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Your source for the latest news, expert insights and interviews.

11 October 2016

CFO cocktail event closes Finance Indaba - exclusive insights from Euler Hermes

To close the Finance Indaba Africa in style, CFOs and FDs are invited to an exclusive CFO South Africa cocktail function, in collaboration with global credit insurance company Euler Hermes. One of Europe's most revered analysts, chief economist Ludovic Subran, will give a insightful talk about the biggest risks that (South) African CFOs are facing and the best ways to deal with it. To warm up for the main event, we asked Ludovic a few questions.

10 October 2016

Entertainment galore at Finance Indaba Africa, thanks to National Arts Council

The Finance Indaba Africa is the annual one-stop-shop for everything finance professionals need to know to grow their careers and help the country and continent prosper. It is only fitting that some of South Africa's most exciting home-grown artists will be on stage to provide the entertainment during the event Their performances are kindly sponsored by the National Arts Council of South Africa, with Young CFO of the Year Dumisani Dlamini as its driving forces.

10 October 2016

Accenture at the Finance Indaba: crucial insights into Zero-Based budgeting

"Zero-Based Budgeting is a new way of budgeting annually to allow business to prioritise and investing in activities that will drive competitive advantage and revenue growth," says Dr Madeleine Joubert, Finance and Enterprise Performance Lead at Accenture. "Companies should consider removing waste and freeing up capital that can then be turned to more lucrative activities. At the Indaba, we’ll provide them with the insights and expertise on how to achieve exactly that."

07 October 2016

SAP Business One invaluable, says CallForce's Annemarie Haywood

“Not only is SAP Business One key to the smooth running of daily operations and the business at large, but I personally have found it invaluable in the execution of my role as finance manager,” says Annemarie Haywood, finance manager at staffing solutions company CallForce. Annemarie will be part of a panel, hosted by 4most, at the Finance Indaba Africa on 14 October 2016 (see details below). We spoke to her ahead of the landmark event.

07 October 2016

AAT (SA): The professional home for accounting technicians

“The Association of Accounting Technicians South Africa [AAT (SA)] adds value where CFOs and strategic people need to make decisions. If you get the work right at support staff level there are less errors, the quality of financial statements should be better, you should see shorter month-end periods and cleaner audits,” says Nadine Kater, General Manager of the organisation. We had a chat to Nadine about the organisation and where it fits into the industry, as well as what value it adds to finance professionals.

06 October 2016

IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury criticises mandatory audit firm rotation

Mandatory audit firm rotation (MAFR) is often a "solution looking for a problem", says Fayez Choudhury, CEO of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organisation for the accountancy profession. "This is all the more critical in light of the costs of regulation to businesses trying to operate in a global environment, and possible unforeseen consequences," he writes in this opinion piece, in which he is critical about the South African Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) and its timeline to introduce MAFR.

05 October 2016

How transformation can help your business: a chat with SAIPA CEO Bongani Coka

You already know that your business can help move transformation forward through job creation and human capacity development. But do you realise that transformation can also help your business move forward? We talk to Bongani Coka, CEO of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), who will be presenting the amazing results of Project Achiever at the Finance Indaba Africa on 14 October 2016 at 14h30.

05 October 2016

Longer tenure mulled for joint-audits: IRBA CEO Bernard Agulhas

The mandatory audit firm rotation (MAFR) that will be introduced in South Africa next year might include incentives for Big 4 firms to partner with smaller, black-owned competitors. The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is considering to allow auditors to stay with the same client for a longer period, provided they enter into joint audits when their mandatory tenure comes to an end, says IRBACEO Bernard Agulhas. In this exclusive interview with CFO South Africa he also notes his disappointment about the negative response from CFOs to mandatory firm rotation.

04 October 2016

5 questions for Russell Glover about Finance Indaba partner Linxus

"The Finance Indaba is an ideal platform for Linxus to engage with key decision makers by demonstrating the value we can add to any business through our software products," says Russell Glover, managing director at Linxus, a a gold partner at the Finance Indaba next week. We spoke to him exclusively. Why is Linxus present at the Indaba? "Linxus is a Software Solutions business that specialises in the building and implementing solutions that drive operational efficiencies, reduce cost and mitigate risk. Our focus is on delivering appropriate and responsible solutions that are developed and implemented rapidly thereby addressing current business needs in a time frame that enables businesses to grow and or reduce cost, ultimately driving profitability in your business."

