The Gupta family intend listing a uranium mine on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to raise R800 million, according to a report.]]> |||
The Gupta family intend listing a uranium mine on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to raise R800 million, the Beeld reported on Saturday.
On Friday the Guptas would list their energy company Oakbay Resources and Energy on the JSE to raise the R800m from investors for the development of the Dominium uranium mine.
Oakbay Resources owns Dominium, and President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane, was a director in one of the companies owned by Oakbay Resources.
This comes after the news last month that South Africa would embark on a large nuclear power program.
The family's holding company Oakbay Investments said in a statement on Friday that it was conducting a feasibility study in light of the expected increase in demand for uranium. - Sapa]]>
South African Post Office employees who are still on strike have until Monday to return to work or face dismissal.]]> |||
South African Post Office employees who are still on strike have until Monday to return to work or face dismissal.
“We urge all the remaining employees to return to work immediately so we can start rebuilding the Post Office.
“Failure to heed this call will result in the implementation of dismissal procedures with effect from November 24,” cautioned Dr Simo Lushaba, leader of the Post Office administration team.
Spokesman Lungile Lose said failure to strike a deal with Communication Workers Union (CWU) would not impact the recovery plan as most of the members of the other unions were already back at work.
“We can say with certainty that all new mail is delivered immediately when it comes through. Older mail will be cleared by December 16,” said Lose.
“The deal that was truck with the other two unions will also apply to the CWU members who have returned to work,” he said.
Lushaba said while Witpos and Tshwane Mail were impacted the most by the strike, they were now fully operational.
Germiston and OR Tambo International mail centres were not yet at full capacity, but there was some mail going through, he said.
Management finally took a no-nonsense stand to end the protracted two-month casual employees strike, which has caused the service provider major financial losses and backlogs.
Attempts to get the CWU to accept the 6.5 percent increase offered by the employer has failed, but management was determined not to let that prevent dealing with the service backlog that has been accumulated.
The other two unions, the SA Postal and Allied Workers Union (Sapawu) and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union, who collectively represent 61 percent of the workers at bargaining level, accepted the deal last week.
Sapawu president Andrew Sithole said they had accepted the offer in consideration of their members who also had bills to pay.
CWU is alleged to have stuck to their initial demand of a 7.5 percent increase and for workers to receive backdated portions for January, February and March and has refused to consider the financial losses SAPO has found itself in.
The Post Office recorded a net loss of R361.2 million after tax, a considerable increase of 59 percent from the previous financial year and was in desperate need of a bail-out.
“We believe it will be irresponsible for the leadership to accede to demands of CWU owing to our current financial position,” Lushaba added.
“It is absolutely impossible to agree on any guarantees, hence the conditions around our agreement with the other unions.”
Pretoria News Weekend]]>
Russia is considering cutting its oil production in a bid to revive prices, energy minister Alexander Novak said, as the ruble plunges in value.]]> |||
Moscow - Russia is considering cutting its oil production in a bid to revive prices, energy minister Alexander Novak said Friday as the falling price of crude along with Western sanctions over Ukraine have led to the ruble plunging in value.
“Is Russia ready to lower production to support prices? This question needs to be looked into carefully since the budget is strongly dependent on the price of oil,” Novak was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
“There is no final decision,” Novak said. “We are discussing the question. We are working inside the government on the expediency of such methods.”
He said all oil exporting nations are concerned about the slump in oil prices.
“This calls for careful analysis and possibly the development of some coordinated actions,” Novak said.
Russia gets around half of its revenues from oil profits and its non-diversified economy has been badly hit as global oil prices have fallen by more than 25 percent since June, coming at the same time as the West imposed economic sanctions over Ukraine.
Novak said however that Russia's planned production figure of 525 million tonnes of oil for 2015 “had not been revised.”
President Vladimir Putin said at the G20 Summit in Brisbane on Sunday that “the fall in oil prices does not affect Russia's budget.”
“I am sure that for the year as a whole, the prices (for oil) will be the same as we calculated in our budget,” Putin said.
