Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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Jul 7, 2014

S.African bank Abil’s shares leap on talks to sell furniture unit

JOHANNESBURG, July 7 (Reuters) – African Bank Investments
said on Monday it was in talks to sell its loss-making
furniture business, sending its shares soaring as investors
welcomed the possibility of fresh capital for a lender hammered
by bad debts and a credit downgrade.

Abil, as the South African bank is called, had its
international debt rating cut to “junk” by Moody’s in May,
reflecting widening concern about its ability to ride out an
economy weakened by months of labour unrest.

Jun 17, 2014

For Africa and its entrepreneurs, credit bureaus the path to growth

LUSAKA/LAGOS, June 17 (Reuters) – When Joyce Musonda wanted
to start a business two years ago selling kitchen tiles from her
backyard in an up-and-coming district of Zambia’s capital of
Lusaka, she braced herself for a battle to find a start-up loan.

Her predicament is common: around 80 percent of sub-Saharan
adults have no bank accounts and struggle to access finance from
banks reluctant to lend to new customers, especially the small
entrepreneurs for whom they have no history.

Jun 13, 2014

Nigeria military studies Sri Lankan tactics for use against Boko Haram

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria is studying the military tactics used by Sri Lanka to crush the rebel Tamil Tigers for its own battle against Islamist group Boko Haram, the defense ministry said, after holding talks with officials from the island nation.

Abuja has been criticized for its failure to contain the militant group, which has killed thousands since 2009 and has stepped up its devastating attacks after abducting more than 200 girls from a school in northeast Nigeria.

May 30, 2014

Head of South Africa’s influential $154 bln pension fund resigns

JOHANNESBURG, May 30 (Reuters) – The chief executive of
South Africa’s government pension fund has resigned, the fund
said on Friday, following three years at the helm of the
continent’s largest and most influential asset manager.

Elias Masilela’s unexpected resignation from the Public
Investment Corporation (PIC) comes just days after President
Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet, promoting former deputy
finance minister, 55-year-old Nhlanhla Nene, to finance

May 30, 2014

South Africa’s Abil tumbles after Moody’s cuts to “junk” rating

JOHANNESBURG, May 30 (Reuters) – Credit agency Moody’s cut
its international rating on South Africa’s African Bank
Investments to below investment grade, or “junk”,
citing concerns about spiralling bad loans and sending its
shares down nearly 7 percent.

Abil, as the bank is known, has been hammered as its target
market of low-income borrowers have been squeezed by inflation,
high levels of indebtedness and labour strife in the platinum
mines, forcing many to default on payments.

May 10, 2014

South Africa’s Zuma promises growth after army crackdown on protests

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma promised on Saturday to push through business-friendly reforms, signaling he would use a sweeping election victory to pursue economic growth in the face of leftist opposition.

His vows to create jobs and ramp up infrastructure projects came after his ruling ANC government dispatched its armed forces to quell post-election unrest in a Johannesburg slum, one of its more visible crack-downs on disorder in recent memory.

May 10, 2014

South Africa police arrest 59, army dispatched to calm protests

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police arrested 59 people and the army was called in overnight to quell post-election protests in a Johannesburg slum, police and media said on Saturday, as the ANC government clamped down on disorder following its victory at the polls.

Police on Friday used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse protestors in the impoverished black township of Alexandra who had burned tires and barricaded roads, spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said.

Apr 29, 2014

S.Africa regulator launches insider trading probe into Pinnacle shares

JOHANNESBURG, April 29 (Reuters) – South African regulators
are investigating possible insider trading in shares of
technology firm Pinnacle Holdings prior to the
announcement of an executive’s arrest, a senior official said on

The probe is the highest-profile investigation into
suspected insider trading on Africa’s biggest bourse in recent
years and comes after $135 million worth of stock market value
was wiped out in two days of declines in Pinnacle shares last

Apr 25, 2014

In South Africa platinum town, striking miner ready for deal

MARIKANA, South Africa, April 25 (Reuters) – After three
months without pay, striking miner Jeffery Shipulale is ready to
accept almost any offer from his employer, South African
platinum producer Lonmin .

“We will even accept 1,000 rand ($94). We are hungry, there
is no money,” the Mozambican national told Reuters as he and his
wife hawked tomatoes, onions, and loose cigarettes at a stand in
the ramshackle mining town of Marikana.

Apr 20, 2014

South Africa’s ‘spaza’ shops suffer as big retail rolls in

SOWETO, South Africa (Reuters) – In this corner of South Africa’s black township of Soweto, the biggest building used to be the Catholic church. Now it’s been overshadowed by a shopping center and business has only gotten worse for Grace, a 68-year-old shopowner.

Like many proprietors of “spaza” shops – the informal stores that dot township corners – Grace barely manages to keep afloat as more of her neighbors head to the mall.

    • 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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