Interest Rate May Be Cut Tomorrow

Thanks to Moody’s stable outlook for SA, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) will likely reduce the repo rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday.  This is the conclusion of Nedbank’s Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) division after it analysed its latest Interest Rate Barometer. A 25 basis points cut would lower the repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow money from the SARB, to 6.5% and the prime lending rate to consumers to 10%.

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Minimum Wage To Be Delayed

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant confirmed on Monday evening that it will not be possible to implement the new minimum wage legislation on the envisaged date of May 1 because the parliamentary process will not be completed by then. Oliphant said that the bills were highly contested and “it has become apparent that the ambition for the National Minimum Wage Bill to become law by May 1 2018 may not be practical given the high volumes of public submissions.

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Listeriosis Will Cost Rainbow An Estimated R75 million

Its best estimate of the direct and identifiable cost of the listeriosis outbreak is R75 million, Rainbow Chicken’s parent company RCL told shareholders on Monday afternoon. That includes the costs of recalling its chicken polony, destroying recalled products, testing costs, and advertising and in-store communication. Those are hard to estimate, RCL said, but could be around R20 million in profit lost a month, every month, until things return to normal.

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Mkhwebane Investigating DWS & SAP Contract

The Public Protector is investigating a R671 million ($60 million) government contract with German software firm SAP , which has admitted misconduct in separate deals involving friends of ousted president Jacob Zuma. The Public Protector’s office said it had received an anonymous letter alleging due process was not followed in the award of a contract to SAP in 2016 to provide IT and support services to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

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MTN To Launch Namibian Operation

MTN plans to enter Namibia’s mobile-operator market through a tie-up with a state telecommunications firm. MTN Business Solutions Namibia, which is 30% owned by local shareholders, and local company Demshi Investment Holdings, will enter the market from June 2018 as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Both operators were in negotiations to use state-owned TN Mobile’s 3G and LTE network. TN has a market share of just 4.5%, while MTC, another state-owned operator, has a share of 95.5%.

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Capitec And Sanlam Announce Bancassurance Deal

Capitec is expected to announce a bancassurance joint venture with Sanlam, alongside its financial results due Tuesday. In an interview with Moneyweb, Sanlam chief executive Ian Kirk said the joint venture would see Sanlam become an insurance partner to the banking group. “We are delighted with the opportunity to partner with Capitec. We like the bank, we think they are quite innovative, they’ve grown well and they’ve identified the need to offer insurance and savings plans to their client base to broaden their offerings and to improve their positioning with their clients in South Africa.

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Western Cape Considering Provincial Fuel Levy

The Western Cape provincial government is looking to introduce a provincial fuel levy, over and above the national levy currently imposed on all South African motorists – but it likely won’t be coming for a while. The decision taken in April/May 2017 by the Western Cape Cabinet is that before any consultation can happen, the fuel levy research which was done in 2005 will have to be updated.

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Currencies: Bcoin R98,550 . Ether R5,648 . R/USD11.66 . R/GBP16.59 . R/EUR14.52

 

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Cosatu Officialy Accept Minimum Wage

South Africa’s main labor union federation accepted a government-proposed minimum wage of about 3,500 rand ($268) a month. While Cosatu favored a minimum monthly salary of 4,500 rand a month, the government’s proposal “is still a significant starting base towards a living wage,”. The government said businesses that aren’t able to afford the minimum wage for a 40-hour week will be able to apply for an exemption. Africa’s most-industrialized economy, which has an unemployment rate of almost 27 percent, has 6.6 million people earning less than 3,500 rand monthly

Source : https://goo.gl/s0ysIJ

Bank Of Baroda Closes Gupta Accounts

Bank of Baroda is set to close the Gupta family’s bank accounts by the end of March following pressure from its parent company in India. Between February and September 2016, First National Bank, Absa, Standard Bank and Nedbank closed the bank accounts of the Gupta family and their companies. The Bank of China followed suit.

Source : https://goo.gl/2YOY7Z

Country Bird To Close Local Abattoir 

Country Bird, South Africa’s third-largest chicken producer, is to close one of its three abattoirs as the local industry struggles to compete with cheap European imports, which it argues amount to dumping. South African farmers and labour unions say the EU is selling chicken legs, thighs and wings at below cost, pushing the local industry to the brink of collapse.

