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Dec 7, 2014

African insurers in vogue as incomes rise

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A growing middle class in sub-Saharan Africa is enticing European and South African insurers to buy local firms focussing mainly on life insurance and pensions, in the face of mature markets and strong competition at home.

Rapid economic growth in countries such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria has increased the number of people with money to spend on insurance to protect their wealth, while regulatory changes are encouraging the growth of domestic savings and pensions.

Dec 5, 2014

South Africans celebrate Mandela, rue broken promises

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africa marked the first anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela’s death on Friday with tributes to his struggle against white-minority rule and sober reflections on the country’s failure to capitalize on the freedom he fought for.

Veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle lay wreaths at the foot of a towering statue of Mandela in Pretoria, where crowds earlier sang “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (God Bless Africa), the evocative national anthem adopted after apartheid ended in 1994.

Nov 27, 2014

SABMiller, Coke team up to bottle Africa’s fizzy drinks

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 27 (Reuters) – SABMiller
and Coca-Cola will combine the operations which mix,
bottle and distribute their soft drinks in Africa, creating a
group with sales of $2.9 billion and ambitions to corner a
fast-growing market.

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa will be the continent’s largest
soft drinks bottler, accounting for 40 percent of all Coke
volumes sold in Africa. It will serve 12 southern and eastern
African countries, including South Africa.

Nov 26, 2014

Nigeria’s Access Bank sees ‘little’ impact from naira devaluation

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Access Bank
does not expect to take a hit from the naira’s
devaluation, its chief executive said on Wednesday, because many
of its customers are generating revenues in foreign currencies.

However, the devaluation will probably dampen foreign
investor demand for Access Bank’s 68 billion naira ($385
million) rights issue, Chief Executive Herbert Wigwe told

Nov 25, 2014

Tencent drives profit increase at South Africa’s Naspers

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Naspers, Africa’s
largest company by market value, on Tuesday reported a 22
percent increase in first-half earnings, helped by a strong
contribution from Hong Kong-based Internet business Tencent

Naspers, which has classifieds and e-commerce interests
across dozens of countries including India and Brazil, increased
revenue by 20 percent to 34.4 billion rand ($3.1 billion).

Nov 25, 2014

South Africa’s Steinhoff moves into clothes with $5.7 bln Pepkor buy

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 25 (Reuters) – South African furniture
firm Steinhoff International will buy 92 percent of
clothing retailer Pepkor, it said on Tuesday, in a $5.7 billion
deal that gives it exposure to the fast-growing African apparel

Steinhoff, a furniture retailer targeting budget-conscious
shoppers in southern Africa and Europe, said it will pay 62.8
billion rand ($5.7 billion) for the stake in Pepkor, which owns
the Pep brand that sells everything from school uniforms to
household goods to mobile phones.

Nov 14, 2014

Samsung expects squeeze in African growth

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics
expects its recent stellar revenue growth in Africa
to slow sharply this year as the continent begins to succumb to
the delayed effects of global economic weakness.

The South Korean company has achieved African annual revenue
growth of up to 60 percent in recent years through its
aggressive sales push on products from phones to fridges,
televisions and air conditioners.

Nov 13, 2014

Africa turns to sunshine to meet surging power demand

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Cut in half by the equator,
sunshine is one thing that Africa has in abundance.

Now a growing number of African enterprises are tapping this
under-utilised source to keep their businesses running.

Nov 10, 2014

S.Africa’s Vodacom lowers growth outlook, shares down

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Shares of South African
mobile phone operator Vodacom fell nearly 6 percent on
Monday after it posted a surprise decline in first-half earnings
and warned earnings growth would be slow over the next three

South African telecom companies are battling to return the
kind of double-digit margins posted over the last decade as
competing firms cut voice and data costs to gain market share.

Nov 5, 2014

Abil’s furniture firm owes big South African banks $53 mln

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Four of South Africa’s
biggest banks are owed $53 million by Ellerine, the money-losing
furniture firm that African Bank Investments (Abil) cut
funding to just before the lender collapsed, documents showed.

The debt reflects the extent to which Abil’s failure in
August has rippled across corporate South Africa, knocking
credit ratings, investor confidence and even hurting small
suppliers such as florists and panel beaters.