Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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Mar 10, 2014

South Africa’s rattletrap taxis move millions – and an economy

SOWETO, South Africa, March 10 (Reuters) – Zakes Hadebe’s
minibus taxi has nearly half a million kilometres on the clock,
a broken speedometer and a fuel gauge he struggles to keep just
above empty.

Yet by 8 a.m. on a recent Friday, Hadebe and his rattling
Toyota had already overcome rain, traffic and an ever-rising
petrol price to ferry nearly 40 commuters from South Africa’s
black township of Soweto to nearby Johannesburg.

Mar 3, 2014

Pistorius pleads not guilty to murder as trial starts

PRETORIA (Reuters) – “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius pleaded not guilty on Monday to murdering his girlfriend at the start of a trial with massive media cover that could see one of global sports’ most admired role models go to jail for life.

When asked how he would plead to the charges of the “unlawful and intentional killing” of 29-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, a somber-looking Pistorius told judge Thokozile Masipa: “Not guilty, my lady.”

Feb 22, 2014

South Africa’s Naspers ups its bet on e-commerce with new CEO

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 22 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Naspers Ltd
named company newcomer Bob van Dijk as chief
executive, looking to tap his expertise in e-commerce in line
with a strategy that has already transformed it into an emerging
markets force worth nearly $50 billion.

The company said in a statement on Saturday that Chief
Executive Koos Bekker would step down in April after 17 years of
explosive growth that turned the Cape Town company into one of
the world’s most valuable media and internet firms.

Feb 9, 2014

Sliding rand boosts and burdens South African companies

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 9 (Reuters) – For corporate South Africa,
the tumbling rand has been both a blessing and a curse: a
windfall for mining houses, it has also saddled domestic
manufacturers and retailers with higher costs and weaker
consumer demand.

The currency free fall has left a raft of companies -
including mobile operator Vodacom and the local arm of
Toyota Motor Corp – scrambling to contain the damage.
The government says it may even need to step in to support

Feb 7, 2014

CFR drops $1.2 bln bid for S.Africa’s Adcock, opening door to rival

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals
dropped a $1.2 billion bid for South Africa’s Adcock
Ingram on Friday, paving the way for Adcock’s largest
shareholder to overhaul the underperforming drugmaker.

CFR’s defeat was widely expected after South Africa’s
Bidvest Group lifted its Adcock stake to over 34
percent last month, giving it enough to vote down the deal.

Jan 31, 2014

S.Africa’s dogged dealmaker Joffe eyes Adcock victory

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Brian Joffe, the
hard-headed South African entrepreneur whose empire spans ships
to mops, has a favourite saying: “Why go into business to test
the waters? Go in to make waves.”

The 66-year-old son of Lithuanian immigrants made another
splash this week when he fended off a rival bid for
Johannesburg’s Adcock Ingram after months of jostling
for control of the drugmaker.

Jan 29, 2014

China’s ICBC to buy control of StanBank unit for $765 mln

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Standard Bank said
it would sell a 60 percent stake in its London-based global
markets unit to China’s ICBC for $765 million, as
Africa’s top lender scales back operations outside the

The cash deal announced on Wednesday also highlights the
growing global ambitions of Industrial and Commercial Bank of
China (ICBC), as well as China’s appetite to trade commodities
in addition to consuming them.

Jan 20, 2014

South Africa minister urges platinum industry to avoid strikes

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s ailing economy cannot afford more mine labor unrest, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday, after the platinum industry’s main trade union said it would launch a strike at the world’s top three producers this week.

A wave of sometimes violent strikes in the factory and mining sectors constrained growth to a sluggish 2 percent in 2013, hampering efforts by President Jacob Zuma’s government to create badly needed jobs as it braces for elections this year.

Jan 16, 2014

S.Africa’s Bidvest says to close Adcock offer next month

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 16 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Bidvest
Group will close its offer for a stake in drugmaker
Adcock Ingram early next month, it said on Thursday, in
what may be an attempt to speed up a takeover battle that has
been waylaid by delays.

Bidvest, a conglomerate that spans shipping to auto sales,
is attempting to thwart a takeover of Adcock by Chilean firm CFR

Jan 14, 2014

Turnaround king Joffe targets S.Africa’s Adcock to expand empire

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Brian Joffe, the
hard-driving South African entrepreneur whose empire spans
shipping to mop sales, has a favourite saying: “Why go into
business to test the waters? Go in to make waves.”

The 66-year-old son of Lithuanian immigrants may do just
that next month, when he is expected to block a $1.2 billion
Chilean bid for Johannesburg-based drugmaker Adcock Ingram, in
which his Bidvest Group owns a stake.

    • 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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