Tag Archives: Rand
Rand: Latest News
Kurt Davis Jr., 8:02 am AFKI Original
The economies of sub-Saharan Africa have felt the pain of 2015 and 2016, and African currencies have experienced volatility as a result. The year 2017 has been a partial year of recovery or adjustment, but there remain a selection of African economies that continue to experience issues with their currencies as a reflection of the problems that are affecting them at home. Here we take a look at four prime examples.
Staff, 11:08 am
Data from the big 12 retailers in South Africa show that they are putting their money into store refurbishments and IT instead of African expansion. Compare this to five years ago. The picture was very different. There was talk of aggressive store rollouts. Some South African companies have expanded into Europe and the U.K. to diversify earnings, but when the rand strengthened, those companies lost out. The customer focus is grounded in technology for the Big 12. IT is playing a critical role in investing in customers — building online capability, enhancing efficiency across supply chains and distribution, and reward programs to enhance client insights.
Dana Sanchez, 2:10 pm
The South African rand lost almost half its value against the U.S. dollar over the past five years as the country struggled through economic crisis. Zuma welcomed the investigation, saying the government is prepared to act against distorted financial markets “to protect our country’s economy.” He said the financial sector needs new players to diversify, and the government plans to establish a state bank. South Africa’s competition watchdog recommends fines of 10% of banks’ annual in-country turnover.
Dana Sanchez, 11:17 am
Hyperinflation in 2008 had Zimbabweans paying 50 billion Zimbabwean dollars for an egg and 100 trillion dollars for a weekly bus ticket. The U.S. dollar has been Zimbabwe’s main currency since 2009 but those are in short supply. Now it’s deja vu all over again as the Zimbabwe government forces bond notes into circulation, a move many feel is a ploy to bring back the Zimbabwean dollar. The central bank promised to keep a lid on issuing bond notes, insisting they are not an official currency and will have no value outside of Zimbabwe. The first test will be in the informal foreign exchange markets on the streets.
Staff, 5:34 pm
South Africa this week put on hold proposals to introduce a national minimum wage as part of an effort to stabilize the labor market. Labor upheaval is a potential risk factor to the country’s credit rating, which faces in the next two weeks a possible downgrade to junk status by ratings agencies. The economy has grown slowly in the last six years — too slowly to recoup the 1 million jobs lost during the 2008-2009 recession. Despite the gloomy numbers, the rand held its ground, propped up by firmer metal prices which boosted commodity currencies.
The South Africa rand jumped against the U.S. dollar on Monday after the country’s National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abraham dropped fraud charges that had been preferred against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. The rand gained 1.6 percent to the green back after the news reached the market, according to Reuters data. Gordhan was due to appear in court on Wednesday over fraud charges related to the approval of Ivan Pillay’s early retirement package
Dana Sanchez, 10:04 am
Since being reappointed finance minister, Gordhan has regularly clashed with Zuma loyalists after promising to fight corruption in a government regularly engulfed in corruption scandals. Ratings agencies S&P and Fitch have South Africa a notch above junk. Gordhan’s summons has led to speculation that South Africa will now be downgraded overnight. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said “when a government works well it should be a government that does not wage war with itself.”
Dana Sanchez, 10:39 pm
The rand is becoming one of this year’s best trades. As it continues to strengthen, ratings agency Moody’s said the chance of a credit downgrade for South Africa is less than 50 percent. A credit ratings cut is likely if economic growth falls below South Africa’s estimated 0.2 percent this year. However some analysts say the rand’s rally could be short-lived and it could fall back down to 17 per dollar before the end of 2016.
Dana Sanchez, 2:17 pm
Despite doom-and-gloom predictions by economists, this bit of good news for South Africa’s economy augments recent reports that South Africa regained its place as the continent’s biggest economy. Economic growth in the second quarter helped the country escape a predicted recession for the second time in seven years. The surprisingly strong growth mostly reflects a bounce back following the disaster of Q1, an economist said. Few expect the growth to be sustained.
Dana Sanchez, 9:51 am
South Africa’s 17 percent sales decline in new auto sales in July is the biggest since 2009 at the height of the global economic recession. “Despite the rand’s recent strength, what we’re experiencing now are the after effects of the currency’s weakness in months prior,” a stakeholder said. Despite the overall decline, certain classes of vehicles have seen sales increase. Toyota and Volkswagen dominate passenger car sales in Namibia. Ford and Isuzu are also strong.
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