Parastatals’ top brass paid less

Zimbabwe’s government has slashed the salaries and benefits for the heads of state companies after they surged to as much as $535 000 (R5.7 million) a month. With immediate effect the salaries of heads of state-owned enterprises had been capped at $6 000 a month including allowances with immediate effect, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said at a news conference on Tuesday. The move was an interim measure, pending finalisation of the pay structure, he said in Harare. Information provided by the ministry shows that Cuthbert Dube, the head of Premier Medical Aid Society, was earning $535 499 a month, with $230 000 of that coming in the form of salary and the rest in benefits before his suspension in January. Most state workers earn less than $500 a month. “These figures show how obscene, outrageous, morally outrageous, amounts were being paid,” Chinamasa said. – Bloomberg


Eurobond plans to be delayed

Ghana had put on hold plans to issue a 10-year eurobond worth up to $1 billion (R10.7bn) because market conditions were not conducive, a deputy finance minister said yesterday. But the government had not ruled out issuing a eurobond this year and was targeting a yield of 8 percent or less, Cassiel Ato Forson said. Ghana’s parliament approved proposals in December last year for a eurobond this year and said the government could issue up to $1.5bn to finance capital projects and refinance debt. – Reuters


New bourse for SMEs planned

West Africa’s regional stock exchange will open an alternative market dedicated to small and medium companies in December to expand options for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to raise capital. “The problem of the financing of the SMEs in our countries is very important,” bourse general manager Edoh Kossi Amenounve said in a television interview on Tuesday in Geneva. “We think the stock market must give access to the SMEs.” The Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres’s new board would target medium-sized companies by offering them some “access facilities” to get listed on the market, Amenounve said. – Bloomberg


Oil production remains steady

South Sudan’s oil production was holding steady at about 160 000 barrels a day, based on output from fields in Upper Nile state, an oil ministry official said on Tuesday. Production from the country’s other main producing area, Unity state, was not expected to resume soon, the official, who asked not to be named, said. Production on Monday was 162 000 barrels, the official said, around the same level reported since the start of the year but down a third from the 245 000 barrels a day recorded before a conflict flared in mid-December last year. During more than a month of fighting that pitted supporters of President Salva Kiir against defectors who backed his sacked deputy, Riek Machar, output from fields in Unity state was halted. The fields have remained shut since then. – Reuters