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Jul 30, 2014

Barclays focuses on corporate lending in S Africa

JOHANNESBURG, July 30 (Reuters) – Barclays Africa Group
is focusing on lending to companies in South Africa to
counter a drop in retail credit as the financial health of
households in its biggest market deteriorates.

The pan-African lender, majority owned by the eponymous
British bank Barclays, is also looking to the eight new
markets it acquired last year to boost profit but faces
competition from rivals.

Jul 17, 2014

Inventors struggle to protect patents in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, July 17 (Reuters) – When Malagasy entrepreneur
Andry Ravololonjatovo came up with the idea of a hi-tech
translation service named after a local bird, the Drongo, he
hesitated about registering the patent.

In many countries in Africa, protection of intellectual
property (IP) is still patchy or undeveloped, and many
innovators are put off by the onerous and expensive affair of
registering their products.

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 23, 2014

Expansion weighs on S.Africa’s Naspers earnings, shares fall

JOHANNESBURG, June 23 (Reuters) – South African e-commerce
and media firm Naspers, the continent’s biggest
company by market value, posted a surprise 2 percent drop in
full-year earnings on Monday after ratcheting up expansion
spending, sending its shares lower.

Naspers used 7.7 billion rand ($719 million) on development
spend, a 79 percent jump from a year ago. It also holds $1.6
billion offshore that can be used partially for acquisitions and
further expansion, its chief executive said.

Jun 19, 2014

Aide’s book describes ‘farcical’ aftermath of Mandela’s death

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Nelson Mandela’s widow was forced to get accreditation to attend his memorial service and could only bring four family members as his clan squabbled after his death, the South African icon’s former private assistant says.

Graca Machel, who became Mandela’s third wife in his twilight years, was frequently undermined by some members of his family, former Mandela assistant Zelda la Grange wrote in her memoirs, published on Thursday.

Jun 13, 2014

African tech start-ups dream of Silicon Savannah

JOHANNESBURG, June 13 (Reuters) – Young techies hunched over
laptops in small offices across Africa want to create their own
versions of California’s Silicon Valley and some are beginning
to attract investors prepared to take a risk in the hope of high
returns.

One such start-up, a South African social photography app
called Over, last month beat 19 others from around the world to
win funding from U-start, an advisor that matches mainly
European investors with fledging businesses.

Jun 13, 2014

S.Africa’s Telkom SA posts 35 pct rise in full-year earnings

JOHANNESBURG, June 13 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Telkom SA
reported an expected 35 percent jump in full-year
headline earnings on Friday but warned revenues from its
landline business would be under pressure.

Telkom said headline earnings excluding one off items rose
to 388 cents per share for the year ended March 31.

Jun 6, 2014

Investors ignore risk in favour of value on Zimbabwe’s bourse

JOHANNESBURG, June 6 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s stock market has
fallen so far from last year’s peak that some investors are
stepping back in to scoop up consumer-oriented African growth
plays.

A rebound in the southern African country’s economy between
2010 and 2012, after a decade-long slump, spurred Zimbabwe’s
benchmark industrial index to a record high 233.18
points last August.

May 29, 2014

S.Africa’s Telkom sees jump in full-year earnings on cost cuts, one-off items

JOHANNESBURG, May 29 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Telkom SA
expects to post a nine-fold increase in 2013 earnings
following a raft of belt-tightening measures and a hefty
writedown the previous year.

The fixed-line telecoms company said on Thursday that
headline earnings for the year ended March 31 were likely to be
772 to 789 cents a share, compared to a restated 86.2 cents per
share a year earlier, and analysts will be looking closely to
see how much of that is the result of the aggressive turnaround
strategy introduced by Chief Executive Sipho Maseko.

May 22, 2014

South Africa’s Telkom takes second shot at IT firm BCX, offers $256 million

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African telecommunications company Telkom (TKGJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) made a second stab at buying IT infrastructure firm Business Connexion (BCXJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) with a 2.7 billion rand ($256 million) offer, seven years after competition concerns scuppered its first bid.

Telkom, whose core business is providing fixed and mobile phone lines and data, has already begun the process of diversifying into information and communication technology services in common with many of its counterparts in other countries.