04 October 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: ACTSA champions treasury management

"Key to the CFO’s success is having a reliable “wingman” in the form of the Corporate Treasurer, who provides support in not only managing financial variable risks, ensuring access to and supplying liquidity to business operations, but also in identifying, assessing and preparing for potential threats to business liquidity which may not be patently obvious and are difficult to identify when part of the myriad of issues the CFO is contending with," says Nigel Grey, chairman of the Association of Corporate Treasurers of Southern Africa (ACTSA), a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

03 October 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Clean up your audits with the Auditor-General of SA

“We’ve always defined our service offering as audit and state of the nation type reports, but over the past five years, we’ve engaged with CFOs and accounting officers very proactively, especially around the basics of internal control that we believe can move them in the right direction," says Jan van Schalkwyk, corporate executive at the Auditor-General of SA, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

03 October 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: W.Consulting is your CPD partner

"Accounting professionals specifically, and finance professionals more generally, are faced with ever-evolving challenges arising from the expectation to remain abreast of standards and global best practices. Our role is to provide training opportunities that are flexible, affordable, relevant and of high quality," says Raymond Chamboko, director at W.Consulting, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

01 October 2016

SA retains top position for auditing and reporting standards for seventh year

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has welcomed the news that South Africa has been ranked yet again as the world’s number one for auditing and reporting standards, making it the seventh consecutive year that the country holds this position. As the audit regulator, the IRBA is the statutory body falling within the National Treasury mandated with the protection of the investing public through effective regulation of auditors to ensure high quality independent audits in which investors can place their trust.

30 September 2016

KPMG's Shirley Ivason-Wagener cautions against technology-enabled fraud

More sophisticated and data-driven processes within business operations come with increased online activity and agility on the part of employees, though consideration must be given to the fact that with this increased online activity is increased potential risk to the business –particularly the growing occurrence of technology-enabled fraud, cautions KPMG’s Shirley Ivason-Wagener, Partner and Country Leader, Fraud Risk Management and Ethics Advisory. There’s no denying that we live in a fast-paced digital era that is underpinned by this consumerism sense of instant gratification. As a result, companies are continually transforming their technology-driven business processes to maximise on efficiencies, as well as integrating different processes and systems and even enabling inter-company and global connectivity – aimed at remaining competitive. Today, technology is a significant enabler for fraudsters, where tech-savvy swindlers are using it in a variety of ways to perpetrate frauds. Cyber fraud continues to be identified as a growing threat to business.

29 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Bytes gets you ahead of the game

"Kronos WM applications are crucial in enabling greater visibility into labour activities for the purposes of effectively managing and maximizing worker productivity, controlling labour costs, tracking operational tasks and minimizing compliance risks," says Yolanda Krajnc, Sales Manager of Bytes Systems Integration, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

27 September 2016

Sibanye Gold CFO Charl Keyter talks risks and results

Charl Keyter was first introduced to mining as a child, when he used to visit the Gold Fields operations with his dad’s cousin. He was fascinated. “The atmosphere on the mines in those days was almost holiday-like,” he recalls. “Maybe because we only ever spent a day or a week there, every so often, but the facilities and the people living in the community, the activities they did with the kids, there was always this great atmosphere.”

25 September 2016

Edcon loses the battle; gets taken over

Struggling South African clothes retailer Edcon has been taken over by banks and bondholders, including Standard Bank, Barclays Africa Group and FirstRand. Furthermore, creditors in Edcon have agreed to substitute R21 billion in debt for equity control of the retailer. The retailer has been struggling with an over-leveraged capital structure for years. Having been taken private in a R25-billion buyout by Bain almost a decade ago, Edcon has been unable to to grow at a fast enough rate to pay down debt.

