Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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Oct 8, 2013

South Africa’s Telkom SA jumps on news of higher H1 earnings

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Shares in South African fixed-line operator Telkom SA (TKGJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hit their highest level in 20 months on Tuesday, after it said it was likely to report a 20 percent increase in first-half earnings, the latest sign that a turnaround is gaining momentum.

Telkom, in which the government and the state pension fund hold a combined stake of just over 51 percent, said headline earnings for the six months to end-September were set to rise more than 20 percent. The increase was partly due to lower finance charges and the fact that the previous year’s results were hit by a regulatory fine.

Oct 4, 2013

Strike-hit South African automakers face production halt

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Automakers in South Africa
could face a complete halt in production from as early as next
week, industry officials said on Friday, after a strike at
component manufacturers cut off the supply of parts.

The strike an industry that accounts for 6 percent of GDP is
one several this year threatening to hamper growth and further
dent investor confidence in Africa’s largest economy.

Sep 26, 2013

Beer, bling and China: the curious case of S.African stocks

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 26 (Reuters) – What do Peroni beer,
Cartier watches and Chinese online games have in common? Very
little, except that all three are behind the South African stock
market’s gravity-defying run in recent years.

Since recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, stocks in
Africa’s biggest economy have blithely weathered all kinds of
bad news – strikes, sputtering growth, credit downgrades and
waning consumer demand – to notch up a string of record highs.

Sep 11, 2013

South Africa’s Adcock board to back $1.3 bln offer from Chile’s CFR

JOHANNESBURG/SANTIAGO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – The board of
South African drugmaker Adcock Ingram on Wednesday said
it would recommend a $1.3 billion cash and share offer from CFR
Pharmaceuticals and the Chilean company promised to
transfer jobs to help win Pretoria’s approval.

Although the deal was first proposed in July, there have
been few details on how CFR would structure the bid or win
support from the South African government, which has a history
of scuppering cross-border takeovers.

Sep 10, 2013

South Africa’s Gold Fields says under U.S. SEC investigation

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African bullion producer Gold Fields said on Tuesday it was being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over a $210 million black empowerment deal involving a senior member of the ruling party.

Gold Fields, which is also listed in the United States and so subject to scrutiny from U.S. regulators, said in a statement it was being probed over the 2010 deal and the granting of a mining license for its South Deep mine near Johannesburg.

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.

    • 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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