Uber Rival Didi Launches English App

Didi Chuxing, the ride-hailing company that dominates the Chinese market and is backed by Apple (AAPL, Tech30), has launched an English version of its app. The new Didi app will support credit cards from nine countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil. But the twists and turns in the global ride-hailing industry has resulted in some strange bedfellows. When Didi took over Uber’s China operations, Uber became Didi’s largest shareholder as part of the deal, and Didi took a minority stake in Uber. That means Uber has a significant stake in a company that appears keen to eventually kill off its brand in China and compete with it in international markets.

Source : https://goo.gl/z9S27C

Tech Startup CarZar Gets International Funding

South African tech-startup, CarZar.co.za has drawn investment from Nasdaq-listed firm, Vostok New Ventures. South African tech-startup, CarZar.co.za has drawn investment from Nasdaq-listed firm, Vostok New Ventures. The local startup is also backed by Silvertree Capital, the South-African based venture capital firm behind price comparison site PriceCheck, and online bottle store, CyberCellar.

Source : https://goo.gl/Gsq21T

Dollar Strength Puts Rand Under Pressure

The rand was under pressure on Tuesday morning as the dollar gathered strength, putting pressure on commodity prices. The local currency tripped to lows of R13.71/$, demonstrating a fairly high degree of volatility that analysts have said is likely to be a feature in 2017, partly due to potential domestic political risks.

Source : https://goo.gl/prnCOi

Net 1 Can Deduct From Grant Beneficiaries

The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday found that deductions can be made from the bank accounts of social grant beneficiaries held with Grindrod. Net1 UEPS Technologies, the holding company for Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), which administers the payment of social grants, approached the court for a declaratory order regarding the government’s decision to limit direct deductions from beneficiaries’ accounts. This was after the company was criticised for selling airtime and insurance to beneficiaries and deducting the money from their accounts through debit orders.

Source : https://goo.gl/oCqsCj

Sub Saharan Africa Growth Lowest In 20 Years

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa was at the lowest level in two decades in 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest regional economic outlook released on Tuesday. According to the IMF, growth in sub-Saharan Africa dropped to 1.4% in 2016. The forecast for 2017 is a marginal recovery of 2.6%.

Source : https://goo.gl/AQaE0a

Currencies : ZAR/EUR 14,91 . ZAR/GBP 17,68 . ZAR/USD 13,67

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Macron Wins French Election

Emmanuel Macron was elected France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon last night after beating his far-Right rival Marine Le Pen in an 
emphatic result that will have far-reaching consequences for Brexit and Europe. Projections gave 39-year-old Mr Macron almost two thirds of the vote, showing a clear path to the Élysée Palace for the pro-EU centrist who was a political unknown until three years ago and has never held elected office.

Source : https://goo.gl/xrnmdl

Ramaphosa Apologizes For Marikana

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has apologised for the manner in which the Marikana massacre unfolded, saying he was sorry for the type of language he used at the time. On the eve of the Marikana shooting, Ramaphosa allegedly said in an email discussion between Lonmin management and government officials that events around the strike “are plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such”.

Source : https://goo.gl/Rf4LKr

Eskom Threatens To Cut Zimbabwean Power

Eskom has threatened cutting power to Zimbabwe in June if its power utility Zesa does not clear its debt arrears of over R118m. Zimbabwe, which uses over 1 400 megawatts per day, risks losing 300 megawatts in June, which would see power cuts effecting industry and winter wheat cropping.

Source : https://goo.gl/6QkGTP

Russia Blocks China’s Biggest Messaging App

Moscow’s communications regulator has added WeChat to its list of prohibited websites, according to Russian state news agency TASS. WeChat has about 900 million monthly active users, the vast majority of whom are in China. Tencent which owns WeChat said in a statement Monday that it’s “in discussions with relevant authorities regarding the situation” in Russia. WeChat has been blacklisted since at least Friday, according to the TASS report.

Source : https://goo.gl/m3I9IG

Google Pays Italy $335 Million In Tax Arrears

Italy’s tax agency confirmed that Google would pay €306 million ($335 million) to cover taxes for the years 2009 to 2015. Google and other global giants such as Apple (AAPL, Tech30) and Starbucks (SBUX) have been accused of shifting their sales and profits across international borders to avoid paying high rates of corporate tax. They set up regional headquarters in countries such as Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, where taxes are much lower. The biggest outstanding dispute in Europe concerns a record breaking €13 billion ($14.2 billion) tax bill that Ireland has been ordered to serve Apple. The European Commission, which administers EU law, said the Irish government helped the tech giant artificially lower its tax bill for more than 20 years.

