Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 5 December

1) South Africa Waives Control of State Airline to Try Save It
South Africa’s government will relinquish control of the loss-making national airline and give it an additional bailout in a bid to stave off liquidation. South African Airways will be placed under voluntary business rescue, a local form of bankruptcy protection in which a court-appointed administrator will take charge and try and turn it around.

2) South African Current-Account Gap Narrows Less Than Projected
South Africa’s current-account deficit narrowed less than forecast in the third quarter as outflows to foreign shareholders increased. The shortfall on the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, shrank to 3.7% of gross domestic product from a revised 4.1% in the previous period, the Reserve Bank said in a report released Thursday in Pretoria.

3) South African Stocks Look Set for Record Foreign Outflows
The foreign exodus from South African stocks has increased, setting up this year to have the highest outflows since the data was first compiled in 1997. An economy trapped in its longest downward cycle for more than 70 years has weakened consumer spending and drained the appeal of equities for non- residents. View Shares List.

4) South Africa Business Confidence Stays Subdued on Policy Delays
South African business confidence remained close to a three-decade low in November as companies continue to await decisive action by the government to revive the economy. A sentiment index compiled by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry rose to 92.7 from 91.7 in the previous month, the business group said in an emailed statement Thursday. Key Insights.

5) South African Stocks Steady as Outflows Stretch to an 11th Day
South Africa’s benchmark stock index is little changed as of 10:06am in Johannesburg as strength among mining stocks and banks counters weakness in benchmark heavyweight Naspers. * Market await the release of local current account data later Thursday * Foreign investors sustain their sales of South African stocks, with Wednesday seeing an 11th day of net outflows, according to data from exchange operator JSE Ltd. View Share Prices for JSE Top 40.

6) South African Ruling Party Regains Control of Economic Hub
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress wrested control of Johannesburg, the nation’s economic hub, back from the main opposition Democratic Alliance, when its candidate, Geoff Makhubo, was elected the city’s mayor. Makhubo garnered 137 votes against 101 for the DA’s Funzela Ngobeni and 30 for the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Musa Novela, according to proceedings broadcast on news website News24.

7) Rand’s Volatility Rises Ahead of Trade Data
The rand reversed early losses as investors took heart from signals that the U.S. and China are closer to agreeing the first part of a trade deal. They also weighed news that South Africa’s government will place the national airline under a form of bankruptcy protection to prevent its collapse. Current-account numbers due Thursday are forecast to show that the deficit narrowed to 3% of gross domestic product in the third quarter.

8) Botswana Keeps Key Rate at Record Low for Second Meeting
Botswana’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at the lowest level in at least 12 years as it seeks to boost economic growth and with inflation under control. The Monetary Policy Committee held the rate at 4.75%, Governor Moses Pelaelo told reporters Thursday in the capital, Gaborone. The MPC cut the benchmark by a quarter percentage point in August, the first reduction in two years.



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