Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 25 September


1) South Africa’s Economy Enters 70th Month of Downward Cycle
South Africa’s economy remains stuck in its longest downward cycle since 1945, adding to pressure on the government to implement reforms to lift business confidence and boost growth. The economy entered the 70th month of a weakening cycle in September, according to the Reserve Bank’s Quarterly Bulletin released Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria.

2) Sibanye Sees 5,270 Job Cuts as It Closes Three Marikana Shafts
Sibanye Gold Ltd. said it expects about 5,270 job losses as it enters talks over restructuring at the Marikana operations it acquired with the purchase of Lonmin earlier this year. “The proposed restructuring is contemplated to ensure the sustainability of the Marikana operation, which is not a going concern as an independent entity,” Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman said in a statement on Wednesday. View Share Prices For Sibanye Gold Ltd.

3) South Africa’s Rand Leads Emerging Markets’ Slide Against Dollar
Rand at weakest intraday level against the dollar since September 4. * Trades 1% weaker at 15.0147/USD by 12:57pm in Johannesburg * Yield on rand denominated government bonds due 2026 climbs 6bps to 8.33%; highest since Aug. 20.

4) South African Banks Prepare for Biggest Strike in 99 Years
South African banks are urging clients to use digital channels as the industry prepares for what could be its biggest strike since 1920. “Banks will be operating as usual on the day,” the Banking Association South Africa said in an emailed statement on Monday.

5) Pick n Pay Says Debt Will Jump to 17b Rand on Accounting Change
South African supermarket chain says adoption of IFRS 16 accounting standards means total debt, net of cash, will rise to 17b rand from 1.6b rand. * Move reflects switch to accounting for leased assets in line with owned assets * Pick n Pay’s property strategy is focused on leaseholds to allow it to be more flexible in operating and investment decisions. View Share Prices for Pick ‘n Pay Stored Ltd.

6) S. Africa Stocks Drop as Weaker Rand Drags on Banks, Miners Fall
South Africa’s benchmark FTSE/JSE Africa All Share index falls for the second day to the lowest in two weeks, as miners and banks retreat in the face of rising global risks. * Index drops 0.9% by 9:59am; has slipped back below its 50-, 100- and 200-day moving averages after climbing above them two weeks ago.

7) South Africa July Leading Indicator Rises to 103.9
The leading indicator rose from 103.2 in June according to data published by the reserve bank. * Index rises 0.7% on the month, falls 1.5% on the year * Coincident indicator rose 2.3% y/y to 106.1 in June.

8) African Free Trade Stumbles With Nigerian Blockade of Benin
Nigeria and Benin are embroiled in a trade dispute two months after signing an agreement to free up the movement of goods and services in Africa. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the partial closing of its boundary with Benin last month to curb smuggling of rice and other commodities.