24 September 2016

Sasfin profits rise

Sasfin has successfully circumvented the effects of the currently tough economic environment to grow shareholder value by 29%. Operating profit improved 31% (from R232 million in 2015 to R304 million), while profit was up 23.7%, to R238.7m. In addition, total income growth was up 25.1%. Tyrone Soondarjee (pictured), Sasfin group financial director, speaking at the recent financial results presentation, said the group reported growth across all its divisions, bar Treasury and Transactional banking, which collectively declined in profitability from R10.39 million to R6.559 million. Soondarjee noted, however, that the Treasury division did show strong performance, with a stable deposit base of R3.32 billion. According to the FD, group costs increased 19.8% to R828.3 million, largely as a result of increased investment in risk, compliance and IT, along with the inclusion of FinTech in its cost base. The cost-to-income ratio improved from 71.07% in the previous year to 68.89%, thanks to its cost containment strategy, which Soondarjee said has been “key to manage and showed notable improvement”.

23 September 2016

Ramaphosa sells McDonald's SA franchises to Middle Eastern company

Shanduka Group, founded Cyril Ramaphosa (pictured) in 2001, has sold the local operations of McDonald’s Corp. to a Middle Eastern company, the Emirates-based MSA Holdings, for an undisclosed amount. In March 2011, Ramaphosa secured a 20-year agreement to run 145 McDonald’s restaurants in South Africa. Under the agreement, he owned all McDonald's assets in South Africa, including property. His sale of the franchise is in line with a previous statement he made saying that he would undertake a review of his business interests, in light of his position as deputy president of SA. The Competition Commission has approved the transaction for MSA to acquire the fast-food restaurants, as this would not present undue competition to local companies. The value of the deal has not yet been disclosed.

21 September 2016

Vitol, Burgh to buy stake in SA's largest coal terminal

Rotterdam-based Vitol SA and Johannesburg-based Burgh Group Holdings have agreed to buy a stake in Africa’s largest coal terminal, Optimum Coal Terminal (OCT), from a mining company owned in part by the Gupta family. According to reports, Vitol and Burgh will acquire the terminal, which has a 7.6% stake in Richards Bay Coal Terminal, SA’s leading coal terminal with an annual capacity of 91 million tonnes, from Tegeta Exploration and Resources. Quinton van der Burgh (pictured), CEO of Burgh Group, said:

20 September 2016

Talent and diversity make finance strong: Dineo Molefe, CFO T-Systems

Dineo Molefe took on the role of chief financial officer of T-Systems at the beginning of May. She oversees both the Johannesburg and Cape Town teams, with 47 people and six direct reports looking to her for guidance. She strongly believes the secret to a solid and successful team is having exceptional and talented people. In her words, a varied skills base is also very important: “You have to have a diversity of skills and backgrounds. When you have people who all think the same that doesn’t help the team. Diversity of mindset is also important. And you need people who are self-starters.” CFO South Africa caught up with Dineo to find out how the first few months have been. How are you enjoying your new role? Have you encountered any challenges since you took office? What changes have you made, if any? “It was a bit of a hit and run to start! Within finance we have Controlling, Corporate Finance, Commercial, Procurement, and Legal. The role provides a good balance between being strategically focused and being involved in operations. Our finance team is embarking on a journey to transform itself and to be more of a business partner, so that we play our role in being an enabler to business and not a stumbling block.”

19 September 2016

European firms benefit from audit rotation, says former Heineken CFO

The introduction of mandatory audit firm rotation has worked out advantageously for European companies, says René Hooft Graafland, who recently stepped down as global CFO at the Dutch brewing giant Heineken. He says that benefits include lower audit fees, a more efficient audit plan and new insights, as the new audit team approaches the company with fresh eyes. “But I do believe the rotation period should be at least twelve years.”

