Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 2 October


1) South African Ruling Party Shies Away From Endorsing Asset Sales
South Africa’s ruling party approved a range of proposals to revive economic growth, but stopped short of endorsing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s controversial plan to sell some state assets.

2) South Africa’s Risk Premium Limits Room for Rate Cuts, SARB Says
The South African Reserve Bank’s ability to cut interest rates to boost the economy is limited by political and policy uncertainty and inflation that’s still not sufficiently anchored at the midpoint of its target range. Investors pay a premium for South African debt to compensate for the risk of holding it and this constrains monetary policy by raising the interest rate needed to stabilize inflation, the central bank said in its bi-annual Monetary Policy.

3) South Africa Has Limited Room for Tax Hikes, Reserve Bank Says
South Africa has limited room to raise taxes because it may strain the economy, according to the Reserve Bank. “There doesn’t appear to be significant additional room for tax increases,” Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo said at the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy forum in Pretoria on Tuesday.

4) Platinum Is a Cash Cow for Miners, But Dividends Remain Elusive
Platinum miners have finally hit pay dirt with soaring prices and a weak South African rand. But the mood in the industry has been scarred by years of deep losses. Even though analysts say companies like Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Sibanye Gold Ltd. will reap their best profits in years, executives are cautious about restarting dividends. View Share Prices for Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.

5) Rand Erases Drop Versus USD; ANC Sees ‘Consensus’ on Economy
Currency gains 0.1% to 15.3181/USD by 11:51am in Johannesburg after weakening as much as 0.4%. * ANC has “broad consensus” on economic challenges, Secretary- General Ace Magashule says after meeting of party’s highest decision-making body.

6) Steinhoff’s Ex-CEO Fails to Stop 740 Million Rand Claim, BD Says
Former Steinhoff International Holdings NV chief executive officer Markus Jooste has failed to stall a 740 million rand ($48 million) damages claim, Business Day reported. Jooste lost a court application seeking to have Cape Town businessman Jaap du Toit’s case against him amended or dismissed as it lacked specific detail for him to plead, the Johannesburg- based newspaper reported, citing court papers it has obtained. View Share Prices for Steinhoff International Holdings NV.

7) Rand Extends Losing Streak on Economy Concern
The rand weakened for a sixth straight day as the central bank’s downbeat assessment of the South African economy added to concerns fueled by disappointing manufacturing data on Tuesday.

8) S. Africa State Pension Fund Against Forced Investments, BD Says
South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund and its asset manager, Public Investment Corp., questioned a push by the ruling African National Congress to force pension funds to invest a portion of their assets into government bonds, projects or entities, Business Day said.