Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 30 September


1) Solving South Africa Energy Crisis May Mean Lower Renewable Cost
South Africa is asking independent power producers to lower electricity costs as part of the rescue of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the insolvent state-owned utility. Renewable energy project developers will discuss potential solutions ahead of a follow-up engagement with the government on Friday.

2) Real, Ruble Among EM Currencies to Watch in Event of Trade Deal
The Brazilian real will be the strongest emerging-market currency performer in the event of a U.S.-China trade deal, while the Thai baht and Israeli shekel are among those that will be the least responsive, a Bloomberg analysis shows. Based on sensitivity to the yuan during periods of trade- newsflow driven markets, commodity-exporter currencies including the Chilean peso and the Russian ruble showed the most consistent and largest moves.

3) South Africa Probe Seeks Dedicated Healthcare Regulatory Body
A panel set up to probe South Africa’s private healthcare industry recommend the establishment of a dedicated healthcare regulatory body for the supply-side of the market, the Competition Commission says.

4) As Great White Sharks Disappear, Cape Town Searches for Reasons
Capetonians don’t know who to blame for the disappearance of their great white sharks: The orcas that eat them, the fishermen who sell their prey to Australia for use in fish-and-chips shops or gradual ecological change.

5) Transnet Profit Jumps 25%; Auditors Note Irregular Spending
South African state-owned transport company Transnet SOC Ltd. reported a 25% increase in annual profit, but received a qualified audit due to reported irregular expenditure. The company uncovered 41.5 billion rand ($2.7 billion) in irregular expenditure on locomotive contracts resulting, in part, in a second qualified audit in as many years and overshadowing profits posted for the 2018-19 financial year.

6) Capitec Destined to Be South Africa’s No. 1 Retail Bank
Capitec preferred by Citigroup among South African banks as “a proven disruptor,” with a 10-year outlook that remains positive, according to note by analyst Charles Russell (buy, PT 1,600 rand). View Capitec Share Prices.

7) Alibaba’s Luxury Venture With Richemont Goes Online in China
Richemont and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s luxury joint venture has gone live in China, presenting 130 brands in one location on the Tmall e-commerce site. Tom Ford, Brunello Cucinelli and Jimmy Choo join Richemont brands Cartier, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin on the site. Investors have awaited details on the partnership since the companies announced it about a year ago.

8) Barloworld Sees Short-Term Return on Equity Exceeding Its Target
Company recently completed budgeting and strategic planning cycle for next five years. * Most recent projections indicate, based on a target gearing ratio of 40-60% and executing several corporate actions, its return on equity uplift in the short-term “could be as high as 4%, which would then exceed our current ROE target of 15% by 2022” * These projections estimate our debt capacity is 10 billion-12 billion rand. View Barloworld Share Prices.