRVEST will strategically focus on and target retail assets weighted towards rural and community shopping centres in high-growth nodes, closer to commuter networks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

WBHO sees challenges sip from the profit cup - Irma Venter

A problematic Australian contract and a payment in accordance with a settlement agreement between government and the local construction sector following an investigation into collusion have seen profits slip at WILSON BAYLY HOLMES-OVCON. The company yesterday reported a 4.1% growth in revenue for the FY to end-Jun. to R31.9bn, compared with the previous FY. The operating margin contracted from 3.3% to 3.1%. Operating profit before non-trading items reached R986m compared with the R1bn recorded in the prior year. Included in non-trading items was a payment of R170m to be made to the TIRASANO TRUST over a period of 12 years arising from the settlement agreement signed with government in Oct. 2016. WBHO noted that strong growth from the company's local building divisions and an improved performance from the roads and earthworks division increased the contribution from SA towards group revenue from 32% to 36%. Revenue from the rest of Africa fell by 33% due to lower activity in Mozambique and Botswana, while revenue of R18.6bn from Australia, which comprised 58% of group revenue, was largely in line with the y/y period. Revenue from construction materials of R893m was also essentially flat. WBHO in Jun. entered the UK construction market via the acquisition of a 40% stake in the BYRNE GROUP, a frame contractor based in London. WBHO's total order book stood at R45bn at end-Jun., up 5% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

African Petroleum to take Gambian dispute to court - Reuters

AFRICAN PETROLEUM CORP plans to go to court to resolve its dispute with Gambia, the company said on Monday, after the government stripped it of its rights to explore for oil in two offshore areas. "It is a matter of regret that it has come to this; however, we are confident in our legal position", CEO JENS PACE said. Licence area blocks A1 and A4 are thought to contain up to 3bn barrels of oil and lie next to licences in neighbouring Senegal where big discoveries have been made. Gambia's presidency late last month said the licences for the two blocks had expired and were now open for relicensing. Gambia also says AFRICAN PETROLEUM has failed to meet its commitments, a charge it denies. PACE has held talks with President ADAMA BARROW, who replaced long-ruling dictator YAHYA JAMMEH in Jan., in a bid to resolve the dispute, but they have yielded no agreement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRDGold shrugs off challenges, declares dividend - Martin Creamer

DRDGOLD yesterday declared a final dividend of 5cps despite the challenging 12 months to end-Jun. CEO NIEL PRETORIUS described the company's FY2017 as positioning it well for the years ahead. Gold production was 4% lower at 4 265kg during the FY, reflecting a 5% drop in the average yield to 0.171g/t. Operating profit was 41% lower at R256.8m, after accounting for a 5% increase in total cash operating costs to R2 087.9m. During the year, costs were rigorously addressed for the longer term, PRETORIUS said. On sustainable development during the year, PRETORIUS said only five dust exceedances were measured compared with 22 in the prior year, reflecting the positive impact of the company's ongoing dump vegetation programme. Total water usage dropped by 8% and usage of externally sourced potable water by 26%, pointing to the success of water distribution system improvements, and 90ha of land were cleared for redevelopment compared with 62ha in the prior year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Polyus starts commissioning of main greenfield project - Mariaan Webb

Russia's POLYUS has started the first stage of hot commissioning of the Natalka mine, the gold miner's main greenfield project. Located in Magadan, the Natalka mine will be the largest in Russia's Far East, with the capacity to produce 420 000oz-470 000oz/year. The project is expected to help the company lift its gold output by a third by 2019. POLYUS expects to reach full production levels at Natalka, whose mine life is 31 years, by the end of 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jubilee announces partnership agreement with DCM - Anine Kilian

Through subsidiary JUBILEE TAILINGS TREATMENT COMPANY, JUBILEE MINERALS has executed a framework, treatment of tailings and chrome-ore agreement with DILOKONG CHROME MINES, as well as a third-party ore agreement for the toll-refining of RoM chrome ore. The agreement cancels and supersedes all existing agreements in respect of chrome processing and PGMs recovery at DCM. It also transforms JUBILEE's DCM operations, as an equal JV with DCM, on all chrome ore including third-party chrome ore. It affords JUBILEE the right to 50% of all earnings generated from the processing of chrome ore. This compared with JUBILEE holding no rights to chrome earnings at the outset of the DCM project. The agreement also secures JUBILEE's unencumbered PGM rights from all material processed at DCM, irrespective of the source. In addition, the ore agreement offers a toll processing contract to JUBILEE of up to 40 000t/m of RoM material. An initial three-year term has been agreed between the parties, which can be extended by agreement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cabinet to review plan to merge state-owned telecom firms - Wendell Roelf

A plan to merge two of SA's state-owned telecoms firms into a single broadband network company will be reviewed by the cabinet in Dec., a senior government official told lawmakers on Tuesday. The government hopes to combine the fibre network and high-speed bandwidth capacity of BROADBAND INFRACO with SENTECH's satellite capability, boosting connections to remote areas as it aims to lift mobile broadband coverage to 80% of the population by 2019. "We don't want a top-heavy company, but a company that has sharp capacity to aggregate what exists in South Africa so we don't duplicate", said ROBERT NKUNA, DG at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. NKUNA told a parliamentary committee the law would need to be amended to allow for the establishment of a NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK CO by around 2020. The firm will be able to strike access agreements with SOEs, such as ESKOM, and eventually private sector firms, NKUNA said. "We don't see the NBN as a monopoly", he added. NKUNA said the department was not in favour of selling off SENTECH, which carries more than 90% of SA's radio and television signal, to the private sector to help fund the new entity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CompCom warns LPG wholesalers on supply deals - Wendell Roelf

The Competition Commission said it would open a case against wholesalers of LPG if they ignored recommendations to end long-term supply agreements by Sep. 30, senior officials told lawmakers yesterday. The Commission in Apr. said supply agreements should be capped at 10 years because deals lasting longer favoured big wholesalers and deterred new entrants into the market. "We are going to have to open a case against wholesalers if the exclusive agreements persist beyond 30 September", Commissioner TEMBINKOSI BONAKELE told parliament. "It is not ideal that we open a case on this because it is going to take time and we are going to be engaged in a very acrimonious litigation with the industry", he said. The Commission launched an inquiry in 2014 into the LPG sector, where 90% of the wholesale market is shared between AFROX, EASIGAS, TOTALGAS and ORYX ENERGIES. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shoprite buys back Basson's shares in $136m send-off - TJ Strydom

SHOPRITE's shareholders yesterday approved a buyback of former CEO WHITEY BASSON's shares for R1.75bn, the company said. The deal was approved by more than 95% of shareholders at an EGM after BASSON exercised a put option in May. BASSON holds 1.52% of SHOPRITE, according to Thomson Reuters data, a stake built up during 38 years at the helm. After initially exercising the put option at R211.97 in May, the agreement between BASSON's firm BASSGRO, which holds the shares, and SHOPRITE was renegotiated to R201.07/share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria exits recession but recovery fragile - Paul Carsten

Nigeria exited recession in Q2, but the pace of growth was slow despite higher earnings from oil, suggesting the economy remains fragile and overly dependent on its dominant export. Growth was 0.55% y/y, the statistics office said, while OPEC data shows crude production rebounded 9.1% to 1.68m bpd over the same period. The GDP expansion was a full percentage point lower than economists polled by Reuters expected, and the statistics office also said the Q1 downturn, at 0.91%, had been steeper than initially estimated. The Nigerian economy shrank by 1.5% in 2016. "This is not at all a robust GDP print", said RAZIA KHAN, chief economist for Africa at STANDARD CHARTERED. "It still falls far short of the growth rates the Nigerian economy should be achieving". The Q2 GDP contribution from the non-oil sector - notably agriculture and manufacturing - shrank slightly q/q and y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Farming helps grow SA economy out of recession - Mfuneko Toyana

SA emerged from a recession in Q2 2017 as agriculture helped the economy expand more than expected, official figures showed yesterday. The economy grew 2.5% in the quarter to end-Jun., after contracting by 0.6% in Q1 and by 0.3% in Q4 2016, Statistics SA said. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a q/q expansion of 2.% and y/y growth of 0.4%. Leading the recovery was the agriculture sector, which expanded 33.6% in Q2 as it recovered from last year's drought. Mining, manufacturing and trade also showed growth. GDP rose 1.1% on an unadjusted y/y basis in Q2, compared with a 1.0% expansion in the previous three months, Stats SA said. "The growth rate is not what planners and those in decision-making positions would have wanted. Although it's not negative, it is not at the level that was planned for", Statistician General PALI LEHOHLA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Orion seeks secondary listing on JSE - Creamer Media Reporter

ORION MINERALS is seeking a secondary listing on the main board of the JSE. The ASX-listed company has applied for approval for the secondary listing under the bourse's fast-track listing process. ORION said the JSE-listing was consistent with the company's strategy of engaging South African capital markets in the funding strategy for its Prieska zinc/copper project, in the Northern Cape. "The ability to access South Africa's large parastatal banks and funds, which are captive within South Africa due to South African exchange control restrictions, is expected to significantly increase funding options for ORION", the company said. The JSE listing is conditional on regulatory approval from the SARB. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Duterte wants ban on openpit mining to stay - Reuters

Philippine President RODRIGO DUTERTE yesterday said he agreed with banning openpit mining in the country given the environmental harm it causes. The president said he had asked Environment and Natural Resources Secretary ROY CIMATU "to look into the eventual closure of openpit mining. I agree with (former Environment Secretary) GINA LOPEZ that that has to stop sometime. But I'll give the mining companies enough elbow room... for eventual change on the modality of getting what's inside the bowels of the earth". LOPEZ banned openpit mining during her time in office. She was replaced by CIMATU in May after she failed to get the confirmation of lawmakers. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane launches probe into deadly Kusasalethu accident - ANA

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE has instructed that no stone should be left unturned in getting ot the cause of the accident which claimed the lives of five mine workers at HARMONY GOLD's Kusasalethu mine last week. "The investigation into the fall-of-ground accident has commenced, starting with an in-loco inspection immediately after our briefing earlier". A statement from ZWANE's office said the minister had met with some of the families who are currently receiving counselling at the mine. "It's concerning for us that we are losing our people in this manner. We appeal to companies and labour unions to ensure that our goal of zero harm is realised", ZWANE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Minergy maintains positive momentum, eyes secondary listing by mid-2018 - Natasha Odendaal

As emerging coal miner MINERGY posts its maiden results for the FY to end-Jun., much work has been done in the background to bring to fruition the full potential of the Masama project in Botswana. So far the potential of the resource had proven far superior to any other coal operations, even in SA's renowned coalfields, MINERGY CEO ANDRE BOJE said yesterday. He explained that of the 347mt of high-quality coal contained across 120km², some 70mt was amenable to opencast mining and easily accessible. To date, 74 diamond core boreholes and 22 reverse circulation boreholes have been drilled, totallign 5 570m over an area of 147km². MINERGY also planned to submit a mining licence application for the project by the end of Sep., with expectations that the licence will be granted by Q2 2018. Further, a revised competent person's report is being finalised, mine plans are in place, markets have been identified and offtake agreements are being negotiated. BOJE expects to complete the process of appointing the suppliers of the processing and wash plants, as well as appointing a mining contractor by the end of Oct., with three contractors and three suppliers shortlisted - all of which were South African companies. Initial production of 1.2mt of saleable coal a year at Masama is planned, ramping up to a production capacity of 2.4mt to 3.45mt a year during steady state, with an initial mine life of around 20 years. Meanwhile, the company is eyeing a secondary listing by July 2018 on either the JSE, the ASX or London's Aim. MINERGY in Apr. successfully listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, following the raising of 72m pula via a private placement. The board has deemed it prudent to investigate the ASX and Aim as alternative listings as a means to find the right fit for the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

De Beers rough diamond sales drop in cycle 7 - Natasha Odendaal

DE BEERS' seventh sales cycle for 2017 saw a decline in the value of rough diamonds sold after some of the demand was absorbed in cycle six owing to an early Diwali. DE BEERS recorded a provisional $505m in diamond sales during the seventh cycle, compared with $576m in cycle six and $639m in the comparative cycle seven in 2016. "As expected, rough diamond sales were somewhat lower in the seventh cycle of the year, with some midstream demand having already been brought forward into cycle six owing to Diwali being earlier than normal in 2017", CEO BRUCE CLEAVER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pretorius may ask DRDGold board to consider hedging volatile rand - David McKay

DRDGOLD CEO NIEL PRETORIUS said he wanted to raise the question of gold or currency hedging contracts at the company's next board meeting as he anticipated the local currency may appreciate in the next 12 months. "We are not planning to hedge at the moment, but I wonder if we shouldn't", he said, citing the example of HARMONY GOLD which sold forward a fifth of its gold production in 2016 and also took out a currency hedge. PRETORIUS expected the gold price in dollar terms to continue its upward trajectory owing to global political instability. "Short term hedging is a possibiltiy if it's supported by short-term dynamics, when the currency is weak and the dollar gold price is quite high", he said. PRETORIUS thought that the rand could strengthen in 2018 following the ANC's elective conference when the current battle to succeed JACOB ZUMA as party head was concluded. "Maybe we should then lock in some upside". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ARC Investments' IPO oversubscribed - TJ Strydom

An IPO by ARC INVESTMENTS was oversubscribed, the company said yesterday, prompting it to offer more shares. ARC last month said it would sell shares worth R4bn in an IPO that values the company at R8.5bn, with about 25% sold to three cornerstone investors, including Singapore's GIC PTE LTD. ARC, which will list on the JSE on Sep. 7, said the offer was oversubscribed and that it will offer a further 35m shares at R8.50 apiece. "The gross proceeds from the offer will increase from R1.9bn to R2.2bn", ARC said, adding that together with the funds from cornerstone investors it would have raised R4.3bn in total. Other cornerstone investors are the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION and SANLAM PRIVATE WEALTH. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 06/09/2017

At 07h31 on 06 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.91 ZAR/EUR 15.38 ZAR/GBP 16.83 Gold 1337.88 Platinum 1003.00 Brent Crude Oil 53.13 All Share 56144.80

Steinhoff offers investors up to 23% of African unit - TJ Strydom

STEINHOFF INTERNATIONAL is offering investors up to 23.2% of its African arm, STEINHOFF AFRICA RETAIL, which it aims ot list on the JSE on Sep. 20, the company said yesterday. With STAR, STEINHOFF lumps food, clothing and furniture chains together to create a listed African retailer with a controlling stake in SHOPRITE its most valuable asset. The offering, in a private placement to invited investors, has been priced at R18-R23/share, valuing the newly listed entity at R62bn-R79bn. The listing will be accompanied by a capital raising through a private placement in order to establish the public shareholding spread and liquidity required by the JSE, STAR said. The company will offer 750m shares, which will represent as much as 21.74% of STAR immediately after the listing and a further 50m shares may be sold to invited investors by a subsidiary of STEINHOFF pursuant to an option. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's: Court ruling on Kenyan election credit negative - Alexander Winning

MOODY's yesterday said a ruling by Kenya's Supreme Court to invalidate last month's presidential election result was a credit negative for the country. MOODY's said the ruling would prolong a period of political uncertainty that has damaged business confidence and undermined growth in Kenya. It said the events would "further stymie the development of policies to address the country's main credit challenges, in particular the large fiscal deficit of 10% of GDP". Kenya's Supreme Court last week declared that the Aug. 8 election won by President UHURU KENYATTA was void, and demanded a new poll within 60 days. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's private sector activity falls in Aug. - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

Activity in SA's private sector fell in Aug. as output and new orders slipped. The STANDARD BANK PMI, compiled by MARKIT, fell to 49.8 in Aug. from 50.1 in July. MARKIT said lower output was linked to falling intakes of new work, as new business slipped for the second time in three months, and at the fastest rate since Apr. 2016. "Policy uncertainty and political turmoil will keep the private sector PMI volatile in the near term", STANDARD BANK economist THANDA SITHOLE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investors piling into Czech Republic - Paul McClean

The Czech Republic now has one of the fastest-growing fan clubs in emerging markets debt. The economy can now boast annual growth rates of around 4.7%, encouraging FITCH to upgrade its outlook on the government's debt to positive last Friday. As DEUTSCHE BANK notes, bond investors have risen to the bait. In a note on EM bond flows, DEUTSCHE points out that inflows in to the asset class has leapt to the highest on record, with flows up by $80bn so far this year to reach a total of $780bn. The overall share of foreign holdings inched up to 15.5%, but some markets really stand out. Foreign investors now account for around 46% of the Czech market, making this the most popular market among foreigners, and up by around 14 percentage points so far this year. Peru, also with 46% foreign ownership, has had an 8-point rise. SA, at 40%, has seen a 4-point rise. DEUTSCHE BANK said that despite some heavy outflows, the total amount invested by foreigners remain highest in Brazil ($131bn), followed by Mexico ($119bn) and South Korea ($72bn). Poland saw the biggest deterioration in foreign holdings. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone investor confidence up - Nicholas Megaw

Stock market declines and the risks of a rapidly strengthening currency have yet to worry investors in the eurozone, with a measure of investor confidence unexpectedly climbing at the start of Sep. SENTIX's measure of eurozone investor confidence rose from 27.7 to 28.2, just shy of the 10-year high it hit in June and defying expectations of a slight decline. Views of the current economic situation slipped, but this was offset by an upswing in expectations for the months ahead. PANTHEON MACROECONOMICS analyst CLAUS VISTESEN described the result as a "welcome sign of resilience" but remained cautious that confidence could wane soon. "We have to assume that risks to equities and sentiment are tilted to the downside in coming months, given the likelihood that a stronger euro dents earnings in Q3, not to mention the increasingly worrying situation in south east Asia". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone producer price growth stable in July - Paul McClean

The rate of growth of producer prices in the eurozone remained broadly stable in July as high rates of growth in the cost of consumer and intermediate goods offset slower growth in energy prices. Overall producer prices in the bloc rose 2% y/y - down from June's figure of 2.4% and slightly below estimates for 2.1% growth. Eurostat said the growth is due to rises of 2.7% for intermediate goods and 2.4% for non-durable consumer goods, but offset by lower growth in capital goods and durable consumer goods. Eurozone PPI has come off its highs reached at the start of the year, after rallying into positive territory in mid-2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rovio announces plans for IPO - Naomi Rovnick

Angry Birds maker ROVIO ENTERTAINMENT has announced plans for an IPO, with the Finnish mobile games and animation studio intending to list its shares in Helsinki to raise at least €30m. Selling shareholders include TREMA INTERNATIONAL, an entity controlled by KAJ HED, the father of ROVIO co-founder MIKAEL HED, who stepped down as CEO in 2014 at a time when the business was struggling financially but who now chairs the company's animation unit. ROVIO earlier this moth said its revenue rose 94% in Q2 y/y to €86.2m, due to the success of the Angry Birds Movie as well as continued strong uptake of its games. Total games revenue in Q2 was €61m. That growth was driven by a 30% rise in the number of monthly paying users and a 51% increase in revenue per monthly paying user. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Norwegian sovereign wealth fund unveils radical investment changes - Richard Milne

The world's largest sovereign wealth fund has unveiled radical proposals to transform its bond investment by turning its back on corporate debt and fixed income in currencies other than dollars, euros and pounds. Norway's $990bn oil fund proposed a number of bid changes to its benchmark index for bonds in a letter published yesterday to the country's finance ministry, which takes the main decisions on asset allocation. The fund recommends that only governments in dollars, euros or sterling should make up its benchmark - an index against which its performance is measured - while the debt should not have a maturity of more than "about 10 years". That would exclude vast swathes of fixed income including all corporate debt, bonds denominated in yen or EM currencies, as well as long-dated issues such as 100-year instruments. The proposal would not exclude the oil fund from owning such investments but over time its portfolio tends to align itself to its benchmark so could lead to significant shifts in bond investments. As of Jun. 30, about a quarter of the fund's fixed income investments - about $80bn - was in corporate bonds. Debt in EM currencies represented around $40bn of its portfolio, while bonds in yen accounted for around $20bn. The recommendations are based on the fund's view that bonds are in its portfolio to lower the risk in the fund and limit the fluctuations in its return. It also follows analysis from the fund that suggests that the benefits of diversification across currencies and countries have been overstated for bond investors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 05/09/2017

At 10h17 on 05 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.97 ZAR/EUR 15.41 ZAR/GBP 16.76 Gold 1331.70 Platinum 1000.00 Brent Crude Oil 52.19 All Share 56337.65

Moody's lifts Poland growth forecast - Paul McClean

MOODY's has lifted its growth forecast for the Polish economy, as high domestic demand and a strengthening fiscal position help the country outpace much of Europe despite earlier warnings that the controversial Law and Justice government would hold back growth. The ratings agency said that following last week's news that the Polish economy grew at 3.9% in Q2, it now expects FY growth to come in at 4.3%. The new forecast is markedly higher than its previous prediction of 3.2%. Many economists warned that the Law and Justice party's 2015 election victory would damage Poland's economy, but growth has accelerated rapidly this year, benefiting from higher domestic demand, private consumption and an improved labour market. MOODY's also expects Poland's fiscal position to strengthen, with a fiscal deficit of less than 2.5% of GDP in 2017, versus an earlier forecast of 2.9% of GDP. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vitol signs offtake deal with Angola LNG - David Sheppard

VITOL has signed a deal with ANGOLA LNG to market cargoes of the fuel, in the latest deal involving a trade house and a major African LNG project. ANGOLA LNG is a $10bn development between SONANGOL, CHEVRON, BP, ENI and TOTAL. It started up in 2013 and aims to deliver 5.2mt of LNG to international markets, o almost 6bn cubic metres. PABLO GALANTE ESCOBAR, VITOL's head of LNG trading, said he was "pleased to add these LNG purchases to our portfolio". The volumes and terms involved were not disclosed. VITOL is expected to trade between 7mt and 7.5mt of LNG this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aveva to be acquired by Schneider Electric - Arash Massoudi

UK engineering software developer AVEVA is set to be acquired by SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC in a multi-step reverse takeover that will mark the third attempt at a combination between the two companies since 2015. Under the terms of the deal, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC will contribute its own software division to AVEVA in exchange for new shares in the British company. SCHNEIDER will emerge with a majority of the enlarged entity's stock as a result. The French company will also pay around 800pps, or more than £500m in cash, to AVEVA shareholders to compensate them for giving up control. The combined entity will retain AVEVA's UK listing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NAFTA negotiators jostle over labour, competition and rules of origin - Jude Webber

NAFTA negotiators gathered in Mexico City for the second round of talks on updating the trade pact are moving forward on telecoms, small businesses, trade facilitation and ecommerce but issues such as rules or origin, competition and labour rights are still proving tricky, according to sources. With differences between the three trade partners still wide apart in some areas, negotiators are still a long way from having a single taxt to work from at all of the 25 negotiating tables. Washington has made clear it would like to lift its national content within the so-called rules of origin - the proportion of a manufactured good that must be made in the region to qualify for duty-free access. Canada has made clear it will not brook changes to the dispute resolution mechanism enshrined in NAFTA's Chapter 19, and Mexico wants a similar mechanism to the current one, if not the same Chapter 19. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan service sector shows signs of slower growth - Edward White

Japan's services sector is showing signs of slower growth. The Japan NIKKEI business activity index came in at 51.6 in Aug., below the 52.0 recorded in July and the lowest level seen since Feb. The survey noted concerns that weaker demand and competitive pressures could undermine further growth. Confidence remained positive, albeit at the lowest level seen in more than a year. MARKIT economist PAUL SMITH said companies were "confident enough to continue to add to their workforce numbers... However, a slide in service sector confidence to a 13-month low provides a little concern that growth could continue to falter in the near term". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China services gauge points to gains for private companies - Hudson Lockett

A survey of China's services sector showed a boost in growth during Aug. The CAIXIN-MARKIT services PMI came in at 52.7 in Aug., rebounding from July's dip and rising further above the 50-point line separating growth from contraction. The reading was the highest in three months, with new business at services companies growing at the quickest pace in as much time. The outlook for the cominb 12 months improved marginally, with one in five companies surveyed expecting expansion over said period. While input growth edged back up from the weakest level in eight years in July, prices charged to clients fell into slight contraction for the first time since Mar. 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hyundai's China production interrupted again over supplier disputes - Edward White

Production at one of HYUNDAI MOTOR's China factories was suspended today after a dispute with a supplier, just a week after a major manufacturing disruption. A plant in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, suspended production this morning after a supplier refused to deliver parts. Relations between Seoul and Beijing remaind strained over South Korea's installation of a US missile defence system to defend against North Korea as it ramps up nuclear weapons testing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RBA holds rates for 13th straight month - Edward White

