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CAPE TOWN - Good morning. This is all the latest business news that you need to know today. 

1. Sentiment sinks in retail and wholesale as BCI collapses to 20-year low

South Africa’s struggling economy was dealt a new blow on Thursday as business confidence plummeted to a 20-year low in the third quarter, while the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) said it did not expect growth to exceed 0.6 percent this year.

2. Mid-term Budget: Pressure mounts for government to cut costs

Pressure from the business community is mounting for the government to announce expenditure cuts in October’s Medium-term Budget Policy Statement in an effort to arrest the unravelling of the country’s economy. 

3. Aspen aims to reduce net borrowings and deferred payables in 2020

Aspen Pharmacare aims to further reduce net borrowings in 2020 to achieve positive free cash flows and significantly reduced deferred payables, the group announced at its annual results presentation on Wednesday.

4. Naspers loses 25 percent of Prosus, share price nosedives

Naspers tumbled more than 30 percent on the JSE on Wednesday after the South African media giant listed its valued assets on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in the Netherlands. 

5. Big 4 banks remain resilient with R42.49bn combined earnings to show

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has shown that a focus on digital strategies helped South Africa’s four major banks to deliver resilient growth, posting combined headline earnings of R42.49 billion for the period ended in June despite a challenging operating environment.

6. Materially higher tax burden to blame for SA's depressed business confidence

The materially higher tax burden on South Africans has been cited as one of the key factors behind the decline in the country’s business confidence index (BCI) and a consumption-led recovery is not anticipated for South Africa.

7. WATCH: Rand recovers overnight

The rand traded on the front foot during the early European session as global risk appetite was boosted by expectations that the ECB will announce a comprehensive easing package at Thursday’s rate-setting meeting, although the South African unit succumbed to pressures exerted by negative domestic releases later during the trading session according to NKC Research. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE