Monday, 26 February 2018

South Africa’s Bidvest Group on Monday named Mark Steyn, the financial head of its freight business, as the next group chief financial officer after the trading, services and distribution firm posted a 12.5 percent rise in first-half earnings.

Steyn will replace Peter Meijer, who is retiring on Wednesday after 28 years with the company.

Steyn, who will take over from March 1, joined Bidvest in May 1997 and has held various financial positions within Bidvest Freight.

Bidvest, which is also involved in financial services, said headline earnings per share in the six months to Dec. 31 rose to 574 cents from 510.3 cents a year earlier.

The services, freight, and office and print divisions were the outstanding performers, with trading profit climbing 24.3 percent, 18 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively.

“This performance again demonstrates the benefits of our robust and diverse operating units, which collectively serve many key sectors of the South African economy,” group Chief Executive Lindsay Ralphs said in a statement.

The group declared an interim gross cash dividend of 255 cents per share, up 12.3 percent from 227 cents a year ago. (Reuters)

Published in Business

The ECOWAS Commission has signed a trade and investment cooperation agreement with the Republic of Turkey as part of efforts to deepen economic cooperation between members of the Sub-regional body and Turkey.

Signing the ‘Turkey-ECOWAS Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement’, is seen as a principal step toward institutionalising relations between Turkey and the ECOWAS Commission.

The two parties also welcomed the establishment of an ECOWAS-Turkey Joint Commission by signing the Turkey-ECOWAS Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement.

The development follows talks by representatives of 15 ECOWAS member-states led by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Mr. Kalilou Traore, with the Turkish government represented by the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Turkey, Nihat Zeybekci, at the first Turkey-ECOWAS Economic and Business Forum in Istanbul.

In line with the decisions taken at the first and second Turkey-Africa Partnership Summits, held in Istanbul in 2008 and Malabo in 2014, and the Turkey-Africa Economic Business Forum in 2016, Turkey and ECOWAS decided to jointly organise this business forum to foster closer cooperation between Turkey and West African states.

The business and economic forum brought together more than 500 Turkish and West African businesses which engaged in one-on-one business to business meetings to explore opportunities for business engagement.

In the meeting that led to signing the latest agreement, the parties decided to intensify their collaboration in several identified areas of interest.

They include: Ensuring finalisation of the legal framework for developing and promoting trade and investment cooperation; Increasing the trade volume in a balanced manner; and, Implementation of joint infrastructure and development projects.

Other areas also identified were: developing financing mechanisms for trade and investment; Improving the logistics connectivity between Turkey and ECOWAS member-states; developing trade facilitation in line with WTO Trade Facilitation Agreements.

It was also agreed to establish a dialogue between the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI), and to strengthen relations between private sectors through the establishment of Business Councils at the bilateral level, inter alia.

To achieve these objectives, the Turkish side indicated its readiness to enter into negotiations for Free Trade Agreements, considering the priorities and specificities of the ECOWAS member-states.

ECOWAS, however, indicated it intended to consider the proposal at the appropriate level.

At the Forum, the parties noted with great satisfaction the growing and diversifying Turkey-ECOWAS partnership.


Published in Business

South Africa’s rand hit a fresh three-year high against a weaker dollar in early trade on Monday, amid talk that President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to announce a new cabinet this week.
At 0627 GMT, the rand was at 11.5300 per dollar, 0.11 percent firmer than its New York close on Friday.

The currency hit 11.5100/dollar earlier in the session, its firmest since February 2015.

Ramaphosa has said he is considering a cabinet reshuffle after replacing former leader Jacob Zuma. The former president’s nine-year rule was marred by a series of scandals. Ramaphosa has pledged to fight official corruption.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 4 basis points to 7.995 percent, reflecting stronger bond prices. (Reuters)

Published in Economy
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