Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 20 November 2018

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will pay back 500,000 rand (RM149,510) donated to his campaign fund by a firm with links to his son after admitting he misled parliament, an official said.

Ramaphosa has staked his reputation on fighting corruption after his predecessor Jacob Zuma was mired in graft scandals that finally led to his ousting earlier this year. Ramaphosa had told parliament that the payment in October 2017 was to his son Andile for consultancy work for Bosasa, a company that has contracts with government institutions.

But Ramaphosa later admitted it was a donation towards his own campaign last year to become leader of the ruling ANC party, a hard-fought battle in which he beat Zuma’s chosen candidate.

“The donation was made without his knowledge,” ANC official Zizi Kodwa told the SABC state broadcaster yesterday.

“He has decided voluntarily that he will pay back the said amount and he will call for further investigation on all donations that were made to the campaign.”

The main opposition Democratic Alliance party said Bosasa had won lucrative government contracts, adding “this looks suspiciously like all other ANC government corruption deals.”

A judicial inquiry is probing allegations that Zuma and some of his family members oversaw a web of corrupt government contracts.

The ANC and Democratic Alliance will face off in elections next May. — AFP

Published in Economy
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 12:51


JOHANNESBURG - The rand rose for a fourth straight session on Friday to end the week nearly 3% firmer, benefiting from political chaos in Britain and a revival of risk appetite linked to a thawing of United States (US)-Sino trade tensions.
Stocks ended slightly lower, with British American Tobacco taking the most off the benchmark index after the United States announced sweeping restrictions on flavoured tobacco products.
At 1530 GMT, the rand was 1.09% firmer at 14.0300.
Most of the gains were posted after the dollar wobbled as two Federal Reserve officials cautioned in separate television interviews about slowing global economic growth, raising doubts about the number of future US rate increases.
The rally followed Thursday’s strong gains, particularly against the pound, as Prime Minister Theresa May battled to salvage a draft Brexit deal.
Growing bets that the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) may raise rates at its policy meeting on Thursday supported the already attractive carry yield offered by the rand.
It outpaced most other emerging currencies against the dollar on the day.
In a Reuters poll taken this week, 16 of 26 economists said the SARB would keep its repo rate at 6.50% while the rest forecast a 25 basis-point hike.
Bonds also rose, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 paper down 4.5 basis points at 9.115%.
On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index was down 0.17% at 45,851 and the broader All-share index lost 0.1% to 52,095.
BAT slumped 6% to R495.67, tracking falls in its London-listed shares. On Thursday the US Food and Drug Administration announced restrictions on flavoured tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, in an effort to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts.
Investment house Reinet Investment was also under pressure, falling 6.7% to R215.58 after the company reported a drop in net asset value, a key profitability measure for investment companies.
Source: The Routers
Published in News Economy
There has been a sharp decline in the value of the pound with the rand strengthening to 17.97 to sterling on Friday.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been trying to gain support for her Brexit package but a number of ministers have resigned so far.
Economists are arguing that plummeting bank stocks are sending a clear message: a chaotic Brexit will plunge the UK economy into a recession.
However, May has called on her government to support the latest deal with the EU.
“If we get behind the deal we can bring our country back together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”
There was a dramatic market reaction to the resignation of key UK government ministers underscoring the steep price that the country is likely to pay if the country crashes out of the European Union without a divorce deal.
The resignations mean that the prime minister may face an uphill battle to win parliamentary support for the Brexit deal.
In the meantime, the rand has gained major ground against the pound.
May says she sees no alternative to the Brexit deal she presented earlier this week, amid reports that some of her senior ministers want her to renegotiate the draft agreement before meeting EU leaders next weekend.
“There is no alternative plan on the table. There is no different approach that we could agree with the EU,” May wrote in an article for the on newspaper.
“If MPs (legislators) reject the deal, they will simply take us back to square one. It would mean more division, more uncertainty and a failure to deliver on the vote of the British people,” she added.
Just hours after announcing on Wednesday that her senior ministers had collectively backed her divorce deal, May was thrust into her premiership’s most perilous crisis when Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned on Thursday to oppose the agreement.
Other mutinous lawmakers in her party have openly spoken of ousting her and said the Brexit deal would not pass parliament.
