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Macro and Micro News

CEOs to be more cautious this year as uncertainty, pessimism prevail – PwC 

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 6 hours ago There are consistent trends in the 2018 and 2019 results of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC’s) annual CEO survey, with global CEOs – including those based in South Africa – plagued by pessimism and uncertainty in the new year. According to the survey, which was released on Monday, caution among CEOs... 

Business insolvencies to remain as long as GDP growth is subdued – Euler Hermes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 6 hours ago Credit insurance company Euler Hermes expects business insolvencies in South Africa to increase by about 2% this year, following a 3% increase in 2018. The company stated on Tuesday that this was the first outright deterioration since 2009 and the global financial crisis.  

World Bank says confidence not enough to lift South Africa’s growth prospects  

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 7 hours ago The World Bank expects South Africa's growth to pick up modestly in 2019 to 1.3% on the back of several “promising” policy announcements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration in 2018. It expects the economy to expand by 1.7% in 2020. Nevertheless, the bank believes that the country’s... 

World Bank says confidence not enough to lift South Africa’s growth prospects
World Bank progamme leader for equitable growth, finance and institutions Sebastien Dessus on South Africa’s 2019 growth outlook. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 22.1.2019

World Bank says Eskom simply too big to fail

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2019 The World Bank has argued that Eskom is too big to fail, and the South African economy would not withstand a financial meltdown of the cash-strapped power utility. "It is just too big to allow it to disintegrate, and fixing all these pieces will be costlier than trying to reform it," the bank’s... 

 World Bank says Eskom simply too big to fail

Multichoice sweetens Naspers split with dividend plan

By: Reuters     22nd January 2019 Africa's biggest pay-TV business Multichoice plans to pay a R2.5-billion dividend two years after leaving its parent of three decades – media and e-commerce group Naspers – and pursuing a listing solo in South Africa. Multichoice CFO Tim Jacobs said on Monday the firm would make its first payment... 

SA on a hard sell at World Economic Forum

By: African News Agency      22nd January 2019 South Africa is on a hard sell strategy at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in Switzerland, eager to position itself as a primary emerging market allied to world-class infrastructure. President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a strong team to the 2019 WEF annual meeting as South Africa aims to... 

SA on a hard sell at World Economic Forum

Excise tax increases cost South Africa billions of rand in lost revenue – Econometrix

By: African News Agency      22nd January 2019 The drop in sales volumes of excise-paid tobacco products has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for the government as consumers move to cheaper illicit products, economic research house Econometrix said on Tuesday. Citing National Treasury data, Econometrix said income from tobacco excise... 

Nothing's taboo for new IMF chief economist, first woman in job

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2019 Gita Gopinath has a knack for asking the kind of questions that, not so long ago, might have raised eyebrows inside the International Monetary Fund, where she just took over as chief economist. What if more emerging markets actively managed their currencies, like China does? What if an influx of... 

Ramaphosa arrives in Geneva for ILO report launch

By: African News Agency      22nd January 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in  Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday morning to launch the International Labour Organization’s (ILO's) Global Commission on the Future of Work Report, his spokesperson Khusela Diko said in a statement.  Ramaphosa and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven are... 

Ramaphosa arrives in Geneva for ILO report launch
President Cyril Ramaphosa

IMF sees weakest global growth in three years as Europe slows

By: Bloomberg     21st January 2019 The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for the world economy, predicting it will grow at the weakest pace in three years in 2019 and warning fresh trade tensions would spell further trouble. In its second downgrade in three months, the lender blamed softening demand across Europe and... 

IMF sees weakest global growth in three years as Europe slows

Mokonyane not aware of any allegations against her at state capture commission

By: News24Wire      21st January 2019 Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane's office says it knows nothing about claims implicating her in testimony before the state capture commission of inquiry and says it will be "impolitic" to engage reports claiming otherwise. Weekend newspapers reported that Mokonyane would be among... 

PIC inquiry appeals for information as probe gathers momentum

By: African News Agency      21st January 2019 The sittings of the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Commission (PIC) kicked off in Pretoria on Monday. The chairperson of the inquiry, former president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Justice Lex Mpati appealed to individuals to come forward... 