Reserve Bank of Australia held interest rates steady as expected on Tuesday. The RBA held its cash rate target at 1.5% at its Sep. meeting, marking the 13th consecutive month of no change in the rate. The move was in line with analysts' forecasts. RBA governor PHILIP LOWE said the low level of interest rates "is continuing to support the Australian economy". He noted that an appreciation exchange rate "would be expected to result in a slower pick-up in economic activity and inflation than currently forecast." This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India services sector gauge dip points to GST impact - Edward White

India's new goods and services tax seems to be dragging on the country's services sector two months after its roll-out. The NIKKEI India business activity index came in at 47.5 in Aug., its second consecutive month of decline, albeit at a softer rate of reduction from the 45.9 seen in July. ISH MARKIT principal economist POLLYANNA DE LIMA noted persistent uncertainty was weighing on the sector. "Businesses are holding back on investment, leading to falls in employment... at the same time, input costs are increasing and firms are unable to fully pass those on due to competitive pressures", she said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Switzerland GDP disappoints in Q2 - Alice Woodhouse

Switzerland's economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the quarter to end-Jun. as growth provided by the financial sector and hotels was offset by sluggish growth for trade and public administration. GDP grew 0.3% q/q in Q2, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said, coming in below analysts' forecasts of 0.5% growth. The hotel and catering industry grew 3.4% and the financial sector by 2.7% in Q2, while trade contracted 0.2% and public administration slipped 0.1%. The Swiss economy grew 0.3% y/y in Q2, coming in well below forecasts of 1.1% growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

G7 call N Korea nuclear tests an 'intolerable provocation' - Adam Samson

The G7 yesterday called North Korea's latest nuclear test an "intolerable provocation" that "presents a direct challenge against the international community". The statement is the latest by world leaders to condemn Pyongyang for conducting what may be its largest nuclear test to date. Stark differences remain on how to respond to the growing threat from KIM JONG-UN's government. The TRUMP administration has opened the door to strikes against North Korea, while the British government has said it is still looking for a "peaceful" and "diplomatic" solution. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Datatec shares soar as sales completion sets up shareholder windfall - Hanna Ziady

Shares in DATATEC rose 8.2% to R60.88 yesterday on news that shareholders could be in for a $500m cash windfall, following the completion of the WESTCON-COMSTOR SYNNEX transaction. The transaction was announced in Jun. for a maximum consideration of $830m in cash. It involves the sale of DATATEC's WESTCON-COMSTOR business in North America and Latin America, as well as 10% of the remaining part of WESTCON INTERNATIONAL to US-based SYNNEX CORPORATION. The proceeds of the deal consist of $630m in cash on completion, and up to 4200m payable as a cash earn-out, subject to WESTCON AMERICAS meeting certain agreed gross profit performance targets. The board intended to retain $130m for operational, working capital and expansion funding requirements, DATATEC said. "The board will consider returning the majority of the remaining $500m to shareholders by way of share repurchases and/or a specific dividend, but in the meantime the proceeds will be retained in US dollars". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

York expects rise in FY earnings - Sens

YORK TIMBER HOLDINGS yesterday advised shareholders that EPS and HEPS for the FY to end-Jun. are expected to increase from 73cps to between 113.2cps and 116.8cps. EPS and HEPS are expected to be between 55% and 60% higher y/y, driven by an increase in the company's biological asset valuation. Core EPS is likely to be between 16.4cps and 18.0cps, being 42%-47% lower than the 31.0cps reported y/y as a result of increases in taxation, depreciation and financing costs. EBITDA and fair value adjustments is expected to be 0%-2% higher than the R242.8m reported y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Agribusiness confidence takes knock in Q3 - BDpro

Agribusiness confidence took a knock in Q3 2017 as the unrelenting drought in the Western Cape and low demand for maize exports weighed on sentiment. Conducted by the Agricultural Business Chamber and the INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, the survey measures the perceptions of various role players in agriculture. The agribusiness confidence index fell by two index points during the review period to 54, data showed yesterday. The subindex covering confidence regarding net operating income was down five index points to 63, while the perception regarding export volumes subindex deteriorated by eight index points to 50 - the lowest level since Q3 2016. Despite the decline in the agribusiness confidence in Q3, the index remains in expansionary territory above 50. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tax refund delays not the norm - SARS - Jan Cronje

SARS yesterday said it was unfortunate that Tax Ombud Judge BERNARD NGOEPE had concluded in a report that delayed payments to taxpayers by SARS was a "systemic issue". NGOEPE yesterday said it was clear that the system SARS uses allows it to unduly delay the payment of verified refunds to taxpayers in certain circumstances. In a statement last night, SARS stated that NGOEPE's findings were made in relation to less than 1% of all the refunds the revenue service processes. "It is unfortunate that the Tax Ombud has arrived at the conclusion that the obstacles are systemic in their nature, as they are the exception rather than the rule", it said. "To date, SARS has implemented certain corrective measures, and is committed to continue to do so in order to close the gaps identified in the Tax Ombud's report". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bell Pottinger expelled from PR body for Gupta work - Jan Cronje

BELL POTTINGER has had its membership of the Public Relations and Communications Association terminated. In a press statement embargoed for 01:00 today, the UK-based PRCA announced that the firm would not be eligible to reapply for corporate membership of the PRCA for a minimum period of five years. "BELL POTTINGER has brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute with its actions, and it has received the hardest possible sanctions", PRCA DG FRANCIS INGHAM said. The news comes after the PRCA launched a probe on Jul. 5 into BELL POTTINGER's contentious campaign to represent OAKBAY INVESTMENTS and the GUPTA family. In its statement, the PRCA said its Professional Practices Committee was unanimous in the view that BELL POTTINGER's OAKBAY campaign breached four separate clauses in the industry body's codes of conduct and professional charter. Among the clauses the association found BELL POTTINGER to have breached, was one that forbid PR companies from causing offence "on the grounds of gender, race, religion, disability or any other form of discrimination". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New rules to reduce data costs due soon - Mayibongwe Maqhina

Telecoms and Postal Services Minister SIYABONGA CWELE says final regulations aimed at cutting the high cost of data will be implemented by Oct. CWELE said ICASA was working on mechanisms to regulate the expiry of data bundles. "Initial interventions will ensure provisions to ensure that all segments of data bundles do not automatically expire after 30 days but have a cascading scale, as proposed in ICASA's draft regulations". CWELE added that the industry would be required to inform consumers as data got depleted due to use. Consumers would be allowed an option to choose whether to purchase more data bundles as opposed to the usual default to out-of-bundle rates. "The final regulations will be in place by the end of October", CWELE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India to amend legislation to allow for auctions of offshore minerals - Ajoy K Das

India's Mines Ministry is reframing the rules and legislation for offshore mineral exploration and extraction to bring them in line with legislation governing onshore mineral auctions. The ministry has drawn up amendments to the Offshore Areas Act 2002 for circulation among various stakeholders, leading to a 2017 Bill to be put up for Parliamentary ratification, a government official has said. The highlight of the proposed changes was to bring offshore developments in line with the laws governing the onshore sector, which among other things, included the auction of a composite licence for offshore mineral blocks as prevailed in onshore mineral blocks. The proposed Bill was designed to put in place a mechanism for the granting of a composite exploration-cum-production licence through competitive bidding to ensure a "transparent and nondiscriminatory regime of operating rights in the offshore area". At the same time, the Mines Ministry has also initiated an exercise to amend Mineral Auction Rules 2015. Some of the proposed changes include that an auction process may be annulled in the case of an investor not executing a mining lease deed after a letter of intent was issued. The entire auction process will then have to be restarted. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fairfax offers $154m for 22% of PPC - Nqobile Dludla

FAIRFAX AFRICA HOLDINGS has offered to buy 22% of PPC for R2bn, a cash injection aimed at strong-arming the cementmaker into a tie-up with its nearest unlisted rival AFRISAM. In Aug., PPC said AFRISAM intends to make a new proposal on a merger of the two companies after AFRISAM terminated its current plan. FAIRFAX, via a regional unit, said the offer to buy into PPC, at R5.75/share, was subject to the PPC board recommending it as fair and reasonable and its shareholders voting in favour of AFRISAM's bid. The FAIRFAX offer is also subject to the completion of an all-share merger between AFRISAM and PPC that values the latter at around R9.2bn, or R5.75/share, and AFRISAM at an enterprise value of R7.5bn. PPC's independent board was of the view that the proposal "fundamentally undervalues PPC". The company also said it had received other offers from trade bidders, one of whom included a potential cash component, to create a pan-African cement giant. It did not name the bidders, saying the talks are confidential. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia's Rosgeo in $400m deal to drill for South African gas - Wendell Roelf

Russian exploration company ROSGEO will drill for gas off the southern coast of SA under a $400m deal with PETROSA to help build the country's reserves. The agreement announced yesterday comes against a backdrop of declining domestic gas reserves that have curtailed output at PETROSA's gas-to-liquid plant in Mossel Bay. "The project envisages extraction of up to 4m cubic metres of gas daily. This will subsequently be delivered to PETROSA's gas-to-liquids refinery", the refiner said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 05/09/2017

At 07h32 on 05 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.95 ZAR/EUR 15.41 ZAR/GBP 16.74 Gold 1336.53 Platinum 1006.00 Brent Crude Oil 52.19 All Share 56312.85

SAB entrepreneurship campaign to create 10 000 jobs - Fin24

SOUTH AFRICAN BREWERIES yesterday announced it will help create jobs in SA and increase opportunities for entrepreneurs to become part of its supply chain via its key entrepreneurship programmes. The brewer has laid the foundation to support entrepreneurs and create a total of 10 000 jobs in SA by 2021 using its SAB KickStart, SAB Foundation, SAB Thrive and SAB Accelerator programmes, as well as its agriculture programme to grow emerging farmers. The company offers a comprehensive and holistic package of entrepreneurship support to develop small businesses from ideation to growth, transforming the supply chian, as well as investing in the potential of entrepreneurs in the broader community. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lack of evidence scuppers credit regulator bid against Finbond - Lameez Omarjee

The National Consumer Tribunal has dismissed an application by the National Credit Regulator against FINBOND MUTUAL BANK over excessive credit life insurance premiums. According to the judgment by Professor TANYA WOKER, the Tribunal is unable to rule on the matter as there is no evidence to conclude that the insurance offered by FINBOND via its agreement with GUARDRISK INSURANCE is at an unreasonable rate. The NCR in 2015 launched a probe into FINBOND, which provides credit life insurance to customers via GUARDRISK. The Regulator believed FINBOND was charging customers excessive life insurance, and that the financial service provider failed to disclose the true extent of the commission paid to GUARDRISK. In its consideration, the Tribunal noted that FINBOND is not an insurance company and entered into a binary agreement with GUARDRISK to provide credit life insurance. There was also no comparable evidence of other insurance companies in the same position as GUARDRISK, making it difficult to conclude whether the credit life insurance it offers is unreasonable. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mapochs mine to go under hammer for sale to highest bidder - Martin Creamer

The Mapochs mine, which is in provisional liquidation with its mining right intact, is going under the hammer next Thursday when it will be sold to the highest bidder. The mine is scheduled to be auctioned on Sep. 14. Whoever buys the mine will be required to apply under Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act to have the mining licence transferred, BIDDERSCHOICE CEO PIETER GELDENHUYS said. Two signed offers for the business have not been accepted by the joint provisional liquidators, who have opted for an auction outcome in an effort to act fairly to all. Those wanting to bid at the auction are required to deposit R50m into their attorneys' trust account by no later than 16h00 on Sep. 8, with the amount constituting their opening bid. The mine has its own rail network, train station and train store. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of tariff cap - Terence Creamer

SA's solar photovoltaic and wind industry bodies have added a degree of caution to their initial positive reactions to an announcement by Energy Minister MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI regarding the signing of power purchase agreements for 26 renewable-energy projects that have been on hold since their formal procurement in late 2015. KUBAYI last week said the projects would be signed by Oct. 28. She added that there would be a renegotiation of tariffs, with a cap of 77c/kWh placed on all projects, regardless of technology type. KUBAYI said the decision to proceed was binding on ESKOM and had been fully canvassed with the Department of Public Enterprises and the Treasury. The South African Wind Energy Association said the condition stating that tariffs for the unsigned projects in bid window 3.5 and 4 should be renegotiated to under 77c/kWh "is illegal under the REIPPPP's rules". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Domestic travel shrinks in SA - ANA

Domestic tourism within SA has declined over the past two years due to economic hardships, the Domestic Tourism Survey 2016 released by Statistics SA showed yesterday. According to the survey, the total number of day trips undertaken within the country fell from 44.3m in 2015 to 39.4m in 2016. Overnight trips dropped from 45.4m in 2015 to 43m in 2016. The highest number of trips are only being generated in Dec., compared to the other 11 months of the year. Statistician General PALI LEHOHLA said people are not traveling "because they are feeling the pinch, therefore they are less likely to spend". Regarding the frequented destinations in SA, Gauteng had the lion's share of 23% for day trip travellers. Limpopo had the lion's share of 17% for overnight trips in 2016, followed by Gauteng and KZN respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Level 5 water restrictions implemented in CT - News24Wire

Further water restrictions for domestic and commercial users have been implemented in Cape Town, Mayor PATRICIA DE LILLE said on Sunday. "[These include] the institution of Level 5 restrictions and a further increase in pressure management. There is now a new emphasis on capping excessive water use at the domestic household level and placing additional restrictions on the commercial sector", DE LILLE said. Managers of commercial properties, with immediate effect, must ensure that their monthly consumption of municipal water is reduced by 20% y/y. When it comes to domestic usage, the cap on individual domestic property usage is now set at 20 kl/month. If this was broken, a "very high fine" would be issued to the property owners. DE LILLE said the original upper limit of 87 litres per person and the overall collective target of 500m litres per day in the city remained. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zambian copper output to grow by 7% this year - Anine Kilian

The Zambian government's support for the mining industry and strong copper prices are expected to drive growth in the country's copper production for 2017, despite ongoing power shortages. BMI RESEARCH yesterday noted that, according to data published by the Zambian central bank, the country's copper output reached 362 000t by Jun. 30, down slightly from the 367 000t produced in H1. "No details have been given by the Zambian authorities on this decline, but it is likely that Zambia's ongoing power supply problems have been the key constraint on copper mining activities", BMI said. "We are positive on Zambian copper and maintain our forecast of 7% growth this year as Zambian President EDGAR LUNGU remains supportive of the sector, and rising copper prices incentivise domestic miners to ramp up production during the second half of the year". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurasia in offtake negotiations with Glencore, Sinosteel and others - Mariaan Webb

EURASIA is in offtake talks with GLENCORE, China's SINOSTEEL and other unnamed parties for the life-of-mine production from its Monchetundra platinum and palladium project in Russia. The company yesterday said it hoped to reach an agreement with one of these parties in the near future. The agreement should integrate with the already agreed and signed engineering, procurement, construction and financing contract with SINOSTEEL, which includes financing of $150m as a 10-year facility. EURASIA noted that a tightening supply of quality concentrates had raised the interest of refineries in upstream PGMs and copper/nickel assets. It also noted that the solid performance by the metals in the Monchetundra concentrate was benefiting its offtake negotiations. The company has all the necessary contracts in place to apply for its mining licence and said it planned to officially lodge its application this month. The Monchetundra project has a 1.9moz palladium-equivalent resources. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FIC fines bank that helped Guptas buy mine - Matthew le Cordeur

The Financial Intelligence Centre fined the BANK OF BARODA R11m for its conduct when it helped the GUPTAS buy Optimum coal mine from GLENCORE in 2016, according to a report published by Moneyweb. The fine was levied after DELOITTE conducted a probe into transactions related to the R2.15bn acquisition of the mine by TEGETA in 2016. The auditors discovered that the BANK OF BARODA disregarded anti-corruption and money-laundering laws in its bid to assist the GUPTAS to buy the mine. In Aug. 2016, the FIC listed 72 suspicious transactions worth R6.84bn linked to GUPTA bank accounts which took place between Dec. 2012 and Jun. 2016. All these transactions took place from the family's previous bank accounts with NEDBANK, STANDARD BANK, ABSA, FNB and INVESTEC - all of whom closed the accounts in early 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Olympic Dam's SMA expansion delivers first ore - Esmarie Swanepoel

BHP has produced its first ore from the high-grade underground expansion at the Southern Mining Area of its Olympic Dam operations, in South Australia. The company previously abandoned plans to expand its openpit operations at Olympic Dam, opting instead for an underground development pathway that could see copper production increase to 450 000t/y from 2025. Olympic Dam president JACQUI MCGILL said BHP was taking steps towards unlocking the potential of one of the world's largest orebodies. "An estimated A$250m had been invested in the SMA expansion b y the end of the 2017 financial year. A dedicated team of approximately 180 people have accelerated the development of the SMA over the past 15 months, and confirmation today of first ore is a testament to their hard work and commitment". Meanwhile, BHP also produced the first copper cathode from its heap leach trials, with MCGILL saying the heap leaching technology could revolutionise production at the Olympic Dam mine. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Turnbull announces A$100m tax incentive for junior exploration - Esmarie Swanepoel

The Australian resources sector has welcomed a A$100m investment by the federal government to encourage greenfield mineral exploration. PM MALCOLM TURNBULL over the weekend announced that the government would provide tax incentives for junior exploration companies to encourage investment and risk taking. He said the Junior Mineral Exploration Tax Credit would allow the tax losses in greenfield exploration companies to be distributed as a credit to Australian resident shareholders. "We want to back enterprise. We want to turnaround the greenfields minerals exploration expenditure that have declined by almost 70% over the past five years", TURNBULL said. Under the new A$100m JMETC scheme, Australian resident investors of junior exploration companies will receive a tax credit where the company chooses to give up a portion of their losses relating to their greenfields exploration expenditure in an income year. This ability would make investing in a junior explorer more immediately attractive and encourage investment in small exploration companies undertaking greenfields mineral exploration in Australia, TURNBULL said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investment in Mexican mining seen rising after four-year downturn - Reuters

Investment in Mexico's mining industry is expected to rise this year due in large part to a global recovery in metal prices after four years of declines, according to projections from the sector. The mining chamber predicts mining investments will total $5bn by the end of 2017, a 33% rise y/y. Nearly half of the funds would come from abroad. In 2016, FDI in the sector amounted to $1.3bn, according to data from the Mexican economy ministry. The industry is hoping that authorities will revise tax rates, that, in the chamber's view, have hurt the competitiveness of the Mexican industry relative to its peers in the region. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Avocet to consider insolvency for Burkina Faso unit - Rahul B

Gold miner AVOCET MINING PLC today said it will consider filing for insolvency of its subsidiary SOCIETE DES MINES DE BELAHOURO, which operates the Inata gold mine in Burkina Faso, after the unit's standstill agreement with its creditors expired. The boards of SMB and AVOCET will meet on Sep. 8 to consider "all available options, including the potential fining of an insolvency petition by SMB", AVOCET said. SMB's financial and trade creditors could not agree among themselves on an extension of the agreement, the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Texton FY net property income up 10% - BDpro

TEXTON PROPERTY FUND today reported a 10% rise in net property income to R440.8m in the FY to end-Jun. y/y. The total dividend dropped 0.8% to 102.80cps. TEXTON has properties in SA and the UK, where uncertainty over Brexit affected investor sentiment. CEO NOSIPHIWO BALFOUR said SA's low economic growth and economic uncertainty in the UK would continue to create a challenging environment for the company. TEXTON said its vacancy rate for the period under review reduced drastically to 4.9% from 9% y/y, while the value of the property portfolio fell 4.6% to R5.50bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 04/09/2017

At 10h23 on 04 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.96 ZAR/EUR 15.43 ZAR/GBP 16.78 Gold 1337.25 Platinum 1009.00 Brent Crude Oil 52.76 All Share 56408.44

Acacia slashes production guidance on plans to trim ops at Tanzanian mine - Neil Hume

ACACIA MINING has cut production guidance after announcing plans to reduce operations at its flagship mine in Tanzania. The company said it would shortly cease underground mining at Bulyanhulu, action that would result in a reduction in the operation's 2 000-strong workforce. "As a result of the planned reduction in operating activity at Bulyanhulu, ACACIA now expects annual production to be in the order of 100 000 ounces lower than the bottom of the previous guidance range of 850 000-900 000 ounces", ACACIA said. ACACIA has been scrambling to reduce costs since President JOHN MAGUFULI banned exports of unprocessed ores in Mar. as part of a plan to promote the development of domestic smelting. The government has also accused ACACIA of operating illegally and failing to pay billions of dollars of taxes. ACACIA said the impact of the ban, coupled with the deterioration of the current operating environment "has led to negative cash flow of approximately $15 per month at the mine and thus has made ordinary course operations at Bulyanhulu unsustainable". It added that talks between parent BARRICK GOLD and the government are ongoing. Shares in ACACIA fell as much as 12% in early trading in London. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

N Korea preparing for ballistic missile launch - S Korea reports - Edward White

North Korea appears to be preparing for the launch of a ballistic missile, South Korea's central news agency reports. According to Yonhap, just a day after Pyongyang said it had tested a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on a ballistic missile, the South Korean military has detected indications Pyongyang is readying for another long-range missile launch. Sunday's test has been met with widespread international condemnation. US defence secretary JIM MATTIS warned North Korea that any threats to the US or its allies would be met with a "massive military response". Meanwhile, Seoul announced that it will advance the expansion of the controversial US missile defence system in South Korea. Two rocket launchers have already been deployed under the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system. The construction of a further four launchers, which had been delayed by President MOON JAE-IN, will now go ahead. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Novartis CEO to step down - Ralph Atkins

NOVARTIS has announced CEO JOE JIMENEZ will step down early next year and be replaced by VAS NARASIMHAN, the company's global head of drug development. JIMENEZ will have headed the company for eight years. "This is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to VAS. Our strong pipeline and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put NOVARTIS on a strong path for the future. On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the US". NARASIMHAN, 41, joined NOVARTIS from MCKINSEY consultants in 2005 and has a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nickel touches 2-yr high in China - Edward White

Nickel was up around 3% in Shanghai this morning following the release of better-than-expected economic data late last week. The metal traded as high as Rmb97 720/metric tonne in Shanghai this morning, a 3.2% rise from Friday's Rmb94 650. JINGYI PAN, market strategist with IG in Singapore, said stronger metal prices had been reinforced by the outperformance of China's manufacturing PMI, published last week. According to LME data, nickel has been climbing relatively steadily since July, up about 35% to $12 005/t. Prices are likely to continue to rise amid a fresh crackdown by Chinese environmental regulators in several key nickel producing regions, according to Chinese metal consultancy SMM. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bain, Cinven cave to Elliott's Stada demands - Arash Massoudi

BAIN CAPITAL and CINVEN have caved into demands from the unit of US activist hedge fund ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT and agreed to pay all investors who have not already tendered their shares in STADA an improved offer that exceeds what most other shareholders received. The move is the latest twist in the convoluted leveraged buyout of STADA by the two private equity firms and marks a significant victory for ELLIOTT, which was effectively holding BAIN and CINVEN hostage, having snapped up more than 15% of the company. BAIN and CINVEN yesterday said they would meet ELLIOTT's demands and offer any remaining holdouts €74.40 for each STADA share, a 12.3% premium to their takeover offer of €66.25. The previously agreed price was taken up by just over 63% of STADA investors. But the private equity firms needed to secure backing from 75% of shareholders in attendance at an upcoming investor meeting in order to execute a so-called "domination agreement" under German takeover laws. The domination agreement would allow BAIN and CINVEN to tighten control over the company and in effect gain control over its cash flow. That access is pivotal as the two groups have borrowed heavily to pay for the deal and need to service that debt, among other things. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Roku files for IPO - Nicole Bullock

Video streaming platform ROKU has unveiled plans to go public in what could be the first high-profile listing of the post-summer season. The company listed the traditional $100m placeholder amount in paperwork filed with the US SEC, but no further details were available on the size of the deal or the prospective valuation. MORGAN STANLEY and CITIGROUP were listed as the lead underwriters. ROKU has come to dominate the US market for watching internet video on full-sized screens. It sells a range of set-top boxes and lower-priced dongles, as well as integrating its technology into TV sets themselves. For the HY to end-Jun., ROKU listed total net revenue of $199.7m, up from $162.3m y/y. Its net loss narrowed to $24.2m from $33.2m y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Honda reaches settlement over Takata airbags - Jessica Dye

