Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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Oct 13, 2012

South Africa police and protesters clash near mine shaft

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters hurling petrol bombs after a march on an Anglo American Platinum mine turned violent overnight, the latest sign of festering labor unrest.

Africa’s top economy is under increasing pressure to mend industrial relations. Almost 100,000 workers, mostly in mining, have launched often illegal and violent strikes since August, eroding investor confidence and already shaky growth.

Oct 13, 2012

U.S. court delays ruling on MTN $4.2 bln Iran suit

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 13 (Reuters) – A U.S. court has delayed
ruling on a $4.2 billion suit by Turkish mobile operator
Turkcell against South African rival MTN Group
, pending a Supreme Court decision on a separate case,
the two companies said.

Turkey’s largest cell phone operator sued MTN in a U.S.
federal court in March, alleging the Johannesburg-based company
used bribery and attempted trafficking of political influence to
win a mobile licence in Iran that was first awarded to Turkcell.

Oct 7, 2012

Wildcat strikes up stakes in S.Africa labour game

IKANINI, South Africa, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The rules of the
game in South Africa’s labour market have changed and the new
players are workers such as Tshepo Modise and Thulani Soko,
wildcat strikers at mining giant Anglo American Platinum
(Amplats).

They feel underpaid, stretched to the limit financially and
betrayed by established unions they say are more concerned about
ties with politicians and management than workers in the shafts.

Sep 18, 2012

Analysis: South Africa’s dithering strike response spooks investors

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – Wildcat strikes in South Africa’s platinum belt have entered a sixth week with no resolution in sight and investors are worried about the government’s inability to quell the unrest.

Critics say Pretoria’s response to the strikes has been slow and ineffective, exposing the ruling African National Congress and President Jacob Zuma as ill-equipped to handle crisis and lifting the chances of a credit downgrade.

Sep 12, 2012

South Africa mine protests hit world No.1 platinum firm

BATHOPELE MINE, South Africa (Reuters) – Labor unrest sweeping through South Africa’s mining sector hit top world platinum producer Anglo American Platinum on Wednesday, with stick-waving miners blockading roads leading to shafts and calling for a shut-down of operations.

At the firm’s Bathopele shaft in the heart of the platinum belt, a column of 1,500 chanting marchers confronted riot police who were backed by armored vehicles. The protesters jeered at workers inside the plant, a repeat of action taken on Monday at rival Lonmin’s nearby Marikana mine, where police shot dead 34 protesters on August 16.

Sep 7, 2012

Analysis: No easy recovery for Lonmin after crippling strike

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Even if Lonmin Plc seals a deal to bring all of its striking South African miners back to work, the world’s No.3 platinum producer still faces a long and costly road to recovery.

The group’s battered-down shares rose for the first time in more than a week on Thursday, on news it had signed an accord with some of the unions at the Marikana platinum mine after four weeks of strikes marred by deadly violence.

Aug 3, 2012

S.Africa’s surging stocks and sluggish economy

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Once again, South African
stocks are on a tear.

Drawn by earnings growth, fat dividends and expectations of
further Africa expansion, investors — particularly foreign ones
– have ploughed into Johannesburg’s retailers, banks and
industrials, sending the All-share index to another
series of record highs this week.

Aug 2, 2012

Turkcell says MTN case may not get fair trial in S.Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Turkish mobile operator
Turkcell said its $4.2 billion lawsuit against rival
MTN Group may not get a fair hearing in a South African
court, given its opponent’s longstanding ties to the ruling
African National Congress.

Turkcell also claimed in U.S. court documents filed on
Thursday that its witnesses could face intimidation from MTN if
the case were heard in South Africa.

Jul 11, 2012

South Africa’s Mondi to buy Oaktree asset for $782 million

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Mondi Group (MNDJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it will buy German packaging firm Nordenia International from Oaktree Capital (OAK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), in a $782 million deal that will give the paper maker a bigger presence in consumer packaging.

Mondi (MNDI.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which has largely focused on emerging markets with its $3.2 billion marketcap, said on Wednesday it will buy 93.4 percent of Nordenia from private equity firm Oaktree and other minority shareholders in a cash and debt deal.

Jul 11, 2012

S.Africa’s Mondi to buy Oaktree asset for $782 mln

JOHANNESBURG, July 11 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Mondi Group
said it will buy German packaging firm Nordenia
International from Oaktree Capital, in a $782 million
deal that will give the paper maker a bigger presence in
consumer packaging.

Mondi, which has largely focused on emerging
markets with its $3.2 billion marketcap, said on Wednesday it
will buy 93.4 percent of Nordenia from private equity firm
Oaktree and other minority shareholders in a cash and debt deal.

    • About David

      "David Dolan covers banks, consumer lenders and financial regulation in the world's second-largest economy. Before that, he covered Tokyo's stock market for Reuters and also did reporting stints on Capitol Hill and Chicago's City Hall. He was born in Ireland and grew up in Chicago."
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