CompCom Finds Banks Forex Collusion

Sixteen local and international banks are facing fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover after the Competition Commission decided to prosecute them for colluding to fix prices and allocate markets while trading foreign currency from 2007. Among the local banks referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution are Investec, Standard Bank and Absa. The commission will also prosecute Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse and Nomura. The commission found the banks breached the Competition Act by generally agreeing to collude on the prices dealers at these banks quoted to customers to buy the rand or dollar (offers) and the prices these dealers paid for these currencies on the market (bids). The dealers also colluded on the difference between the two prices, called the bid-offer spread.

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SAA Told To Pay ComAir Over R1 Billion

On Wednesday, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled that SAA must pay Comair R554m, plus years of interest, for engaging in anticompetitive behaviour between 1999 and 2005. In August, Nationwide Airlines – which went into liquidation in 2008 – won its claim for R325m. SAA said it was studying the judgment, but noted this was a “legacy issue” under different management and the airline had put in place new business rules.

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Rand Drops Below R13 To the Dollar

The rand has broken through the psychological barrier of R13 to the dollar, and was trading at R12.93 by 8am on Thursday. Job stats released on Tuesday by StatsSA showed that employment grew by 235,000 in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2016, while the number of job seekers declined by 92,000 resulting in slight drop in the unemployment rate by 0.6 of percentage point to 26.5%

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Bakwena Plans R1 Billion Road Upgrades

Road concession group Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire says it has a R1 billion pipeline of projects for this year. In a statement issued by the company on Wednesday, it said a reseal of the N4 in Dinokana by Actophambili is already underway. The project should be finished by May and will cost R34 million. in another R250 million reconstruction contract is estimated to complete during March 2017, while an additional R7.7 million will be spent on a storm-water upgrade.

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Gordhan Says He Has No Qualms With Bathabile Dlamini

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday issued a statement to deny reports that he was heading for conflict with Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini over the crisis threatening welfare grant payments to the poor. Gordhan said National Treasury was committed to assist the department of social development and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) “by any legal means possible to ensure the payment of grants to South Africans relying on such grants”. He said media reports of “a looming war” between National Treasury and Dlamini were wholly misplaced, he said.

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Witbank And Ermelo To BE Disconnected For Lack Of Payment

Two Mpumalanga municipalities, eMalahleni and Msukaligwa, will have their power cut for nonpayment. This will affect the Doornpoort, Churchill, Kwaguqa, Witbank and Ermelo areas. “The interruption of supply as a result of nonpayment remains an agonising decision for Eskom and is a means of last resort. We take solace in the fact that we spared no effort to collect outstanding debts amicably,” the utility said in a press release.

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Currencies And Stuff

JSE 52’324 – Oil 55.70 – Rand/USD 12.92 – Rand/GBP 16.11 – Rand/EUR 13.73

Author: The Turk Report

Simplifying complex money matters

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