HONDA has struck a proposed $605m settlement to resolve US consumer claims in connection with recalled TAKATA airbags. In addition to compensating customers for out-of-pocket losses stemming from the recall, the settlement would also create an outreach programme to help speed up the recall and replacement of the recalled parts, among other features. HONDA, which was TAKATA's biggest customer, was hit especially hard by the recall, which has encompassed millions of vehicles made by numerous companies and has been linked to at least 17 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. TAKATA has paid a $1bn criminal penalty in the US in connection with the recall and filed for bankruptcy. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ISM report shows US manufacturing hit highest level since 2011 - Mamta Badkar

The pace of activity growth in the US factory sector rose to its highest level in more than six years, according to a closely watched survey published on Friday. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing gauge rose to 58.8 in Aug., from 56.3 m/m. That compared with analysts' forecasts for the index to heat up to 56.5 and was the highest since Apr. 2011. A breakdown of the report showed that the employment sub-index expanded at the faster rate of 59.9, from 55.2 previously. The new orders index fell by 0.1 percentage points to a reading of 60.3. A separate report showed consumer confidence rose less than initially expected in Aug. The University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment gauge rose to 96.8 in Aug. from 93.4 m/m - that was lower than the initial reading of 97.6. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chinese independent oil refineries to consolidate into one entity - Lucy Hornby

China's independent oil refineries clustered in the province of Shangdong will consolidate into one corporate group, Xinhua reported on Friday. The move comes as excess Chinese refining capacity pressures domestic margins, threatening returns for powerful state-owned oil companies PETROCHINA and SINOPEC. The independent refiners have survived for years by buying a mix of domestic crude and imported fuel oil. In recent years they were permitted to import crude, allowing their run-rates to rise significantly. However, the window of liberalisation closed again this year when they were largely blocked from exporting refined products. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US economy creates 156 000 jobs in Aug. - Mamta Badkar

US job growth cooled more than anticipated in Aug., with the previous month's gains revised lower as well. Employers added 156 000 jobs in Aug. with job gains in manufacturing, construction, healthcare, professional and technical services and mining, the Labour Department said on Friday - the weakest pace of increases in three months. That compared with Wall Street forecasts of 180 000. July's non-farm payrolls growth was revised lower to 189 000, from 209 000 previously. The report further showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from a 16-year low of 4.3% in July, while the labour force participation rate was unchanged at 62.9%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil ends worst recession as GDP expands for 2nd straight quarter - Joe Leahy

Brazil's GDP expanded for the second consecutive quarter in Q2 2017, officially ending the worst recession in that country. GDP grew just 0.2% in the quarter compared to the first three months of 2017 and 0.3% y/y, state statistics agency IBGE said. In the 12 months to end-Jun., GDP declined 1.4% y/y due to the effect of earlier quarters of contraction. Agriculture registered zero change q/q, industry fell 0.5% and services grew 0.6%, IBGE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold hits 11-month high as N Korea test rattles investors - Hudson Lockett

The dollar was in retreat and havens on the rise as European markets geared up for the open today, with gold touching its highest level in 11 months in the wake of North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test. Gold was up as much as 1% at $1 338/oz, while the Japanese yen firmed 0.8% to Y109.37/$. The euro was up 0.3% at $1.1894, the highest level against the dollar since last Thursday ahead of this week's meeting of the ECB. The central bank is expected to keep its deposit rate and main refinancing rate unchanged at -0.4% and 0% respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oceana expects lower FY earnings - Sens

OCEANA GROUP on Friday said its basic EPS for the FY to end-Sep. are expected to decrease by 35%-50% based on prevailing market conditions, to between 393cps and 511cps, from 786cps y/y. Basic HEPS for the period are expected to decline by 35%-50% to between 352cps and 457cps, down from 703cps y/y. The decrease in earnings is as a result of softer global markets, losses on forex contracts held to cover the import of frozen fish, lower canned fish sales volumes and the effect of an average 8% strengthening in the rand on foreign earnings. Results will be published on Nov. 16. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New vehicle sales climb for third month in a row - Fin24

New vehicle sales continued its upward trend in Aug., showing y/y growth of 6.7%, according to the latest data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA. Sales data for Aug. reflect a continuing recovery in the country's new vehicle market with total sales of 49 222 new vehicles. This is the third consecutive month of sales growth resulting in a 0.6% increase in year-to-date sales. The growth was mainly driven by consumer buying patterns. Passenger car sales grew 11.2%, while light commercial vehicle sales through dealers were up 6.7% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steep jump in fuel prices from Wednesday - Fin24

The petrol price will rise by 67c/litre from next Wednesday, while the price of diesel will be 44c/litre more, the Department of Energy said yesterday. The DoE said the R/$ exchange rate and the prices of petroleum products in the international markets are the main contributing factors for the price hike. In addition, there was a rise in crude oil prices coupled with a weaker rand and massive flooding on the US Gulf Coast, which forced several refineries to close. The price of illuminating paraffin will go up by 49c/litre, while the maximum rtail price for LPGas will go up by 86c/kg. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Myeni vows to stay at SAA 'until ubaba goes' - Sipho Masondo, City Press

SAA chair DUDU MYENI has vowed to stay on in her position at the national carrier "until ubaba goes". Three senior SAA executives and other sources close to the board said MYENI had informed those in her close circle that she would not step down until President JACOB ZUMA finished his second term of office in 2019. This comes at a time when banks and other financiers are pulling the plug on loans they gave to SAA, citing MYENI's continued presence on the airline's board as one of the reasons. Last week, NEDBANK became the latest to refuse to extend loans to SAA for this reason. Two top SAA officials told City Press that during a marathon meeting, held a day before and attended by representatives of SAA, NEDBANK and Treasury, the lender's officials said it would be difficult for them to extend loans to the airline if MYENI was still there. Her contract as chair of the SAA board expired on Thursday, but Treasury has asked her to stay on until the carrier's AGM, which was rescheduled from Thursday to an unspecified date in Nov. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent Music said to seek pre-IPO funds at 10bn value - Lulu Yilun Chen, Bloomberg

TENCENT MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP is seeking new funding at a $10bn valuation ahead of an IPO, sources said. The operator of karaoke and streaming apps plans to sell around 3% of its shares to strategic partners, including record labels, one source said. TENCENT held about 62.45% of the music group at the end of last year. By forging an equity link with record labels, TENCENT MUSIC would be securing the right to hold on to vital streaming rights in China's increasingly heated music market. TENCENT spun out its music division after merging it with CHINA MUSIC to win over a larger slice of a domestic streaming market forecast to reach Rmb4.37bn of subscription revenue by 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hyprop's South-Eastern Europe fund eyes possible dual listing - Natasha Odendaal

HYPROP on Friday said progress was being made in the potential dual-listing of its 60%-owned UK-based HYSTEAD subsidiary, which holds all of HYPROP's South-Eastern Europe assets, by H1 2018. HYSTEAD is eyeing additional istings on the JSE and Luxembourg bourses to enable it to become a standalone fund, reduce its reliance on HYPROP and position it for growth, HYPROP CEO PIETER PRINSLOO said. This comes as the fund works to wrap up its €155m acquisition of The Mall shopping centre, in Burgaria, with HYPROP's support settling around €105m. The Mall is the dominant shopping centre in Sofia and has a rentable area of 52 000m² at a weighted average rent of €18.30/m² a month. HYSTEAD now owns four properties in the region. The Mall acquisition would mark HYSTEAD's first entry into the European Union, PRINSLOO said. It will also take the overall SEE portfolio to a gross asset value of about €460m, while enhancing the quality, profile and critical mass of the portfolio. During the year to end-Jun., the SEE portfolio contributed R101.8m to HYPROP's distributable earnings, benefiting from positive trading conditions and healthy consumer spend. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pioneer appoints new CEO as Roux retires - Creamer Media Reporter

PHIL ROUX will retire as CEO of PIONEER FOODS, effective Oct. 1, but will continue to serve as strategic adviser to the company until Nov. 30 2019. TERTIUS CARSTENS, who is the business executive responsible for PIONEER's essential foods division, will take over as CEO of the group on Oct. 1. "PHIL has been an asset to the company and has brought about significant positive change. He was responsible for implementing an improved operating model and made some strategic acquisitions including the JV with FUTURELIFE, the WEETABIX KENYA acquisition and FOOD CONCEPTS NIGERIA. Meanwhile, RIAAN HEYL has been appointed to succeed CARSTENS as business executive of the essential foods division, effective Oct. 1. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Texton appoints new CFO - Creamer Media Reporter

INGE PICK has been appointed CFO and executive FD of TEXTON PROPERTY FUND, effective Sep. 18. PICK is a qualified CA and has a wealth of financial and strategic management experience at a senior level in the REIT sector. Having garnered more than 15 years' financial experience, PICK was formerly FD of LODESTONE REIT and has also held financial management roles within FORTRESS INCOME FUND and CAPITAL PROPERTY FUND. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cabinet calls for any deliberate wrongdoing at Treasury to be punished - ANA

Cabinet on Friday called for any deliberate wrongdoing in the development of government's Integrated Financial Management System to be punished. The call flowed from Cabinet's fortnightly meeting and followed a week of intense politicking over audit weaknesses identified in the project, which began 15 years ago and carries an estimated cost of R4.3bn. Treasury sources last week said a forensic probe by DELOITTE, commissioned in 2016 by former finance DG LUNGISA FUZILE, found no deliberate wrongdoing, instead ascribing some of the lapses in financial controls to understaffing. The DELOITTE report was rejected by Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA as "shoddy", and ZUMA loyalists have demanded further investigation, in what is seen as an attempt to discredit PRAVIN GORDHAN. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rusal prices tranche of Panda bonds - Reuters

RUSAL on Friday said the second tranche of its Panda bonds with the principal of Rmb500m had been priced, with a tenor of 2+1 years and a coupon of 5.5%/year. The proposed offering of the Panda bonds is expected to be completed before Sep. 5, 2017. RUSAL intends to use the proceeds from the issue for refinancing its current debts and for working capital needs, including the procurement from Chinese suppliers. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bauba swings to FY profit - Creamer Media Reporter

BAUBA PLATINUM swung to a net profit of R95.53m in the FY to end-Jun., compared with a loss of R5.23m y/y. The company's only operating mine, Moeijelijk, resumed operations in Jan. amid a significant improved chrome ore market. The weighted average cost, insurance and freight price realised for the FY was $237/t for 38% to 40% Cr2O3 chrome ore run-of-mine. BAUBA was optimistic for FY2018, considering the steadily improving chrome ore prices, with current CIF pricing for its product above $200/t. Meanwhile, the company said that, as a result of additional safety measures implemented in securing the highwall face where the underground portal is being built, the Moeijelijk mine will only reach the targeted 30 000t/m of stable underground LG6 chrome ore production in H1 2019 and not June 2018, as previously expected. A production rate of 20 000t/m of underground LG6 chrome ore is expected to be achieved by Jun. 2018, with a total underground production forecast for FY2018 of 100 000t. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA has insufficient skills for development of shale gas industry - Anine Kilian

There are insufficient skills in SA to support the development of a shale gas industry, SA National Energy Association secretary general DAVE WRIGHT said on Friday. He noted that SA had a small and limited upstream exposure to shale gas and that there has not been a big demand for skills in that sector. "If we want to develop a science action plan, we need to tackle the skills shortage in three phases and have short-, medium- and long-term goals", WRIGHT said. According to the Academy of Science of SA's latest report on SA's technical readiness to support a shale gas industry, urgent steps need to be implemented by relevant government departments, in collaboration with industry, to coordinate all skills planning initiatives in SA to develop a single, coordinated development plan for the shale gas industry. This should include appropriate education and training programmes for artisans, technologists, scientists and engineers at identified institutions. In the short term, WRIGHT said, the country will have to rely on imported skills. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Boost Competition Act to address concentration, stimulate transformation - Ramaphosa - Terence Creamer

Deputy President CYRIL RAMAPHOSA has called for a broadening of competition policy and legislation to address ongoing structural concentration in ownership and control in key economic sectors in SA, while still continuing to address anticompetitive behaviour by companies. RAMAPHOSA on Friday described the performance of competition authorities as "world class", but lamented the prevailing "disjuncture" between the aspirations outlined in the preamble of the Competition Act and the actual content of the legislation. The legislation's transformational dimensions could be strengthened, RAMAPHOSA argued, by including a greater focus on structural constraints to new enterprise development. Attention should also be given to the creation of conditions that were supportive of black and women entrepreneurs in sectors still dominated by traditional white-owned firms. RAMAPHOS noted the US experience where dominant enterprises in sectors such as energy and telecoms had been broken up, which he argued had stimulated an acceleration of growth and innovations. He therefore endorsed the establishment of a task team to review the Competition Act and policy to assess ways of addressing ongoing concentration. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore sells zinc mines to Trevali - Schalk Burger

GLENCORE has sold its 80% stake in the Rosh Pinah mine, and its 39% stake in the Gergarub project, both in Namibia, as well as its 90% stake in the Perkoa mine, in Burkina Faso, to TREVALI MINING CORPORATION for a total consideration of $417.8m. GLENCORE's sale of its portfolio of zinc assets included a cash payment of $245m and shares in TREVALI worth $172m6m, which has increased GLENCORE's stake in TREVALI from 4.3% to 21.3%. The sale also included an option to acquire a 100% stake in the Canada-based HEATH STEELE project, including related exploration properties and assets. GLENCORE said it will continue to review its investment alternatives from time to time and may determine to increase or decrease its equity ownership in TREVALI via the acquisition or sale of additional outstanding common shares or other securities of TREVALI, either through open market or privately negotiated transactions, in accordance with applicable securities laws. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto hands Hunter Valley coal mines ownership to Yancoal - Esmarie Swanepoel

YANCOAL AUSTRALIA has completed the acquisition of RIO TINTO's COAL & ALLIED assets, marking the company's first official exit from the thermal coal sector. YANCOAL chair XIYONG LI said it was a significant achievement for the company "and redefines our business as a leader within the Australian resources sector and a major competitor throughout international coal markets". In return for the thermal coal businesses in the Hunter Valley region, RIO will receive a total consideration of $2.69bn, comprising $2.45bn in cash and a further $240m of unconditional guaranteed royalty payments. The first royalty payment of $10m was paid on Friday, and an additional $100m will be received before the end of the year. A further $90m is expected before the end of 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fairfax Africa takes stake in Atlas Mara - Andrew MacAskill

ATLAS MARA on Friday said that FAIRFAX AFRICA now holds 42% of the investment vehicle after it subscribed to 70.1m new shares. The change in ownership comes after ATLAS MARA announced plans in Jun. to raise $200m so that it could increase its stake in UNION BANK OF NIGERIA and scale up other businesses. FAIRFAX subscribed for around 80% of ATLAS MARA's share issue, with existing shareholders taking the balance. FAIRFAX AFRICA is part of Canadian firm FAIRFAX FINANCIAL. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kubayi gives deadline for signing IPP contracts - Tanisha Heiberg

Energy Minister MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI has given ESKOM until the end of Oct. to sign renewable energy agreements with independent power producers, the Department of Energy said on Friday. KUBAYI, who postponed the signing of agreements in April, said the utility must ensure all contracts are in place to sign by Oct. 28. "It's regrettable that we took so long as government", the minister said. KUBAYI said most of the projects would be commissioned "closer to 2021". She did not provide other details such as how many megawatts of power the IPPs are expected to produce, but did stipulate that all the projects would be subject to a 77c/kWh tariff cap - a price point that could prove challenging in light of currency, inflation and equipment changes since the projects were procured. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Africa's two biggest economies likely out of recession - Vuyani Ndaba

Nigeria and SA likely emerged from recession in Q2 but strong growth won't show up until business confidence is restored, a Reuters poll suggested on Friday. "Both countries have bounced off the bottom, but the sustainability is in question. Nigeria needs a single FX policy and South Africa needs more policy certainty", said ALY-KHAN SATCHU, CEO of RICH MANAGEMENT in Nairobi. Official growth data are expected early this week for both countries. A Reuters poll taken last week showed Nigeria's economy broke out of a long slump in Q2 with a median forecast for 1.55% y/y growth while SA quit shrinking with 2.2% q/q growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenyan assets drop after court declares election result invalid - Duncan Miriri

Kenyan shares and dollar bonds plummeted on Friday and the shilling fell after the country's Supreme Court declared President UHURU KENYATTA's election victory invalid. Analysts said the ruling signalled new uncertainty for Kenya. Another vote must be held within 60 days, according to the constitution. The NSE-20 dropped 3.5% to close at 3 887.28 points, data from the Nairobi Securities Exchange showed. KENYATTA said he disagreed with the Court ruling that nullified his win in last month's presidential election, but that he would respect the decision and urged citizens to do the same. Shares in SAFARICOM fell nearly 5% on Friday to close at 24.25 shillings, traders said. "No one likes uncertainty, especially if the uncertainty period is as long as 60 days", said KEN MINJIRE, head of securities at Nairobi-based GENGHIS CAPITAL. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 04/09/2017

At 07h07 on 04 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.91 ZAR/EUR 15.35 ZAR/GBP 16.74 Gold 1333.67 Platinum 1009.00 Brent Crude Oil 52.77 All Share 56513.46

Chile's finance, economy ministers resign - Benedict Mander

Chile's finance minister RODRIGO VALDES, his deputy and the economy minister resigned yesterday in a major blow to the government ahead of presidential elections in Nov. The walk-out caused the peso to strengthen as investors speculated that the centre-right SEBASTIAN PINERA, who is leading in the polls by a wide margin, is now more likely to win the elections. The exit of VALDEZ, who will be replaced by NICOLAS EYZAGUIRRE, was triggered by political differences with President MICHELLE BACHELET, who blocked a $2.5bn iron ore project in northern Chile for environmental reasons earlier this month. VALDES was joined by his deputy ALEJANDRO MICCO and economy minister LUIS CARLOS CESPEDES. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 01/09/2017

At 11h59 on 01 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.96 ZAR/EUR 15.42 ZAR/GBP 16.75 Gold 1318.14 Platinum 993.00 Brent Crude Oil 52.73 All Share 56515.68

US Strategic Petroleum Reserve makes emergency release in wake of Harvey - David Sheppard

The US Department of Energy has authorised the release of half a million barrels of crude oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to PHILLIPS 66's refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, as the refining hub on the US Gulf Coast struggles with the fallout of Tropical Storm Harvey. The DoE said energy secretary RICK PERRY had authorised the SPR to negotiate the "emergency exchange agreement" with the refinery, which suggests the plant was facing a shortfall of crude, with ports and pipelines shut after the storm. "This decision will authorize 200 000 barrels of sweet crude oil and 300 000 barrels of sour crude oil to be drawn down from SPR's West Hackberry site and delivered via pipeline to the PHILLIPS 66 refinery", the DoE said. "The Department will continue to provide assistance as deemed necessary, and will continue to review incoming requests for SPR crude oil". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India posts slowest economic growth since 2014 - Amy Kazmin

India's economic growth slowed further to 5.7% in the quarter to end-Jun., the weakest performance since early 2014, blamed by some on the lingering impact of last year's cash ban. It is the fourth consecutive quarter of decelerating growth, sharply down from the 7.9% recorded y/y, and raises questions about the likelihood of reaching the government's target of economic growth of over 7% in the current FY. Manufacturing fared poorly, with output rising just 1.2% in the quarter, while output in construction grew just 2%. Growth was buoyed by a sharp rise in government services, which rose 9.5% in the quarter, as well as by an 11% rise in trade, hotels, transport and communication. Experts said the weak performance in manufacturing in the latest quarter likely reflected large companies selling out their inventories in anticipation of the launch of the new value added tax system on Jul. 1. This suggested manufacturing could be poised for a revival. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New Look CEO steps down - John Murray Brown

NEW LOOK CEO ANDERS KRISTIANSEN has stepped down from the position, the company announced today. DANNY BARRASSO, MD of UK and Ireland, has been appointed interim CEO while the fashion retailer looks for a permanent replacement. NEW LOOK chair JOHN GNODDE thanked KRISTIANSEN for his "fantastic" contribution during five years running the company but said it was "mutually agreed it is the appropriate time for a change to the leadership". Earlier this month the company warned that "challenging market conditions" will continue into 2018 as it reported a slump in quarterly profits on the back of tough trading in the UK. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mercuria could tap former LDC grain head as it seeks to grow agri presence - Neil Hume

MERCURIA could hire the former head of grain trading at LOUIS DREYFUS COMPANY as part of a move to grow its presence in agricultural markets. The company is rumoured to have held exploratory talks via intermediaries with DAVID OHAYON, who quit LDC earlier this week. MERCURIA already has agricultural trading desks in London and Singapore but they are not a large part of its business, which is mainly focused on energy. OHAYON resigned from LDC earlier this week with a team of around six European grain traders following a disagreement over strategy. MERCURIA declined to comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toyota launches UK scrappage scheme - Peter Campbell

TOYOTA has launched a UK scrappage scheme, offering to pay drivers £4 000 to trade in old models and buy a new TOYOTA. TOYOTA will pay between £2 000 and £4 000 toward the cost of a new vehicle in an offer that only runs until the end of the year, the company said. It will not force customers who use the scheme to buy a hybrid car, though it said its newer petrol and diesel models were significantly cleaner than older vehicles. Under the scheme, TOYOTA will accept petrol and diesel models from any manufacturer from before 2009. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK manufacturers report strong jump in activity - Nicholas Megaw

British manufacturing firms are still confident of receiving a boost to business from the weak pound, despite official data suggesting the sector has yet to see much benefit. The PMI for British manufacturers rose to a four-month high of 56.9 in Aug., up from 55.1 m/m. Consensus forecasts had predicted a slight decline. Respondents reported improvements in all the main components of the survey, with domestic demand and export orders both strong. Companies saw increased business from mainland Europe, the US, China and Australia as the sterling weakness boosted the competitiveness of exports. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barclays continues pullback with final exit from European retail banking - Katie Martin

The pullback from non-core businesses at BARCLAYS continues, with the lender wrapping up the sale of its French retail, wealth and investment management operations to ANACAP. The sale includes a network of 74 branches as well as a life insurance business, wealth and investment management, and brokerage operations. BARCLAYS CEO JES STALEY said the deal "marks the sale of BARCLAYS' last retail banking operations in Continental Europe". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenyan supreme court orders new vote, scraps Kenyatta's win - Katie Martin

Kenya's Supreme Court has ordered a new presidential election after claims from opposition officials that the voting systems were rigged in favour of the incumbent UHURU KENYATTA. KENYATTA's victory in last month's election has been nullified. The six judges ruled 4-2 that the electoral commission did not conduct the election in accordance with constitution and applicable laws. A new election now has to be held within 60 days. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Colombia cuts rates for seventh straight month - Gideon Long

The Colombian central bank cut its key interest rate by 25 bps to 5.25% yesterday, making Aug. the seventh month in a row that it has relaxed monetary policy amid tepid economic growth and benign inflation. The latest cut means the central bank has slashed the key rate by 225 bps since the start of 2017. Many analysts expect this latest cut to mark the end of the easing cycle as the economy starts to rebound. The economy expanded 0.7% during Q2 after contracting by 0.3% in Q1. Year-on-year, GDP grew 1.3% in Q2, a step up from the 1.2% pace it recorded in Q1. Meanwhile, inflation has eased, giving the bank more leeway to cut rates. In July, annual price rises stood at 3.4%, their lowest level for well over two years and down from almost 9% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mr Price says clothing division is stealing back market share - BDpro

Clothing and homeware retailer MR PRICE says it is making headway in its bid to regain market share lost by its clothing units. In a trading update for the first four months of FY2018, the company said that total retail sales were up 6.2% in the 18 weeks to Aug. 5. For April, May and June, MRP APPAREL and MILADY's reported sales growth of 10.1% at current prices, far ahead of the 4.8% growth that Statistics SA reported for the retail sector. Sales growth in the overall apparel segment, which includes MRP SPORT, was 8.7% in the 18 weeks under review. The homeware division fared less well, with sales down 1% thanks to a 2.1% decline in sales at MRP HOME, offset by a 1.7% rise at SHEET STREET. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bell Equipment interim HEPS up 78% - Karl Gernetzky