17 September 2016

KPMG Africa Banking survey shows customers want more from their banks

KPMG has released its latest Africa Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey, which has revealed that customers are still unsatisfied about financial stability, and are seeking more from their banks than what they’re currently getting, especially as far as service, innovation and convenience are concerned. Pierre Fourie (pictured), KPMG Partner in Financial Services, says it is imperative to appreciate the individual customer. He said:

16 September 2016

Grandeur and great conversations during CFO Awards judges dinner

Conversation flowed and sumptuous food was enjoyed during a inspirational get-together of the panel of judges for the 2017 CFO Awards. One of the highlights of the evening was the judging panel welcoming Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, in their midst. Wiseman is South Africa's first black Chartered Accountant and an incredibly experienced boardroom expert. CFO SA Graham Fehrsen thanked him for adding even more gravitas and quality to the - already impressive - judging panel.

16 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Deloitte is your full-suite partner

"CFOs tend to think of the Deloitte business as providing audit, assurance and tax services, but we also have a strong human capital consulting business and a risk advisory business with a strong capacity around cyber, general risk management and forensics," says Kevin Black, Executive Partner for Clients & Industries at Deloitte South Africa, a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

15 September 2016

Disrupt, or be disrupted - CFOs discuss digital transformation

“By show of hands, how many people in the room have begun a digital transformation project in the last 12 months?” CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen asked the crowd during his welcoming at the first Johannesburg breakfast event hosted by CFO South Africa on 15 September 2016. Virtually every attendant raised their hands. “So everybody is here to discover why it is not working or how to improve the ROI,” he joked to appreciative chuckles.

15 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Creditinfo is a data-driven solutions pioneer

"Credit bureaus have always played an important role within the financial sector providing information, solutions and services that ensure that creditors have the information and technology needed to make informed decisions." says Agata Szydlowska, Head of Financial Inclusion and CRB Awareness at Credit Info, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

14 September 2016

VBS Mutual Bank gives Pres Zuma a home loan

In order to repay state money spent on non-security upgrades to Nkandla, his private residence, President Jacob Zuma has taken out a home loan. According to a statement released by the president’s office, quoting spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, private, black-owned, unlisted VBS Mutual Bank granted Zuma a home loan on standard terms, to repay the R7.81 million – an amount determined by the Treasury in June this year. The statement further noted that the lender was “one of the few financial institutions which offer home loans in respect of land owned by traditional authorities”. In its judgement on 31 March this year, the Constitutional Court ordered Treasury to determine the "reasonable amount" that Zuma should repay. "As a consequence, the reasonable percentage of the estimated costs of the five measures that the President would have to pay personally would be 87,94%. This percentage corresponds to R7,814,155 as at June 2009," the Treasury report read. The Constitutional Court ordered that Zuma must personally pay back the amount, and gave a deadline of 29 September. According to Treasury, the government has already received Zuma’s settlement payment.

14 September 2016

Public sector CFOs and CIOs are trying to embrace the future

From medical emergency drones, to self-driving vehicles to a Google Hangouts gathering of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa and the Dalai Lama in Tibet: technology makes amazing things possible, as long as we embrace it. During a breakfast event on 13 September 2016, the energetic futurist Craig Wing challenged, educated, inspired – and entertained – a group of CFOs and CIO from the public sector and asked them some hard questions about technology: “Do you see a threat or an opportunity?”

14 September 2016

The fastest ROI you can get - Document Management Automation

"Need to know what your staff or suppliers are doing with your money? Want a dramatic improvement in cashflow, debtors and creditors management? We will share ideas and tools to gain visibility, improve cash flow and dramatically reduce the risks of e-fraud," says ROI specialist Johan Potgieter of Business Harmony, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

12 September 2016

Jacques Lubbe appointed CFO at Katanga Mining Ltd

Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Katanga Mining Limited, which operates a major mine complex in the DRC, producing refined copper and cobalt, has appointed Jacques Lubbe (pictured) as CFO, effective 15 October 2016. Lubbe, CA (SA) and a 2014 Top 35-under-35 finalist, previously held the CFO position at Katanga between November 2013 and February 2015. Prior to this he held the CFO position at Mutanda Mining SARL, another company within the Glencore group. He rejoins the Company from Glencore, where he has been Asset Manager from March 2015 to now. Lubbe takes over from outgoing CFO Matthew Colwill, who will be leaving on 15 October to pursue other opportunities within the Glencore group. Colwill will, however, remain available to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

12 September 2016

Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation is a good thing, says Nkonki's Mitesh Patel

“It is simply staggering that of the 353 audit partners who sign off on the financial statements of all JSE-listed companies, only nine are Black African – that’s just 2.5%,” says Mitesh Patel, Managing Director of Nkonki, a 100% black-owned audit and advisory firm. “Given the transformation imperative within the broader South African corporate context and our profession as a whole, there can be no doubt that Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation (MAFR) will assist in driving the transformation agenda.”

