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Latest News

Morocco oil refiner delays 60% capacity to mid-Feb

20th January 2003 Moroccan oil refiner Samir has failed to reach a 60% target for its 150 000 bpd output capacity set for January 15 and the unit is now running at 43%, a senior manager said last week. 

Crunch-time for LNM offer

20th January 2003 Steel giant LNM tried to allay fears on Friday that its partial offer for Iscor was an attempt to wrest control without full payment, saying it would offer to buy the whole group should its stake exceed 60%. 

Iscor to meet auto sector on prices for 2003

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2003 A meeting between steel producer Iscor and the automotive sector - both component and vehicle manufacturers - is likely to take place in the next few days to finalise the steel-price increase for 2003. 

SA stainless steel prices rise 6,4% following review

By: Martin Czernowalow     17th January 2003 South Africans can expect to pay about 6,4% more for stainless steel as of this month, Engineering News Online can report. 

Tribunal to consider bottle-top merger

17th January 2003 The Competition Tribunal is to consider a recommendation by the Competition Commission that a merger between Coleus Packaging and Rheem Crown Plant be disqualified. 

Rand to hit Tongaat earnings

17th January 2003 South African sugar and aluminium group Tongaat-Hulett said on Wednesday its headline earnings would be hit by the rand's gains in 2002. But annual operating earnings would show strong growth in line with expectations. 

R64m project to install water metres

17th January 2003 Contractors began installing water metres in 37 areas across Mpumalanga this week, as part of the provincial department of local government's attempts to ensure the equal distribution of water in the region. 

ABB silent on reported higher asbestos offer

17th January 2003 Swiss industrial engineering group, ABB, yesterday declined comment on a report that it was raising its offer to settle asbestos liabilities by a third to $1,5-billion and said it would soon inform the plaintiffs. 

LNM revises Iscor offer

17th January 2003 Dutch-based LNM Holdings said on today it was committed to making an offer to acquire the shares of Iscor minority shareholders should its shareholding in the steel group reach 60%. 

Science bodies mull global collaboration

16th January 2003 Representatives from nine top Science and Technology institutions from around the world will meet in New Delhi, India, on January 20 and 21, 2003, to finalise agreement on a global research alliance (GRA) that will facilitate international research and development (R&D) cooperation in specific... 

AIDS drugmakers plan to boost African supply

16th January 2003 Pharmaceutical companies said on Tuesday they were increasing the supply of life-saving AIDS medicines to Africa, but acknowledged that current efforts only scratched the surface of the problem. 

Komatiland privatisation bids close on Friday

By: Martin Czernowalow     16th January 2003 South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has – for the second time – called for expressions of interest (EOI) for the acquisition of a majority interest in Komatiland Forests Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Forestry Company Limited (Safcol). 

MTN says govt sale won’t hurt business

16th January 2003 South Africa's number two cellphone operator MTN said on yesterday the sale of an 18,7% stake in the company, by the State to an unlisted buyer, would not adversely affect its business. 

Telkom earnings up, capex down

16th January 2003 South African State-run phone utility, Telkom said on yesterday that its profit surged in the first half, while it cut capital expenditure by over a third in its last set of results before its initial public offering. 

Iscor to focus on steel-sector consolidation

By: Terence Creamer     15th January 2003 Domestic steel producer Iscor will actively pursue consolidation opportunities in the South African steel industry over the next three years, CE Louis van Niekerk revealed at a presentation yesterday. 

Scientists probe Africa’s Rift Valley break-up

15th January 2003 Scientists studying Africa's slow-motion split along the Rift Valley have launched an experiment in Ethiopia to find out exactly why it is happening and whether a new ocean will form where the valley is now. 

Global info society summit preparations heat up

15th January 2003 The vision of a 'virtual' future, in which information and communication technologies help overcome the barriers of time, distance, culture and language is the promise of the information society. 

Caltex refinery to close for maintenance

15th January 2003 Cape Town's only refinery will undertake scheduled maintenance on its Platformer Unit from January 25, 2003, fuel group Caltex said on Monday. 

Gautrain project under fire from JCCI

15th January 2003 Head of the Gauteng Department of Transport, Jack van der Merwe, has responded to criticism levelled at the proposed Gautrain rapid rail project, by the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). 

