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Sasol reported to Competition Tribunal

The Competition Commission on Thursday referred a complaint of anti-competitive behaviour against Sasol to the Competition Tribunal. Profert Limited's complaint against Sasol Chemical Industries was referred on the grounds that the latter was found to have contravened the Competition Act, commission spokesperson Liziwe Konyana said.

SA to lead African broadband initiative

South Africa will be playing a leading part in building an affordable broadband network for the continent, Minister of Communications Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has told parliamentarians. She said the initiative to build the network involves in the initial stages 22 countries in Southern and East Africa.

Enron chiefs face rest of their lives in prison

The former Enron bosses Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were on Thursday convicted on fraud charges stemming from one of the most infamous scandals in corporate history. Jurors in the trial returned their verdict after just five days and two hours of deliberations, despite dozens of charges and often complex financial detail during the trial.

Forget the bulls, the herd is in charge

One of the most important influences on the financial markets is the herd instinct. This applies to professional traders and economic analysts as much as to the general public. Often they dare not be caught out if everyone else seems to be buying or selling, so they join the rush.

Cosatu to probe ‘link’ between ANC, security

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is to investigate the link, if any, between security-sector employers and African National Congress leaders. Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said such a link, if found, ''may help explain the apparent indifference of political leaders to the plight of security workers''.

Enron trial: Lay, Skilling found guilty

Former Enron chief executives Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay were found guilty on Thursday of fraud and conspiracy charges related to the spectacular 2001 meltdown of the energy giant. Skilling (52) was found guilty of 19 of 28 counts of fraud and conspiracy and faces a maximum penalty of 185 years in jail.

April PPI worse, ‘but not end of the world’

South Africa's producer price index (PPI) rose by 5,5% year-on-year in April from a 5,4% increase in March, Statistics South Africa said on Thursday. Commented Mike Schussler, economist at T-Sec: "It's a bit higher than I expected and I suspect it will have a negative impact on the bond market. But I don't think it's the end of the world."

Zim inflation races towards 2 000%

Only weeks after warning that Zimbabwean inflation had topped 1 000%, the Imara financial-services group has now alerted investors to the fact that the figure is fast approaching 2 000%. John Legat, Harare-based CEO of Imara Asset Management, gave the 1 000% alert in mid-April, with official confirmation coming by the end of the month.

Minister: SA reviewing petrol liberalisation

Recent global events, including high costs of imported oil, have necessitated a review of South Africa's planned liberalisation of the petroleum sector, outgoing Minister of Minerals and Energy Lindiwe Hendricks said on Thursday. The minister said that the impact of the increases could result in the slowing down of global economic growth.

Sudan says it has been invited to join Opec

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has invited Sudan to join the powerful oil-industry cartel, the official Suna news agency reported on Thursday. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo extended the invitation in a message delivered on Wednesday to Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, the agency said.

Mdladlana may resume security wage talks

Minister of Labour Membathisi Mdladlana was considering resuming public wage negotiations in the troubled security sector, provided no harm came to officials, the Department of Labour said on Thursday. ''I am tempted to allow my officials to go ahead with the hearings in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act,'' Mdladlana said from Cape Town.

Vodacom voices reservations over ‘interception’ Bill

Cellphone operator Vodacom criticised draft interception legislation on Thursday for placing an onerous and expensive burden on the industry and clients. ''This proposed Act needs more careful thought in terms of its unintended consequences before becoming law,'' Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig said in a statement.

JSE extends losses on foreign selling

The JSE was deep in the red in noon trade on Thursday as the sell-off that has characterized the market over the past two weeks continued. Dealers said that foreigners appeared to be offloading local stocks in a move linked to the change in emerging-market sentiment.

Putin faces energy shootout

Worried that the lights could go out, European Union chiefs will press President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to agree new rules on future Russian oil and gas supplies, pricing and investment. But Moscow is in no mood to haggle. It has already rejected a proposed international energy charter.

Mr Price growth strategy ‘working well’

South African retailer Mr Price on Thursday reported a 48% rise in diluted headline earnings per share to 154,7 cents for the year ended March from 104,7 cents a year ago. A total distribution of 81 cents per share -- based on a cover of two times -- was declared, up from 60 cents last year.

Anti-competitive SAA to pay R55m penalty

South African Airways (SAA) has agreed to pay a R55-million administrative penalty for contravening the Competition Act, the Competition Commission said on Wednesday. The airline will have to pay the whole amount before the end of May next year, said spokesperson Liziwe Konyana.

Sacob fears secondary Satawu strike

The South African Chamber of Business (Sacob) on Wednesday expressed concern at plans by the union representing security guards to spread their strike to other sectors of the economy. Sacob is particularly concerned about the ability of the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) leadership to control its members.

April CPIX ‘a little better than expected’

The increase in South Africa's consumer price index excluding mortgage rate changes (CPIX) for metro and other areas, which is used by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for its inflation target, was up 3,7% year-on-year in April after a 3,8% increase in March, Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday.

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