Source : https://goo.gl/u9r9sk

Standard Bank Denies Wrongdoing In Forex Collusion

Standard Bank’s CEO, Sim Tshabalala, says the bank is not setting aside any cash for a potential Competition Tribunal fine for alleged collusion by its currency traders as internal investigations have not revealed any wrongdoing. The investigation by the Competition Commission, which sought to prosecute 18 global and local banks for collusion among their currency traders to fix prices on rand to dollar trades, related to three people, he said. “We employ 55,000 people.”

Source : https://goo.gl/2voA7f

AB InBev Bosses Forfeit Bonuses

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has canned bonuses for most of its executive board because of the disappointing 2016 financial results. The move is expected to affect swathes of executives in the group which, after last year’s $103bn acquisition of SABMiller, now controls just more than 25% of the global beer market. South African executives will not be affected as the old SABMiller scheme will apply to them for the year.

Source : https://goo.gl/nk0zEm

Indicators : Oil 55.34 – Rand/USD 13.12 – Rand/GBP 16.01 – Rand/EUR 13.80

Prasa CEO Ups His Salary 4

The acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is accused of upping his own salary to more than four times the agreed amount. Collins Letsoalo who has been acting CEO since July 2016, was supposed to be paid R1.3 million a year. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that Letsoalo demanded that Prasa pay him the R5.9 million package that controversial former CEO Lucky Montana was paid, plus have a chauffeur-driven car and company cellphone with unlimited calls

Source : https://goo.gl/VAP0Iu

Hawks Target Mcebisi Jonas

City Press has established that the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State (Cats) unit is gathering evidence that could implicate Jonas in a case of corruption involving a supplier to SAA’s aviation maintenance division, SAA Technical. The case is being investigated by Cats unit head Brigadier Nyameka Xaba, who also investigated the case against Gordhan. The theory is that removing Jonas will allow Brian Molefe to replace him and that is key because the deputy minister of finance is also chairperson and Non-Executive Director of Public Investment Corporation Limited.

Source : https://goo.gl/cDNb69

Millions Of Traffic Fines To Be Scrapped In Gauteng

The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that millions of traffic fines issued since 2008 must be scrapped. According to a ruling on Friday, all fines issued since 2008 that did not comply with the conditions outlined in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act must be cancelled.

Source : https://goo.gl/TolZxa

Cell C’s BEE Partner threatens To Derail BlueLabel Deal

Cell C’s black equity partner, CellSaf, has threatened to scupper Blue Label Telecoms’ significant investment in the cellphone operator. CellSaf accused Oger Telecom of not working in the best interest of Cell C and threatened legal action if Blue Label’s proposed acquisition of a 45% interest in Cell C goes ahead. CellSaf owns 25% of Cell C’s holding company, 3C Telecommunications.

Source : https://goo.gl/0t3fzC

Nokia Launches 4 New Phones, Not Just The 3310

HMD, the guys who have the brand rights to Nokia, announced a slate of low-cost new phones that will be sold under the Nokia brand. The company, run by a cast of former Nokia executives. The new phone models by Nokia are the “Nokia 6”, “Nokia 5”, “Nokia 3” and “Nokia 3310”.  The new 3310 has the same old-fashioned keypad and comes in a couple of bright plastic-y colors. A small color screen and potentially weeks of battery life round out the 49 euro ($52) device.

Source : https://goo.gl/xUkVKd

Over Half Of Joburg Water Lost To Leaks & Illegal Use

The Johannesburg and Durban metros are currently losing losing a combined 56% of their water through leaks and illegal connections. In the Johannesburg Metro alone‚ we have 35% of non-revenue water and of that 16% is unaccounted for. In the eThekwini Metro also‚ we have 40.7% of non-revenue water and of that‚ 59.3% is unaccounted for. In all likelihood‚ in both cases‚ this is water lost through leaks and illegal connections.

Source : https://goo.gl/r92Ktw

Indicators : Oil 56.74 – Rand/USD 12.98 – Rand/GBP 16.06 – Rand/EUR 13.72

All Eyes On Trump Inauguration

The Donald is set to officially be inaugurated as U.S president tonight. Donald Trump has pledged to unify America as he addressed cheering supporters at a concert on the eve of his presidential inauguration. Speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, the president-elect also promised to bring change. Bottom line is Americans have to strap in because things are either going to take off or crash in a hurry. No half measures with the Donald.

