ABSA/Barclays South Africa
Standard Bank
Linklaters/Webber Wentzel
Norton Rose
Asian Currency Flow
Deals and Venture Capital
Gas to Power
International Investments
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ABSA/Barclays South Africa
Online syndicate stealing millions from ABSA clients – report
The Hawks are investigating the possibility that a syndicate gained access to ABSA clients’ online banking details, and are busy stealing millions from these accounts. This is according to an article in the Rapport, which said that numerous ABSA clients’ bank accounts were emptied by criminals who gained access to their account details. In all these cases ABSA said the victims were to blame, because they fell for phishing attacks which exposed their online banking details. However, many of the ABSA online banking fraud victims dispute falling for phishing scams. In one case, where R2 million was stolen, the Rapport investigation showed that the theft may have taken place from an IP address located at the ABSA head office. ABSA denied responsibility, and only refunded the client 50% as a goodwill gesture. She is now suing the bank for the rest of the money which was stolen.

BusinessTech on Oct 2, 2016
Blockchain in Africa
In South Africa in particular traditional banks have been investing and collaborating to develop and implement new blockchain technology and uses. In July 2016, Absa Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Barclays Bank, joined R3, the international blockchain consortium, as its first African member. The R3 consortium members intend collaborating on the development of commercial applications for distributed and shared ledger technology which is very exciting news both for the industry and the end-user.

Hogan Lovells Fintech Blog on Sep 30, 2016
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Banks revenue from charges still increasing despite capping
The effect of capping transactional fees for commercial banks by the Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS) is not yet noticeable from their financial results. Transactional fees are popularly known as bank charges. This has been noted from the financial results of both Nedbank and First National Bank (FNB). Bank charges are classified as Non Interest Revenue (NIR). Nedbank saw its non interest revenue increasing by six per cent from E76.5 million to E80.8 million. Nedbank attributed the growth to increased transactional volumes, especially in foreign exchange income and client acquisition.

SourcesPlus - Deal Activity on Sep 30, 2016
Credit extension growth slows in August
Private sector credit growth decelerated to an annualised 6.15% in August, from 6.78% in July, according to the Reserve Bank data released on Thursday. "Credit growth is likely to remain weak in the short term, given the weak economic activity and the poor outlook," Nedbank economists said in a note.

Business Day - Economy News on Sep 29, 2016
Nedbank profit up 21% to E60.4 million
Nedbanks net interest income, increased by 21 percent from E111.5 million to E92.1 million, reportedly driven by high interest earning assets. According to a statement issued by the bank, there were positive prospects in construction and agriculture as the drought condition was projected to improve and present growth opportunities for the financial institution. The report said despite the current economic situation, the banks headline earnings increased by 15 percent from E52 million to E60.5 million.

Loans and advances slightly decreased by four percent to E2.7 billion from E2.8 billion, as a result of low utilisation of facilities by the sugar industry. Deposits have increased by 17 percent to E3.1 billion from 2.6 billion. Growth in deposits is a result of the ongoing deposit mobilisation drive, reads the report in part.The bank said non-interest income increased by six percent to E80.8 million from E76.5 million.

SourcesPlus - Deal Activity on Sep 26, 2016
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Standard Bank
Standard Bank voted Best Overall Bank in Africa
Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets has been voted the Best Overall Bank in Africa in the 2016 Euromoney Real Estate Survey Awards for the fourth consecutive year.
FA News on Oct 1, 2016
Who will win the race for banking domination?
Banks are racing for domination in Africa. Top contenders include four South African banks, led by Standard Bank and ABSA/Barclays Africa Group (likely to be South African after UK-based Barclays plc sells its African business). Standard Charered is another, with the best foot- print in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Ecobank which has presence in 36 African countries. At the same time, Moroccan banks are expanding across borders, as are Nigerian banks such as First Bank, UBA, Zenith and GTBank.
SourcesPlus - M&A on Sep 27, 2016
Standard Bank sees Africa’s potential
Standard Bank has said that the fall in commodity prices should not deter companies from doing business in Africa as the continent still has huge investment opportunities besides mining and oil. The bank’s head of commercial banking in Africa, Manessah Alagbaoso, said Africa had huge potential and investors needed to look beyond commodities and oil to grow the continent’s economy.

Independent Online Business News on Sep 26, 2016
Standard Bank, OPIC And Wells Fargo Sign $300 Million Facility To Support Power And Infrastructure Projects In Africa
Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, and Wells Fargo Bank announced a $300 million facility to fund power and infrastructure projects in Africa. The 12-year funding line for Standard Bank, the largest African banking group by assets, was signed on the side lines of the US-Africa Business Forum in New York City. SBSA will provide $33 million from its balance sheet to support transactions financed by the facility.

At least $150 million of the facility will support power transactions as part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, with up to $100 million available for other strategic infrastructure projects beyond the power sector.

IPP Journal - Energy, Finance, & Investment on Sep 26, 2016
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Linklaters/Webber Wentzel
Odette Geldenhuys of Webber Wentzel named ‘Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year’
Webber Wentzel lawyer Odette Geldenhuys has been named this year’s Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the International Bar Association (IBA), marking the first time the award has gone to a lawyer on the African continent. News on Sep 24, 2016
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Norton Rose
Focus on energy storage
Aquion announces off-grid battery and solar energy project in Kenya
Aquion Energy, manufacturer of aqueous hybrid ion batteries and energy storage systems, and SolarAfrica, a leading African solar energy services company, recently announced a newly installed off-grid micro-grid at the Loisaba Conservancy, Kenya.

ViZn Energy Systems and Jabil Inala Partner to power Africa
ViZn Energy Systems, a leading provider of zinc and iron chemistry-based flow battery energy storage systems for utilities and micro-grids, recently announced that they will be partnering with Jabil Inala to offer turnkey storage solutions to the African power market. Around 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity, which, coupled with the lack of large centralised grid infrastructure, means Africa has good potential for the establishment of microgrids, including storage technology.

Trade Ministers from South Africa and Saudi Arabia inaugurate ACWA Power's Solafrica Bokpoort concentrated solar power project
The Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Project has been officially inaugurated, developed by a consortium led by ACWA Power in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The project has an estimated capex of R5billion and is one of the highest solar radiation footprints in the world. The completion of the project will provide 220,000MWh per annum of power to more than 200,000 homes. The plant has a thermal storage capacity of 9.3 hours of full load operation.

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia on Sep 29, 2016
Norton Rose Fulbright wins Domestic Law Firm of the year award for its pro bono programme
Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa has been named Domestic Law Firm of the Year at the Trust Law Awards held in Times Square, New York on September 22, 2016.
Norton Rose South Africa on Sep 26, 2016
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Asian Currency Flow
Africa: Bond Markets for Project Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa
Along with this forum, were other sideline meetings between US strategic as well as portfolio investors, (such as pension funds, private equities, development financial institutions) and African business leaders as well as entrepreneurs. What was somehow clear to me in all these series of meetings and forums was the existing financing gap on the African side and the significant need for such financing from other parts of the world, major financing gap are particularly in infrastructure [from power/energy, to transport to social infrastructure such as schools, health centres, water and sanitation to irrigation) where the World Bank and the African Development Bank estimates a financing gap of $93 billion per annum, this is despite the relative significant observed efforts by our Chinese friend in this aspect of our development. And therefore, if Africa will be able to finance this investment gap of $ 93 billion at the current value for the next two decades, then that is when we will be able to fill in our infrastructure development gap.
All Africa - Business on Sep 29, 2016
Housing deficit: FG seeks Chinese funding
In its quest to bridge the housing deficit in Nigeria, the Federal Government has solicited the support of China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) to finance housing development in the country. Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, made the plea when an eight-man delegation of CADFund paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja. She said that with 87, 000 federal civil servants, Nigeria had the huge market potential in terms of population, capacity and human resources. She noted that Chinese companies are already operating in Nigeria’s rail sector and other areas of the economy, which should give China the assurance that her investment is secure in the country, especially so because China will be dealing directly with the government.

Vanguard News on Sep 26, 2016
PM scouts Chinese funds for GTP II projects
An Ethiopian delegation of top government officials were in China to recruit companies and funds for Ethiopia upcoming five year national development plan. The delegation, led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn left for China on Tuesday, September 2 for a weeklong visit. After attending the 70th anniversary of the Second World War victory, the delegation met with top Chinese government officials including Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping. Officials in Addis Ababa told Capital that in addition to attending the anniversary, the delegation aimed to conclude some bilateral deals with the Chinese government and other stakeholders to boost the economic partnership between the two countries. In the previous five years of the first Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), the Chinese government and its financial institutions had been major financers of major infrastructural development projects including Ethiopia's mega projects. The recent visit is expected to accelerate Chinese support for upcoming projects planned for implementation over the coming five years. China is a major development partner for Africa, known for placing fewer conditions on bilateral agreements, compared with the western or international financial institutions.
SourcesPlus - Business Expansion on Sep 24, 2016
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Deals and Investments
Huawei Kathea Partnership Set to Change VC Landscape
Kathea and Huawei plan to hold joint multi-year training and certification programs to up-skill channel partners and enhance their strategic alliance. Kathea and Huawei have aligned to form a strategic partnership which will see Kathea become a specialised distributor of Huawei video conferencing (VC) and unified communications (UC) products.
IT News Africa on Sep 29, 2016
UberEats coming to a corner near you
“UberEats is one (business) we feel incredibly confident is resonating across the world and resonating across the footprint of the cities in which Uber operates the transport business,” Jambu Palaniappan, recently named head of UberEats for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. He named eight cities including Dubai and Johannesburg that UberEats plans to enter by the end of the year, but declined to spell out later targets.

