Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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Aug 27, 2013

South Africa strikes escalate with petrol stations dispute

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 27 (Reuters) – South Africa’s petrol
station and car dealership workers on Tuesday announced a strike
for higher wages next week, signalling further labour disruption
to a struggling economy that also faces looming stoppages in its
gold mines.

Citing escalating living and transport costs, the country’s
leading manufacturing union NUMSA said its 72,000 members
working in petrol stations, automotive retail shops and car
dealerships would halt work from Monday “in demand of a living
wage and improved conditions”.

Jul 31, 2013

China’s ICBC targets commodity trade via StanBank unit purchase

JOHANNESBURG/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese bank ICBC (601398.SS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is in advanced talks to buy Standard Bank’s markets business in London for more than $500 million, sources said, illustrating a growing appetite in China to trade commodities as well as consume them.

One of the two sources familiar with the matter said the prospective purchase by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China would also include Johannesburg-based Standard Bank’s (SBKJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) currency and interest rate operations in London as well as raw materials trading including copper and aluminum.

Jul 31, 2013

StanBank to sell London unit to ICBC for over $500 million: sources

JOHANNESBURG/HONG KONG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Standard Bank (SBKJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is in talks to sell its markets business in London to its biggest shareholder Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (601398.SS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for more than $500 million, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The transaction would include Standard Bank’s commodities, foreign exchange and interest rate trading operations, said one of the sources.

Jul 31, 2013

StanBank to sell London unit to ICBC for over $500 mln-sources

JOHANNESBURG/HONG KONG, July 31 (Reuters) – South Africa’s
Standard Bank is in talks to sell its markets business
in London to its biggest shareholder Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China for more than $500 million, two people
familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The transaction would include Standard Bank’s commodities,
foreign exchange and interest rate trading operations, said one
of the sources.

Jun 14, 2013

Africa’s taste for a top tipple draws in luxury brands

LAGOS/JOHANNESBURG, June 14 (Reuters) – With its rows of
wooden shacks selling street food and cut-price haircuts, Lagos
island’s McCarthy Street isn’t the kind of place you’d think to
raise a glass of bubbly. But turn into a side door on one of its
ramshackle buildings, and there’s a small bar stocking Moet &
Chandon, along with Hennessey brandy, Johnnie Walker whisky and
Bailey’s liqueur.

The regulars at the Corner Lounge, which on a recent night
included a bar worker and a fitness instructor, don’t have money
to burn like Nigeria’s oil-rich elite, but they might still
splash out now and then on a $110 bottle of champagne, says
manager Peter Ode.

Jun 8, 2013

Nelson Mandela in ‘serious’ condition in hospital

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South African President and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was in a “serious but stable” condition after being taken to hospital early on Saturday with a recurrence of a lung infection, the government said.

The 94-year-old, who became the first black leader of Africa’s biggest economy in 1994 after historic all-race elections, has been in hospital three times since December. He has been battling the infection for several days, a statement said.

Jun 8, 2013

Mandela in “serious” condition in hospital

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South African President and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was in a “serious but stable” condition after being taken to hospital early on Saturday with a recurrence of a lung infection, the government said.

The 94-year-old, who became the first black leader of Africa’s biggest economy in 1994 after historic all-race elections, has been in hospital three times since December. He has been battling the infection for several days, a statement said.

May 20, 2013

Abil profit fall raises concern over S.Africa credit boom

JOHANNESBURG, May 20 (Reuters) – South African lender
African Bank Investments posted a 26 percent drop in
first-half profit on Monday, sparking a rout in its shares amid
concern that a boom in unsecured lending is starting to unravel.

Abil, as the bank is known, has helped to pioneer unsecured
lending in Africa’s top economy, offering high-interest loans to
millions of low-income borrowers.

Apr 12, 2013

Africa urged to drive harder bargains with China

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – For more than a decade African governments have rolled out the red carpet for Chinese investors, trading oil, coal, iron ore and other resources for badly needed ports, roads and railways.

But policymakers and executives, worried the flood of cheap Chinese imports is sapping Africa’s own manufacturing potential, say the continent must drive harder bargains with China.

Mar 22, 2013

S.Africa’s Bidvest bids for control of Adcock

JOHANNESBURG, March 22 (Reuters) – South African
conglomerate Bidvest offered around $665 million in
cash and shares for control of the country’s second-largest but
underperforming drugmaker Adcock Ingram.

Adcock reaps almost all of its revenue from South Africa
where it is dwarfed by local rival Aspen Pharmacare,
which has made an aggressive push into overseas markets.

    • 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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