South Africa: Latest News

  • South African Credit-Ratings Downgrade Results In Major Casualty

    South African credit-ratings downgrade Pioneer By Staff, 5:34 pm

    South African food giant Pioneer said the deal would have created Africa’s largest consumer goods company. The deal was 95 percent finalized when the country’s foreign-currency debt was downgraded to junk by S&P and Fitch. The downgrade followed Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle and removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. It’s not clear what impact the downgrade will have on M&A in South Africa. With economic conditions expected to worsen, companies could struggle and could go through a period of distressed sales.

  • Why African Banks Are Partnering With Fintech Startup Entrepreneurs

    fintech startup entrepreneurs By Tom Jackson, 12:36 pm AFKI Original

    Across Africa, banks are choosing to work with startups rather than compete against them. Citibank has run mobile challenges in Nairobi, Standard Bank has incubators in South Africa, and Barclays has just selected its second cohort in its Cape Town-based accelerator. Fintech startups are reimagining the concept, delivery and consumption of financial services in ways banks have been unable. However, such companies lack the financial clout and access to customers to ensure mass uptake of their solutions. Banks can offer them this.

  • World Bank Boosts African Startups With Business Acceleration Initiative

    World Bank Giving African Startups A Boost With Business Acceleration Initiative By Peter Pedroncelli, 5:36 am

    The World Bank Group has committed to supporting the growth of Africa’s digital economy with the launch of XL Africa, a business acceleration initiative that will provide a raft of benefits for the 20 most promising startups in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five months. African digital entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to be mentored by various global specialists, increase their visibility on the continent and receive access to corporate partners and investors.

  • South Africa Hosts Trials For Mastercard’s First Fingerprint Credit Card

    Mastercard's first fingerprint credit card By Dana Sanchez, 9:40 pm

    Mastercard hopes to roll out fingerprint payment cards globally by the end of 2017. South Africans’ willingness to try new technology and their familiarity with using biometrics for identification made the country an ideal market to test the payment cards. They’ll work with any card terminal around the world that accepts embedded chip technology. In the U.S., embedded chips are increasingly popular. Regulations make merchants and financial institutions liable for breaches resulting from a lack of support for chip-and-pin cards. Some merchants won’t have to get new equipment to accept fingerprint-enabled cards.

  • Want To Invest Outside South Africa? JSE Launches First Africa-Focused ETF

    JSE Launches First Africa-Focused ETF By Dana Sanchez, 4:53 pm

    An IPO today on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange introduced a new option for investors who want to add African exposure to their portfolios. The AMI Big 50 ex-SA ETF offers 50 African blue-chip companies outside South Africa. The IPO is a world first – an ETF offering exposure to a pan-African index that excludes South Africa. “A lot of people do worry about the liquidity risk, but being an ETF means that there is a secondary market on the JSE which allows investors in smaller quantities to trade exposure in and out of Africa,” a stakeholder said. The ETF is managed by Cloud Atlas, which plans to launch two more Africa-focused ETFs by July.

  • 12 Sub-Saharan African Countries With The Best Access To Electricity

    importing power from South Africa By Peter Pedroncelli, 3:25 am AFKI Original

    Many of us take access to electricity for granted, but only two out of every five people in Africa have decent access to energy to power lights and other electrical appliances throughout the day. Around 625 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. We take a look at 12 Sub-Saharan African countries with the best access to electricity.

  • Wayde Van Niekerk Given World Championship Double Opportunity

    World Championship Double - Wayde van Niekerk - Rio 2016 Olympic Games By Peter Pedroncelli, 2:20 am

    Wayde van Niekerk will have an opportunity to attempt a rare World Championship double, after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) cleared the way for him to run the 200m and 400m events at the IAAF World Championships, to be held in London between 4-13 August 2017. The development follows a special request made by Athletics South Africa (ASA), after Van Niekerk showed interest in attempting the rare double.

  • Under-The-Radar African Pension Funds Could Help Pay For Infrastructure

    African pension funds By Staff, 8:36 pm

    Pension funds are good news for infrastructure projects in Africa. Development banks and private equity funds are targeting pension funds in Africa as sources of investment capital. Four African countries hold 90 percent of Africa’s pension fund assets. Despite challenges, African pension funds are likely to make a substantial impact on infrastructure investment in the next few years. One promising trend is the rise of regional funds targeting pensions. They’re making a new source of African capital available to address the region’s infrastructure deficit.

  • 2016 Was A Bad Year For Private Equity In Africa. Commodities Prices Could Turn That Around

    bad year for private equity in Africa By Staff, 12:01 am

    The fall in African private equity investment in 2016 could be a short-term blip. Among the losers was US-based Carlyle, one of the world’s winningest investment firms. Carlyle invested $147m in Nigeria’s Diamond Bank in 2014. The bank’s market cap fell by 90% over the subsequent two years. Bob Geldof’s PE firm 8 Miles just invested in Blue Skies, a British fruit firm that operates in Africa. Utilities including telecoms were the most popular target for private equity investment in 2016. West Africa was the most active region.

  • Opinion: Getting Africa’s Energy Transformation Right Will Involve Policies, Investments That Boost Diversity

    Africa's energy transformation By Staff, 1:00 am

    Africa has an opportunity to pioneer the next investment frontier. Rather than treating new climate-related risks as hurdles to overcome, African policymakers should view them as opportunities for investment and innovation. To accelerate a market shift on the scale that Africa needs will require increased financing from export credit agencies, development banks, commercial financial institutions, and other cross-border sources.

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