Independent Online Business News on Sep 28, 2016
South Africa to export pigeon peas, pork, mango to India
As part of ongoing efforts by member States to improve intra-Brics trade, South Africa has been granted an opportunity to export pigeon peas also known as cajanus cajan, pork, mango and persimmons to India. India for its part has expressed an interest to import pickled sheep skins from South Africa.
Engineering News on Sep 27, 2016
Edcon banks on simple fixes after South Africa's largest buyout flops
Tasked with turning around South African retailer Edcon, which had been on the verge of collapse just a few months ago, its management thinks it can apply simple fixes after Bain Capital walked away with nothing from its African venture.

The team led by Bernie Brookes, an Australian appointed in September last year, have much working to their advantage at Edcon, whose owner Bain Capital handed control to creditors in this week's $1.5 billion debt to equity swap deal that slashed its heavy debt-load by nearly 80 percent to 6 billion rand ($450 million).

Sowetan - Business on Sep 26, 2016
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Gas to Power
Gas-To-Power Project Will Progress
The Moroccan government has opened bidding for an integrated LNG-to-power project. Companies are bidding to develop and construct re-gasification, storage and pipeline capacity and a combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility for electricity generation. Five European companies have reportedly submitted bids.

We view Morocco as an attractive market for LNG, given supportive political, economic and sector fundamentals. On the one hand, gas-fired generation offers a clean alternative to coal and a lower-cost alternative to oil, which will account for 56.2% and 13.4% of total electricity generation, respectively, in 2016. Morocco is also forecast for strong growth in renewables generation, which given the intermittency issues may also raise demand for gas. Gas-fired generation is a more suitable complement for renewables than coal, given its greater flexibility in reacting to power intermittency.

SourcesPlus - Business Expansion on Sep 30, 2016
Nigeria’s NatGas Shortages Increase Coal Demand
Natural gas shortages and a desire to lower costs have led to a decision by Dangote Concrete in Nigeria to switch from natural gas to power its operations with less popular coal.

Majority owner and chairman Aliko Dangote stated that all of its cement plants have been converted to coal, and that those plants would use approximately 13,000 tons of coal per day.

The shift toward coal and away from cleaner natural gas is unusual because in April of this year, the use of coal for generating power in the United States dropped to its lowest level since 1978. But while gas in the U.S. has eclipsed coal in terms of power generation, Nigeria is facing shortages and interruptions in its natural gas supplies due at least in part to militant activity in the nation that has targeted oil and natural production and distribution. on Sep 29, 2016
Morocco opens gas-to-power bids
Five European consultants bid
MEED News on Sep 29, 2016
US Trade & Development Agency USTDA Promotes New Energy Production In Southern Africa At U.S.-Africa Business Forum »»
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to SolarReserve South Africa Proprietary Limited to support the development of several mid-sized urban solar farms in South Africa. These solar farms will support large end-users of power, creating a new private investment model for clean energy development in South Africa.

The grant will develop a blueprint for the execution of an initial 50 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic projects in urban areas in South Africa, which will be scalable to 200 MW. The individual solar projects, ranging in size from 5 MW to 30 MW, will be privately owned and operated and will provide new renewable power to commercial and industrial end-users.

Global Renewables News on Sep 26, 2016
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International Investments
Namibia's sovereign credit rating in spotlight
the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to SolarReserve South Africa Proprietary Limited to support the development of several mid-sized urban solar farms in South Africa. These solar farms will support large end-users of power, creating a new private investment model for clean energy development in South Africa.

The grant will develop a blueprint for the execution of an initial 50 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic projects in urban areas in South Africa, which will be scalable to 200 MW. The individual solar projects, ranging in size from 5 MW to 30 MW, will be privately owned and operated and will provide new renewable power to commercial and industrial end-users.

SourcesPlus - Real Estate on Oct 1, 2016
Morocco, 'Popular Destination' for Investments in Africa (South African Bank)
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), one of South Africa's largest financial institutions, highlighted, on Wednesday, Morocco’s attractiveness to foreign investors, noting that the kingdom is "a popular destination" for investments in the African continent. Morocco’s attractiveness is due to its strong and sustained economic growth, said RMB.
MAP News – Economy on Sep 28, 2016 | DBSA eyes Brics bank and diversification
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which largely funds municipal infrastructure, is on the fence about the New Development Bank planned by the Brics group of countries.

In the DBSA’s annual report, released this week, CEO ­Patrick Dlamini noted that the new bank could be a threat as well as an opportunity – to a large extent, it will play in the same space as the DBSA.

“Of concern is the ability of the New Development Bank to potentially provide preferential rates to clients due to its funding structures and financial strengths of the key founding countries,” wrote Dlamini.

Fin24 Companies on Sep 25, 2016
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