PIC inquiry appeals for information as probe gathers momentum

South Africa turned down Zimbabwe request for $1.2bn loan in December

By: Reuters     21st January 2019 South Africa turned down a request from its southern African neighbour Zimbabwe for a $1.2-billion loan in December, a spokesman for the finance ministry said on Monday. "South Africa doesn't have that kind of money," National Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane said. 

Location a key discussion point as Saudi Aramco mulls South African refinery investment

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2019 “Location, location, location,” South Africa’s Minister Jeff Radebe quipped on Friday after a meeting with his Saudi counterpart, Khalid Al-Falih, where it was agreed that Saudi Aramco and the Central Energy Fund (CEF) would jointly study a plan for a new oil refinery and petrochemical investment... 

Location a key discussion point as Saudi Aramco mulls South African refinery investment
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih with South Africa's Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Radebe insists IRP to be approved soon, amid Nedlac uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2019 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has reiterated that Cabinet could soon approve the long-awaited update to South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, despite persistent suggestions that National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) sign-off of the document is still... 

Radebe insists IRP to be approved soon, amid Nedlac uncertainty

African entities urged to be proactive in growing the continent's economies  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th January 2019 Africa is sitting on the financial periphery and the onus is on entities on the continent to take proactive measures to grow countries’ economies and drive market reforms, Deloitte Africa Emerging Markets MD Dr Martyn Davies said on Thursday. Speaking at the Deloitte Africa in 2019 Outlook... 

African entities urged to be proactive in growing the continent's economies
Deloitte Africa Emerging Markets MD Dr Martyn Davies outlines the strategy African entities should take this year to bolster economies on the continent. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

SARB holds rate as CPI outlook improves 

By: Reuters     17th January 2019 South Africa's central bank kept its benchmark repo rate unchanged as expected at 6.75% on Thursday, saying it had taken note of an improvement in the near-term inflation outlook. Governor Lesetja Kganyago said a significant drop in international oil prices and a less depreciated rand exchange... 

SARB holds rate as CPI outlook improves

SARB expected to keep rates steady after November hike

By: African News Agency      17th January 2019 South Africa's central bank is likely to keep its benchmark repo rate unchanged on Thursday after raising it by 25 basis points last November to stem inflation central bank expected to keep rates steady after November hikepressures.central bank expected to keep rates steady after November hike... 

SARB expected to keep rates steady after November hike

Brexit pushes UK to brink as government fights to survive

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2019 The UK stands at its most dangerous crossroads in decades after Parliament emphatically rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal and left her facing an uncomfortable vote to oust her government. The humiliating defeat on Tuesday evening, the biggest for any government in modern history, leaves May’s... 

Key African central banks to hold rates on inflation, oil prices

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2019 Africa’s key central banks are expected to hold benchmark interest rates at their first meetings of the year – albeit for different reasons. While the drop in oil prices could give South African and Kenyan policy makers room to hold off on further rate increases, currency pressures could keep the... 

Ramaphosa says Eskom challenges are being addressed

By: African News Agency      16th January 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said that government was taking necessary steps to address challenges faced by Eskom as it remained an albatross around the country's neck. Ramaphosa was speaking at a breakfast meeting with TeamSA.  

 Ramaphosa says Eskom challenges are being addressed
President Cyril Ramaphosa

ANC will not tamper with central bank's independence – Ramaphosa

By: Reuters     16th January 2019 South Africa's ruling African National Congress has no intention to tinker with the independence of the Reserve Bank, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday, after the party said the central bank should broaden its focus to boost employment and economic growth. "There is no intention... 

ANC will not tamper with central bank's independence – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

AA predicts another fuel price drop for February

By: News24Wire      15th January 2019 The Automobile Association (AA) said on Tuesday that the fuel price would likely fall in February, based on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. The AA said the projected drop in the price of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin was due to international oil... 

 AA predicts another fuel price drop for February

'Find it in your heart, Eskom' – public's pleas on 'unbearable' tariff hikes  

By: News24Wire      15th January 2019 Granting power utility Eskom the 15% annual tariff hike it has asked for will only add pressure to already struggling households, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) heard on the second day of public hearings.  The energy regulator, which sets prices and tariffs for Eskom,... 