Russia's budget for next year, passed by the lower house of parliament on Friday, is based on an oil price of $96 per barrel.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that if oil suppliers “see supply or demand is being artificially distorted... of course they have the right to take measures that will correct these non-objective factors.”
“We take this as our basis, so do many of our partners,” Lavrov said, after being asked to comment on Novak's statement.
Russia's oil extraction has exceeded 10 million barrels per day since 2010, rivalling top producer Saudi Arabia. However it has been predicted that its surge of production will fall next year due to factors including the depletion of key oil fields in West Siberia.
Western sanctions against Russia are now making it harder to gain financing and buy technology for exploration.
Supreme Court of Appeal rules that former National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Joe Hlongwane’s appointment was not legitimate.]]> |||
Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday put an end to a long-running leadership battle in NAFCOC in a ruling discounting the legitimacy of a previous president's appointment.
The judgement, from a panel of five appeal judges, in Bloemfontein, found that a meeting held in December 2012 during which Rev Joe Hlongwane was elected to the top position of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) was “not lawfully convened...
“The resolutions taken at the meeting were invalid and of no force and effect.”
As such, his rival Lawrence Mavundla - who was re-elected to the position on September 22, 2014 - is now positioned as “the duly elected president...for a further 5 year term,” said NAFCOC secretary general Monga Phala in a statement issued by the organisation.
In July last year, Mavundla and several others were suspended by Hlongwane for bringing the organisation into disrepute.
Previously in February, Mavundla and his group lost in the High Court in Johannesburg to have Hlongwane's leadership declared invalid.
In the Supreme Court of Appeal judgement NAFCOC was branded as “an organisation at war with itself... 1/8whereby 3/8 its members have, not for the first time, split into two factions.”
According to the NAFCOC website, the organisation is “an independent and non-profit business support organisation primarily, but not exclusively, serving the black community.”
Founded in 1964, NAFCOC puts its membership numbers at 156 000 and says its roots lie in early informal black trader organisations dating back to the 1940s.
A magnificent blue diamond has fetched $32.6 million in New York, breaking the world auction record for any diamond of its color.]]> |||
New York - A magnificent blue diamond has fetched $32.6 million in New York, breaking the world auction record for any diamond of its color, auction house Sotheby's announced.
The stunning 9.75 carat, pear-shaped diamond was bought by a Hong Kong private collector after 20 minutes of competitive bidding on Thursday evening, Sotheby's said.
The price also set a new world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond, the auctioneers said.
The jewel had been owned by Rachel Lambert otherwise known as Bunny Mellon, the art collector wife of the late philanthropist and racehorse breeder Paul Mellon. She died in March aged 103.
“Mrs. Mellon's diamond absolutely deserves the place in the record books that it achieved,” said Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby's jewelry department in New York.
It was the highlight of a collection of Mellon's jewels and objects of vertu that Sotheby's sold for more than $42 million in New York on Thursday, well above the pre-sale estimate of $19.2 million.
World stock markets and oil prices rallied following a surprise rate cut by China and as the European Central Bank indicated it would step up its asset purchases.]]> |||
NEW YORK - World stock markets and oil prices rallied Friday, fueled by hopes for global growth following a surprise rate cut by China and as the European Central Bank indicated it would step up its asset purchases to boost the euro zone economy.
The jump in oil prices briefly took beaten-down Brent back above $80 a barrel. US interest rates were little changed as the dollar gained and the euro declined.
Wall Street stock indices, including the Dow Jones industrial average and benchmark S&P 500 that closed at record peaks Thursday, advanced about one percent before easing back, but remained on track for a fifth week of gains.
“To the extent that you (have) duelling positive monetary policy statements in two places that we were concerned about a slowdown in economic growth, that's very good,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York
The Dow Jones industrial average at midday was up 108.92 points, or 0.61 percent, to 17 827.92, the S&P 500 gained 0.56 percent, to 2 064.31 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.44 percent, to 4 722.65.