Source : https://goo.gl/OE8sId

CurrenciesRand/USD 13.47 – Rand/GBP 17.42 – Rand/EUR 14.78

 

 

Zuma Must Give Gordhan Recall Reasons

The High Court in Pretoria has given President Jacob Zuma until next Thursday to submit all documents containing his reasons for dismissing former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. Initially, he cited an alleged fake intelligence report claiming Gordhan and his deputy were not acting in the best interests of the country and were trying to effect regime change.

Source : https://goo.gl/UBMcrp

Pioneer Profits Drop 40-45%

Pioneer Foods has cautioned its shareholders to expect a decline in earnings for the six months to end March. The company said it anticipated that its operating profit for the period to ease between 40 percent and 45 percent, down from R1.24 billion reported in 2016. The group said it attributed the decline to an impact of the Phase1 B-BBEE share-based payment charge and merger and acquisitions costs during the period.

Source : https://goo.gl/o5lJtP

China Launches First Major Commercial Jet

China’s first large jetliner has successfully completed its maiden flight, a key moment in the country’s push to challenge the U.S. and Europe as a global manufacturer. With the flight, China joins the ranks of the few nations that have developed homegrown large airliners: the U.S., Russia, Brazil, Canada, the U.K., France and Germany. Made by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), the 168-seat C919 is roughly the same size as Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737-800, which are the most popular airliners in the world.

Source : https://goo.gl/7tBFG2

Gauteng To Spend R46bn On Infrastructure Projects

The Gauteng provincial government will spend R46-billion on infrastructure over the next three years, Premier David Makhura said on Thursday. Makhura said it was important to note that the Gauteng Infrastructure Master Plan estimates that R1.8-trillion is needed to meet the province’s infrastructure needs over the next decade-and-a-half. Makhura pointed out that between 2013 and 2016, the Gauteng government spent R30-billion on infrastructure project developments.

Source : https://goo.gl/2VIx1S

Mugabe Defiant At WEF

Mugabe was a panellist on a debate about fragile states in the main hall at the International Convention Centre that included diverse voices from former AFDB head Donald Kaberuka to Hollywood actor Forest Whittaker. The first question went to Mugabe about whether he thought Zimbabwe, with its economic troubles, is a fragile state. “We are not a poor country, you can’t call us a fragile state, you can call America a fragile state,” says Mugabe to chuckles from the hundreds in the audience. Mugabe pointed to his country’s vast resources, 14 universities and 90 per cent literacy rate.

Source : https://goo.gl/XdcPxj

Oil Price Collapses Below $45

Oil slid below $45 a barrel for the first time since OPEC agreed to cut output in November as US shale confounds the producer group’s attempts to prop up prices. Prices are still more than 50% below their peak in 2014, when surging shale output triggered crude’s biggest collapse in a generation and left rival producers such as Saudi Arabia scrambling to protect market share.

Source : https://goo.gl/wIinzC

CurrenciesRand/USD 13.64 – Rand/GBP 17.63 – Rand/EUR 14.98

 

 

 

Petro SA Board Asks For Business Rescue

The board of state-owned oil company PetroSA has asked its holding company, the Central Energy Fund (CEF), to place it under business rescue, raising questions over its status as a going concern. PetroSA has a projected loss of R2.2bn for the year to March 2017. This follows its record R14.6bn net operating loss in the 2014-15 financial year. Despite these losses, PetroSA paid out large performance bonuses to its executives at the end of 2016, linked to the Ikhewzi project, responsible for a near R15bn impairment in financial 2014-15

Source : https://goo.gl/3Co6f1

SAA Gets Court Order Against Strike

The Labour Court granted South African Airways (SAA) a final order against the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and its members. This was after the court had granted an interim order in favour of the airline on 26 April. The order interdicts Sacca and its members from embarking on industrial action and declares the industrial action an unprotected strike.

Source : https://goo.gl/sC23kh

ABInBev To Launch Budweiser In South Africa

Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to launch Budweiser in SA, it said in its March quarter results on Thursday morning. The group’s overall revenue grew 3.7% to $12.9bn from the matching quarter in 2016.

Source : https://goo.gl/0Leykf

Eskom Ready To Report On CEO Nepotism Scandal

Eskom has finalised the report on its investigation into allegations that a stepdaughter of acting chief executive Matshela Koko benefited from contracts worth at least R1 billionFollowing reports that Koketso Choma, Koko’s stepdaughter, had scored the contracts, there were also allegations that the board had proposed to pay Molefe R30 million after he was at the helm of the power utility for about 18 months.

