Friday, 22 December 2017

The Guptas failed to meet loan repayment obligations in recent weeks and, with the EDC assessing a “political exposure” risk, it terminated the loan which allowed Canada’s Bombardier to sell a Global 6000 jet to them, the Globe and Mail had reported earlier.

Under a December 2014 agreement, the Canadian government’s export agency was financing 80 percent of the C$52 million ($41 million) cost of the aircraft, according to the Globe and Mail.

“I can confirm that the contract has been terminated,” Shelley Maclean, a spokeswoman for Export Development Canada said in an email when asked about the Globe and Mail’s story.

Bombardier said EDC was an an important partner. “We support them in exercising their policies as they see fit,” it said in an emailed statement.

The Gupta family could not immediately be reached for comment.

South African President Jacob Zuma has faced allegations that his friends, the businessmen and brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, have wielded undue influence over his government including influencing appointment of ministers.

Zuma and the Guptas have denied the accusations.

Last week, South Africa’s High Court ruled that Zuma must set up a judicial inquiry into state influence-peddling, the latest in a series of judicial blows to his scandal-tinged administration.

($1 = 1.2835 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Kanishka Singh, additional reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Adrian Croft (Reuters)

Published in Economy

South Africa’s rand traded flat on Friday in thin pre-holiday trade with previous gains spurred by the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new leader of the governing African National Congress party still largely intact.

Stocks were barely changed from Thursday’s close with low volumes ahead of the festive weekend.

The benchmark Top-40 index dipped 0.04 percent to 52,064 points while the All-Share index ticked up 0.05 percent to 58,800 points.

At 1150 GMT the rand was 0.04 percent weaker at 12.7600 per dollar, easing back slightly from a session best 12.6950 but still on track for the fourth straight week of gains.

The rand has gained nearly 7 percent against the dollar since last Friday, hurdling a number of technical milestones as it reached nine-month on investors betting the Ramaphosa victory would usher in economic reforms and business friendly policy.

As leader of the ANC, in power since the end of apartheid in 1994, Ramaphosa is likely to become the country’s president at national polls in 2019.

Bonds were weaker in a shortened day of trade, with the yield on the benchmark government issue due in 2026 adding 2 basis points to 8.715 percent. (Reuters)

Published in Economy
Friday, 22 December 2017 07:26

Benin withdraws Globacom’s licence

Benin’s telecommunications regulator has withdrawn the operating licence of Nigerian mobile telecoms company Globacom’s local unit in a dispute over new terms, according to a document seen this week.

The regulator, ARCEP-Benin, said that it took the decision after negotiations with Glo Mobile Benin to renew its licence broke down earlier this month after the company refused new conditions imposed by the government.

Officials with the parent company, which is owned by Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga, were not immediately available for comment. The ARCEP document did not say what the government’s new conditions were, but a source close to the regulator, who asked not to be named, said they included an increase in the cost of the licence.

Glo Mobile Benin said it had over 1.6 million subscribers in 2015, according to the most recent statistics available on ARCEP’s website.

Globacom also operates mobile networks in Nigeria and Ghana.



Published in Telecoms
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