11 September 2016

Advocate Pansy Tlakula nominated as POPI Information Regulator

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) was signed into law by President Zuma in November 2013. Certain provisions of the Act relating to the appointment of the Information Regulator (responsible for monitoring compliance with, and enforcement of, the provisions of POPI) were made effective in April 2014. On 7 September 2016, the National Assembly voted in favour of the nomination of Advocate Pansy Tlakula (pictured) as Chairperson of the Information Regulator, as well as Advocate Lebogang Stroom and Johannes Weapond as full-time members, and Professor Tana Pistorius and Sizwe Snail as part-time members. Nikki Pennel, KPMG’s POPI specialist and attorney, said:

09 September 2016

Is your retirement scheme targeting good outcomes, asks Old Mutual's Andrew Davison?

Professional boxer and two-time world champion George Foreman once quipped: “The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, but at what income.” For every employee who dreams of a comfortable retirement one day, Foreman hit the nail squarely on the head with this statement. While the typical retirement age for South African employees is 65 years old, reaching this age is by no means a guarantee of a happy and financially secure retirement – even if you have been a member of your company’s retirement fund throughout your working life.

07 September 2016

SA economy expands by 3.3%, avoids recession

Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) reported that the South African economy expanded by 3.3% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) and 0.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) during the second quarter of 2016, thereby avoiding a technical recession yesterday – to the joy and relief of many. During the first half of 2016, the South African economy was just 0.25% y-o-y larger. This comprised a 0.1% y-o-y contraction during the first quarter and a 0.6% y-o-y expansion during the April-June period. The positive y-o-y performance during Q2 was due to growth in manufacturing, construction, hospitality, transport, communication, finance, banking, real estate and government services, outweighing a contraction in activity associated with agriculture, forestry & fisheries, mining, and public utilities. The finance, real estate and business services sectors – collectively the largest industry, accounting for 20% of SA’s GDP – grew by 2.9% q-o-q and 2.2% y-o-y during the second quarter. During July, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said that it anticipated growth of 0% in the economy during 2016, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it projected a mere 0.1% growth for the calendar year. According to KPMG, the outlook for the second half of this year remains less than optimistic, and the likelihood of a sovereign ratings downgrade still looms.

06 September 2016

As a leader, are you a router or a firewall, asks Futurist Craig Wing

“Leaders are sometimes unable to act. They stand frozen with too much information. But in today’s world you need to be able to act fast. In the context of how quickly the world is moving, you cannot wait for new information and rest on your laurels. The next big thing will be for leaders to act on imperfect information,” says Craig Wing, partner at FutureWorld International, an organisation that helps corporates understand the emergent future and how technology will affect their businesses. Bursting with energy and ideas, Craig will be speaking at the upcoming public sector breakfast on 13 September, where he will talk about some of the game-changing technologies currently shaping our world, and how best to use these.

06 September 2016

Changing mindsets and looking to the future, a chat with Brigid Mosola, Walter Sisulu University CFO

“When I came on board the staff were demotivated and unproductive. There was no teamwork and they did not trust in each other. It was a disaster,” says Brigid Mosola, CFO of Walter Sisulu University (WSU). In this exclusive interview with CFO South Africa, Brigid, who has been CFO for around 18 months, and who was recently placed on a precautionary suspension by the University’s new Vice Chancellor pending charges, speaks candidly about the state of the university’s finance department, the challenges of restructuring and building staff morale, and making unpopular decisions.