Source : https://goo.gl/SjbPq9

Whatsapp Blackout Causes Havoc

WhatsApp experienced downtime around the world, leaving many users unable to send and receive messages over the app for over two hours. Africa, Europe, South America and the US experienced downtime with WhatsApp hashtags #WhatsAppDown and #WhatsAppisDown trending on the social network.

Source : https://goo.gl/hr3CFn

indicators : Oil 50.36 – Rand/USD 13.50 – Rand/GBP 17.36 – Rand/EUR 14.73

Joemat-Petersen Lies Exposed By Kubayi

The government has admitted for the first time that the secret disposal of 10.3-million barrels of SA’s strategic oil reserves by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) in December 2015 had indeed been a sale and not a “rotation of stock”, as former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson repeatedly had asserted to justify her approval of the deal. Newly appointed Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi apologised to MPs and Parliament on Tuesday for their having been misled about the nature of the transaction. This was after DA energy spokesman Gordon Mackay expressed concern that the energy portfolio committee had been misled.

Source : https://goo.gl/7qiwSZ

S.A May Appeal Court Ruling On Nuclear

South Africa’s government may appeal last week’s court judgment declaring a cooperation pact with Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom unlawful, the energy minister said on Tuesday. South Africa and Russia signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) in 2014 for cooperation between Rosatom and South African utility Eskom, which aims to build 9 600 MW of nuclear capacity to wean the African nation off coal.

Source : https://goo.gl/cTKcIb

McDonalds Accused Of Overcharging Franchisees

McDonald’s should be investigated for gouging franchisees on rents and deceiving them about how the amounts are calculated, a labour union said in letters to two state attorneys general. US franchisees paid the world’s biggest fast-food chain more than $3bn in rents last year, a rate of return on McDonald’s real-estate investments that’s as much as triple the industry average. McDonalds has denied the allegations.

Source : https://goo.gl/gDDkhG

MTN Releases Encouraging Revenue Numbers

MTN has released its quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2017. The company stated that it currently serves approximately 237 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Group total revenue increased by 7.1%, with data revenues up 29.4% year-on-year. Data revenue contributed 20% to total revenue, said MTN.

Source : https://goo.gl/j0W4In

Look & Listen To Close Final Store

The Look & Listen at Hillfox Value Centre – the last one in South Africa – will soon close, marking the end of an era. Look & Listen was started nearly 50 years ago by Rob Ziegler. In February 2013, Look & Listen halted its online purchases, and in June 2014, the company was placed under business rescue.

Source : https://goo.gl/Rjzy4x

Indicators : Oil50.87 – Rand/USD 13.32 – Rand/GBP 17.16 – Rand/EUR 14.56

Armyworm To Cost Africa $3Bn

An outbreak of fall armyworms destroying crops across Africa may cost the continent about $3 billion in lost corn output in the coming year, according to an estimate by the Centre for Agricultural and Biosciences International. The alien pest, which is prevalent in the Americas, attacks more than 80 different plant species.

Source : https://goo.gl/NUkNfi

S.A Trade Surplus Reaches R11.4 Billion

South Africa’s trade surplus grew sharply in March as commodity exports jumped on the back of strong global demand, raising the chances it will be able to narrow the current account deficit, which is seen as a key economic weakness. The treasury has an ambitious target to trim the current account deficit to around 3% from 4% of gross domestic product last year.

Source : https://goo.gl/XaMRhB

Zuma Signs Fica Bill Into Law

After many delays and criticism from international and local businesses, president Jacob Zuma has finally signed the anti-money laundering FICA bill into law. The bill which allows for increased scrutiny of the bank accounts of “prominent individuals”, including himself, was signed into law on Saturday.

Source : https://goo.gl/8eRU1q

FSB Investigates Suspect Trades Ahead Of Gordhan Recall

The Financial Services Board (FSB) is investigating certain foreign-exchange futures contracts amid allegations that insider trading took place ahead of the firing of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. “We are currently analysing both the report from the JSE as well as the article, which was published by Stuart Theobald of Intellidex. The investigation is ongoing,” board CEO, Tshidi.

Illicit Capital Flows Cost $3.5 Trillion In 2014

Illicit capital flows into and out of developing economies ranged from $2-trillion to $3.5-trillion in 2014, with Africa the region most vulnerable to the flight of capital needed for investment and other purposes, according to a new study. It shows that combined, illicit outflows and inflows amounted to 14.1% to 24% of total developing country trade from 2005 to 2014, the last year for which comprehensive data are available.

Source : https://goo.gl/Zwlvca

Indicators : Oil 51.40 – Rand/USD 13.29 – Rand/GBP 17.07 – Rand/EUR 14.50