Gono reassures foreign-owned banks in Harare

Zimbabwe’s central bank chief yesterday dismissed government threats to seize foreign-owned banks that failed to meet black ownership requirements, in a rare public rebuke of colleagues. Gideon Gono – a close ally of President Robert Mugabe – dismissed threats that banks, including Standard Chartered, faced imminent closure for failing to comply with the country’s indigenisation laws. “Destabilising a large bank such as Standard Chartered has serious systemic consequences that can lead to unintended results which are opposite to those that we would have hoped to achieve,” Gono said. His comments come after the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board warned at the weekend that the British-owned bank was in line for a takeover. Gono said Standard Chartered and its clients should ignore that threat. – Sapa-AFP

China’s trade data lifts local markets

News from China continues to drive domestic markets. The rand and the JSE resource index were supported yesterday by data that showed that growth in China’s imports rose last month, to 14.1 percent year on year, nearly three times faster than expected, according to Reuters . On the news, the JSE resource index rose 1.7 percent to 46 978 by 1.42pm before finishing the day at 46 688. page 20