Equity markets in the emerging world have weathered the subprime credit crunch in developed markets more easily than any previous market turmoil, and are expected to remain a sought-after investment destination -- if not a safe haven -- for many years to come, according to the head of equity research at Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa.
With most formal banks inaccessible to many Africans, the service of cellphone banking is expanding to the poor on the continent. Mary Kimani examines how financial institutions are extending their services through the ubiquitous usage of cellphones in rural areas.
Mobile operator Cell C could be next on the cards for local fixed-line operator Telkom after talks with another mobile operator, MTN, terminated in November. Growth in the telecommunications sector has been skewed towards mobile operators in the past couple of years.
South African fixed-line operator Telkom's shares plummeted more than 10% in early trade on Tuesday on news that the negotiations it was in with cellphone operator MTN had terminated. In September, Telkom released a cautionary announcement advising shareholders that it had entered into discussions with Vodafone and MTN.
After being sharply firmer earlier in Thursday, weaker local producer price index (PPI) data forced the JSE to pull back at midday, even though world markets were firm. The JSE had been up as much as 533 points during the day, but by midday, it was only 337 points in the black.
The JSE remained firm at midday on Thursday, with platinum miners a feature following strong results from Impala Platinum earlier in the day. A 2% gain on Wall Street overnight and generally firm global bourses were also helping. By noon, the all-share index was 0,82% higher. Resources were 0,75% better and the gold-mining index advanced 0,90%.
The JSE was off its earlier lows by midday on Wednesday as investors looked for value after the recent sharp sell-off. After starting weaker on the back of a sharp fall on Wall Street overnight, the JSE was looking a little better late morning. The Dow shed 2% on Tuesday and Tokyo shares ended down 1,7%, but London shares have turned around.
Telkom has received a non-binding offer from Oger Telecom, the group said on Tuesday. Telkom, which owns 50% of South Africa's biggest cellphone operator Vodacom, said it is continuing a review of its mobile strategy but added that it was not presently in discussions with Oger.
South African fixed-line operator Telkom said on Monday first-half headline earnings per share fell 15,1% to 742,3 cents. Telkom said the reduction in earnings was due to a 4,8% decrease in operating profit to R7,313-billion rand, caused by a 13,8% increase in operating expenses and a 122,4% rise in finance charges.
The Free State may have lost the "Orange" part of its name in the new South Africa, but Bloemfontein was a sea of orange as the city prepared for the Currie Cup final between the Cheetahs and the Lions on Saturday afternoon. Almost every vehicle in the city streets sported an orange Cheetahs flag, and orange was the colour to wear.
Four skydivers had to bail out of a light plane over Grahamstown after the engine failed, a media report said on Monday. Commercial pilot Alexander Hammerschmidt (42) was the toast of the EP Skydiving Club after he was forced to perform an emergency landing on a dirt road at about 11am on Sunday.