Brexit supporters say the transitional deal risks leaving Britain subject to EU rules for an indefinite period.
On Saturday Andrea Leadsom, the minister in charge of government business in parliament told the BBC that she was supporting May but was not fully happy with the deal.
“I think there’s still the potential to improve on the clarification and on some of the measures within it and that’s what I’m hoping to be able to help with,” she said.
Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said on Saturday that British pro-Brexit ministers were “not living in the real world” if they thought they could renegotiate the divorce treaty agreed with the EU last week.
Several British newspapers had reported that Leadsom was working with four other senior ministers and Brexit enthusiasts - Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling and Penny Mordaunt - to pressure May to change the deal.
Mordaunt, Raab, and five other top Conservatives - former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Raab’s predecessor David Davis, Interior Minister Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and Work and Pensions Minister Amber Rudd - are all “actively preparing” leadership campaigns, the Sunday Times said.
More than 20 Conservative lawmakers have written to call for May to go, and a total 48 requests are needed to trigger a leadership contest.
Press also reported Britain’s army had been ordered to step up contingency plans to help police maintain public order in case of food and medicine shortages after a “no deal” Brexit, citing an unnamed “well-placed army source.”
Source: SundayTimes
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn speaks during the beginning of the New York International Auto Show.
Carlos Ghosn, a legend in the auto industry has reportedly been arrested.
The longtime leader of the Renault-Nissan alliance allegedly engaged in misconduct.
Ghosn has been considered one of the most effective leaders of the past two decades in the car business.
Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn has been arrested, the Yomiuri daily said on its website on Monday.
The Japanese automaker said earlier on Monday that Ghosn had used company money for personal use and that it had been investigating possible improper practices of Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly for several months.
Ghosn is one of the most prominent auto executives in the world and a legend in the industry. He has presided over an alliance between Nissan and Renault that created a global automotive powerhouse.
Ghosn, 64, was until last year the CEO and Chairman of Nissan, when he gave up the CEO role.
Press reported that "Nissan said in a statement that it had been investigating Ghosn and another board member for months, and was now cooperating with Japanese prosecutors."
"The company said itsinvestigation found that Ghosn, 64, and the other board member, Greg Kelly, had been under-reporting Ghosn's compensation," 
Source: CNN
Published in Business
The National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, has said it sealed the premises of Nigeria Breweries Plc because of its refusal to pay the Federal Government revenue to the tune of N326 million in line with the National Lottery Act, 2005.
According to the commission, Nigerian Breweries Plc had conducted promotional lotteries valued at about N1.3 billion and failed to regularise such promo lotteries as required by the National Lottery Act, 2005.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the commission, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, adding that Nigerian Breweries denied the federal government N326 million revenues and continue to rebuff attempts to get it complied with the law.
He said the commission had statutory responsibilities “to enforce provisions of the National Lottery Act, 2005 and ensure the federal government is not short-changed in the transactions. The commission acted within its mandate.”
According to him, the commission would continue the clamp down on all illegal lottery operators anywhere they be found within the shores of Nigeria within the ambit of the National Lottery Act, 2005 and the National Lottery Regulation, 2007.
Gbajabiamila also described as unwarranted attack, the statement of the Director General of Nigeria Employees Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo in respect of the enforcement exercise against Nigerian Breweries Plc, insisting that the commission “will not be distracted in its bid to rid the country of all illegal lottery and promotional activities whether in the manufacturing, financial, telecommunication or any other sector.
“The action of the commission in closing down illegal lottery operations should not be misconstrued, because lottery activities are governed by law. Anybody or organisation that violates that law will be made to face the consequences of such violations.”
Gbajabiamila further noted that the commission “will not join issues with Oshinowo who prefers to hide under the guise of NECA to unleash economic sabotage on the federal government, instead of encouraging its members to comply with the law.
“The interest of the lottery commission is to ensure that organisations who wish to carry out lottery operations comply with the provisions of the National Lottery Act and not carry out such lotteries without due regards to the law.”
He however said the premises of the breweries have been temporarily reopened while the commission and the management of the company continues to interface.
Source: The Ripples
Published in Business
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