04 September 2016

Famous Brands buys UK burger chain for R2.1 billion

Listed fast food giant Famous Brands, which owns fast food outlets Steers, Debonairs and Fish Aways, among others, has purchased Britain’s Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), founded in 2001 and currently the UK’s leading premium burger restaurant, for R2.1 billion (£120 million at the time). According to Famous Brands, it intends to double the burger chain’s 75 British stores over the next five years. Kevin Hedderwick (pictured), Famous Brands group adviser for M&A and previously CEO, said he sees GBK opening 10 to 15 new restaurants in Britain per year. He added that the company intends to expand further in Ireland, and also bring the gourmet burger concept to South Africa. The transaction remains subject to approval from the SA Reserve Bank, in terms of exchange-control regulations, although Famous Brands has said it will fund the purchase consideration with cash accumulated in its business operations, as well as short-term funding as required. It was agreed in the contract that GBK’s team would continue to manage the business, and that no personnel changes are likely to take place. The acquisition is rated according to the JSE Listings Requirements as a Category 2 transaction.

02 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Get your treasury system firing with TreasuryOne

"As the leading treasury system solution provider with more than 40 implementations, our expertise will help any CFO who needs cash visibility, automation of daily treasury activities, risk management and segregation of duties," says Rudolf Janse van Rensburg, a director at TreasuryOne, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

01 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Modernise your accounting processes with BlackLine

"BlackLine’s Finance Controls and Automation platform delivers a fresh approach that increases the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of the financial close and other period-end activity is what BlackLine calls ‘Continuous Accounting’," says Mario Spanicciati, chief strategy officer of BlackLine, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

30 August 2016

Christine Ramon special guest at Digital Transformation CFO Breakfast, 15 September 2016

Clever implementation of modern technology can bring massive benefits to companies and is often the difference between bust or boom. During CFO South Africa’s annual Digital Transformation Breakfast on 15 September 2016 (7h00) we tap into the incredible experience of CFOs Christine Ramon (AngloGold Ashanti) and Wayne Koonin (Omnia) to explore the risks and opportunities a tech savvy finance team can create.

29 August 2016

IBM's Leslie Moodley: CFOs can become performance accelerators through technological advancement

Technological advances are disrupting the status quo and creating huge turbulences. Businesses are converging and unforeseen competitors are emerging. It is all about creating disruption and staying ahead of the curve, which is rising at a rapid pace. And amid all this change, CFOs still need to create profits for their enterprises, writes Leslie Moodley, managing partner Global Business Services, IBM South Africa.

28 August 2016

Retail growth prospects look poor for Massmart

Massmart, operator of brands including Game, Makro, DionWired and Builders Warehouse, among others, is unlikely to see increased sales until consumer confidence and spending in South Africa picks up. Massmart recently posted group operating profit growth of 19.2% (to R791.9 million), on the back of an increase of 8.7% in sales (to R42 billion) for the first-half of the year. The company’s gross margins came in at 19.3%, compared to 18.9% in the previous period. The group is divided into four divisions: Massdiscounters, Masswarehouse, Massbuild and Masscash. It’s the Massbuild division, which operates the Builders Warehouse retail arm, that is really feeling the squeeze. Massbuild grew total sales by 5.8%, while comparable sales grew by just 0.8% – worrying for a division that has historically performed very well. According to Massmart CEO Guy Hayward, (pictured) while Massmart intends to open 30 new stores in South Africa and another five in its African operations over the next two years, the remainder of 2016 won’t be easy.

27 August 2016

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta caps interest rate

Following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s (pictured) signing of a law capping the interest rates lenders can charge on loans, shares of Kenyan banks have plunged. According to reports, Kenyatta signed the law in sympathy with Kenyans frustrated by the cost of credit and poor savings rates. KCB Group Ltd., the country’s largest bank by assets, slumped the most, dropping to its lowest level since December 2012, while Cooperative Bank Ltd. plummeted the most on record. Equity Group Holdings Ltd., the market leader in terms of value, saw the biggest one-day decline in seven years. According to Bloomberg, after the stock market closed on Wednesday 24 August, Kenyatta announced that he’d agreed to changes to the Banking Act, requiring that lenders peg credit costs at 400 basis points above the benchmark central bank rate. The law also requires financial institutions to pay interest of a minimum of 70% of the CBR on deposits.

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