BELL EQUIPMENT yesterday said HEPS rose 78% in the HY to end-Jun., with the company declaring an interim dividend of 20cps, up 33% y/y. Net profit after tax rose 86% to R119.6m, with HEPS increasing to 119cps. Outlook for growth from the mining sector and commodity markets in SA, Australia and Russia was positive, with a slow recovery evident. The UK and US remained key markets with relatively stable sales given the significant political changes and resultant uncertainty over the period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

VW to offer drivers up to £7 000 to scrap older diesel cars - Peter Campbell

VOLKSWAGEN will pay British drivers up to £7 000 to scrap older diesel cars and switch to newer models as the German carmaker follows rivals in moving to calm political pressure over air pollution and boost sales of other vehicles. The company has launched a UK trade-in scheme across its Audi, Skoda, SEAT and VW brands, offering discounts that range from £1 500 for a small SEAT car to £7 000 for a large Audi saloon. The scheme, which accepts any diesel car from any brand registered before 2010, also includes VW's commercial vehicle division. Once government incentives are included, motorists can get up to £10 000 off the price of the electric Gold car that should otherwise cost £32 000, VW said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Italy excels in 'summer surge' for eurozone manufacturers - Nicholas Megaw

Italy was a particular bright spot in IHS MARKIT's latest series of PMI surveys for the single currency bloc. The manufacturing PMI for the eurozone came in at 57.4 in Aug., better than analysts had expected before flash estimates earlier in the month. IHS MARKIT chief economist CHRIS WILLIAMSON said the "summer surge" suggested "rising goods production will support another strong GDP reading in the third quarter". Results from Italy were particularly strong, wth the PMI rising from 55.1 to 56.3. Companies reported faster growth in output, new orders and employment, but were less optimistic about growth in the months ahead. Spain was the only country to report a slowdown in growth, but its reading of 52.4 was still above the 50 level that indicates expansion. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan manufacturing PMI revised downward for Aug. - Hudson Lockett

The final reading for the NIKKEI-MARKIT manufacturing PMI was revised to 52.2 for Aug. from a preliminary reading of 52.8. The earlier reading had (temporarily) marked a six-month high for the gauge, whereas the revised figure represents a marginal rise of 0.1 points from July's reading. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S Korea manufacturing sector notches 2nd month of contraction - Edward White

South Korea's manufacturing sector declined for a second consecutive month in Aug. as forex movements drove a sharp rise in input costs. The NIKKEI-MARKIT manufacturing PMI came in at 49.9 in Aug., just below the 50-point line that separates expansion from contraction. The index had notched its first growth in eleven months in Jun. at 50.1, but slipped back into contraction in July at 49.1. A sub-index for output continued what is now a 13-month decline, reflecting ongoing weakness in the domestic economy and subdued demand from businesses. Lower output also saw purchasing activity soften further from July. Sub-indexes for employment and new orders were both up, continuing a trend of recent months and, despite lower production volumes, optimism among the country's manufacturers strengthened in Aug. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China's private sector manufacturers mark third month of growth - Hudson Lockett

China's factories outperformed in Aug. as export orders expanded at the fastest rate in more than seven years. The CAIXIN-MARKIT manufacturing PMI rose to 51.6 in Aug., beating analysts' estimates of a dip to 50.9 from July's 51.1. Output growth slowed marginally from July, but new orders notched a further increase as a sub-index for new export orders rose to the highest level since Mar. 2010. Employment levels marked a 46th month of contraction, although at a somewhat slower rate than in July. Both input and output prices rose markedly, with a number of companies surveyed saying they had passed on input costs to clients. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India manufacturing rebounds in Aug. - Alice Woodhouse

India's manufacturing sector rebounded in Aug. as greater familiarity with a new taxation system aided a rise in new orders and output across the country. The NIKKEI-MARKIT manufacturing PMI for Aug. rose to 51.2, recovering from July's low of 47.9 when new tax laws hit the sector. Respondents linked the rise in new work to a better understanding of the new taxation system and increased demand. Companies hired extra staff at the fastest rate in more than four years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSE raps Alviva director over the knuckles - BDpro

The JSE has publicly censured ALVIVA director BHEKOKUHLE SIBIYA for breaching several JSE rules when he sold shares in the company. SIBIYA, a former Chamber of Mines CEO, was censured for selling shares during a closed period; for failing to disclose the sale within the stipulated three days; and for failing first to clear the sale with the board chairman. He is a member of ALVIVA's audit risk committee, its social and ethics committee and its remuneration committee. The censure relates to the sale of 38 925 shares on Jan. 17 and 18. The closed period began on Jan. 1 ahead of the publication of interim results to end-Dec. 2016. The share sales were announced on Sens on Jun. 14. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BAT announces overhaul of organisational and management structures - Karl Gernetzky

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO yesterday said it had overhauled its organisational and management structures following the successful acquisition of REYNOLDS AMERICA. The company has now created three regions to encompass activities, with sub-Saharan Africa now paired with the Americas. JACL BOWLES, regional director of Asia-Pacific, would be appointed to the newly created role of COO for the international business, excluding US, BAT said. This would take effect on Oct. 1. RICARDO OBERLANDER, regional director for the Americas, would lead the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa region. TADEU MARROCO, regional director for Western Europe, would be appointed director of Europe and North Africa. JOHAN VANDERMEULEN, regional director for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, would be appointed director for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Torre, Tellumat pull Stellar Capital down - Giulietta Talevi

STELLAR CAPITAL PARTNERS heralded the release of its interim results with another top executive resignation - that of CFO CHARL DE VILLIERS. The company said DE VILLIERS has stepped down to pursue "other interests" and will be replaced in the interim by SEAN GRAHAM, STELLAR's current company secretary and chief risk officer. DE VILLIERS' departure follows that of CEO CHARLES PETTIT, who officially left the group yesterday and was replaced with former CEO PETER VAN ZYL. STELLAR has lost 49% of its value year-to-date and said in yesterday's results that the board and management were "undergoing a strategic and operational review" to improve shareholder returns and allocation of capital. During the period, STELLAR bought a 48.8% stake in PRESCIENT, which now represents its single largest investment by value. It said the asset performed satisfactorily in the seven months to end-Jun., growing assets under management to R82.9bn from R74.2bn previously. STELLAR's investments in TORRE and TELLUMAT contributed to a 22.2% slide in NAV/share over the period, to R1.29. STELLAR says it is now "fully invested", with its portfolio equally balanced between financial services and industrial interests, and argues that PRESCIENT and AMECOR will help it ride out tough trading for both TORRE and TELLUMAT. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Discovery expects jump in FY earnings - BDpro

DISCOVERY HOLDINGS expects both HEPS and EPS for the FY to end-Jun. to increase by 18%-22%. HEPS would be between 674cps and 697cps, and EPS between 667cps and 699cps. DISCOVERY said the main reason for the increase was that the previous year included one-off costs related to a UK acquisition and rebranding. As a result, the increase in normalised HEPS would be a more modest 5%-8% to 710cps-730cps, based on an 8%-12% rise in normalised profit to R6.9bn-R7.2bn. Results will be published on Sep. 18. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trans Hex considers cutting jobs at Baken mine - Allan Seccombe

TRANS HEX today said it was looking to potentially retrench 332 employees at its Baken mine, which is to be put on care and maintenance from Nov. The miner said it began the consultation process with the NUM about the potential job losses at Baken. "The company has made very effort to sustain operations at Baken, however, the mine's low carat production and subsequent financial losses are now considered to be unsustainable", TRANS HEX said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hyprop FY dividend up 12.1% - BDpro

HYPROP increased its FY dividend to end-Jun. by 12.1%, it announced today. The company is predicting dividend growth of 7%-9% for FY2018. HEPS for FY2017 rose to 644.4cps, from 574.3cps y/y. Headline earnings amounted to R1.594bn, up from R1.395bn y/y. HYPROP disposed of noncore assets worth R867m in the year. Revenue and distributable earnings from investment property increased by 7.1% and 6.1%, respectively. Distributable earnings from investments in sub-Saharan Africa fell to R57m from R83.7m y/y, largely due to the exclusion of distributable earnings from Ikeja City Mall in Lagos, Nigeria; replacement of tenants at lower rentals at Manda Hill Centre in Lusaka, Zambia; and rand appreciation against the dollar. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Going gets tough for Jasco Electronics - BDpro

JASCO ELECTRONICS today warned of a sharp drop in earnings for the FY to end-Jun. EPS would be 38%-48% lower than in 2016, and HEPS would contract by 56%-66%, partly as a result of an increase in the number of shares in issues. JASCO said revenue fell by 1%-5%, but operating profit was steady from a year earlier. JASCO said slow economic growth in SA and the volatility of the rand took their toll, especially in H2. Most of its businesses posted profit growth in H1 to end-Dec., vindicating CEO PAUL DA SILVA's strategy of moving towards higher-margin business. JASCO today said it had further reduced debt, and the gearing ratio had improved to 47%. Results will be published on Sep. 13. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Santam to shift focus as slowdown hits consumers - Sandile Mchunu

SANTAM plans to shift its focus more on the commercial and corporate property classes as the slowdown in the economy hits consumers, who are cutting down spending on new insurable assets. CEO LIZE LAMBRECHTS said the company's underwriting and risk management actions "will continue to be focused on the commercial and corporate property classes of business." SANTAM reported gross written premium growth of 14% to R13.8bn for the period to end-Jun., while total revenue amounted to R15bn. It reported lower underwriting results y/y, the majority of which could be attributed to disasters and a number of large property claims. HEPS fell 6% to 593cps. A conventional insurance net underwriting margin of 4.2% was achieved, even though it was at the bottom end of its target range of 4%-8%. The MIWAY subsidiary had the best HY of trading in its history, making a robust contribution to the underwriting margin and a 15% growth in gross written premium up to R1.1bn. SANTAM's board declared an interim dividend of 336cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Competition policy on SOEs must be clear - commissioner - Fin24

There should be a clear competition policy on SOEs which addresses, among other things, transparency in pricing, cross-subsidisation and bailouts, Competition Commissioner TEMBINKOSI BONAKELE said this week. He said the effectiveness of the Competition Act needs to be looked at, especially in relation to concentration. SOEs, which often have monopolies over infrastructure, prefer to do business with large firms over SMMEs, according to BONAKELE. One of the Commisison's abuse of dominance cases is against TRANSNET, which has been accused of excessive pricing and discrimination in favour of larger firms. As for regulation, the Commission has observed that the standards authorities have "largely surrendered to incumbents who develop the standards to exclude new entrants and disrupters". That is why the Commission has engaged with the SA Bureau of Standards in this regard and is also probing some of the industry associations that have "usurped the authority of the standards setting authorities". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trade surplus falls to R9bn in Jul. - Chanel de Bruyn

SA's trade surplus slid to R8.99bn in July from a revised R10.56bn surplus in June, data from SARS showed yesterday. Exports fell by 8.7% to R93.1bn on a m/m basis, while imports were down 8% to R84.1bn. The year-to-date trade balance surplus is at R36.63bn, compared to the deficit of R4.70bn recorded for the same period in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C hits ICASA hurdle over recapitalisation deal - Fin24

The recent recapitalisation deal between CELL C and BLUE LABEL TELECOMS could see potential delays. ICASA on Wednesday said it planned to engage with CELL C, noting that the network had filed for a change in licensing under separate acts, which were not applicable to the transaction. In its response, CELL C said it was "strange for the authority to reach its stated conclusion without first hearing CELL C's position". It said it would make "extensive submissions" and will engage with ICASA on the matter. ICASA concluded that the transaction "triggers the provisions of Section 13 of the Electronic Communications Act of 2015 (sic) and ought to have been filed as an application for change of control of the licensee" without first having heard CELL C's position. CELL C said it will submit detailed and extensive information to ICASA "and welcomes the opportunity to engage further regarding this transaction that has ensured the survival of the company as a sustainable competitor in the sector, increased ownership by historically disadvantaged individuals and saved many thousands of jobs". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CIG expects lower FY earnings - Creamer Media Reporter

CONSOLIDATED INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP expects its EPS and HEPS for the FY to end-Aug. to decrease by 25%-35%. EPS are expected to be between 165.75cps and 191.25cps, compared with 225cps y/y, while HEPS will be between 165.95cps and 191.25cps, compared with 255.3cps y/y. It noted that its latest acquisition, CONLOG, and certain other group businesses had performed in line with management's expectations. CIG will publish results on Nov. 8. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ascendis appoints COO - Creamer Media Reporter

ASCENDIS HEALTH has appointed THOMAS THOMSEN as COO. THOMSEN is based in the UK and will primarily be responsible for the company's European operations. "The role of COO will incorporate value creation responsibilities, support in acquisitions and focus on European operations", ASCENDIS said, adding that he would work alongside ASCENDIS HEALTH SA MD CLIFF SAMPSON. Both THOMSEN and SAMPSON report to ASCENDIS CEO Dr KARSTEN WELLNER. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania invites bids for hydropower project - Reuters

Tanzania has invited bids to build a 2 100MW hydroelectric plant in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal populations, despite opposition from conservationists to the project. The country considers the project at Stiegler's Gorge in the Selous Game Reserve as vital in its bid to diversify its energy mix and end chronic electricity shortages. The project would more than double Tanzania's power generation capacity. The Energy and Minerals Ministry said it expected construction of the plant to be completed within three years. The deadline for bids is Oct. 16, according to the document, which specifies that work must be completed within a period of 36 months, with a maximum mobilisation period of three months. The government did not say how much the project would cost and how it would raise financing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAA to introduce network changes - Creamer Media Reporter

SAA has confirmed it will introduce network changes on the domestic and regional segments of its route network, as part of its implementation of a new five-year corporate plan that seeks to return the company to financial sustainability in the shortest time possible. SAA said the planned changes "are to optimise SAA's schedule through the introduction of its airline partners. SAA will leverage its partnership with its sister airlines and will still maintain its SA code in those markets". Details of the impacted routes and the date of the proposed changes would be announced soon. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Report indicates more research needed before fracking in Karoo is allowed - Anine Kilian

It is vital that all matters related to the development of a shale gas industry be carefully analysed and evaluated before SA considers exploiting shale gas, says University of Cape Town senior research Professor CYRIL O'CONNOR. O'CONNOR, who is a member of the Academy of Science of SA, chaired the ASSAf panel that investigated SA's technical readiness to support the shale gas industry. Presenting the report findings, O'CONNOR said the amount of shale gas available in SA was still unclear, with estimates ranging between 20tn cu ft and over 400tn cu ft. "None of these reserves has yet been proven and lower value is probably closer to reality", he said. He added that, since shale gas exploitation required the use of large quantities of water, greater clarity was needed on the availability of alternative water sources such as underground saline water. O'CONNOR said local water supplies should not be used and all wastewater must be properly disposed of or recycled, highlighting that there was a universal concern about the nature of the chemicals used in the fracking process. The panel is of the view that no licences should be issued for fracking until the recommendations in the ASSAf report have been addressed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Canadian mining sector market value drops 7% in Q2 - Samantha Herbst

Canada's mining sector saw a slow start to Q2 2017, according to EY's Canadian Mining Eye index, which reported that the market cap of 100 TSX- and TSX-V-listed companies fell broadly between C$47m and C$1.6bn. This saw the market cap of the country's mining sector drop 7% in the quarter, following an increase of 11% in Q1. EY attributed this loss to the weak nickel price, with zinc remaining flat and copper seeing a slight increase. EY Canadian mining and metals leader JIM MACLEAN said companies are no longer selling noncore assets to reduce their debt, but are generating capital through enhanced cash flow, reducing their overall debt load at a good pace. Meanwhile, due to the use of nickel in electric vehicles and the increasing global demand for stainless steel, the price of nickel is expected to remain constant - offset by surplus mine supply. At the same time, the slowing economic growth rate in China is expected to keep copper prices constant in the near term, with a positive outlook in the medium to long term. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto cuts ribbon at new iron ore mine - Esmarie Swanepoel

RIO TINTO has officially opened its $338m Silvergrass iron ore mine, in Western Australia. Silvergrass is a satellite deposit adjacent to the Nammuldi mine, and was expected to add around 10mt/year of production capacity. The brownfield expansion project will lower mine operating costs as a result of the construction of a 9km conveyor system that will replace traditional road haulage routes linking Silvergrass to the existing process plant at Nammuldi. Production using the new primary crusher and conveyor will begin later in the year, with the project sustaining around 250 ongoing positions once construction is completed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oz Minerals says BHP to end power connection agreement - Esmarie Swanepoel

OZ MINERALS has been forced to seek alternative power solutions for its Prominent Hill mine, in Australia, after BHP terminated a connection and access agreement. Under the existing agreement, OZ MINERALS' Prominent Hill mine shares BHP's power line form Davenport to the Olympic Dam operation. OZ MINERALS owns the power infrastructure between Olympic Dam and Prominent Hill. BHP has advised OZ that it will terminate the connection and access agreement from the end of Aug. 2020. The current terms of the agreements ends in Jul. 2019, and OZ has the right to request an extension of 10 years, but BHP has reserved its position that the agreement will not be extended. OZ told shareholders yesterday that the agreement would need to be extended for a further term, with the company now considering its legal options to ensure continued access for at least the next three years. It noted that while the energy options being considered would not affect guidance at the Prominent Hill mine between 2017 and 2019, it could result in an increase in the mine's all-in sustaining costs of 2%-5% from mid-2020. This was subject to the company maintaining access to the infrastructure during the three-year notice period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bodies of last missing miners recovered from Kusasalethu

The bodies of the last two miners unaccounted for at a mine operated by HARMONY GOLD were recovered yesterday, the company said, bringing the death toll to five after a seismic event shook shafts last week. Last Friday's tremor rocked the Kusasalethu mine, one of the world's deepest. "All of the employees who were trapped underground, are now accounted for", HARMONY said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 01/09/2017

At 07h40 on 01 September 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.00 ZAR/EUR 15.48 ZAR/GBP 16.81 Gold 1320.18 Platinum 994.00 Brent Crude Oil 52.73 All Share 56522.11

Pernod Ricard profits boosted by robust Americas, new products - Harriet Agnew

PERNOD RICARD today said it increased net profits by 13% in the FY to end-Jun. as sales surpassed €9bn for the first time, driven by acceleration in its Americas division, innovation and a robust performance from its international brands. The distiller said that stripping out the impact of currencies and acquisitions, sales grew 3.6% in the FY to end-Jun., to €9bn, in line with analysts' forecasts. Net profits rose 13% during the period to €1.4bn. A third of the group's growth was driven by innovation, which it defines as new products or variations of existing products. China returned to sales growth for the first time since 2013, while the Americas grew 7% and Europe was up 3%. Free cash flow rose 22% to €1.3bn, bringing the net debt to EBITDA ratio down to 3.0 at the end of June, from 3.4 y/y. PERNOD RICARD warned that currency is estimated to have a negative impact of €125m on its profits in FY2018. It guided at organic growth in profits of 3%-5% for 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba says talks ongoing for chip unit sale - Alice Woodhouse

TOSHIBA today said it is still in talks with three groups of bidders for its chip unit as negotiations have not yet reached a point where a decision could be made by its board. A decision is only expected at the end of Sep., according to sources. TOSHIBA said the three consortia of potential buyers are a group including INNOVATION NETWORK CORPORATION OF JAPAN, BAIN CAPITAL and DEVELOPMENT BANK OF JAPAN; a second group including WESTERN DIGITAL; and a third that includes HON HAI (FOXCONN). This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China manufacturing growth perks up - Hudson Lockett

Growth in China's manufacturing sector rose in Aug. as mid-sized companies exited contraction, but the services sector saw the weakest expansion in four months as construction activity softened. The manufacturing PMI, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, rose to 51.7 in Aug., surpassing a median forecast of 51.3 from economists surveyed by Reuters. A sub-index or manufacturing production rose 0.6 points to 54.5 in Aug., while that for new orders recovered from July's dip of 0.3 points to come in at 53.1. While a sub-index for activity at larger enterprises edged down 0.1 points to 52.8, that for mid-sized companies rose 1.4 points to 51. A gauge of overall manufacturing employment edged lower by 0.1 points to 49.1 in Aug. The official non-manufacturing PMI came in at 53.4 in Aug., dipping further below the recent peak of 54.9 recorded in June. A key sub-index for the services sector fell for a second month running, with a drop of 0.5 pushing the gauge to 52.6, its lowest level since Apr. A sub-index for the construction industry also fell by 4.5 points to 58. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan industrial output swings back into contraction - Hudson Lockett

Japan's industrial production fell into contraction in July and more sharply than expected. Industrial output fell 0.8% m/m in July, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. That was a sharper contraction than the median forecast of a 0.5% fall forecast by economists surveyed by Reuters. The ministry said the contraction was mainly due to falls in general purpose production and business-oriented machinery, electrical machinery and chemicals production, in that order. That was partly offset by growth in output of electronic parts and devices, along with other segments. In y/y terms, industrial production slowed to 4.7% from a revised rise of 5.5% in June (previously 4.9%). This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fitch cuts Venezuela's rating over sanctions pressure - Jessica Dye

FITCH pushed Venezuela deeper into junk territory yesterday, saying a default is "probable" after a fresh wave of sanctions have reduced the government's financing options even further. FITCH dropped the country's rating one notch to CC from CCC. In recent weeks, the US has imposed several rounds of sanctions at individuals and entities linked to the regime of President NICOLAS MADURO, amid international backlash to the country's recent controversial elections. Those sanctions "will exacerbate the country's already weak external liquidity", FITCH said, adding that it "will likely deepen the political and policy uncertainties, aggravate the economic crisis, heighten political polarisation and increase social unrest". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Carrefour operating income slides on weak French performance - Harriet Agnew

French retailer CARREFOUR yesterday said its recurring operating income fell 12.1% y/y in H1 2017, dragged down by a weak performance at home and in Argentina. At current exchange rates, recurring operating income fell 12.1% to €621m, resulting in an operating margin of 1.6%. CARREFOUR attributed the fall to a strong competitive and promotional environment in France and an increase of losses y/y at the stores it acquired from Spain's DIA in 2014. CARREFOUR increased its losses in Argentina, where the economic recovery is taking time to materialise. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US economic growth pace revised up to 3% in Q2 - Jessica Dye

The rate of US growth picked up more steam than initially thought in Q2. A second estimate showed GDP had climbed at an annualised rate of 3% in the quarter to end-Jun., the Commerce Department said yesterday. The preliminary reading had showed GDP climbing at an annualised rate of 2.6% over the period, from 1.2% in Q1. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected last month's figure to be revised up just slightly to 2.7%. The report said the acceleration 'primarily reflected upturns in private inventory investment and federal government spending and an acceleration in PCE (personal consumption expenditures) that were partly offset by downturns in residential fixed investment and state and local government spending and a deceleration in exports". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US private sector adds 237 000 jobs in Aug. - Jessica Dye

The US private sector added more jobs than expected in Aug., trumping last month's additions and underscoring the strength of the labour market. Non-farm private employers added 237 000 jobs in Aug. m/m, according to payrolls processor ADP. The figure easily trounched estimates for a gain of 185 000. It also beat last month's reading of 201 000 new jobs, which was revised up from the preliminary 178 000 figure. All sectors except natural resources and mining and information jobs posted gains. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Louis Dreyfus taps Adrian Isman as senior head of grains, value chain platforms - Emiko Terazono

LOUIS DREYFUS COMPANY yesterday announced that ADRIAN ISMAN would become senior head of grains and value chain platforms, replacing DAVID OHAYON who resigned on Tuesday with a team of around six European grain traders. ISMAN is adding to his role as LDC's head of North America. He joined the company in 1985 in Argentina, where he worked in grains, oilseeds and finance until 1997. After three years as president of MARC RICH INVESTMENTS, he rejoined LDC in 2001 in Brazil, where he held several roles managing the energy, coffee, grains, oilseeds and cotton businesses. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 31/08/2017

At 10h47 on 31 August 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.02 ZAR/EUR 15.48 ZAR/GBP 16.79 Gold 1307.03 Platinum 988.50 Brent Crude Oil 50.64 All Share 56337.37

Jimmy Choo profits jump 174% - Nicholas Megaw

Makeovers at a number of its dedicated shops helped to offset the decline of US department stores and pump up H1 profits at JIMMY CHOO. The company reported a 16.5% rise in revenue in the HY to end-Jun., to £201.6m. Growth was boosted by the weak pound, with sales rising only 6.7% on a constant currency basis. The company noted that this figure was still stronger than the wider market "despite a challenging operating environment". Retail and licensing sales rose by 6.7% and 24.3% respectively on a constant currency basis, offsetting a 1.6% contraction in wholesale revenues. JIMMY CHOO said it had expected a reduction in purchasing by US department stores "in the face of weaker footfall in the USA generally", and said it would be implementing new logistics improvements to "facilitate improved sell through of collections" in H2 2017. Profit before tax rose 174% to £18.1m, though the y/y figures were affected by forex losses and higher financing costs. Adjusted EBITDA grew by a more modest 19.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Redefine completes sale of BMW showroom in London - Alistair Anderson