Anglo To Lay Off Over 800 Workers

AngloGold Ashanti‘s South Africa region is contemplating the dismissal of certain employees on the basis of its operational requirements,” according to a press statement.  AngloGold Ashanti is in talks with unions to lay off more than 800 workers at its S.A operations. Anglo employs about 25000 people in the country.

Eskom Ordered To Postpone On Cutting Off Municipalities

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said cutting electricity supply to towns, who collectively owed more than 10 billion rand to Eskom, would hurt businesses and jobs but needed to be settled. Brown on Thursday urged affected municipalities to work towards settling their arrears, saying their growing debt could undermine efforts aimed at getting Eskom back on sound financial footing.

Cape Town To Introduce Tougher Water Restrictions

Cape Town’s mayoral committee proposed a plan to upgrade the current Level 3 water restrictions to Level 3B because of diminishing dam levels and unnecessary residential water usage. If Level 3B water restrictions are implemented, residents will only be allowed to water their gardens on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 with a bucket or watering can.

Gupta’s To Respond To Pravin Affidavit Today

The Gupta family will file responding court papers at the High Court in Pretoria on Friday in response to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application. The papers are in response to an affidavit submitted by Gordhan in 2016‚ backing up his application for a declaratory order that ministers cannot intervene in the relationship between banks and their clients.

D.A To Lay Corruption Charges Against 106 Gauteng Officials

Mashaba’s new administration will be laying criminals charges against 106 officials and conducting forensic audits into certain “dodgy tenders”. Following the new DA administrations investigation, the party said it found that, between 2008 and 2016, ANC officials in the city were responsible for 972 dodgy deals totaling R14.7 million.

Currencies & Stuff

Oil 54.30 – Rand/USD 13.52 – Rand/GBP 16.66 – Rand/EUR 14.43

Absa Report Drama. Did Thuli Mess Up?

The Public Protector’s leaked interim report that recommends Absa pay back the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) an outstanding interest of R1.225bn is being ripped apart by Johann Rupert and apartheid era reserve bank governor Chris Stals. The argument that Absa owes SARB interest on the deal apparently hinges on a quote by former Sarb governor Chris Stals, who said Absa agreed to pay back the interest. Stals has however said he was misquoted and that Absa met its obligations in 95. Rupert on the other hand called the report a work of fiction and denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the public protector has opened a case with the police over the leaking of the interim report. Thuli Madonsela may have a lot to answer to if it turns out to be true that she messed up this report.

Shoprite Increases Turnover By 14%

The Shoprite Group increased its turnover by 14.0% from R62.5 billion to R71.3 billion for the six months to December 2016. Shoprite’s non-South African supermarkets recorded sales growth of 32.3% assisted by higher inflation and achieved in the face of low commodity prices and foreign exchange shortages in certain countries. Growth on a like-for-like basis was 14.2%. The Group’s furniture division grew sales by 10.0% for the period.

Credit Regulator Takes Standard Bank To Court

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is seeking a high court order to stop banks from unilaterally taking money from customers’ savings accounts to settle outstanding balances on their credit agreements. The regulator is seeking an order declaring that provisions of the National Credit Act supersede common law “set-off”, whereby a consumer’s debt is satisfied by setting it off against credit held by that consumer with the bank, such as in a savings account.

Theresa May Speech Leads Pound Higher

Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to pull Britain out of the European Union’s single market while staying inside parts of its customs union, saying the UK parliament will get a vote on the final Brexit deal. The prime minister didn’t say what would happen if the parliamentary vote is lost. At that point, it might be impossible to reverse the Brexit process, meaning the UK found itself outside the EU without any agreement with the bloc. That outcome would be a disaster for the UK.

British American Tobacco Buys Rest Of Reynolds

BAT has announced it will buy the 57.8% of Reynolds American it does not already own for $49.4 billion after agreeing terms with an independent Reynolds committee. The deal will consolidate its ownership of Newport, Kent and Pall Mall, which Reynolds – the second largest cigarette maker in the US – produces.

China Pledges $40bn Investment In Nigeria

Nigeria has ordered Taiwan to move its trade mission from the capital, Abuja, to the commercial hub, Lagos, following a visit by the Chinese foreign minister during which his government pledged to invest $40 billion into infrastructure in Nigeria. Interesting how other African countries are treating the One China policy after the D.A issue.

Currencies & Stuff

Oil 55.57 – Rand/USD 13.53 – Rand/GBP 16.65 – Rand/EUR 14.43