'Find it in your heart, Eskom' – public's pleas on 'unbearable' tariff hikes

Agri-hub seen as key post-mining-economy jobs driver in west Gauteng  

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2019 An ambitious plan to develop Gauteng’s West Rand into an agri-industrial hub, primarily producing high-value crops for domestic and export markets, is starting to take shape and is expected to be officially launched during the first quarter of 2019. The initiative has been branded ‘Bokamoso Ba... 

Agri-hub seen as key post-mining-economy jobs driver in west Gauteng
Photo by Sibanye-Stillwater
The programme is part of bigger plan to build a sustainable post-mining economy in the West Rand

ANC puts jobs, growth at heart of 2019 election campaign

By: Reuters     13th January 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to create more jobs, boost economic growth and address racial inequalities at a rally on Saturday to launch the ruling party's parliamentary election campaign. The vote, expected in May, will be a test of whether Ramaphosa has been able to reverse a decline in... 

ANC says central bank should broaden economic focus

By: Reuters     13th January 2019 South Africa's ruling party said on Saturday the central bank should broaden its focus to include boosting employment and economic growth, a move that will worry investors already concerned about the direction of economic policy. The African National Congress (ANC), which has governed South... 

ANC says central bank should broaden economic focus
President Cyril Ramaphosa

OECD, Sars, Treasury sign MoC for taxation collaboration

By: Simone Liedtke     11th January 2019 The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the National Treasury on Friday signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC), in which all parties agreed to continue working together in the area of taxation. The MoC is in place until... 

Reserve Bank seen on hold on Jan 17, hike in May

By: Reuters     11th January 2019 South Africa's Reserve Bank will leave interest rates at 6.75% on Jan. 17, all 27 economists polled by Reuters in the past four days said, but rising inflation means it is likely to hike them in May. May's expected hike to 7.00% would follow a surprise increase by the bank two months ago and is... 

Ramaphosa calls on private sector to assist with fighting corruption  

By: News24Wire      11th January 2019 Corruption has become a big issue that has to be addressed by the whole nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday. Ramaphosa told business leaders at a meeting in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall, that a number of issues, especially corruption, were hampering economic development in the... 

Ramaphosa calls on private sector to assist with fighting corruption
President Cyril Ramaphosa

SACCI business confidence dips in December

By: News24Wire      10th January 2019 The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI's) Business Confidence Index (BCI) fell marginally in December 2018, signalling "little real progress in economic performance”. The BCI index came in at 95.2 index points for December 2018, a decrease of 0.9 index points month-on-month. 

SACCI business confidence dips in December

May stares into Brexit abyss as Parliament takes control

By: Bloomberg     10th January 2019 Theresa May is openly contemplating a Brexit “Plan B” amid growing signs that the British Parliament will reject the deal she’s reached with the European Union and try to take charge of what happens next. On Wednesday, the prime minister suffered her second defeat in two days in the House of... 

Work experience should not be a requirement for youth employment, says Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      10th January 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa told a crowd of African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) members on Wednesday that work experience should not be a requirement for young people when applying for employment. “Experience must not be a requirement that is used for young people to get jobs. I use the... 

City of Joburg appoints Manenzhe Manenzhe as CFO

By: African News Agency      9th January 2019 The City of Joburg announced on Wednesday that Manenzhe Manenzhe has been appointed as the new group chief financial officer, joining the City from Parliament where he served in the same capacity.  Acting group chief financial officer, Charity Wurayayi was late last year implicated in a... 

ABSA PMI ends 2018 on a positive note 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th January 2019 The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) ended 2018 on a positive note, reaching the best level of the year – 50.7 – in December. This was an improvement from the 49.5 recorded in November. 

ABSA PMI ends 2018 on a positive note

Rand to weaken in volatile trade this year 

By: Reuters     9th January 2019 South Africa's rand will lose over 3% of its value in volatile trade against the dollar this year, a Reuters poll of market strategists found on Wednesday, but should be cushioned by wavering expectations for US interest rates. The health of the world's two biggest economies - the United States... 

Rand to weaken in volatile trade this year

Global economic growth to slow to 2.9% this year – World Bank 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2019 Global economic growth is projected to soften from a downwardly revised 3% in 2018 to 2.9% this year amid rising downside risks to the outlook, the World Bank said on Tuesday. International trade and manufacturing activity have softened, trade tensions remain elevated, and some large emerging... 

Global economic growth to slow to 2.9% this year – World Bank
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva
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