REDEFINE INTERNATIONAL has completed the sale of its Sytner BMW showroom in High Wycombe for £26.1m to a UK pension fund. The sale price reflects a net initial yield of 5.0% and a premium of 5.8% to the Feb. 28 2017 book value. The property was acquired in Mar. 2016. RIN CEO MIKE WATTERS said the disposal provided an opportunity to recycle capital out of an asset with limited near-term rental growth prospects at a low initial yield. In H1 of the current FY the company disposed of £95m of assets at an average premium of 12.4% to the Aug. 31 2016 book value. It has since then exchanged or completed on a further £46.6m of assets, including the sale of High Wycombe, at an average net initial yield of 5.8% and a premium of 10.7% to the Feb. 28 2017 book value. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tharisa to commission 1MW furnace to produce PGM-rich metal alloys - Sens

ARXO METALS, the beneficiation, research and development subsidiary of THARISA PLC, is commissioning a 1MW DC furnace to produce PGM-rich metal alloys on a pilot scale. The production of PGM-rich metal alloys will further develop THARISA's beneficiation capability and thereby the profitability of its PGM segment. The furnace is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of Sep. 2017, and will take around six months to ramp-up to the production of PGM-rich metal alloys. This alloy will then be smelted by LONMIN as part of a PGM R&D cooperation agreement entered into in Jul. 2017. "The PGM research and development cooperation agreement is in line with the Group's strategic objective of moving down the value chain. THARISA and LONMIN have a good relationship and we are pleased to be working together to our mutual benefit', THARISA CEO PHOEVOS POUROULIS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stronger rand takes swig of Distell's profit - BDpro

DISTELL posted a 15% drop in after-tax profit on revenue up 3.7% in the FY to end-Jun., hit by the stronger rand and impairments. HEPS fell 3.7% to 708.3cps, as headline earnings contracted by 3.6%. With the currency effects stripped out, it would have risen 7.4%. DISTELL wrote down R315.3m on investments in Bisquit cognac, a British wine broker and the industrial property rights held by its Angolan subsidiary. The final dividend of 214cps was unchanged y/y, for a total payout of 379cps, also unchanged y/y. DISTELL's cash position improved to R302.9m, from R102.4m y/y. SA accounted for R16.5bn of total revenue of R22.3bn, with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland contributing R1.8bn, the rest of Africa R1bn, Europe R1.3bn and the rest of the world R1.5bn. Sales volumes were constant, but in SA rose 1.5% - with a 5.4% rise in H2. Slower growth in wine sales were offset by faster growth in spirits, and a recovery in cider and RTD products. Overall, forex translation losses were R65.6m, against a R125.3m gain in 2016. "Global economic growth remains muted while African GDP growth is still being impacted by low commodity prices. On the domestic front, recessionary circumstances continue to put additional pressure on consumers... A modest recovery in economic growth can only be expected in the latter half of next year". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steinhoff reports 48% rise in group sales - Karl Gernetzky

STEINHOFF today said group sales had increased 48% to €14.9bn for the nine months to end-Jun., with organic revenue excluding acquisitions up 8%. This was led by good growth in the European and African regions, with like-for-like sales in SA up 7.4%. STEINHOFF's share price fell 7.21% over the past week after reports that German authorities were investigating CEO MARKUS JOOSTE on suspicion of accounting fraud. STEINHOFF is expected to lost most of its African retail assets, excluding automotive parts, on the JSE in Sep. During the period under review, the company generated 52% of sales in Europe, 27% in Africa, 15% in the US and 6% in Australasia. European sales comprised of 73% in the household goods division and 27% in the general merchandise division. Organic revenue growth in Europe was 1%, the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hawks seek affidavit from Manuel over SARS unit - Sam Mkokeli, Bloomberg

The Hawks told former finance minister TREVOR MANUEL and his one-time deputy, JABU MOLEKETI, to provide affidavits on the creation of a special investigative unit in SARS that allegedly spied on politicians. The Hawks wants the affidavits by Friday so "we can finalise this investigation", spokesperson HANGWANI MULAUDZI said yesterday. The affidavits were ordered by a judge. Before he was sacked by President JACOB ZUMA, former finance minister PRAVIN GORDHAN said the tax agency unit acted within its mandate. The National Prosecuting Authority has been probing the unit in an investigation that GORDHAN, opposition parties and civil society groups say is politically motivated. Questioning MANUEL and MOLEKETI about the unit raises the chances that the police may move to charge GORDHAN. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gordhan to speak out over Treasury IT mismanagement claims - Carin Smith

Claims of financial mismanagement of government's Integrated Financial Management System is part of a well-orchestrated campaign by the "GUPTA-syndicate", according to former finance minister PRAVIN GORDHAN. GORDHAN said he will provide a comprehensive overview of the claims next week. This comes after Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that Treasury had launched a forensic investigation into the IT contract. It also comes as GUPTA-owned ANN7 runs continuous segments surrounding the claims. In GORDHAN's view, the claim of mismanagement is an attempt to discredit and launch attacks "through the abuse of state institutions on those opposed to corruption a nd working for a renewal of the ANC so that we can once again earn the trust of citizens and ensure the ANC wins the 2019 elections". "These malicious actions by this nefarious clique is a sign of desperation. This is also a very transparent and ridiculous attempt to shift the focus from the plentiful evidence existing in the Public Protector state capture report and the leaked emails of plain stealing of public resources for which this clique must still account some day soon", GORDHAN said. He indicated that a more comprehensive reply can be expected next week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil judge blocks decree opening Amazon area to mining - Reuters

A Brazilian judge yesterday granted an injunction blocking a decree by President MICHEL TEMER that opens up a vast Amazon area to mining, a decision that the attorney general's office has said it will appeal. Federal Judge ROLANDO VALCIR SPANHOLO ruled that the abolition of the area, also known as RENCA, could only be done by an act of Congress under the constitution. TEMER's decree earlier this month drew a barrage of criticism from lawmakers and activists, including moves to file lawsuits and block the decree in Congress, as it would allow mining in an area of around 46 000km² that has been protected since 1984. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ex-SA Express CEO paid R700 despite R35 wasted spend on his watch - Liesl Peyer

Former SA EXPRESS CEO INATI NTSHANGA received a payout of R776 000 when he stepped down in Mar. this year, Parliament was told yesterday. SA EXPRESS told the standing committee on public finance that NTSHANGA was asked to step down and had five months left of his employment contract, for which he received the payout. Significant irregular expenditure occurred under NTSHANGA's watch. In the 2015/16 FY, R35.6m of irregular expenditure was incurred as a result of, among others, expired contracts, procurement process not followed and deficiencies in procurement processes. Alltogether, R18m of the irregular expenditure has been internally condoned, as the airline received "satisfactory explanations" as to why the spending took place and received the assurance that it wasn't linked to any fraud. But irregular spending of R16.5m is under investigation due to procurement processes not followed and appropriate action will be taken against responsible individuals, SA EXPRESS said. SCOPA members bemoaned the fact that individuals like NTSHANGA leave their workplaces when irregularities have occurred under their watch, and are then not held accountable for their actions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GEPF says not funding SAA - Carin Smith

The GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PENSION FUDN yesterday assured members, pensioners and beneficiaries that it has not received any proposal to help fund SAA. "No discussions have been held with GEPF on this matter. Therefore, we urge all our members and pensioners not to panic or read too much into this speculation', the Fund said, assuring beneficiaries that their pension savings are safe. Last week the Treasury told the National Assembly that it is considering various options to recapitalise SAA and that these include the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION as a possible equity partner. The PIC is the fund manager of the GEPF. GEPF yesterday emphasised that its primary role is to protect the wealth of its members and pensioners by safeguarding their retirement benefits through proper administration and prudent investment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Govt considering vaccination to stop spread of bird flu - Liesl Peyper

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is considering the possibility of vaccination in a bid to stop the spread of avian flu. Agriculture Minister SENZENI ZOKWANA yesterday said the vaccination is not a simple discussion that can be taken lightly. The decision "should be based on scientific research for the long-term benefit of the sector and the country. But we are considering it, as the impact is wide". A task team is studying vaccination as an option and the DAFF will give its verdict on the matter at the end of Sep. ZOKWANA previously said although there had been calls to permit vaccination against the bird flu strain, it would not be in the best interest of SA and poultry producers, as vaccination will affect surveillance efforts and the country's export certification. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA Express seeks urgent bailout - Liesl Peyper

SOUTH AFRICAN EXPRESS needs an urgent recapitalisation to stay afloat, Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN said yesterday. The board and management of SA EXPRESS appeared before Parliament's standing committee on public accounts to explain the irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R35m it incurred in FY2015/16. The unaudited results for the 2016/17 FY showed that SA EXPRESS made a R234m loss after a R16.9m profit the previous year. BROWN explained that the airline operates with a very small number of aircraft and that urgent recapitalisation in this respect is needed. She conceded that the way in which SA's state-owned airlines are structured at the moment is not making sense. BROWN stressed that there is no intent to privatise SA EXPRESS. "It plays too big a role as a training ground of aviation players". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afrisam said to be talking to partner to secure PPC deal - Loni Prinsloo

AFRISAM is in talks with an equity partner to recapitalise the company and enable it to push through a merger with larger rival PPC, according to sources. AFRISAM has a letter of intent from an investment company based in the Americas that's willing to put up new funding, the sources said, adding that a deal could be concluded within the next 12 weeks. PPC shares rose 1.8% to R4.99 yesterday afternoon, paring the year's losses to 8.1% and valuing the company at R8.1bn. The prospect of a partner with more financial clout could enable AFRISAM to put forward a new merger proposal to PPC that would be more attractive to management and shareholders in the latter. If PPC management remain resistant to a merger, AFRISAM could attempt a hostile takeover, the sources said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CompCom won't take it easy on banks hoping to settle forex cartel matter - Lameez Omarjee

Banks implicated in the forex cartel matter should not expect the same kind of settlements the Competition Commission reached with other banks. Reuters earlier reported that Commissioner TEMBINKOSI BONAKELE said the watchdog would not be engaging with banks approaching its discreetly to reach settlements by offering their cooperation. BONAKELE was speaking at a media breakfast at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. "The Commission doesn't rule out any possible settlement discussion with any bank in this litigation - what we are saying is that those who have wasted time and have sought to abuse the process must not expect the same as those who settled earlier", Commission spokesperson SIPHO NGEMA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kusile Unit 1 brought into full commercial operation - Samantha Herbst

Unit 1 of ESKOM's Kusile power station has been brought into full commercial operation, adding 800MW of much-needed power to help stabilise the national power grid. The utility yesterday said the unit was completed well ahead of its scheduled commercial operation date of Jul. 2018. "This achievement shows that we have learns lessons from the past and from other new-build projects, hence we managed to achieve this milestone ahead of revised schedule", ESKOM interim CEO JOHNNY DLADLA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

48 municipalities still owe Eskom billions - News24Wire

Forty-eight municipalities still owe ESKOM billions of rand in combined debt, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister DES VAN ROOYEN said this week. Of those, 20 municipalities had registered progress in terms of compliance. "Some of the issues that have been raised are currently being looked at by the ESKOM board as well", VAN ROOYEN said. The utility has agreed that it will align its credit policy to that of municipalities. It currently gives a credit deadline of 15 days, whereas municipalities have a 30-day deadline for their lenders. "It's very clear that the lack of economic basis in many municipalities is one of the key contributing factors of municipalities not being able to pay", VAN ROOYEN said. As a result, government would continue to review the current formula for the equitable share of the budget between municipalities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CEC to restore full power to Glencore's Mopani ops - Reuters

COPPERBELT ENERGY CORPORATION and GLENCORE's MOPANI COPPER MINES have reached an agreement to restore full power supply to the mine from yesterday, the president's office said. Details of the agreement will be finalised over a six-week period, presidential spokesperson AMOS CHANDA said. CEC cut supply to MCM to 94MW from 130MW after a dispute over new tariffs. MCM last week said the power supply restrictions had put its investments at risk and warned it might lay off 4 700 staff due to the cuts. "MOPANI will today inform labour unions that negotiations are taking place in good faith and therefore there was no cause for panic", CHANDA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cape Town's first oil storage, distribution terminal open for business - Samantha Herbst

Cape Town's first independent oil storage and distribution terminal, the Burgan Cape Terminal, was officially opened in the Eastern Mole of the Port of Cape Town this week. The facility offers 122 000m3 of diesel and petrol storage and will offer the option to blend bioethanol and diesel. BCT is jointly owned by BBBEE companies THEBE INVESTMENT CORPORATION and JICARO, which each own a 15% stake, and global storage and terminal operator VTTI, which owns a 70% stake. BCT's own jetty can accommodate vessels with a deadweight tonnage (DWT) of up to 50 000 DWT. Product will be loaded into trucks for onward distribution by a fully automated loading rack. The facility expects to load more than 36 000 trucks in its first year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vedanta appoints interim CEO - Creamer Media Reporter

VEDANTA RESOURCES has appointed KULDIP KAURA as interim CEO, effective Sep. 1. Current CEO TOM ALBANESE will step down on Aug. 31. The board thanked ALBANESE "for his significant contribution to the business and wish him all the best for the future". VEDANTA chair ANIL AGARWAL said KAURA has the full support of the board and management team "and I am certain that he will provide strong leadership as we search for a permanent CEO". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

De Beers marketing spend increase will boost global diamond sales - Creamer Media Reporter

The global diamond and jewellery industries will benefit from DE BEERS and the DIAMOND PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION's increased marketing budgets, says World Federation of Diamond Bourses president ERNIE BLOM. DE BEERS this week said it would invest more than $40m in marketing this year - its biggest such investment since 2008. "Taken together with the DPA's decision to increase its diamond jewellery promotional budget this year to $57m, we are seeing very significant action in promoting diamonds in key markets. The diamond industry globally can take heart from these decisions as they will serve to boost demand", BLOM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio unveils red diamond from Argyle - Esmarie Swanepoel

RIO TINTO has unveiled a 2.11ct fancy red diamond in its latest tender of diamonds from the Argyle mine, in Australia. CEO JEAN-SEBASTIAN JACQUES said the market fundamentals for pink diamonds remained robust, adding that the combination of healthy demand and limited supply continued to support significant value appreciation for pink diamonds. "At more than a billion years old, each Argyle pink diamond is a fluke of nature, commanding the attention of investors, collectors and diamond connoisseurs across the world". The 58 diamonds in the tender weighed a total of 49.39ct, including four fancy red diamonds, four purplish red diamonds, two violet diamonds and one blue diamond. The collection comprises five "hero" diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world's most important diamonds. The stones include the 2.11ct Argyle Everglow, the 1.14ct Argyle Isla, the 2.42ct Argyle Avaline, the 1.5ct Argyle Kalina and the 0.91ct Argyle Liberte. The 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds tender is being showcased in Perth, Hong Kong and New York, with bids closing on Oct. 11. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RCL Foods blames drought for sharp drop in FY profit - TJ Strydom

RCL FOODS reported a 34% drop in FY earnings this week, blaming rising competition and a severe drought which pushed up input costs. The company said the recent drought had increased prices of the maize used to feed its chickens, hurting margins. RCL said HEPS for the FY to end-Jun. fell to 63.5cps, from 96.5cps y/y. RCL said its outlook was improving as conditions were now better. "On the positive side, the record maize crop, adequate rainfalls, as well as an improved supply of other crops should restore margins and contribute to welcome price relief for consumers", the company said. It cautioned that the domestic food market remained oversupplied. "Poultry imports, and more recently, rapidly increasing sugar imports, have been adding pressure to domestic supplies", the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moz sets sights on capital gains tax from ENI, Exxon deal - Manuel Mucari

Mozambique will charge Italian oil major ENI $350m in capital gains tax for its sale of a stake in the Coral South natural gas field to EXXONMOBIL, Finance Minister ADRIANO MALEIANE said this week. Maputo plans to set up a sovereign investment fund where taxes received on sales of the country's minerals will be used to finance development projects, state media reported earlier this month. The government has authorised the asset sale and the tax authorities can now collect the tax, MALEIANE said. "The state has already done what had to be done. Officials from outside the country must close, and from there they have a deadline of 30 days to bring the funds here to Mozambique. Before the end of the year is the probable deadline", MALEIANE said. ENI in Jun. inked an $8bn deal with the government to develop a gas field off the coast of Mozambique. The Coral South field contains around 16tn cu ft of gas. EXXONMOBIL agreed to pay to ENI $2.8bn for a 25% stake in Coral South. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA pushes Angola to pay debt owed to SAA - Wendell Roelf

SA will press the newly-elected Angolan government to pay R850m it owes SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said this week. SAA is owed a total of around R1bn in revenue earned in other African countries, with Angola the single largest debtor. GIGABA said the Treasury was talking to Angola and other African governments that owe the carrier to get the funds repatriated. "We understand that Angola is facing its own difficulties economically, but so are we and many other countries, so we expect they will continue to honour the agreements... and pay the money due to us", GIGABA said. According to global airline industry body IATA, Angola was the only one of the top five countries blocking fund repatriation to have seen the amounts it owes increasing - to $477m from $237m in Jun. 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's Access Bank takes impairment on 9mobile loan - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's ACCESS BANK yesterday said it had booked a 4bn naira impairment on its loan to troubled telecoms firm 9MOBILE. ACCESS CEO HERBERT WIGWE said the lender had a direct exposure of 11bn naira to 9MOBILE, as well as an exposure of 35bn-39bn naira to 9MOBILE's suppliers. WIGWE said ACCESS hoped to recover the debt once 9MOBILE was sold to new investors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aspen flags jump in FY profit - TJ Strydom

ASPEN PHARMACARE expects FY profit to rise by as much as 48%, it said yesterday, boosted by a recovery in its Venezuelan business. ASPEN sees HEPS up by 43%-48% to as much as 1 315.7cps, from 889cps y/y. It said the increase in HEPS "is attributable to the devaluation of ASPEN's Venezuelan business in the prior year", without giving more detail. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Allianz buys Nigerian insurer for $35m in African push - Chijioke Ohuocha

Germany's ALLIANZ plans to pay $35m for a 98% stake in Nigerian insurer ENSURE INSURANCE in a push for growth in Africa. ALLIANZ said it would acquire the stake from GREENOAKS GLOBAL HOLDINGS. ENSURE INSURANCE offers life and non-life cover to business and retail clients and generated €11m in gross premiums in 2016. "The transaction gives ALLIANZ access to the fifth-largest insurance market in Africa and is in line with our strategy to capture long-term growth opportunities on the continent", ALLIANZ AFRICA spokesperson BETTINA SATTLER said. The German group expects the acquisition to close this year and said it intends to retain ENSURE's management team. ALLIANZ plans to focus on property and casualty insurance, particularly underwriting industrial and speciality risk in the energy sector as well as large complex risks such as infrastructure. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye swings to H1 loss, hit by lawsuit provision, impairments - Ed Stoddard

SIBANYE-STILLWATER yesterday reported an interim loss, citing impairments and provisions for an expected settlement with miners who contracted lung diseases at work. The newly renamed company posted an HLPS of 147cps for the HY to end-Jun., in line with what it had previously flagged to the market. That compared with HEPS of 79cps y/y. The provision for the expected occupational healthcare settlement is R1.077bn. SIBANYE-STILLWATER said the losses were also attributable to a R2.8bn impairment charge related to the cessation of its Cooke and Beatrix West gold operations and R402m in costs associated with the acquisition of STILLWATER MINING in the US. No interim dividend was declared. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA mulls merger of three state-owned airlines - Wendell Roelf

The government is considering merging its three state-owned airlines into one entity, and offering a 25% stake of the holding company to a private equity partner, Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN said yesterday. SAA, MANGO and SAA EXPRESS are struggling to remain profitable amid increased competition and rising operational costs. "I believe the answer to all of it lies in how we rationalise the three companies and how we bring in a 25% shareholder to help us with both management as well as on finances", BROWN told a parliamentary committee. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's credit growth slows to 5.71% in July - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's private sector credit demand growth slowed to 5.71% in July from 6.16% in June, SARB data showed yesterday. Expansion of the broadly defined M3 measure of money supply rose to 6.81%, from 5.96% in the previous month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 31/08/2017

At 07h00 on 31 August 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.99 ZAR/EUR 15.45 ZAR/GBP 16.80 Gold 1308.02 Platinum 980.00 Brent Crude Oil 51.59 All Share 56168.00

Moody's upgrades EU growth forecasts, cuts US - Nicholas Megaw

MOODY's expects "above-potential growth this year and next" in the eurozone, and has upgraded its growth forecasts for the area's three largest economies. In Germany, the ratings agency is now expecting growth of 2.2% this year and 2% next year, while its forecasts for France were lifted from 1.3% and 1.4% to 1.6% for both this year and next. Italy is now expected to grow 1.3% in 2017 and 2018, up from previous forecasts of 0.8% and 1%. In contrast to the improvements in Europe, MOODY's said the US economy has been "weaker" than expected since the start of the year, leading it to cut its forecasts for 2017 growth from 2.4% to 2.2%. It is also less confident about President DONALD TRUMP's commitment to ramp up infrastructure investment, cutting its forecast for 2018 growth from 2.5% to 2.3% as a result of "more modest fiscal stimulus than previously assumed". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Louis Dreyfus' senior head of grains departs - Emiko Terazono

LOUIS DREYFUS COMPANY's senior head of grains has departed, taking a team of grain traders with him, according to sources. DAVID OHAYON, senior head of grains and value chain platforms, and European-based grain traders resigned yesterday. OHAYON, one of the six members of the senior leadership team, joined the agricultural trader in 1990. Both OHAYON and LDC could not be reached for comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gazprom income falls 80% on forex hit - Henry Foy

GAZPROM has reported a more than 80% plunge in net income for Q2, on a forex hit to its non-rouble denominated debt. The company yesterday said Q2 net income was Rbs47.9bn, down from Rbs244.9bn y/y. Analysts had forecast the company would suffer a slump in income due to a forex loss from a revaluation of overseas debt. Forecasts were for net income of Rbs50.2bn, according to a survey conducted by Reuters. Revenue in the quarter to end-Jun. rose to Rbs1.39tn, from Rbs1.33tn y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Google proposes fix for shopping service in antitrust Battle with Brussels - Rochelle Toplensky

GOOGLE sent Brussels its proposed fix for its shopping service, the latest step in its ongoing antitrust battle in Europe. The European Commission in July fined GOOGLE €2.4bn for abusing its near-monopoly in search to unfairly favour its own shipping service. Regulators gave the company until yesterday midnight to submit a plan "to give equal treatment to rival comparison shipping services and its own service". The Commission confirmed it received the proposal and said "it is GOOGLE's sole responsibility to ensure compliance with the commission's antitrust decision". Yesterday's proposal marks the first step in the process for GOOGLE to cease the anti-competitive practices - the precise changes required may take months or even years to negotiate. GOOGLE could be hit with additional fines for delays - up to 5% of daily revenues, which would be roughly $12m per day. The agreed changes will apply to GOOGLE's services throughout the European Economic Area. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan retail sales growth outperforms despite faltering consumption - Hudson Lockett

Growth in Japan's retail sales moderated in July, but less than had been expected. Retail sales rose 1.9% y/y in Jul. to Y12.2tn, according to figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, down from a pace of 2.1% in June. Observers had pencilled in a much more marked decline, with a median estimate from economists polled by Reuters predicting growth would slow to 0.9%. Combined with wholesale sales growth of 3.1% brought total commercial sales in Japan to just shy of Y38tn in July, up 2.7% y/y but slowing further from a recent peak of 4.9% in May. Department store sales fell into contraction, down 2.5% y/y, but supermarket sales picked up from zero growth in June to a rise of 1.1% in July, while convenience store sales accelerated 0.2 percentage points to notch growth of 3.1% for the period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hyundai resumes production in China - Hudson Lockett

