Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 16 October


1) Eskom Power Blackout Rekindles Concern Over South Africa Ratings
Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the state-owned South African utility that provides about 95% of the nation’s electricity, implemented power cuts on Wednesday amid maintenance problems. The rand weakened as investors fretted about the effect on economic growth. Power shortages have been a major constraint on output in Africa’s most industrialized economy.

2) Mediclinic Outlook Healthy After Swiss Unit Changes
Mediclinic International Plc’s first-half trading was market-pleasing and the hospital operator is likely to meet its previous guidance for the full year as it makes good progress in adjusting to regulatory changes at its Swiss unit, analysts said. The company’s “tone is one of buckling down and operational consolidation,” Kane Slutzkin, UBS Securities South Africa analyst said in a note. View Share Prices for Mediclinic International Plc’s.

3) Rand’s Slide on Ill-Timed Blackout Shows Need to Fix Eskom Fast
The South African rand’s selloff today isn’t justified solely on the basis of Eskom’s announced power cuts, which aren’t scheduled to last long. But the rand’s depreciation toward 15 per dollar probably is — given the risks the behemoth poses to public finances and the economy. The market is understandably jittery ahead of a government policy paper being presented to the cabinet Wednesday on how to fix the utility.

4) South Africa’s PIC Would Need Assurances to Buy More Eskom Debt
South Africa’s Public Investment Corp., the continent’s largest fund manager, would need assurances about the financial standing of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. for it to buy more of the embattled state-owned power utility’s debt. There are a number of issues that still need to be adequately addressed for the PIC to consider buying more Eskom bonds, interim Chairman Reuel Khoza told lawmakers in Cape Town on Tuesday.

5) Momentum Metropolitan Declines Most in Two Years; Volume Doubles
Momentum Metropolitan Holdings fell 4.8% as South Africa’s benchmark index declined. Trading volume was more than double the average for this time of day. * The shares declined to 18.85 rand from 19.81 rand. * The South Africa FTSE/JSE fell 0.1%, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Europe, Middle East and Africa Index lost 0.4%. Market Metrics. View Share Prices for Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Ltd.

6) South African Coal-Export Line Halted by Transnet Train Crash
South African ports and freight rail operator Transnet said a coal export line between Thabazimbi and Lephalale in the country’s Limpopo province has been closed after a head-on crash between two trains. * Train with 100 loaded coal wagons collided with a stationary locomotive with 89 empty wagons late on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring two others, Transnet said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

7) Africa’s Biggest Fund Manager Splits Roles to Cut CEO Power
Africa’s biggest fund manager, which has been the subject of a governance probe, said it’s separating the roles of chief executive officer and chief investment officer after criticism that too much power was concentrated in the role of CEO.

8) S. Africa Retail-Sales Growth Slows for Second Month in August
South African retail sales rose at the slowest pace in five months in August. Sales growth decelerated for a second straight month, climbing 1.1% from a year earlier compared with 2% in July, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a statement on its website Wednesday. The median estimate by nine economists in a Bloomberg survey was for 1.7% expansion. Key Insights.