Reuters

  • Tapping Into Local Tradition: How AB InBev Hopes To Crack Africa’s Home-Brew Market

    InBev hopes to crack Africa's home-brew market By Reuters, 1:00 am

    Africa’s informal alcohol market is about four times bigger than its $11 billion commercial market, analysts say. Home brews have a strong tradition rooted in centuries-old African rituals. AB InBev needs to develop products affordable enough to tap the informal beer and alcohol markets, says InBev’s new Africa head. AB Inbev’s big rivals in Africa – Heineken and Diageo – have also launched lower-priced drinks made with local ingredients that are affordable for more people.

  • South African Ratings Downgrade Is Hurting Barclays Africa Exit Plan

    Barclays Africa exit plan By Reuters, 9:48 am

    The pool of potential buyers is shrinking that Barclays’ can sell shares to in its African business. Some institutional investors, including pension funds, do not allow them to hold an asset that’s sliding on credit ratings. Barclays is struggling to find one strategic buyer that will satisfy South African regulators and is looking to sell its remaining 50% stake in chunks. More than 80% of its revenue is in South Africa. “Banks are paying the price for political uncertainty that we’ve seen in the country over the past two weeks,” a fund manager said.

  • Fitch Joins S&P In Downgrading South African Credit Rating To Junk Status

    South African credit rating By Reuters, 12:25 pm

    Fitch said Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle will likely result in new economic policy. Downgrades to junk — first by S&P on Monday and today by Fitch — could see South Africa fall off some global bond indexes. This may force international funds that are prohibited from holding sub-investment grade securities to sell. There is still is a huge wealth gap between blacks and whites, Zuma said in his SONA address. Zuma’s presidency has been riddled with corruption accusations and money-related scandals. He has called for radical economic transformation.

  • New SA Finmin Wants It Both Ways: Maintain Existing Programs And Redistribute Wealth

    redistribute wealth By Reuters, 9:55 am

    Zuma fired former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan over the weekend. The ANC party is blamed for inequality in a country where 80% of the population is black, but whites own most of the land. New Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he will make unpopular choices to oversee radical economic transformation and redistribution of wealth. Gigaba also said said he will stick with budget plans to seek up to $2B per year in foreign funding. “We are not a bunch of wild gunmen running amok, gung-ho into Treasury…We are going maintain the programs that are being implemented,” Gigaba said.

  • South Africa’s Zuma Considers Stepping Down Early In Deal To Oust Gordhan

    Zuma considers stepping down early By Reuters, 11:31 am

    The ANC is having its most difficult time since the end of white-minority rule. Zuma agreeing to leave early could heal some wounds. “This could be the long-awaited compromise where Zuma agrees to go in return for some protection,” a political analyst said. Zuma’s offer appears as a way out but may not be enough to satisfy opponents. “We don’t need his offers. He must just go before destroying our country,” a senior ANC member said. In a sign of how divided the party is, Zuma was asked not to attend the funeral of anti-apartheid stalwart Ahmed Kathrada on Wednesday. Gordhan got a standing ovation.

  • The Face Of Stability, SA’s Gordhan To Woo US, UK Investors Ahead Of Moody’s Next Review

    Gordhan to woo US By Reuters, 1:01 am

    Gordhan is leading a team to London, Boston and New York provide an update on the most recent South African developments, “engage constructively with investors and share the government’s thinking behind its’ latest policy proposals.” Investors are concerned about rising political tensions in the ruling ANC, which is due to vote this year to replace President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader. For investors, Gordhan is the face of stability. Talk that Zuma might fire him has rattled financial markets.

  • Chevron Sells 75 Percent Stake Of South Africa Assets To China For $1B

    Chevron South Africa sold By Reuters, 10:52 am

    The deal includes 820 Chevron and Caltex gas stations, 220 convenience stores across South Africa and Botswana, a refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban, and other oil storage facilities. The Chinese firm says it will keep jobs and company names intact for up to six years before launching a rebranding strategy. Sinopec was the last remaining bidder in an auction to sell Chevron Corp’s South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana. The auction lasted more than a year and drew interest from French oil firm Total and commodity traders Glencore and Gunvor.

  • Airbnb Aims To Double African Customers This Year

    Airbnb By Reuters, 1:01 am

    Airbnb, a US-based online marketplace to list or rent short-term lodgings, expects to double its customer numbers in Africa this year to 1.5 million. Company CEO Brian Chesky was in Cape Town’s oldest township Friday to surprise graduates from an Airbnb training program. He described Africa as “an incredibly exciting emerging market for travel.” The top five Airbnb cities in Africa are Cape Town, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Casablanca, although listings are found from St. Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.

  • Weapons Buildup, Anger Fuel Threat Of Renewed Somali Piracy

    Somali piracy By Reuters, 9:38 pm

    Monday’s hijack followed a long hiatus, with only 4 unsuccessful attempts in the past 3 years. The lull encouraged foreign fishing vessels to return to Somali waters. Now shipping companies are scrambling to learn if pirates will once again threaten one of the world’s most important shipping lanes and cost the industry billions of dollars. Locals are infuriated at government failure to crack down on foreign fishing vessels. The last straw was when 7n Thai fishing vessels paid the local government more than $672,000 for fishing licences, A Bosasso-based weapons dealer said orders have increased for rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and ammunition.