HYUNDAI MOTOR has resumed production at its China factories after operations ground to a halt yesterday, when a local supplier refused to provide necessary parts after not receiving payment. HYUNDAI MOTORS said its China operations had resumed early in the afternoon on Wednesday after shares dropped as much as 3.8% during morning trade in Seoul. Yesterday, HYUNDAI revealed plunging sales in China meant its affiliate there, BEIJING HYUNDAI, could not make the required payments for plastic fuel tanks and that it was "working to find a resolution". South Korean media had reported the outstanding bill to be as much as $17m. In June, the company reported a 65% drop in sales in China, its largest market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petrofac slashes dividend after 'solid' H1 - Andrew Ward

PETROFAC has cut its dividend by 42% as part of efforts to shore up its balance sheet after the company announced a drop in underlying H1 profits. The UK-listed oilfield services group declared an interim dividend of 12.70cps for the HY to end-Jun., compared with 22cps y/y. Net profits, excluding exceptional items, were $158m in H1, down 4% from $165m y/y. This was better than guidance given by the company in June for profits between $135m and $145m. CEO AYMAN ASFARI said PETROFAC had made a "positive start to the year" with "solid first half results that reflect good project execution and lower revenues". New order intake of $2.7bn and a backlog of $12.5bn was "evidence of our continued competitiveness in challenging markets". ASFARI said the company was "well placed on a number of bids" and that this "positions us well for the second half of 2017". Net debt was $1bn on Jun. 30, up from $600m six months earlier. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

M&S starts franchise talks for HK, Macau business - Alice Woodhouse

MARKS & SPENCER has begun talks with AL-FUTTAIM for the possible purchase and franchising of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau. The talks could see AL-FUTTAIM become the sole franchisee for M&S in Hong Kong and Macau. M&S has operated in Hong Kong since 1988 and has 27 stores in the city. AL FUTTAIM, a conglomerate based in the UAE, has worked with M&S since it opened the British retailer's first store in Dubai in 1998. The deal covers only the company's retail business and its Hong Kong sourcing operations will remain wholly-owned. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Statoil draws a blank in Arctic oil exploration - Richard Milne

STATOIL has found no oil and only a non-commercial amount of gas in the most highly regarded Norwegian Arctic oilfield, raising further questions on whether the Barents Sea can live up to its billing as the next big petroleum region. There has been intense speculation over Korpfjell, with some oil analysts estimating it could contain more than a billion barrels of oil. "The results are of course disappointing, but it is too early to draw any conclusions on how this will impact the Barents Sea southeast area", said JEZ AVERTY, STATOIL's head of exploration in Norway and the UK. Korpfjell was seen as the most exciting prospect in the first new acreage Norway had offered in decades. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Diamond mine sale helps Lukoil to higher profits - Henry Foy

LUKOIL beat market forecasts with a more than doubling of Q2 profit, thanks to the sale of non-core assets and a rise in the Russian rouble. LUKOIL yesterday reported net income for the quarter to end-Jun. of Rbs138.6bn, up 121% y/y, helped by a $1.45bn windfall from the sale of its stake in a diamond mine. Analysts had expected the company to report profits of Rbs121.5bn, according to a Reuters survey. Revenue in Q2 increased to Rbs1.36tn from Rbs1.34tn y/y, but oil production slowed in the first half of the year compared to 12 months previously, due in part to "the temporary external limitations of Russian companies' production volumes", LUKOIL said, referring to a deal between Russia and OPEC to cut production in order to prop up the oil price. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US consumer confidence up in Aug. - Jessica Dye

US consumer confidence rose in Aug., thanks in part to a rosier outlook on current conditions despite a small drop in the number of people surveyed who think business conditions will get better in the next six months. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 122.9 in Aug., up from a revised reading of 120 in July. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a reading of 120.7. Conference Board director of economic indicators LYNN FRANCO credited the improvement to "consumers' more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions", adding: "Consumers' short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead". The number of respondents who tought business conditions would improve over the next six months fell from 22.4% to 19.6%, while just 17.1% expected more jobs in the coming months, down from 18.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 30/08/2017

At 11h28 on 30 August 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.01 ZAR/EUR 15.56 ZAR/GBP 16.81 Gold 1311.31 Platinum 992.00 Brent Crude Oil 51.59 All Share 56529.58

Torre FY normalised headline earnings down - Andries Mahlangu

TORRE INDUSTRIES today reported a 30% drop in normalised HEPS to 15cps in the FY to end-Jun. as a result of R456m in impairments. The company supplies parts and components to the equipment and automotive sectors. Gropu revenue was stable at R1.5bn while the company's net operating loss widened to R406m, from R22m previously. TORRE said it was positioned to benefit from any improvement in the local economy, after completing the restructuring of its business, which included the sale of a 55% stake in the KANU GROUP. "Although the once-off impairment of assets has reduced the on-balance sheet capital, it is now soundly based on productive assets", TORRE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Growthpoint FY dividend up 6.5% - BDpro

GROWTHPOINT increased its dividend by a marginally higher than expected 6.5% to 195.8cps for the FY to end-Jun. For the FY ahead, the company said it expected dividend growth to be similar to that of 2017. For 2017, gross revenue rose by 9.8%. Headline and diluted EPS amounted to R5bn from R3.8bn y/y, while distributable income came in at R5.6bn, up 10.4% y/y. Retail sales grew by 3% and trading density by 2% at the V&A Waterfront. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Assore posts record headline earnings on higher commodity prices - BDpro

ASSORE has doubled its FY headline earnings, benefiting from higher commodity prices. Headline earnings rose by around 200% from R1.7bn to a record R5.2bn in the FY to end-Jun. Average prices for iron ore rose 37% in the period to $70/t and prices for manganese ore doubled as a result of higher crude steel output. ASSORE chair DES SACCO said higher prices reflected better global economic conditions, but cautioned that the possibility of additional iron ore supply, particularly from Brazil and Australia, was expected to have an impact on prices. ASSORE declared a final dividend of 800cps, taking the total for the year to 1 400cps, which was double from the y/y period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bell expects H1 earnings rise - BDpro

BELL EQUIPMENT expects HEPS to rise by as much as 87% in the HY to end-Jun. y/y. The company yesterday said it expected HEPS of 115cps-125cps, up from 67cps y/y. The improved operational performance was a result of the better demand in the local market. BELL also said it managed to turn around its business in the DRC, which marred its financial performance in the y/y period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Telkom alerts shareholders about state's SAA rescue mission - Matthew le Cordeur

TELKOM has advised its shareholders to exercise caution when dealing with its shares, as it announced government's proposal to reduce its 39% stake in the company. It said the government is considering "various strategic options with regards to partially reducing its current approximate 39% shareholding in TELKOM", adding that this move may have a material effect on its share price. The PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION, which has a 10.9% stake in TELKOM, is a likely candidate to purchase the stake. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stiff Sep. hikes won't end petrol price pain - Carin Smith

If oil continues to climb, motorists should expect further pain at the fuel pumps in the months ahead, the Automobile Association said yesterday. In Sep., petrol users could be hit the hardest with a possible increase of 61c/litre, the AA forecast, while diesel could climb by 46c/l and illuminating paraffin by almost 50c. "The majority of the increase is attributable to strength in international petroleum prices, with just four cents of the hikes due to rand weakness", the AA said. Earlier this month the AA predicted that the increase in illuminating paraffin in particular will have a strong negative effect on households which rely on this fuel for cooking, lighting and heating. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New home owners not liable for historical debt - Matthew le Cordeur

The Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that new home owners are nt liable for historical debt taken over from previous owners. Municipalities argued against a landmark High Court judgment in 2016, which made a similar ruling. The High Court application saw property owners taken on Tshwane and Ekurhuleni for cutting municipal services to new home owners who had inherited historical debt. The municipalities had argued that it was lawful for them to attach and sell a newly purchased property to extract money for debt owed to them. In a unanimous judgment, the court rules that the provision in Section 118 (3) of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act 2000 is well capable of being interpreted so that the charge does not survive transfer. The court rules that, to avoid unjustified arbitrariness in violation of 25 (1) of the Bill of Rights, Section 118 (3) must be interpreted so that the charge it imposes does not survive transfer to a new owner. As such, the ConCourt said it did not need to confirm the High Court ruling, but granted the applicants a declaration that the charge does not survive transfer. The municipalities and the cooperative and governance minister were ordered to pay costs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye changes name to reflect new global identity - Matthew le Cordeur

SIBANYE GOLD has changed its name to SIBANYE-STILLWATER to reflect the company's transformation to a leading global precious metals miners. "SIBANYE-STILLWATER has become a truly competitive, international mining company with a unique portfolio of world class, scalable, precious metal assets", CEO NEAL FRONEMAN said. The company also announced interim results for the HY to end-Jun., which showed SIBANYE-STILLWATER made a headline loss of R2.181bn, hit by lower average gold prices and gold production. Its legal name will remain SIBANYE GOLD LIMITED, but it will trade as SIBANYE-STILLWATER going forward. The company's trading tickers will remain unchanged for the time being. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vuyani Jarana appointed SAA CEO - Liesl Peyper

Newly appointed SAA CEO VUYANI JARANA has signed his employment contract with the national carrier, SAA spokesperson TLALI TLALI confirmed yesterday. "The one thing outstanding is to finalise his release date with his current employer and this in turn will enable us to announce the start date at SAA", TLALI said. JARANA has been head of VODACOM's enterprise division since 2012 and was previously COO at the company. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brown gives Eskom deadline to come clean on Trillian - ANA

Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN yesterday gave ESKOM a 48-hour deadline to heed her instruction to clarify its relationship with TRILLIAN, her spokesperson said. "In June, Minister BROWN requested ESKOM's board to clarify issues relating to its TRILLIAN relationship. Following further revelations of impropriety yesterday she has instructed the board to table its report in 48 hours", COLIN CRUYWAGEN said. ESKOM on Monday admitted it had lied about payments of more than R1.5bn to TRILLIAN and MCKINSEY. The utility claimed the payments were above board following the release of a damning report into TRILLIAN by advocate GEOFF BUDLENDER. It said global management consultancy OLIVER WYMAN had concluded that the payments were "based on prudent costs incurred and value created". But on Monday, ESKOM was forced to concede that in fact WYMAN had red-flagged the payments and recommended a legal review of the transactions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Franchise industry's contribution to GDP grows to 13% - Anine Kilian

The franchise industry's contribution to GDP grew to an estimated R587m, or 13.3% of SA's GDP in 2017, compared with 11.6% y/y. RESEARCH IQ analyst MARGARET CONSTANTARAS said the largest franchise sector was fast food and restaurants, representing 25% of the market in 2017, up from 24% in 2016. She added that, during the past year, an increasing number of franchisors believed that their businesses were at the success stage. "One in five describe themselves as being in the mature stage, consistent with a year ago". Further, there was a drop in the number of franchises labelled as being in the ambitious stage with many franchises moving into the success phase. Although expectations about the success of businesses in the future remain positive, there was a significant rise among those who are uncertain about the future. "Around 20% believe their turnover will not change, though, with a corresponding drop in the number who are expecting growth". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana reaffirms commitment to 100MW solar project - Terence Creamer

The Botswana government has assured potential renewable energy investors it will follow through with the implementation of a proposed 100MW utility-scale solar project, for which it received 166 responses to a call for expressions of interest released earlier this year. The BOTSWANA POWER CORPORATION has been appointed as government's implementation agent for the project, and the utility has indicated that it plans to issue a tender in the coming weeks to a short-list of companies selected from the list of EoI respondents. Chief security officer KESETSENAO MOLOSIWA was unable to provide details as to the criteria that would be applied by BPC when selecting which companies would be invited to make formal bids. However, he indicated that the utility would most likely focus on developers with proven capabilities in delivering solar projects. He also reported that the government had selected BPC as its implementation agent for a decentralised solar project to electrify 20 rural villages. He stressed, though, that this project would proceed separately from the centralised 100MW project. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mondi postpones investment in new paper machine at Czech mill - Creamer Media Reporter

MONDI will postpone its €135m investment in a new 90 000t/y machine-glazed speciality kraft paper machine, at it Steti mill in the Czech Republic. "While the proposed new machine remains an exciting investment opportunity, offering the lowest-cost production of its sort in Europe, recently announced industry capacity expansions are expected to result in a market imbalance over the period in which the new machine was planned to come on line", MONDI CEO PETER OSWALD said. The company noted that there would be no change to its €335m investment in modernising the Steti mill, including rebuilding the fibre lines, debottlenecking the existing packaging paper machines and a new recovery boiler. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibo finalises transmission line bid for MCPP - Creamer Media Reporter

KIBO MINING has concluded the final bid clarification for the construction of the transmission line that will evacuate power fro the Mbeya power plant to TANSECO's Mbeya substation. The power plant forms part of KIBO's Mbeya coal-to-power project, which includes the development of a coal mine and a 250MW-300MW mine mouth thermal power station. The engineering, procurement and construction contract for the power plant has been divided into two lots - the power station EPC contract and the power line EPC contract. The power station EPC contract was awarded conditionally to SEPCO III in Dec. 2016. Folloing technical studies, SEPCO III submitted a final bid for the power line EPC contract. KIBO and TRACTEBEL held a clarification workshop with the SEPCO III team earlier this month to finalise the technical component of the power line EPC contract, which will be awarded to SEPCO III, subject to final technical, financial and operational benchmarking to be conducted by TRACTEBEL in the next month. KIBO CEO LOUIS COETZEE said the finalisation of the transmission line bid "concludes all technical development work on the MCPP prior to financial close". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Champion secures financing, offtake from Glencore - Henry Lazenby

CHAMPION IRON ORE has secured a funding commitment and 10-year offtake agreement from GLENCORE, the iron ore junior announced on Monday. CHAMPION has secured a conditional financing commitment of $25m from GLENCORE in return for the non-brokered sale of a subordinated unsecured mandatory convertible debenture, on a private placement basis. The commitment also contemplates that CHAMPION subsidiary QUEBEC IRON ORE and GLENCORE will enter into an off-take agreement with fixed terms for 10 years. Consequently, CHAMPION has reduced the expected size of its public offering of subscription receipts from around C$50m to up to C$20m. Under the terms of the agreement, the debenture will have a term to maturity of eight years and bear interest at a rate of 12% for the first year and thereafter will bear interest at the same rate as the subordinated debt expected to be provided by CAISSE DE DEPOT ET PLACEMENT DU QUEBEC. QIO has previously received conditional commitments for debt financing of $180m from SPROTT PRIVATE RESOURCE LENDING and CAISSE to finance the restart of the Bloom Lake project. SPROTT will provide $80m via a five-year senior secured loan bearing interest at 7.5%/year, plus the greater of the US dollar three-month LIBOR and 1% a year. CAISSE will provide $100m through a seven-year subordinated loan bearing interest at 12% for the first year, and thereafter, at an interest rate linked to the price of iron-ore. The GLENCORE debenture can be converted at any time into ordinary shares of CHAMPION, at GLENCORE's option, at a conversion price that reflects a 25% premium above the price of the subscription receipts offered under the prospectus offering. GLENCORE has also under terms of the agreement secured global off-take rights for the life-of-mine, with fixed commercial terms for a 10-year period for all tonnes of future Bloom Lake iron production not sold in Japan, under the existing offtake agreement with SOJITZ CORPORATION. This news brief represents a summary of the origina

Freeport stock slides on Grasberg divestment plan - Henry Lazenby

FREEPORT-MCMORAN has agreed in principle to divest its flagship asset to give Indonesia a 51% stake of the Grasberg copper/gold mine, the company announced yesterday, sending its NYSE-listed stock down nearly 6% to $14.43 in early trading. FREEPORT directly owns 81.28% of PT-FI and has a 9.36% indirect stake via a subsidiary. The government of Indonesia owns the other 9.36%. Lifting the government's stake to 51% would mean selling another 41.64% of its stake. Subject to executing definitive documentation and board and partner approvals, PT FREEPORT INDONESIA will divest its ownership in PT-FI at fair market value so that Indonesia interests own 51% of PT-FI's shares. FREEPORT said the timing and process of divestment is being discussed with the government, but will be structured so that FCX will retain control over operations and governance of PT-FI. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold extends rally as N Korea test adds to angst - Bloomberg

Gold rose to its highest level this year after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan, boosting haven demand and extending a rally fuelled by declines in the dollar. Meanwhile, palladium extended gains and platinum rose above $1 000 for the first time since Mar. "Gold rices have rallied to their highest level since US elections", in Nov., GOLDMAN SACHS analysts said. Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.8% to $1 320.95 in New York yesterday. The metal gained as much as 1.2% to $1 326.08/oz, the highest since Nov. 9 ,the day after DONALD TRUMP was elected president of the US. A Bloomberg Intelligence index of gold mining companies rose 3.6%, touching its highest level since April, with HARMONY GOLD MINING and ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI leading gains. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Codelco chair says cautious about short-term copper price - Reuters

OSCAR LANDERRETCHE, chairperson of Chile's CODELCO, yesterday said he was cautious about a recent rally in copper prices, even as he is more optimistic in the medium- and long-term. "It's true that all of the fundamentals are good in the medium- and long-term... but I would be very cautious", he told a mining conference in Santiago, Chile. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Buenaventura seeks partner for arsenic copper project - Reuters

Peruvian miner BUENAVENTURA will look for a partner to develop a plan that reduces the arsenic level in copper, CEO VICTOR GOBITZ said yesterday. The company plans to locate the installation next to its existing Rio Seco manganese plant, in the province of Huaral. "We have the space, and we're obtaining all the licences and permits to have an arsenic copper plant in the future", GOBITZ said, adding that it is "a great technical and financial challenge". As part of the company's strategy, BUENAVENTURA is going to work formally to look for partners in the development of the project. GOBITZ neither gave information on how long it could take to construct the plant nor its possible cost. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRDGold disappointed by allegations made in latest BMF report - Anine Kilian

DRDGOLD yesterday expressed disappointment that the Bench Marks Foundation had not engaged with the company when compiling its latest report titled "Waiting to Inhale". The report found that communities living near mine dumps in Johannesburg are at greater risk of respiratory illnesses than those in the city's northern suburbs. The report focuses on the communities of Riverlea, Diepkloof, Meadowlands and Doornkop. It suggests, among other things, that all mine dumps should be fenced and signposted and notes that wind-blown dust frequently exceeds limits and that dust buckets are not the most modern, effective way of measuring dust fall-out. BMF said it would require a proper epidemiological study to determine a direct correlation between tailings dust and respiratory problems in these communities, such as blood tests, to determine the presence or otherwise of toxic substances that might also be present in the mine waste. DRDGOLD said it was concerned by the lack of independent, credible research in support of the allegations levelled by the BMF against DRDGOLD's operating footprint and the effect it has on surrounding communities. The company said its aim was to improve the quality of life of those living within its areas of influence. "This means that, in addition to investments we make in social and economic capital, we seek to preserve, protect and even improve the state of the footprint on which we operate to also yield a nature dividend". It noted that every mine dump had either been fenced off or signposts were clearly displayed. DRDGOLD also said its operations were well contained and posed no health risk and negligible public nuisance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

De Beers pours cash in diamond ads with biggest spend since 2008 - Bloomberg

DE BEERS is planning to spend more money advertising diamonds than at any time in the past decade to win back wealthy shoppers. The company boosted its marketing budget to $140m this year, the most since 2008, it said yesterday. Its three biggest markets - the US, China and India - will be the main focus. "We cannot take future growth for granted", said STEPHEN LUSSIER, head of marketing at DE BEERS. "Increasing our spend from a strong position will help support continued demand in both mature and developing markets, particularly among millennials", LUSSIER said. The company will focus most of its attention on its FOREVERMARK and DE BEERS DIAMOND JEWELLERS brands and also increase contributions to the DIAMOND PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mall of Africa bags engineering excellence award - Gabriella Steyn

The Mall of Africa achieved further prestige at this year's Consulting Engineers SA Awards. The mall was announced as the winner of the Engineering Excellence Award for projects with a value greater than R250m. ATTERBURY PROPERTY GROUP appointed AURECON for the design, documentation and construction supervision related to the civil and structural engineering of the mall. The original design brief was for the Mall of Africa to set a new benchmark in retail design that would put SA and Africa on the map in terms of retail development. A variety of unique elements such as wide passages, a "column-free" mall design, high shopfronts, an undulating roof feature in the middle with specialist animated LED lighting and a large public space with restaurants known as the Town Square, makes the Mall of Africa a unique addition to the Waterfall City development in Midrand. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye forecasts bigger losses - Kabelo Khumalo

SIBANYE GOLD yesterday said its losses for the HY to end-Jun. would be bigger than it had earlier warned. The miner said it expects to report an attributable loss of R4.8bn for the HY, compared to a profit attributable to shareholders of R333m in the y/y period. Earlier this month, the company attributed the expected loss to various non-recurring items as well as the rand strengthening 14% against the dollar in the period. SIBANYE also said it had recorded a R2.8bn impairment against the Cooke shafts and Beatrix West. It further incurred R402m in costs when it acquired STILLWATER MINING. SIBANYE said it also expects an LPS of 324cps and HLPS of 147cps for the period, which represented a 1 450% drop in EPS and a 286% decrease in HEPS. It expected to report a normalised loss of R1bn for the period, against R2bn normalised earnings y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South Sudan passes budget, but funding will be 'difficult' - Denis Dumo

South Sudan's parliament has passed its 2017/18 budget, but acknowledged it does not know where much of the funding will come from. Lawmakers voted to boost spending by more than 30% to 46.5bn South Sudanese pounds ($300m) from the 2016/17 budget of 29.6bn. The country's finance ministry last month said it needs donors to fund more than a third of the proposed budget. The largest expenditure categories in the 46.5bn SSP are for security, accounting for 27% of approved spending, and administration (29%). The government last month said oil output will fall to around 110 000 bpd this year, down from 130 000 bpd which was already half of output at the country's peak. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China's R&F to invest up to $2bn to revive Zim steelmaker - Kuda Chideme

China's R&F plans to invest up to $2bn to revive operations at ZIMBABWE IRON AND STEEL COMPANY, Industry and Commerce Minister MIKE BIMHA said yesterday. Saddled with high debt and gross mismanagement, ZISCO ceased production in 2008 at the height of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown. BIMHA said teams from R&F had been travelling to Zimbabwe in the past six months to perform due diligence and negotiate the deal. He did not provide further details on the deal, but said that between $1bn and $2bn would be required to restart ZISCO. "We believe that in the next 18 months we will be able to see the production of a million tonnes of steel (a year)". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CEC raises record maize estimate by 2.7% - Ed Stoddard

SA will harvest 16.413mt of maize this season, the biggest crop on record following improved weather conditions across the maize belt, the government's Crop Estimates Committee said yesterday. The estimate is up 2.7% from the CEC's July forecast of 15.969mt. The previous record harvest of 14.656mt was set in 1981. The CEC estimate came in above a forecast by analysts and traders who pegged this year's crop at 16.135mt. The harvest will comprise 9.653mt of white maize and 6.759mt of the yellow variety. SAFEX's white maize futures contract due in Dec. has fallen 65% from its peak of R5 376/t hit in Jan. 2016 to close at R1 858/t yesterday, helping to dampen inflation and food prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 30/08/2017

At 08h03 on 30 August 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 12.97 ZAR/EUR 15.55 ZAR/GBP 16.78 Gold 1313.17 Platinum 997.00 Brent Crude Oil 51.59 All Share 56409.62

Updated market indicators for 29/08/2017

At 11h12 on 29 August 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.05 ZAR/EUR 15.73 ZAR/GBP 16.91 Gold 1324.53 Platinum 997.00 Brent Crude Oil 51.50 All Share 56135.04

Yancoal fails to raise shareholder enthusiasm - Esmarie Swanepoel

YANCOAL AUSTRALIA's pro-rat renounceable entitlement offer to raise funds for the acquisition of RIO TINTO's COAL & ALLIED assets has failed to gain traction with shareholders, with only 42.8% of the shares on offer being taken up. The 23.6-for-1 entitlement offer was launched in early Aug., and YANCOAL's holding company YANZHOU had committed to subscribe for A$1bn of its entitlement under the offer. YANCOAL today announced it had raised just over $1bn via the entitlement offer, as opposed to the targeted $2.35bn, with shareholders taking up only 10bn of the 23.4bn shares on offer. Following the close of the entitlement offer, some 13.4bn entitlements were offered to eligible institutional investors via a bookbuild, with applications received for around $59m worth of new shares. YANCOAL told shareholders that the entitlements for new shares not taken up under the shortfall bookbuild, representing around $1.28bn, will now be allocated to the underwriter, CHINA SHANDONG INVESTMENTS, CINDA INTERNATIONAL HGB INVESTMENT and GLENCORE COAL. Funds raised would to towards financing the purchase of the COAL & ALLIED assets, which YANCOAL would acquire from major RIO TINTO for $2.69bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya extends sale of 5-yr Treasury bond - George Obulutsa

