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Mar 5, 2015

Standard Bank posts strong earnings growth, raises dividend

JOHANNESBURG, March 5 (Reuters) – Standard Bank
posted a 20 percent rise in profit last year, after stripping
out the loss-making global markets division it is selling, and
surprised investors by raising its dividend 12 percent.

Shares in Africa’s largest bank by assets jumped more than 6
percent after it reported full-year headline earnings of 21.1
billion rand ($1.8 billion) after removing a 3.7 billion loss
booked by Standard Bank Plc, in which Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China (ICBC) is buying a controlling stake.

Mar 4, 2015

S.Africa’s MTN wary about growth in Nigeria

JOHANNESBURG, March 4 (Reuters) – Africa’s largest telecoms
provider MTN Group reported muted full-year earnings
growth and warned of possible headwinds as weaker oil prices
bring economic doubts to its biggest market in Nigeria.

The west African country contributed nearly 37 percent of
MTN’s total revenue, while its South African home market made up
about 27 percent.

Mar 3, 2015

African Bank’s lending below levels to sustain “good bank”

JOHANNESBURG, March 3 (Reuters) – Failed South African
lender African Bank Investments Ltd (Abil) is lending
at levels below what is required to set up a new “good bank”
using its healthy assets, administrators said on Tuesday.

The bank collapsed under a mountain of bad debt in August,
forcing the government to appoint external administrators to
oversee a restructuring that includes curving out a “good bank”
using its healthy assets worth 26 billion rand ($2.2 billion).

Mar 3, 2015

Barclays Africa FY earnings up 10 pct, eyes Nigeria licence

JOHANNESBURG, March 3 (Reuters) – Barclays Africa Group
has applied for a Nigerian banking licence and wants to
take over the Egypt and Zimbabwe units still ran by its parent
company, it said on Tuesday after reporting higher profits.

Like other South African companies, banks in the continent’s
most advanced country are setting up operations in sub-Saharan
Africa to tap growth from the robust economies there and hedge
against stagnating growth at home.

Feb 23, 2015

S.Africa’s Nedbank sees credit growth after lending buoys FY earnings

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 23 (Reuters) – An expanding loan book
buoyed South Africa’s fourth-largest banking group Nedbank
full-year earnings by an expected 13 percent and the
company said on Monday it expected recovery in consumer credit
demand.

The bank, majority owned by London-listed insurer Old Mutual
, said it expected that benign inflation this year would
ease some pressure that many of its consumers have been under.

Feb 11, 2015

Blackouts force S.Africans to cut reliance on erratic power grid

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11 (Reuters) – With power outages now a
daily reality in South Africa and expected to last for the next
three years, business and individuals are taking matters into
their own hands.

Africa’s most advanced economy is experiencing its worst
electricity crisis since 2008 with state power firm Eskom
implementing rolling blackouts as its old creaking
grid struggles to meet growing demand.

Feb 6, 2015

With African fashion in vogue, home talent shines

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 6 (Reuters) – When Michelle Obama and
Beyonce Knowles attended high-profile events in clothes made by
African designers, it was a sure sign that the continent’s
vibrant style has arrived on the world stage.

The showcasing of clothes from home-grown African designers
in stores in New York, London and Tokyo is a sign of a broader
change of attitude towards a continent which is earning a
brighter reputation beyond stories of war and disease.

Feb 4, 2015

Vodacom’s Q3 revenue down after S.Africa lowers connection tariff

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Lower call connection
tariffs and stiff competition reduced Vodacom’s
third-quarter revenue by 1.1 percent from a year ago to 19.99
billion rand ($1.76 billion), the South African telecoms
operator said on Wednesday.

South African regulators last year directed mobile phone
companies to lower termination rates, or the amount they charge
one another to connect calls onto their networks, saying they
were keeping tariffs high and hindering competition.

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.