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Macro and Micro News

IFC reports record 2010 African investments of $2,4bn

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2010 The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) increased its investments in Sub-Saharan Africa to a record $2,4-billion in the year to end June 2010, from $1,8-billion in 2009 - the first time that the IFC's yearly investments in the region surpassed $2-billion. A total of 31 countries... 

World Cup R1,5bn annual boon to economy 

By: Sapa     30th August 2010 The boost to the economy from the 2010 FIFA World Cup should increase tax revenue by R1,5-billion a year, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said in written reply to a Parliamentary question on Monday. Quoting estimates from the Union Bank of Switzerland, Patel said infrastructure... 

Grid unbundling not an immediate obstacle to private power - Eskom 

By: Terence Creamer     26th August 2010 State-owned power utility Eskom expects to sign agreements for 1 425 MW of conventional and renewable energy arising from independent power producer (IPPs) between now and 2013, as well as a further 1 000 to 1 500 MW of cogenerated capacity over the same period. Six power purchase agreements... 

Khula plans to make R1,6bn available to small enterprises 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th August 2010 Development finance institution (DFI) Khula Enterprise Finance will require about R1,6-billion in funding over the next four years to roll out its Khula Direct business plan, chairperson Malose Kekana said on Wednesday. In terms of the new business plan, Khula was aiming to lend funds directly... 

Gauteng to unveil industry sector plan within weeks

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2010 The Gauteng provincial government expects to unveil the identities of the business sectors that it plans to support under a refined provincial industrial policy action plan within weeks. Economic Development MEC Firoz Cachalia reports that a team from the University of the Witwatersrand has... 

Gordhan says South Africa needs to target sustained growth of 7% for 20 years  

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2010 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan believes it has become opportune for South Africa to proclaim a new “national intent” of pursuing an economic path that targets sustained gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7% for a period of 20 years. In a broad-ranging interview with Engineering News, held... 

Transnet plans to buy up to 100 locomotives a year for ‘a prolonged period'

By: Terence Creamer     13th August 2010 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet will aim to purchase between 75 and 100 locomotives a year over "a prolonged period" to reduce the average age of its locomotive fleet from 30 years to below 20 years, acting CEO Chris Wells reports. Writing in the group's 2010 annual report, released... 

Reserve Bank bill needs urgent attention – Gordhan

By: Reuters     10th August 2010 The potential destabilisation of South Africa's Reserve Bank by a few shareholders must be dealt with urgently, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday, adding that proposed amendments to the bank's shareholding structure would not affect its independence. Gordhan in May announced... 

Shifting emphasis

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2010 The South African government made a concerted, albeit belated, bid last week to shift the emphasis in the ongoing dispute between Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) and ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) beyond the narrow realm of corporate and legal rights to the realm of South Africa’s national interests.... 

SA fares well against peers in investment climate study – Davies 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     29th July 2010 South Africa had an opportunity to further improve its business environment, as perceptions towards the country were changing in its favour, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Thursday. Speaking at the launch of the World Bank's ‘Second Investment Climate Assessment', the Minister... 

Regulations now in place for SA's R20bn large project tax incentive

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2010 Regulations for South Africa's long-awaited R20-billion tax incentive for large-scale industrial projects have been published, potentially opening the way for significant new manufacturing sector investments. The incentive will officially continue until December 31, 2014, but could be closed... 

Commodity recovery to drive oil markets in Southern Africa

By: Terence Creamer     26th July 2010 Rebounding demand for Southern Africa's minerals and natural resources is stimulating demand for oil products within the region, a new report from Frost & Sullivan has found. But inadequate infrastructure and inefficient regulatory processes were increasing costs and undermining the security of... 

SA's competitiveness ranking does not tell the whole story  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd July 2010 South Africa's ranking of forty-fourth in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2010 had disguised a relatively impressive performance of the country in a number of the components on which the survey is based, competitiveness expert Dr Hischam El-Agamy told a Johannesburg audience in a recent... 

Yearly green investments of $440bn needed to meet climate target 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd July 2010 Some $440-billion a year of additional global investments would be required between 2010 and 2015 to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the levels outlined in the Copenhagen Accord, a new United Nations report argues. The ‘World Investment Report 2010', which was published earlier this week... 

SA confirmed as top developing country investor in Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2010 South Africa was the largest "developing country" foreign direct investor (FDI) in Africa between 2006 and 2008, with South African companies having invested an average of $2,61-billion a year over the period, which was even higher than FDI flows from China, whose companies invested an average of... 

Govt shifts iron-ore emphasis from corporate rights to national interest 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2010 The South African government moved on Thursday to further shift the emphasis in the ongoing dispute between Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) and ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) beyond the realm of corporate and legal rights, to one that was also sensitive to South Africa's national interests. The State's... 

SA to use outcomes approach to improve service delivery – Zuma  

By: Loni Prinsloo     22nd July 2010 South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday that the July Cabinet lekgotla, which focuses on planning to inform the budgeting process, was conducted within a focus of an outcomes approach to improve service delivery in the country. Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, he said that... 

Africa's expanding trade relations with Asia to spur growth in 2010 and beyond 

By: Terence Creamer     20th July 2010 Rising trade with Asia, and China in particular, has emerged as a key new source of growth for sub-Saharan Africa and will continue to be a core growth driver in 2010 and beyond, IHS Global Insight chief economist Nariman Behravesh said on Tuesday. Speaking to a South African audience at the IHS... 

MPs approve Reserve Bank Bill

By: Sapa     20th July 2010 Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Finance on Tuesday approved a Reserve Bank Bill designed to change the way that the institution is governed and prevent shareholders disrupting its operations for their own gain. Members of Parliament (MPs) approved the bill after a mere hour of deliberations,... 