Kenya's central bank invited bids today for a five-year Treasury bond worth 13bn shillings in a tap sale. The central bank said the bond will have an average yield rate and coupon of 12.465% and it will receive bids between Aug. 29 and Aug. 31. At its auction on Aug. 23, the weighted average yield on the bond fell to 12.465% from 12.52% from the last sale of a five-year bond in June. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hummingbird mine on track to boost Mali's gold output - Barbara Lewis

HUMMINGBIRD RESOURCES today announced it had begun pre-production minign on schedule at its Yanfolila Gold Project in Mali and is on track to produce its first gold by the end of the year. In its first FY of production, Yanfolila will produce 132 000oz of gold and average production over the life of the mine will be 107 000oz/year. HUMMINGBIRD shares have almost doubled this year after the company successfully raised $75m in 2016 to begin mine construction. Yanfolila is expected to be one of the highest margin, lowest cost gold projects in West Africa. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Linde, Praxair gets second antitrust request from FTC - Georgina Prodhan

LINDE and PRAXAIR said late on Monday they were responding to a second request from the US Federal Trade Commission regarding their planned $74bn merger and were in a pre-notification phase with the European Commission. The companies said they still expected the all-share merger of equals to close in the second half of 2018. It is subject to anti-trust review in around 24 jurisdictions. "This is a typical step in review of a transaction of this size, and was expected", LINDE said. The deal will create a global leader to overtake France's AIR LIQUIDE with a combined market cap of $74bn, revenue of $28.7bn and 88 000 staff. A tender offer is running for LINDE shareholders to exchange their shares for stock in the new combined company, and PRAXAIR will hold a special meeting for its shareholders to vote on the deal on Sep. 27. The tender period for LINDE shareholders ends on Oct. 24, and the offer must be accepted for 75% of stock for the deal to proceed. The PRAXAIR shareholder vote requires a simple majority. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Flooding knocks out US refineries, crude hit by supply disruptions - Henning Gloystein

Flooding from tropical storm Harvey caused ongoing large-scale US refinery outages today, while crude prices rose on the back of supply disruptions in Colombia and Libya. Refinery shutdowns from the storm helped push US gasoline prices to $!.7799/gallon on Monday, the most since 2015, although they receded slightly to $1.7342/gallon by 06:48 GMT. WTI crude rose 0.6% to $46.87/barrel, after falling more than 2% in the previous session. Brent crude futures were up 0.6% at $52.18/barrel. Massive floods caused by Harvey forced several US Gulf coast refineries to close, and while some refineries were starting to prepare for re-starts, heavy rains are expected to last through Wednesday after already causing catastrophic flooding in Houston. "Around 2-3m bpd of refining capacity is offline or in the process of shutting down... (and) more than 500 000 bpd of oil production... is offline", BARCLAYS said. It added that the storm's impact would "linger for several more weeks". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Turkish economic confidence hits 5-yr high - Nicholas Megaw

Economic confidence in Turkey rose to its highest level in more than five years this month, as a calmer political situation helps the economy recover after a series of crises hit growth last year. The Turkish Statistical Institute's official economic confidence index rose to 106 in Aug., up from 103.4 m/m. The rise was driven by a brighter tone in the private sector - sub-indices for the real estate, services, retail and construction industries all improved. But consumers are yet to be convinced of the improvements, with the consumer confidence index lagging behind at 71.1, down from 71.3 in July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK hopes dashes for swift Japan trade talks - Robin Harding

British PM THERESA MAY is set for disappointment on her visit to Tokyo this week after Japanese officials said they would not rush into free trade talks with the UK. MAY is expected to discuss a UK-Japan version of the deal Tokyo agreed in principal with the EU last month when she meets her Japanese counterpart SHINZO ABE. But Japanese officials say their priority is completing the deal with Brussels, while talks with Britain will be difficult until there is clarity about its future relationship with the EU. One Japanese official said the UK side was being "quite aggressive" in pushing for a commitment on a future trade deal with the world's fourth-largest economy. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gilead in $11.9bn deal for Kite Pharma - James Fontanella-Khan

GILEAD SCIENCES has reached an $11.9bn agreement to acquire KITE PHARMA, adding a cutting edge anti-cancer technology to its portfolio. GILEAD will pay $180/share for KITE, it said yesterday. GILEAD's agreement, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, represents nearly a 30% premium on KITE's closing price on Friday. KITE is a leader in cell therapy, a new form of treatment which involves re-engineering patients' own white blood cells to attack cancer cells. GILEAD CEO JOHN MILLIGAN said the acquisition of KITE "establishes GILEAD as a leader in cellular therapy and provides a foundation from which to drive continued innovation for people with advanced cancers". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dow Chemical poised to increase stake in JV with Saudi Aramco

DOW CHEMICAL has announced plans to increase its stake in SADARA CHEMICAL, a JV with Saudi Arabia's state energy giant. Both parties yesterday said they had signed a non-binding agreement that sets in motion a process by which DOW can acquire an additional 15% share. SAUDI ARAMCO currently owns 65% of the company, with DOW holding 35%. Financial terms of the deal, which if concluded would see each company holding a 50% stake, were not disclosed. The Sadara plastics and speciality chemicals complex is made up of 26 facilities in Jubail, and is capable of producing more than 3mt of products annually. SAUDI ARAMCO plans to expand its petrochemicals operations as part of the kingdom's efforts to overhaul its economy, develop new industries and generate revenues outside of core crude sales. The IPO of SAUDI ARAMCO, planned for 2018, is at the centre of this economic transformation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Estée Lauder denies reports of sale in letter to employees - Mamta Badkar

ESTEE LAUDER shares were choppy in Monday trading after the company denied reports that it was shopping for a sale. Shares in the group fell as much as 2.1% to $104.30 before trimming those losses to trade 0.8% lower at pixel time. In a letter to employees, CEO FABRIZIO FREDA and executive chair WILLIAM LAUDER noted that there "is no truth to these rumours". They said that the company is not for sale and added that the "LAUDER Family and our Board place great value in remaining independent". The memo came after The Times UK reported that ESTEE LAUDER has been exploring alternatives, citing L'OREAL as the lead candidate, with an indicative price of $122.80/share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barnier warns UK to start negotiating Brexit 'seriously' - Mehreen Khan

The EU's Brexit chief has warned the UK to start negotiating "seriously", calling on the British government to set out its position on paying an exit bill before discussing any future post-Brexit relationship. MICHEL BARNIER, the European Commission's chief negotiator, said he was "concerned" over the lack progress between the two slides and called for an end to any "ambiguity" over the UK's financial obligations to the bloc. BARNIER's words - some of the harshest to have been publicly voiced by the EU - come after the British government set out seven position papers this month on a series of issues related to its divorce and future relationship. This did not include a position on paying a Brexit bill, however, something the EU has said is vital to agree before moving on to a second phase of talks over the status of Northern Ireland, future trade and a possible transition period. BARNIER's references to "ambiguity" directly rebuffed DAVIS's previous claims the UK would aim to negotiate in a spirit of "constructive ambituity" to get the best deal from the EU. DAVIS rejected criticism the UK was ambiguous, calling the British government position papers the products of "hard work and detailed thinking". Instead, he called for "flexibility and imagination" from the EU side in the talks. Negotiations will run until Thursday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Polymetal faces 27% profit drop on stronger rouble - Henry Foy

POLYMETAL saw income fall 27% in H1 2017 as a stronger Russian rouble pushed up costs and a spike in capex pushed net debt higher. The miner said net earnings for the HY were $120m, down from $165m y/y as a 28% jump in mining costs per ounce erased the slight gains in silver and gold prices. Despite the fall in earnings, and a two-fold increase in negative free cash flow to minus $163m, POLYMETAL said it would pay an increased interim dividend of $0.14/share for the period. POLYMETAL said net debt on Jun. 30 stood at $1.57bn, up 19% since December. The company reiterated its production guidance of 1.4moz of gold equivalent for 2017, with total cash costs between $600/oz and $650/oz, and said free cash flow would be "significantly stronger in the second half of the year driven" as production increased and capital spending eased. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

France growth pace holds at 0.5%, Q2 GDP estimate shows - Adam Samson

The French economy continued growing at a modest clip in Q2 after President EMMANUEL MACRON was elected in May, a second reading on GDP showed. The eurozone's second-biggest economy grew 0.5% in Q2 from the first, according to official data, matching both a previous estimate and economists' expectations. It was the third month in a row that French GDP climbed at that pace. The rate of household consumption expenditure rose to 0.3%, from 0.1% q/q. Exports also rose 2.5%, bucking expectations that a stronger euro will eat in to the country's trade. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Euro strikes $1.20 level for first time since 2015 - Adam Samson

The euro today roared past the $1.20 mark for the first time since Jan. 2015, with investors remaining upbeat on the currency bloc's economy and concerned that a hurricane in the US might weigh on America's growth rate. The common currency rose as high as $1.2016 in early European trading. Investors' views of the greenback weakened as economists worked to gauge the effects of Hurricane Harvey that wreaked havoc over the weekend in Texas. "The knock-on effects suggest dampened [Q3] US growth that may see the Fed deciding against raising interest rates again in 2017", ING analyst CHRIS TURNER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DAFF confirms eight new bird flu outbreaks - Anine Kilian

SA has reported eight further cases of bird flu to the World Organisation for Animal health. These new outbreaks bring the total number of outbreaks to 24 since June. All affected properties have been placed under quarantine and disease control measures have started. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the continued cooperation of the public and the poultry industry is vital for the effectiveness of disease control measures instituted. DAFF noted that it needs to conduct a thorough risk assessment to avoid exposing the country to other disease risks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Domestic steel production drops 6.3% y/y in Jul. - Dominic Preuss

SA's steel production recovered by 7.6% in July to 493 000t from June's 458 000t, but this still left steel output down 6.3% y/y, according to worldsteel. In June, steel production fell by 15.9% y/y, but this seems to have been a once-off due to production problems at ARCELORMITTAL SA's Vanderbijlpark Works. Global steel production grew by an annual 6.3% in July to a near-record 143.2mt with China's steel production surging by 10.3% to 74mt. Bulk exports out of Saldanha Bay, which are mostly iron ore, soared by 24.3% in July. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Super Group's FY earnings fall - BDpro

HEPS at SUPER GROUP fell 3.9% to 285cps in the FY to end-Jun., the company reported yesterday. Management described the results as solid, despite numerous challenging and competitive trading conditions being experienced by most of the company's operations, both locally and abroad. Group revenue rose 15.1% to R29.9bn, and EBITDA came in at R2.3bn, up 10.1% y/y. Operating profit rose 8.4% to R2.1bn, while operating cash flow for the year rose by 17.3% to R3.1bn. For the FY under review, SUPER GROUP's business abroad contributed 40% of revenue and 61% of EBITDA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cashbuild posts slower FY earnings growth - BDpro

CASHBUILD today reported slower earnings growth in the FY to end-Jun., reflecting a difficult trading environment. The company posted an 8% rise in headline earnings to R464.4m. "This year has been one of CASHBUILD's more challenging periods with consumer spend in the LSM categories that we serve... under severe pressure", CEO WERNER DE JAGER said. DE JAGER said the acquisition of P&L HARDWARE and the new CASHBUILD stores opened during the period had had a positive impact on the company's results for the FY under review. Group revenue for the period was up 12% to R9.7bn, with the bulk of the contribution coming from P&L. Selling price inflation was only 2%, while gross profit percentage decreased to 25.5% from 26.1% previously. Operating costs, excluding the BEE transaction in the prior year, were 13%, resulting in an operating profit increase of just 1%. CASHBUILD declared a final dividend of 390cps, down from 488cps y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom comes clean on Trillian lie - Yolandi Groenewald

ESKOM has been forced to admit it lied about receiving the all clear from global consultancy OLIVER WYMAN over payments to GUPTA-linked TRILLIAN. The consultancy pressured the utility to come clean after it initially claimed that a R1.6bn payment to TRILLIAN and MCKINSEY was above board. ESKOM in June told Business Day OLIVER WYMAN had conducted an external review and that the payments had passed muster. It concluded that "all payments' were "based on prudent costs incurred and value created". But OLIVER WYMAN became aware of ESKOM's false statement after the release of the BUDLENDER report and questioned the utility over the discrepancy. ESKOM's version differed substantially from the report the consultant had delivered. In reality, OLIVER WYMAN refused to approve the appointments and ordered a legal review of the entire contracting process, including a separate process of reviewing ESKOM's master service agreement with MCKINSEY and the contracting process of the overall programme. "We confirm that we received a legal query from OLIVER WYMAN concering a factually incorrect statement we issued", ESKOM head of legal SUZANNE DANIELS said. As a result of pressure applied by a the consultancy, ESKOM was forced to send out a new statement to all the media that reported on the matter. DANIELS said OLIVER WYMAN was selected to conduct a technical peer-to-peer assessment of the work conducted by MCKINSEY and TRILLIAN for ESKOM. "OLIVER WYMAN raised concerns with certain of the payment claims on procedural and technical grounds, and raised issues as to whether the payment claims represented fair value for work done". DANIELS said the consultancy did not approve the making of any payment claims to MCKINSEY and TRILLIAN. "OLIVER WYMAN is fully justified to be aggrieved by this occurrence", she said, adding that ESKOM was in the process of "remedying its relations" with the consultant. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Retail sales boost HomeChoice results - Lameez Omarjee

Financial results of HOMECHOICE INTERNATIONAL for the HY to end-Jun. were boosted by retail sales, while its financial services division battled with new regulations impacting interest income. HEPS rose 15.9% to 218cps. Group EBITDA grew 14.6% to R355m, while operating profit came in at R329m, up 17.2% y/y. Net profit rose 17.1% to R225m. An interim dividend of 82cps was declared. Group revenue growth of 14% to R1.3bn was driven by strong growth of 24.3% in retail sales. The retail business grew revenue by 14% to R997m. EBITDA was up 14.9% to R197m, despite a decline in finance charge revenue. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Naspers CEO sees e-commerce growth closing $32bn value gap - Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

NASPERS CEO BOB VAN DIJK aid five years of heavy e-commerce investments are bearing fruit, which should prove to investors that the assets are worth more than they think. The market values the company's 33% stake in TENCENT HOLDINGS at almost $32bn more than NASPERS as a whole. VAN DIJK said outflows of South African capital since late 2015 have contributed to the widening disparity. He said the value gap will start to close as NASPERS's classified-advertising division turns profitable in the current FY. The services unit of payment business PAYU is close to breaking even, while Polish e-commerce platform EMAG is starting to benefit from a large customer base. The companies form part of NASPERS's e-commerce unit, which recorded a loss of $682m for the FY to end-Mar., leaving out interest, depreciation and amortisation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AdaptIT pursues Pan African expansion - Schalk Burger

ADAPTIT aims to gain a foothold in all African markets as part of its strategy to become a R3bn/year-turnover business by 2020, CEO SBU SHABALALA said yesterday. The company grew turnover by 25% y/y to R994m for the FY to end-Jun., and foreign markets now contribute 24% of turnover. ADAPTIT achieved 6% organic growth and 19% acquisitive growth over the past year. EBITDA rose by 18% to R194.3m. Annuity revenue comprised 66% of its total revenue. ADAPTIT grew normalised headline earnings by 22% to R118.5m and normalised HEPS by 10.2%. It also grew the proportion of revenue derivsed from its African operations to 14% of group revenue, up from 13% in 2016. The company would continue with its strategy to acquire mature and profitable businesses "that can gain value from being part of the ADAPTIT group" in the territories it operates in, to expand its presence and bolster its growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oando says petitions submitted to SEC against its have no merit - Anine Kilian

OANDO yesterday said two petitions submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging gross abuse of corporate governance and financial mismanagement by the company, have no merit. The petitions were filed against OANDO by investment company and shareholder ANSBURY and ALHAJI DAHIRU MANGAL, an individual who has shares in OANDO. The SEC has since commenced an enquiry in response to the petitions. OANDO said it would provide full disclosure of the outcome as soon as the SEC probe is completed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BP Southern Africa appoints first black female CEO - ANA

BP SOUTHERN AFRICA yesterday appointed PRISCILLAH MABELANE as its new CEO. She is the first woman in the history of SA's oil industry to head a multinational company. MABELANE will take the helm on Sep. 1, six years after joining the company in 2011 as CFO. "Given her proven track record in her previous executive roles, we are confident that PRISCILLAH will be a strong leader for our business, especially as we continue to explore new areas of growth and development", BPSA chair THANDI ORLEYN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DTI to help black industrialists find market in Uganda - Anine Kilian

The Department of Trade & Industry will take a group of black industrialists on an outward trade mission to Uganda from Sep. 18-23 to help them in the search for a market for their products. The mission will include export-ready black industrialists operating in the economic infrastructure, agroprocessing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, electronics and textiles, footwear and leather sectors. The mission forms part of government's Black Industrialists Programme. Trade & Industry Minister ROB DAVIES said the BIP "is specifically dedicated to supporting the growth and building the global competitiveness of majority black-owned and managed businesses in the manufacturing sector". DAVIES said the trade mission is expected to open a market for the black industrialists for trade and investment in Uganda and potential markets in other parts of the East African region. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bidvest FY2017 performance improves, shows resilience - Natasha Odendaal

BIDVEST improved its financial performance for the year to end-Jun., revealing the benefits of its well-=diversified portfolio following its unbundling of BIDFOOD last year. CEO LINDSAY RALPHS said the company posted growth across the board with improvements in earnings, revenue and trading profit for the FY under review. During the year to end-Jun., headline earnings rose by 6.2% to R3.7bn, while HEPS rose 5.1% to 1 108.2cps. Basic EPS shot up by 107% to 1 430.3cps on the back of strong profitability gains from 38.4%-held ADCOCK INGRAM and 27.2%-held COMAIR. Five of BIDVEST's seven divisions delivered growth in trading profit during the FY, growing by an aggregate 4.6% to R6bn, with a stable trading margin of 8.5%. The share of profit from associates rose by 152.8%, owing to the improved performances at ADCOCK INGRAM and COMAIR; however, the automotive and office and print segments revealed a dip in profits and BIDVEST NAMIBIA suffered a significant decline. Revenue for the 12 months under review rose 4% to R71bn, with R1.7bn of the increase attributable to the contribution froM BRANDCORP, which BIDVEST acquired in Oct. BIDVEST declared a total dividend for the year of 491cps, down from the 714cps declared in 2016, which had formed part of the larger BIDVEST GROUP prior to the unbundling of the foodservice businesses. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CompCom approves Metrofile's acquisition of Tidy Files - Business Report

METROFILE HOLDINGS yesterday announced that Competition Commission approval has been granted for its 100% acquisition of TIDY FILES. Initially announced in Jun. 2017 subject to approval, METROFILE said the R75m acquisitions have been funded with cash resources and is official as of Aug. 1 2017. METROFILE CEO PFUNGWA SERIMA said the deal was aligned with the company's strategic growth objective, adding that the company can now complement and expand its client service offering across Africa and the Middle East, providing an even more complete range of filing and archiving solutions across all industries. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South32 wins legal fight with DMR over mining right extension - Brendan Ryan

SOUTH32 has been forced to haul the Department of Mineral Resources into court to get a mining right granted in terms of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act. The miner took the legal route after experiencing two years of delays from the DMR over granting its Section 102 application for the amendment of the Klipspruit Colliery mining right which was required before the company could go ahead with the Klipspruit life extension project. That project is estimated to cost $265m and still pending final investment decision. An industry source said SOUTH32 had been "messed around for the past two years" by the DMR over the Section 102 application which will add additional mining ground, that the company already owned, to the existing mining right. The source added that SOUTH32 finally opted for the legal route and hat the Section 102 application granted immediately. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim's trade deficit narrows 20% from Jan. to July - Kuda Chideme

Zimbabwe's trade deficit narrowed by 20% to $1.2bn in the seven months to July, data from the national statistics agency showed yesterday. Between January and July, imports amounted to $3.1bn, while exports came in at $1.9bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Basil Read plans rights issue, restructuring - Nqobile Dludla

BASIL READ plans to raise capital via a rights issue, dispose of non-core assets and reduce overheads as part of a restructuring after it reported it had swung to an HY loss. In response to a slowing construction industry, BASIL READ has merged some of its businesses, cut costs and exited loss-making operations. Acting CEO KHATHUTSHELO MAPASA said the company would step up restructuring, which also includes exiting major distressed contracts, adding that this was likely to bear the most fruit next year. "We are looking at raising capital through a rights offer, also disposing of some of our non-core assets and looking at right-sizing the business in light of trading conditions", MAPASA said. He said the company had identified three property investments to dispose of, with the total disposal of non-core assets expected to yield up to R150m. A poor performance by its roads division, coupled with the need to invest in new contracts at its mining business, had severely depleted liquidity. "On a longer-term basis, we are in the process of raising capital through a rights issue. It is anticipated that total funds arising from this will be in the region of R200m to R300m", BASIL READ said. In the short term, it has secured R90m from the IDC for the mining division and an initial R61m bridging facility. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 29/08/2017

At 07h32 on 29 August 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.07 ZAR/EUR 15.66 ZAR/GBP 16.93 Gold 1316.48 Platinum 988.00 Brent Crude Oil 51.50 All Share 56555.62

Kenya imposes world's toughest law against plastic bags - Reuters

Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years of fines of $40 000 from Monday as the world's toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect. Kenya's law allows police to go after anyone even carrying a plastic bag. Environment Minister JUDY WAKHUNGU said enforcement would initially be directed at manufacturers and suppliers, adding that the "common man" will not be harmed. It took Kenya three attempts over a decade to finally pass the ban. Not everyone is in favour. SAMUEL MATONDA, spokesperson for the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, said it would cost 60 000 jobs and force 176 manufacturers to close. Kenya is a major exporter of plastic bags to the region. "The knock-on effects will be very severe", MATONDA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil to issue new decree outlining protections on mineral reserve area - Reuters

Brazil's mining minister yesterday said the government would issue a new decree regarding the abolition of the Renca mineral reserve in northern Brazil. The new decree, which will replace a prior decree that last week opened up a vast area of Amazon rainforest to mining, will offer more details on existing environmental and indigenous protections that will remain in place after mining in Renca is abolished, FERNANDO COELHO FILHO told reporters. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale redeems $1bn in debt; reveals $750m tender offer - Henry Lazenby

VALE has redeemed $1bn worth of 2019 bonds and will launch a $750m tender offer for its 4.625% guaranteed notes due 2020. Subsidiary VALE OVERSEAS notified shareholders of the 2019 notes of its decision to redeem all the outstanding notes and pay the related 'make-whole' premium calculated according to terms outlined in the relevant indenture. The redemption date of the 2019 notes will be Sep. 28. VALE has previously said it plans to lower net debt to $15bn and $17bn in 2017, from $22.12bn in Q2. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Atlatsa remains in financial filing default - Henry Lazenby

ATLATSA RESOURCES remains in default of filing its mandatory interim financial statements due to the recently announced financial restructure plan with ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM. ATLATSA said it was uncertain when the company would be able to file its documents with the Canadian securities regulator, hoever, management is now subject to a cease-trade order. ATLATSA last month announced plans to implement a two-phase restructure plan that will see its JV Bokoni mine idled, with JV partner AMPLATS acquiring the resources specified in the Central Block and Kwanda North prospecting rights. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Removing tax credits can hurt medical aid scheme members - Dhivana Rajgopaul

New research by ECONEX shows that removing medical aid tax credits will make medical aid schemes too expensive for 22% of their recipients because it will be too costly. The 2017 NHI White Paper calls for tax money paid to medical aid recipients as medical aid tax credits to be withdrawn and the money used to fund NHI. According to the research done by ECONEX the medical aid tax credits paid to the main members of medical aid schemes valued at R18.5bn for the year 2014 to 2015. If a medical aid member has no dependents then the total value of tax credit for the year will be R3 240, and if the member has four dependents then the annual total of tax credit value will be R12 966. By taking away the tax credits the price of medical aid immediately becomes higher. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 28/08/2017

At 12h34 on 28 August 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.06 ZAR/EUR 15.59 ZAR/GBP 16.85 Gold 1296.54 Platinum 978.00 Brent Crude Oil 51.97 All Share 56604.16