Sacu-US hope to conclude free trade talks by end 2004

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2003 Formal talks will begin next month between the world’s largest economy, the US, and the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) for the creation of a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) covering all aspects of trade from agriculture to services. 

Nigeria confronts aluminium smelter shareholders

14th January 2003 Nigeria is heading for a showdown with private shareholders in its shuttered aluminium smelter Alscon on January 21, a government spokesperson said on yesterday. 

ABB favourite to run airport project in Senegal

14th January 2003 Swiss industrial engineering group ABB, which aims to cut debt and return to profitability by focusing on core activities of power and automation products, is the frontrunner for an airport project in Senegal. 

Algeria awards emergency water contract

14th January 2003 Engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group said it won a C$96-million ($60-million) contract from Algeria's Agence Nationale des Barrages to build an emergency water project in Skikda, about 400 km (256 miles) east of Algiers. 

Retail sales set to deteriorate

14th January 2003 The South African formal retail trade can expect a real growth rate of 2,3% in 2003, compared to 5,6% in 2002, according to predictions by the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) and the University of South Africa (Unisa). 

Forestry company makes sawmilling acquisitions

14th January 2003 Forestry company Yorkcor’s shareholders have unanimously ratified the acquisition of the assets of two sawmilling undertakings in liquidation, Bluechip Timbers Mpumalanga and Bluechip Industrial Timbers. 

Iscor earnings rise as Saldanha recovers

14th January 2003 South Africa's largest steel maker, Iscor, said today its interim headline earnings per share rose sharply and said it expected dollar earnings to remain at the same level in the second half. 

Zoellick to highlight Agoa trade gains at forum

14th January 2003 US Trade Representative Robert B Zoellick will join trade and foreign affairs ministers from over thirty African countries at the Second US/Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in Reduit, Mauritius, from January 15 to 17. 

R550m bridge finance for natural gas project

14th January 2003 South African petrochemicals group, Sasol and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) yesterday announced the signing of a 12-month R550-million bridge facility in support of financing the construction of an 865-km-long pipeline to transport natural gas from Temane, in Mozambique, to... 

WBHO wins R95m Modderfontein contract

13th January 2003 WBHO has started work on the construction of a R95-million distribution warehouse for Nestl 

Mobile handset sales seen about 3m in 2003

13th January 2003 Demand for basic phone and message services will keep South Africa's new mobile handset sales afloat at around three-million this year, and fancy functions will give sales a small boost. 

Low rains, plantings threaten Zim food supply

13th January 2003 Zimbabwe appears headed for another season of food shortages in 2003-2004, with poor rains and reduced plantings likely to dent output, a US-based food-monitoring organisation said last week. 

World economy recovery to be slow in 2003 – UN report

13th January 2003 The gradual world economic recovery that is underway is held hostage to a number of imminent risks, and policy-makers have limited room for manoeuvre in response, United Nations analysts warned last week, in an assessment of year-ahead prospects. 

Zoellick to focus on Sacu-US trade deal during visit

13th January 2003 The proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the five member countries of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is the main focus of US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick's visit to South Africa today. 

Eskom launches probe into Duvha explosion

By: Martin Czernowalow     10th January 2003 South African power utility, Eskom has launched an investigation into an explosion at its Witbank power station on Wednesday morning, said a spokesperson yesterday. 

WTO chief calls for urgency in 2003

10th January 2003 World Trade Organisation (WTO) director-general, Supachai Panitchpakdi has called for urgency from trade negotiators dealing with the Doha Work Programme, pointing out that there were just 24 months left to meet the January 2005 dealine. 

SA-Senegal air partnership announced

10th January 2003 South African Airways (SAA) has struck a deal with Air Senegal International for the West African airline to feed passengers into Dakar for a new SAA flight from the Senegalese capital to New York. 

Iscor earnings seen up on prices, demand

10th January 2003 South African steel group Iscor is seen posting a sharp increase in first-half earnings next week, buoyed by higher steel prices and demand and a big contribution from its Saldanha mill, analysts said yesterday. 

EU suggests way forward in trade row on drugs

10th January 2003 Europe's top trade negotiator called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday to help solve a row over access to life-saving drugs for poor countries which threatens to undermine global trade talks. 

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