European shares, oil and other growth-sensitive commodities all leapt on China's move to cut rates to 5.6 percent, following a string of recent data that showed its giant economy was heading for its worst year in almost a quarter of a century.
China's rate reductions were its first in more than two years. They came as ECB head Mario Draghi spoke of his determination to use more aggressive measures, such as large scale asset purchases, to ensure the euro zone doesn't slump into a new crisis.
Both the euro zone and China have lagged the momentum of the United States, stimulus-driven Japan and faster-growing Britain over the last month, but a ramping up of the ECB's rhetoric and Beijing's actions will stoke hopes of a turnaround.
Germany's DAX, France's CAC and the FTSE Eurofirst 300 were all up between 2 and 3 percent.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was up 0.70 percent.
The dollar index was up 0.75 percent, as the euro gave up more than 1 percent and was last at $1.2393.
The yen was up against the dollar. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday the yen's fall over the past week was “too rapid.” It was one of the strongest warnings against a weak yen since the aggressive stimulus efforts began two years ago and saw the currency leap off a 7-year low to 117.74
Benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes were up 3/32 in price to yield 2.32 percent from 2.34 percent late Thursday.
The rate cut by China added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim production at what looks to be a landmark meeting in Vienna on November 27.
Oil jumped and Brent traded above $80 a barrel before easing, and was last up 7 cents to $79.41.
Copper and gold also got a lift, with the red metal up 0.66 percent. Spot gold climbed back over $1 200 before moderating gains to $1 195.30 an unce, retaining a $2 gain, as traders cheered the prospect of more global stimulus.
Power cuts are scheduled to take place throughout the weekend, Eskom said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Power cuts are scheduled to take place throughout the weekend, Eskom said on Friday afternoon.
“Load shedding will recommence again tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday at 9am in order to build up reserves for the week ahead,” it said in a statement.
It said there were a number of reasons for the cuts that began on Friday afternoon.
“The power system is extremely constrained... due to unforeseen technical problems at power stations, depleted water reserves at our peaking power stations, which use water to generate electricity, and depleted diesel reserves to fire up the open-cycle gas turbines.”
Load-shedding schedules were available to Eskom's direct customers on its website. Customers could also contact their call centre for additional information.
Earlier this month, a coal storage silo at the Majuba power station in Mpumalanga collapsed, resulting in widespread power cuts. The silo held more than 10 000 tons of coal and affected coal supplies to all six units at the power station.
An investigation is under way.
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Michael said in a statement that she had heard reports on Friday that there was “another cracked coal silo at Majuba”.
She said the party was concerned about what was really going on at Eskom.
“... There is no information publicly available that sheds light on what is really happening at Eskom,” she said.
Michael said the DA would institute a Promotion of Access to Information Act application to compel the public enterprises department to release information on the matter.
A wage agreement has been reached with two of three recognised unions at the SA Post Office.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A wage agreement has been reached with two of three recognised unions at the SA Post Office (Sapo), it said on Friday.
The agreement would be effective from December 1, said Simo Lushaba, head of the intervention team appointed by Telecommunications and Postal Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
The agreement would be implemented immediately, subject to cash flow.
“The SA Postal and Allied Workers' Union (Sapawu) and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union (Depacu)... have agreed to an increase of 6.5 percent for the bargaining unit,” he said.
Sapawu and Depacu represented 61 percent of employees at bargaining level.
Part of the agreement involved converting part-time and casual employees to full-time employees from December 1, with full benefits becoming effective on April 1, 2015. The full conversion would be completed within 24 months.
“However, following concerted and single-minded efforts by all relevant stakeholders... the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents 39 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit, has stuck to the demand of a 7.5 percent increase,” said Lushaba.
The CWU wanted the increase implemented immediately and backdated to April 2014. It further wanted backdated portions to be paid for January, February, and March 2015.
“They have rejected all the conditions which are inextricably linked to the financial position in which the SA Post Office finds itself,” Lushaba said.
