House prices up 8% a year – FNB

Average house prices rose last month by 8 percent year on year, which was slightly lower than the revised 8.2 percent in January, FNB said earlier this week. Real house price growth came in at 2.33 percent year on year in January, which was slightly slower than the 2.83 percent real price growth in December. John Loos, a household and property sector strategist, said although house price growth was slower, it was still positive in real terms, implying a stronger market. “Slower but still positive real house price growth may merely represent a slightly slower pace of market improvement but improvement nevertheless,” he said. Loos said the growth rate reflected a solid market, which was supported by the 49.4 percent year-on-year growth in the SA Revenue Services’ property transfer duty revenue for January. He said it was probably too early for last month’s FNB data to reflect any slowing impact that January’s interest rate increase might have had. – Roy Cokayne


PIC guns for Ecobank’s chief

Ecobank Transnational’s biggest investor repeated a call for chief executive Thierry Tanoh to quit after a shareholder meeting on Monday failed to resolve corporate governance issues. “We believe it is in the best interest of the company that he steps down,” Dan Matjila, the chief investment officer of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which owns more than 18 percent of Ecobank, said yesterday. He said the board of the bank could not meet yesterday because the International Finance Corporation’s representative had left the city. – Bloomberg