OECD says activist currency policy to avoid overvaluation could benefit SA 

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2010 Greater policy effort to avoid currency overvaluation in South Africa "is warranted", a new Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report argues. In fact, the inaugural OECD Economic Survey of South Africa, released in Pretoria on Monday, stated that, despite the potential... 

Reduce carbon by making it dear, energy economist argues 

By: Terence Creamer     16th July 2010 In the absence of decisive intervention from governments, fossil fuels will remain the dominant energy source for the next 25 years to 30 years, despite strong growth in renewable-energy production and despite the build up of climate-changing carbon dioxide (C02) in the atmosphere, a leading US... 

IDC plans to inject R11,7bn into green industries by 2015

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2010 South Africa's State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) plans to inject R11,7-billion into ‘green' industries over the next five years as part of a larger R100-billion disbursement plan between 2010 and 2015. CEO Geoffrey Qhena indicates that the "green economy" has emerged as a... 

Disappointed by fall off in approvals, IDC sets R100bn five-year target  

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2010 South Africa's State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) reported funding approvals of R9,4-billion for the year to March 31, 2010, down from the R10,8-billion approved in the previous financial year. The decline in approvals was the first in five years, with the IDC having a stated... 

Government, business seek to sustain World Cup momentum

By: Loni Prinsloo     13th July 2010 The South African government on Tuesday met with the country's business leadership to further build on the positive sentiment created by the successful hosting the first FIFA World Cup on African soil. Speaking after the meeting in Pretoria, President Jacob Zuma said that investors from around... 

Trade conditions tighten – Sacci

By: Sapa     13th July 2010 Trade conditions have tightened, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Tuesday as it released the results of its Trade Conditions Survey for June 2010. The Trade Activity Index (TAI), which reflects current trade conditions, dipped by three index points to 48 in June 2010 as... 

The stadium showdown: Soccer City vs Bird's Nest 

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2010 Any doubts about the building prowess of South Africa's construction industry were dispelled decisively by the impressive delivery of the World Cup stadiums ahead of the 2010 FIFA tournament, which reached its dramatic conclusion late on Sunday night when Spain snatched a dramatic, late winner... 

Fall in rate of employment slows – survey

By: Sapa     12th July 2010 The fall in the rate of employment slowed between May and June 2010, a survey released on Monday showed. According to the Adcorp Employment Index, the rate of employment fell to a marginal annualised rate of 0,26% in June after a steep fall of 6,2% the previous month. Employment continued to... 

Siemens to invest €200m in Africa by 2012 as it targets sales of €3bn 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2010 Global technology group Siemens announced on Friday that it would invest €200-million (about R2-billion) in Africa by 2012, about €100-million of which would be directed to South Africa, in a bid to create the platform for a trebling of sales on the continent over the next two years. Speaking in... 

Manufacturing output expands 7,9%, growth may slow

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th July 2010 South Africa’s manufacturing output grew by 7,9% year-on-year in May and while this was lower than the 8,7% year-on-year growth in April, it was not necessarily as a result of economic weakness, an economist has said. Absa Capital senior economist Ian Marsberg said that the investment bank had... 

World Cup gives business confidence a boost

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th July 2010 Despite indications that the global economy may remain depressed over the medium term, the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup could boost domestic business confidence, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday. The chamber, which reported a 2,8 point... 

Renewables scale-up core to Zille's sustainability road map 

By: Jade Davenport     7th July 2010 Western Cape Premier Helen Zille officially released the Western Cape provincial government's (WCPG) strategic plan on environmental sustainability and resource-use efficiency in Cape Town on Wednesday, in which a target was set for generating 15% of the province's electricity from renewable... 

Red tape continues to stymie SA's foreign investors, report finds 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2010 It takes eight procedures and 65 days to establish a foreign-owned limited liability company in South Africa, which a new World Bank study says is slower than both the sub-Saharan African average of 48 days and the global average of 42 days. The ‘Investing Across Borders 2010' report - which... 

Africa rocketing out of recession

By: Keith Campbell     6th July 2010 Africa is the region that is growing fastest out of the global recession. “Our prediction is that this year the continent will have a growth of 4,5%, next year 5,5% and then 6%,” reported African Development Bank vice-president and chief economist Professor Mthuli Ncube on Tuesday. “This is a... 

Africa needs foreign investment to tackle infrastructure deficit

By: Keith Campbell     6th July 2010 The infrastructure deficit in Africa currently amounts, in monetary terms, to $1,5-trillion, African Development Bank vice-president and Chief Economist Prof Mthuli Ncube told Engineering News Online on Tuesday. And the continent probably can’t afford to finance all the required development from... 

Land reform delays cause uncertainty in the sugar industry

By: Eleanor Seggie     2nd July 2010 The ongoing land reform programme remains an area of significant focus for the South African sugar industry, reports the South African Sugar Association (Sasa).  

Sugar price volatility fears eased

By: Eleanor Seggie     2nd July 2010 Finance was a significant concern at the recent Kingsman Asia Pacific sugar conference in Singapore, reports market analyst and broker in the world sugar and biofuels markets Kingsman. 

World Cup to yield little for SA's manufacturers - Coface

By: Dennis Ndaba     1st July 2010 The direct benefits for South Africa's struggling manufacturing sector from the 2010 World Cup will be limited to retail- and hospitality-related manufacturers, with limited spinoffs likely for the sector as a whole, trade credit protection company Coface said on Thursday. Coface South Africa's... 

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