“The post office cannot afford these demands and 1/8the 3/8 ability to meet even the agreed increases depends on restoration of stable operations, recovery, and turnaround of operations.
“We believe that it will be irresponsible for the leadership of the organisation to accede to demands made by the CWU owing to our current financial position.
“Given our current cash flow scenario, it is absolutely impossible to agree on any guarantees, hence the conditions around our agreement with the other unions,” Lushaba said.
Cwele and Nene's intervention allowed Sapo to become a 21st century service provider, he said.
“We urge all the remaining employees to return to work immediately so as to proceed with the task of rebuilding the SA Post Office,” Lushaba said.
“Failure to heed this call will result in the implementation of the HR dismissal procedures with effect from Monday, November 24.”
The major mail sorting centres in Gauteng hardest hit by the strike, Witpos and Tshwane Mail, were 100 percent staffed and operational.
The Polokwane and Welkom mail sorting centres had also resumed operations.
However, the Germiston and OR Tambo mail centre were not yet back to full capacity.
US stock index futures rose on Friday, setting major indexes up for a fifth week of gains.]]> |||
New York - U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, setting major indexes up for a fifth week of gains, after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years to boost its cooling economy.
The People's Bank of China said it was cutting one-year benchmark lending rates by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent. It lowered one-year benchmark deposit rates by less - just 25 basis points. The changes take effect from Saturday.
China's move came after European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said “excessively low” inflation had to be raised quickly by whatever means necessary, kindling expectations the ECB will move to stimulate the euro zone economy.
Equity markets have expected other major central banks to step up their accommodative policies as the U.S. Federal Reserve scales down its stimulus program, which has been a pillar of a years-long bull market on Wall Street.
Shares of miners led gains in Europe, and U.S.-traded stocks of global metals companies were among the most heavily traded in premarket action. Rio Tinto, Vale and BHP Billiton rose more than 3 percent each.
Futures snapshot at 7:28 a.m. EST (1228 GMT):
- S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.67 percent, with 188,980 contracts changing hands.
- Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 30 points, or 0.71 percent, in volume of 31,191 contracts.
- Dow e-minis were up 119 points, or 0.67 percent, with 33,707 contracts changing hands.
European stocks extended an early rally on Friday morning, led by mining shares after China's cut interest rates.]]> |||
Paris - European stocks extended an early rally on Friday morning, led by mining shares after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years in an attempt to lift its cooling economy.
European mining shares, strongly affected by China's economic growth, featured among the top gainers, with Rio Tinto up 3.9 percent and BHP Billiton 2.9 percent. The STOXX basic resources sector index rose 3.4 percent.
“It comes right after China's disappointing PMI figures showing that manufacturing activity is getting dangerously close to contraction,” said Alexandre Baradez, chief market analyst at IG France.
“China's central bank is now following the path of the Fed, the ECB and the BoJ. Central banks are really driving markets.”
China's rate cut was in response to stalled factory growth and continued weakness in the property market, which are dragging on broader activity and curbing demand for everything from furniture to cement and steel.
“This comes as a surprise from China's central bank. They've been reluctant to use rates to boost the economy because of fears of fuelling a credit bubble, so this shows that they are increasingly concerned about the economic outlook,” Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni said.
At 1125 GMT the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 1.4 percent at a seven-week high of 1,375.18 points.
European stocks had already gained ground after comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi reignited speculation that the ECB will inject more monetary stimulus into the euro zone economy.
Speaking at a congress in Frankfurt, Draghi highlighted weak economic activity indicators from the bloc and said the central bank would broaden the size, pace and composition of its asset purchase programme if needed.
Euro zone banks, which have a high exposure to the region's economy and significant holdings of sovereign debt, rose 2.5 percent.
Italy's Banco Popolare was up 4.8 percent and France's Societe Generale up 2.8 percent.
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.9 percent, Germany's DAX index gained 1.8 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 1.6 percent.
French conglomerate Bouygues rose 3.7 percent after the chief executive of Altice said the group is open to buying smaller rival Bouygues Telecom.