Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 3 September

1) South Africa Dodges Recession as Growth Recovers From Power Cuts
South Africa averted a second recession in as many years after economic growth rebounded in the second quarter. The economy grew an annualized 3.1% in the three months through June, compared with a revised 3.1% contraction in the first quarter, Statistics South Africa said Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median estimate of 17 economists in a Bloomberg survey was 2.5%. It expanded 0.9% from a year earlier. The rand gained.

2) Xenophobic Attacks Shame South Africa as Regional Leaders Meet
South Africa has been hit by an outbreak of attacks on migrants from other African countries as the nation prepared to host a meeting of political and business leaders from across the continent.

3) South Africa Likely Dodged Recession as Lights Stayed On
South Africa may have dodged a second recession in consecutive years, but the outlook for the economy remains bleak. Annualized gross domestic product data, due to be released by the statistics agency on Tuesday, will probably show Africa’s most-industrialized economy expanded in the three months through June, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

4) Aspen Jumps Most in 19 Years as African Drugmaker Reduces Debt
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. surged the most in more than 19 years after the South African drugmaker said it had reduced its debt and delivered strong cash flows in the second half. View Aspen Share Prices.

5) Vox Investors to Buy Out Investec in $130 Million Deal
Vox Telecom SA shareholders including FirstRand Ltd.’s RMB agreed to buy out fellow investor Investec Ltd. as part of a 2 billion rand ($130 million) recapitalization for the South African fiber-network operator. Metier Private Equity Ltd. and the internet company’s management are also part of the transaction, Vox Chief Executive Officer Jacques du Toit said by phone.

6) South African Bank Stocks Reverse Losses as GDP Beats Estimates
Index of South African bank stocks gains 0.1% as of 11:53am in Johannesburg, reversing earlier decline of as much as 0.6%, as faster-than-expected economic expansion in 2Q boosts the local currency. * Absa +0.2%, Standard Bank +0.4%, FirstRand and Nedbank little changed * Retail stocks, which typically benefit from rand strength, also climb; index of general retailers rises 0.3%.

7) Eskom Breakup Could Begin With Spin-Off of Transmission Unit
South Africa, under pressure to save loss- making power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., should quicken the process of spinning off one of its units as a first step toward overhauling its operating structure, according to two people familiar with the options being presented to the government.

8) South African Stocks Fall as Hong Kong Events Weigh on Richemont
South Africa’s main stocks index drops 0.3% as of 9:45am in Johannesburg, falling for a second day, dragged lower by weakness in two of the benchmark’s biggest members — Richemont and Naspers. View Naspers Share Prices.