Barloworld to install 7MW solar power installation at Namibia mine - Anine Kilian

B2GOLD has appointed BARLOWORLD to supply a 7MW solar power plant at the Otjikoto mine in Namibia. The full system, including CAT PV solar modules and the CAT microgrid master controller, will be used to reduce reliance on a heavy fuel oil power plant currently used to power the mining facility. BARLOWORLD is supplying engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Installation of the system is under way, with the completion of the project expected in early 2018. CATERPILLAR's solar PV system is powered by advanced thin-film solar modules that have improved performance over conventional silicon solar panels. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Miranda Minerals to sell coal division - Anine Kilian

MIRANDA MINERALS will sell its MIRANDA COAL subsidiary, together with any shareholder loans advanced to MIRANDA COAL on loan account, to SAIFA RESOURCES for R8m. The deal will include all MIRANDA COAL's subsidiaries, except for Sesikhona Klipbrand Colliery, which is subject to a separate sales agreement. MIRANDA will simultaneously cede, assign and transfer a further claim on loan account against MIRANDA COAL of R33.11m to RONHOLD INVESTMENTS. The proceeds of the sale will be used for general working capital and to finalise the financial results of the group, which will enable it to apply for the lifting of the suspension of its shares on the JSE. The reported net value of the coal segment's assets was R48.47m as at Feb. 28, 2014, the last reporting period before the company's listing was suspended in Sep. 2014. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore puts Queensland coal mine on the block - Esmarie Swanepoel

GLENCORE and JV partners SUMITOMO and ITOCHU have started the sales process of the Rolleston thermal coal mine in Queensland. GLENCORE said the decision to divest of the asset was part of the company's ongoing programme to optimise its portfolio and redeploy capital into other opportunities. "The Rolleston mine is a high-quality asset that offers potential buyers the opportunity to gain a strong foothold, or significantly increase their current position, in the Australian and Queensland coal industry", the company said. The mine produced around 13.3mt of saleable coal in 2016, and GLENCORE recently received approval from the state and federal government to extend the mine-life at Rolleston to beyond 2040. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Work on Carmichael coal mine to start in Oct. - Esmarie Swanepoel

ADANI has announced that early work on its $16.5bn Carmichael coal project, in Queensland, will start in Oct., with first shipments targeted for Mar. 2020. The announcement comes days after ADANI won three legal battles against the proposed 60mt/y project. ADANI today said the first regional contractor to benefit from the mine would be GA SERVICES, which has been selected to refurbish existing exploration camp accommodation. ADANI previously awarded an A$82m contract to AUSTRAK to supply concrete sleepers to the Carmichael coal and rail project, as well as a A$74m contract to ARRIUM MINING AND MATERIALS for the supply of around 54 000t of railway tracks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australian gold output on the rise - Creamer Media Reporter

Australian gold mining continued to rise in FY2017, reaching 299t or 9.6moz, mining consultant SURBITON ASSOCIATES has reported. The 2017 production was up by 2.5% on FY2016, with the June quarter accounting for 75t of production, up 5% on the March quarter. "With almost 300t produced in 2016/17, the gold mined was worth around A$16bn at the average spot price for the year", SURBITON director Dr SANDRA CLOSE said. CLOSE warned that there was a real concern in the gold sector that higher royalties may be imposed, which would have negative economic consequences, undermine confidence and discourage investment. "Too ofteh, the mining industyr and especially the gold sector are seen as easy targets by governments trying to increase their revenue. But increasing financial burdens on the generators of wealth can have unintended consequences - in mining it can mean higher cost operations close, with the resultant loss of jobs and tax revenues", CLOSE said. She noted that mining is a long-term, high-capital cost business and investment decisions must be made on a long-term basis, adding that if governments impose extra charges, investment confidence can be swiftly eroded. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Third trapped miner dies at Kusasalethu - Reuters

A third miner has died at HARMONY GOLD's Kusasalethu mine and two more remain missing after they were trapped underground following a seismic event on Friday. "Search and rescue efforts will continue to recover the remaining two trapped employees", HARMONY said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigerian annual inflation slows in Jul. - Alexis Akwagyiram

Annual inflation in Nigeria slowed for a sixth month in July, easing to 16.05%, but the rise in food inflation was the biggest in eight years, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The rate of annual inflation was 0.05% lower than in June. A separate food price index showed inflation rose to 20.28% in July, up from 19.91% in June, the biggest y/y rise since 2009. "The rise in the index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, meat, fish, oils and fats, coffee, tea and cocoa, potatoes, yams and other tubers, and vegetables", the report said. Nigeria is in its second year of recession and is contending with a currency crisis and dollar shortages brought on by low oil prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rwanda's Bank of Kigali to raise $60m-$100M by 2018 - CEO Clement Uwiringiyimana

Rwanda's BANK OF KIGALI plans to raise $60m-$100m by next year to expand its business and could list shares on an overseas bourse as part of the plan, CEO DIANE KARUSISI said yesterday. She said the lender was considering a listing on the Johannesburg, Nairobi or London stock exchanges. "If we cross-list, a portion of this $60m to $100m will be issued in other exchange market but most probably we will issue rights here locally", KARUSISI said. "We want to raise the capital to grow the bank", she added, withoug providing further details. The lender will announce its final deciison on the capital raising before the end of this year. KARUSISI said BANK OF KIGALI's H1 pretax profit rose 5.6% to 16.7bn francs, driven by a 16% rise in lending. The bank operates 79 outlets and an insurance business. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bidvest raises FY earnings - Nqobile Dludla

BIDVEST GROUP reported a 5% rise in FY earnings on Monday, supported by cost management, bolt-on acquisitions and a strong focus on clients and solutions. BIDVEST said HEPS for the FY to end-Jun. rose to 1 108cps, from 1 054cps y/y. It declared a final dividend of 264cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Basil Read swings to HY loss - Nqobile Dludla

BASIL READ swung into an H1 operating and headline loss this morning due to operational underperformance in its Roads and Construction divisions. The company reported an HLPS of 295.16cps for the HY to end-Jun., from HEPS of 48.92cps y/y. BASIL READ said its operating loss was R458.8m, compared to a R73.5m profit y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GM details R$4.5bn investment in Brazil - Andres Schipani

GENERAL MOTORS on Friday said it is to invest R$3.1bn in two plants in Brazil - R$1.9bn will go to its factory in Joinville, and a further R$1.2bn to one in Sao Caetano do Sul. The company recently announced it was going to disburse R$1.4bn in a facility on Garavati. This would make for a total investment of R$4.5bn, part of a capital spending plan of R$13bn between 2014 and 2020. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's upgrades Ukraine on reform momentum - Jessica Dye

MOODY's has bumped up its rating of Ukraine by one notch thanks to progress on structural reforms to help improve its government debt dynamics. The ratings agency on Friday said it was raising its rating from Caa3 to Caa2 and switching its outlook from stable to positive. It credited two key drivers with the upgrade - the "cumulative impact of structural reforms that could help shore up government debt dynamics, as well as its improving external position. Still, MOODY's said it was limiting the upgrade to just one notch since it Ukraine still faces a heavy debt-servicing burden over the next few years that could require more foreign currency funding - along with the chance that domestic politics and geopolitical tensions could rattle the country. Fellow rating agencies FITCH and S&P have both assigned B- ratings to Ukraine, well into speculative territory. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AstraZeneca to announce plans for UK investment - Conor Sullivan

ASTRAZENECA is set to proceed with improvements at its Cheshire manufacturing facility, having said a month ago that Brexit meant it had to pause before undertaking new investment. At end-Jul., CEO PASCAL SORIOT suggested plans to invest in UK manufacturing were on ice following the Brexit vote, saying: "If we think we have to make investments today in terms of manufacturing, and people said would you invest in the UK, I would say we will wait to see". However, the company yesterday said it planned to announce on Wednesday "another mid-sized investment" in its Macclesfield factory. It declined to give further details. ASTRAZENECA committed £150m to the facility last year and 1 800 people are employed there. A company spokesperson said the group was simply going ahead with "ongoing improvements in our Macclesfield site; any larger investment decisions in the manufacturing plant have not been confirmed and are under consideration as we previously said". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

May under pressure as Labour makes U-turn on single market - George Parker

THERESA MAY is facing renewed pressure from her own party over Brexit after Labour announced it would change tack and campaign to keep the UK in the EU single market, at least during a transitional period. The move will embolden pro-EU Tories to push the British PM towards a softer Brexit. "Everything has now shifted to the arguments we have been making for some considerable time", said ANNA SOUBRY, the pro-EU former Conservative business minister. Labour hopes to push MAY towards an EU transitional deal that extends Britain's membership of the single market and customs union for several years. KEIR STARMER, Labour's Brexit spokesperson, suggested the transition should last up to four years after the UK leaves the union in 2019, potentially putting Britain's future relationship with the EU up for grabs at the next general election, scheduled for 2022. STARMER said the time for "constructive ambiguity" was over, adding: "Labour would seek a transitional deal that maintains the same basic terms that we currently enjoy with the EU". In a further change of heart, senior party officials say Labout has not ruled out some form of single market relationship in the longer term if the EU relaxes its rules on free movement. Labour would accept payments into the EU budget, free movement of people and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice during the transition as a price worth paying to ensure a smooth exit. Number 10 said the new policy showed Labour had no idea what it wanted from Brexit and was "a weak attempt to kick the can down the road". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India's new tax system hit by severe teething pains - Kiran Stacey

Millions of Indian businesses have not paid their tax for July as the country's new system struggles to cope with the weight of demand from companies trying to use it for the first time. Taxpayers have reported a slew of problems with the online platform for the country's national goods and services tax, including poor connectivity, insufficient space to file invoices and payments not being registered. GST is an important part of PM NARENDRA MODI's promise to modernise India's economy, but critics say the rush to implement it has led to unnecessary complexity in the rules and weakness in the IT platform underpinning it. By Wednesday, the GST Network, which runs the online platform, said 2m people had made their payments. Reports in local media suggested that by the end of the Friday payment deadline, that had risen by a further 1m. Accountants said that fewer than half of their clients had been able to complete their payments. Businesses were due to make their first GST payments by midnight on Friday, but that deadline had already been postponed twice. A week earlier, ministers had pushed it back at the last moment after the online platform crashed under a sudden last-minute rush. Even by the end of last week, important parts of the system had not yet been completed, including the digital interface that would have allowed companies to use their own software to access the online payments system. Instead, taxpayers have had to go directly to the government's occasionally cumbersome GST website. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

White House orders new round of Venezuela sanctions - Jessica Dye

US President DONALD TRUMP has signed an order slapping "strong, new financial sanctions" on Venezuela as the US steps up its criticism of the regime of President NICOLAS MADURO. The White House on Friday said the order "prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company. It also prohibits dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government of Venezuela". General licenses will be issued to exempt some transactions from the prohibition, in order to "mitigate harm" to the American and Venezuelan people, the statement said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US durable goods fall by most since 2014 - Mamta Badkar

Orders for long-lasting goods in the US fell more than expected in Jul. driven by transportation equipment, but a closely-watched gauge of capital spending rose in line with forecasts, data showed on Friday. Durable goods orders fell by 6.8% to $229.2bn last month, the commerce department said. That was steeper than expectations of a 6% drop and followed an outsized 6.4% gain the prior month. Excluding the transportation component, orders were up 0.5%, just ahead of estimates of a 0.4% rise. Transportation was down 19% to $74.3bn, reflecting a reversal on June's jump in orders of BOEING aircraft. Meanwhile, non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft rose by 0.4%, having stayed flat the prior month and was in line with forecasts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China approves merger of state-owned energy groups - Alice Woodhouse

China has approved the merger of electricity producer CHINA GUODIAN and coal companY SHENHUA GROUP in a move that will form the world's largest utility provider by capacity. The State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission issued a one-line statement on Monday approving the merger. The combined companies will command combined assets of $236bn, according to Bloomberg data. The merger comes as China seeks to address growing overcapacity in the sector. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German business expectations hit highest since 2014 - Nicholas Megaw

Business confidence in Germany eased back in Aug. for the first time this year, but companies were more optimistic about trading in the months ahead as the recovery in the eurozone goes from strength to strength. The Institute for Economic Research's closely-watched business climate index inched down from 116 to 115.9, driven by a small slip in assessments of current trading conditions. However, the overall decline was smaller than economists had expected due to an unexpected rise in the subindex for future expectations, which hit its highest level since Jan. 2014. The optimism reported by respondents to the IFO survey suggests growth is unlikely to slow in the months ahead, and echoes similarly upbeat reports from IHS MARKIT's PMI surveys last week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Uber picks new CEO - Leslie Hook

UBER's board has selected DARA KHOSROWSHAHI, head f EXPEDIA, to serve as its new CEO, according to sources. The unanimous vote yesterday came after months of infighting, leaks and divisions on UBER's board, which has struggled to unite after former CEO TRAVIS KALANICK was ousted by investors in June. KHOSROWSHAHI has not publicly confirmed whether he will accept the job. Last night the final paperwork for the appointment was still being signed, according to sources sho said UBER could make a formal announcement as early as this morning. KHOSROWSHAHI, 48, has been CEO of EXPEDIA for more than a decade, leading the company through a period of double-digit revenue growth at a time when the travel industry is being disrupted by upstarts such as AIRBNB. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Net1 assumes it will issue grants for another year - Robert Laing

NET1 UEPS TECHNOLOGIES expects to continue issuing the government's social grants until Jun. 2018, it said on Friday. This is despite a ruling by the Constitutional Court that NET1 was to relinquish its SASSA contract by the end of Mar. But SASSA's mismanagement of the tender process for a new welfare grant distributor forced the Court to extend the deadline indefinitely. "Our guidance assumes that our contract with SASSA remains in effect for the full year on the existing terms and conditions", NET1 CEO HERMAN KOTZE said on Friday. The company's overall revenue grew 3% to $610m, but its aftertax profit fell 14.5% to $72m. South African transaction processing grew revenue by 17%, while international processing grew revenue by 4%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Old Mutual pours R150 000 in Caring4Girls programme - Nkosemntu Stuurman

Young girls from township and rural schools will soon benefit from R150 000 donated by OLD MUTUAL through the Imbumba Foundation's Caring4Girls programme. The insurer is set to supply 2 323 high school girls and 317 primary school girls from greater Sekhukhune in Limpopo. The programme is a sanitary towels distribution programme which strives to help young girls in school during their monthly menstrual cycles. The programme has to date improved the lives of more than 10 000 girls and has distributed more than 130 000 packs of sanitary pads. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sasol's Moz exploration disappoints as costs soar - Justin Brown

SASOL's exploration programme in Mozambique has fallen short of the company's oil discovery expectations and has proved vastly more costly than it had expected. In Jun. 2016, SASOL exploration senior VP JOHN SICHINGA said the onshore wells cost about $20m each, which would put 13 wells at $260m. But last week SASOL said the first six wells had already cost the group $384m, which would put the cost of the full 13 wells at around $832m - more than triple the original estimate. Meanwhile, the exploration results have not met SASOL's forecasts of what the drilling could uncover. SASOL co-CEO STEVE CORNELl said the amount of oil that could be developed from the licence area would be a "little under" 10 000 bpd. "We had hoped for it to be higher than that. In our original evaluation, when we were doing the analysis of the field, we had expected maybe as much as 15 000 barrels a day. It is quite a bit less. The flow rates on the gas wells are in line with what we expected". Due to the exploration miss, SASOL is trying to reduce the cost of its planned surface facilities that will be used to extract the oil and gas from the exploration programme to improve the return on the project. CORNELL said the remaining seven wells would be drilled over the next 18 months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gauteng residents owe municipalities R31bn - Fin24

Households in Gauteng owe municipalities R31.8bn. The total outstanding debt to district, local and metropolitan municipalities in the province as at end-Jun. is R49 076bn. The amount owed by residents represents 65% of the outstanding debt bill due to municipalities in the province. Finance MEC BARBARA CREECY said government is the smallest debtor at R1.3m, which accounts for 3% of the total outstanding amount. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim to cull half a million birds hit by bird flu - Malcom Sharara

Zimbabwe is set to cull more than half a million chickens affected by the H5N8 strain of bird flu at a farm in Harare. The Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services said at least 500 000 birds are set to be culled in a bid to contain spreading of the disease. The cull will affect the whole chicken value chain, with poultry producers reporting a shortage of around 2m day-old chicks. Zimbabwe produced around 6m day-old chicks per month before the outbreak but is currently producing half that. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Denel cuts ties with VR Laser

DENEL's decision to cut ties with VR LASER sends a message of the commitment by SOEs to good governance, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said on Friday as he welcomed the move. DENEL on Friday announced it was ending the JV with VR LASER given the negative attention the brand suffered, locally and abroad. "Since its establishment, DENEL ASIA has not traded due to differences of opinion with National Treasury, which have been widely covered in the media, at times based on perceptions and not fact", DENEL said. It said Asia was identified as a focus area part of the company's international growth strategy, but DENEL conducted continuous assessments of the "untenable atmosphere" caused by the establishment of the JV and opted to explore alternative market approaches to access the Asia Pacific market. "This therefore brings us to a point where we can officially report that DENEL SOC has ended its involvement in the DENEL ASIA JV". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afrisam terminates PPC merger terms - Natasha Odendaal

Merger talks between AFRISAM and PPC have been terminated after the former on Wednesday retracted the heads of terms that were entered into in Feb. PPC on Friday said AFRISAM planned to rather submit an undisclosed new proposal regarding a possible combination of the two companies. PPC's share price fell nearly 6% on the JSE following the announcement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Water dept proposes up to 14.6% hike in raw water tariffs for 2018/19 - Mia Breytenbach

The Department of Water and Sanitation has proposed water tariffs for the 2018/19 FY, with a proposed increase of up to 14.6% throughout the spectrum of raw water users. The water resource infrastructure charges for the domestic and industrial sectors are proposed to increase by 0%-14.6%, as will irrigation charges. Further, the water resource management charges for the domestic and industrial sectors, as well as the forestry sector, are expected to increase by 0%-14.6%. The irrigation sector charges will be capped, with an increase of 4%-14.6%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP explores sale of Jansen potash mine - Reuters

BHP is considering selling a 25% stkae in its Jansen potash mine in Canada, a stake that could be worth close to $2bn, sources said. The move comes as ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT has been pushing the company for changes. BHP is reportedly working with an investment bank for the potential stake sale in Jansen. The move will help share the risk of developing the mine and reduce BHP's exposure to the project. BHP laid out optiosn for the project in an investor presentation dated Aug. 22, saying it could wait, find a partner, divest or optimise it. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Resgen seeks alternative funding - Natasha Odendaal

RESOURCE GENERATION is working on securing an alternative funding source - not linked to committed domestic coal supply - for the development of its Boikarabelo coal mine. The company on Friday said considerable progress had been made in finalising all material contracts and funding of the rail link. However, the terms of the proposed coal supply to ESKOM had not been secured. This followed the wrapping up of items that needed to be dealt with ore produced for the lenders to start their respective credit approval processes. RESGEN noted that, while all the other outstanding issues had been dealt with, the frequent management changes at ESKOM in recent months have not made it possible to continuously engage with management on the terms of an unsolicited bid for the supply of coal outside of ESKOM's scheduled tender process. RESGEN said ESKOM would not start a public tender process for the supply of coal from the Waterberg region until 2019. "We have engaged and will continue to engage with them on the basis of them accepting an unsolicited bid", RESGEN said. "In the circumstances, the board believes it would be reasonable to ask the debt club lenders to undertake their credit approval process to a conclusion, but on the basis that any drawdown of senior debt be subject to a concluded coal supply agreement being in place. Some members declined, requiring a greater degree of certainty around the terms of supply, which means that this source of project finance is no longer viable. RESGEN management had been exploring "an alternative funding proposal that is not subject to a committed domestic coal supply", the company said, adding that the credit approval process of these lenders had started. The first approvals and a signed term sheet are expected by end-Sep. or early in Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Philippine lawmakers seek to ban mining in watershed areas, export of raw ore - Reuters

Philippine lawmakers have filed a bill seeking to ban mining in watershed areas and exports of unprocessed ores and will require miners to get legislative approval before operating, in line with President RODRIGO DUTERTE's pledge to overhaul the sector. The Philippines is the world's top nickel ore supplier, but DUTERTE says miners pay too little tax and not enough to compensate mining communities that suffer environmental damage. The bill seeks to ban mining in all watershed areas, a policy enforced by former environment minister REGINA LOPEZ who in May failed to get approval from lawmakers that confirm DUTERTE's Cabinet appointments. Her replacement, ROY CIMATU, has thus far not reversed any of her measures, including her decision to suspend and shut erring mines. The bill further seeks to halt the export of unprocessed mineral ores "to help develop the mineral processing industry in the Philippines and to benefit the localities where the minerals came from". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PanAf secures environmental approvals for Elikhulu TRP project - Creamer Media Reporter

The Department of Water and Sanitation has granted PAN AFRICAN RESOURCES a 20-year water use licence for the Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant at the Evander mine in Mpumalanga. An Integrated Environmental Authorisation has also been granted. All environmental permits are now in place to allow for construction to start on the R1.7bn Elikhulu TRP. PANAF CEO COBUS LOOTS noted that the granting of the environmental permitting for Elikhulu is the final regulatory approval needed for the construction of the plant. Elikhulu is scheduled to produce first gold in Q4 2018 and expected to produce around 50 000oz/year for the next 13 years, at an all-in sustaining cost of less than $550/oz. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Northam wins approval for Amplats deal - Reuters

NORTHAM PLATINUM has received government approval for its R1bn mining rights acquisition of an ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM asset, the companies said on Friday. The rights relate to resources at Amandelbult near NORTHAM's Zondereinde mine, and hold an estimated 16.7moz of platinum. The deal, first announced in Oct. 2016, remains subject to environmental authorisations, AMPLATS said. NORTHAM on Friday reported deeper FY losses, squeezed by non-operational costs related to it BEE deal last year. Its HLPS widened to 182cps for the FY to end-Jun., from 141cps y/y, despite higher platinum prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Higher clean-up costs to dent DRDGold's FY earnings - Creamer Media Reporter

Higher cash operating unit costs, as a result of more expensive clean-up activities at legacy mining sites in the Witwatersrand, has contributed to lower EPS and HEPS for DRDGOLD for the FY to end-Jun. EPS are expected to be between 68% and 88% lower at 1.7cps and 4.7cps for FY2017, compared with EPS of 14.7cps reported y/y. The company expects HEPS for the period to decrease by 88%-108% to between a headline loss of 1cps and HEPS of 1.5cps, compared with the 12.7cps reported y/y. Gold production for the year fell by 4% to 4 265kg. Results will be published on Sep. 5. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Three miners still missing at Harmony's Kusasalethu - Brendan Ryan

By yesterday afternoon two of the five workers trapped underground after a seismic event at HARMONY GOLD's Kusasalethu mine on Friday morning had been brought to the surface but both died of their injuries. Rescue operations are continuing to find the three other missing workers. The seismic event took place at a depth of 3 100 m, resulting in the suspension of all operations at the mine other than those related to the rescue effort. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident", HARMONY CEO PETER STEENKAMP said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

No reason to hive off Tencent stake, Bekker says - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

NASPERS chair KOOS BEKKER on Friday pushed back against investors urging a break-up of the company, saying the move lacked long-term commercial merit. NASPERS owes much of its $100bn valuation to its 33% stake in China's TENCENT, which is worth around $132bn, or 32% more than NASPERS itself. The discount has prompted some investors to urge the NASPERS leadership team to sell the stake in order to close the discount. "We started getting t hat advice from the day TENCENT listed in 2004. Fact is: each time our board evaluated TENCENT, we concluded at that moment it's still the best use for our money. And today we see no reason yet to change", BEKKER said. He also dismissed suggestion that NASPERS should split itself up for investors to properly assess and value its pay-TV, and de factor monopoly in Africa believed to be worth some R100bn. "If one broke up the company, you could instantly get more for the constituents. But there is strength in being one large group rather than a series of small outfits. This theoretical problem of a so-called discount need not bother the long-term investor", BEKKER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kumba, union reach wage deal - Tanisha Heiberg

KUMBA IRON ORE and the NUM have signed a three-year wage deal giving workers an increase of up to 10% a year, the union said on Friday. NUM said workers would get an annual pay hike ranging between 7% and 10%. The parties also agreed a once-off payment of R25 065 for all employees covered by the deal. NUM in May tabled wage hike demands of 12.5%-16%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.