Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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Dec 16, 2012

Labour leader turned tycoon Ramaphosa eyes S.Africa political comeback

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Anti-apartheid hero turned
businessman Cyril Ramaphosa offers South Africa talent and
experience as deputy leader of the ruling ANC, but his bid for
office shows that a new, black elite is struggling to rally the
century-old party’s impoverished base.

Ramaphosa confirmed on Sunday he will challenge for the No.2
post at this week’s party conference. But it remains to be seen
whether a man who retreated from public life to make a fortune
in investments can fire up enthusiasm among the millions of poor
disillusioned by broken promises in 18 years of majority rule.

Nov 12, 2012

South Africa’s Vodacom looking for sub-Saharan acquisitions

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Vodacom (VODJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking for acquisitions in sub-Saharan Africa, a sign the South African mobile operator aims to be a bigger player in the fast-growing continent.

The unit of British operator Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) also reported a 22 percent rise in first-half profit on Monday, helping its shares to a record high.

Nov 9, 2012

Lonmin to price share offer at 45 pct discount-sources

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Platinum miner Lonmin
Plc will price its $800 million rights issue at around a
45 percent discount on Friday, according to three people
familiar with the matter, representing the top of its expected
range.

Its biggest shareholder, Xstrata Plc, has not yet
decided whether it will take up rights in the issue, said the
people, all of whom declined to be identified because the
information is not yet public.

Oct 29, 2012

S.Africa’s Nedbank lifted by higher-risk lending

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Nedbank Group
announced on Monday that it is on track for double-digit
earnings growth this year, the latest South African bank to
benefit from a rise in higher-risk lending.

Hampered by weak corporate demand for credit, the country’s
big banks have ramped up unsecured lending – the profitable but
riskier practice of giving loans that are not backed by
collateral.

Oct 26, 2012

Anglo CEO exit raises questions about platinum

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Cynthia Carroll’s
resignation as chief executive of Anglo American has
highlighted the miner’s exposure to South African platinum, an
industry crippled by violent strikes in recent months.

Carroll, who stepped down on Friday under pressure from
investors over the miner’s lagging share price and continued
dependence on strike-hit South Africa, spearheaded investments
in iron ore and other resources to diversify beyond platinum.

Oct 22, 2012

AngloGold gives striking South African miners ultimatum

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, the world’s No.3 gold producer, has told striking South African miners to return to work or face dismissal, joining rivals taking an increasingly hard line against labor unrest that has choked off output.

South Africa is struggling to resolve violent unrest that has poisoned industrial relations and marred its image overseas. On Monday the commission investigating the killing of 34 miners by police on August 16 heard opening statements.

Oct 22, 2012

Goldman book was not meant to be an expose: author

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) vice president who publicly accused the bank of taking advantage of unsuspecting clients said he never intended his book to be an expose of practices at the Wall Street firm.

Preliminary reviews of Greg Smith’s “Why I Left Goldman Sachs,” which hits bookstores on Monday, have been lackluster. Critics say the book contains few revelations, given that it had been hyped as a “tell all” look at the investment bank.

Oct 14, 2012

South Africa labor turmoil hitting growth

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Two months of crippling labor turmoil are likely to force South Africa to look again at its economic growth forecasts, the central bank’s deputy governor said on Sunday.

Wildcat strikes that started in the platinum mines have left more than 50 dead and spilled to other industries, undermining investor confidence in Africa’s biggest economy and tarnishing President Jacob Zuma’s government.

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.

    • 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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