Top business news

2016-10-06 06:00

China Development Bank to boost Eskom funding

CHINA Development Bank (CDB) has concluded a R7 billion credit facility agreement with Eskom. Eskom has now secured 75% of its funding requirements for the current financial year. An Eskom spokesperson indicated that this facility would contribute towards the parastatals current capacity expansion programme. Brian Molefe, CEO of Eskom said: “We are pleased to see the conclusion of this first agreement with CDB, which will lay the platform for future co-operation with our Chinese partners.”

Land Bank to empower women and the youth

In the past six years, the Land Bank has grown its loan book to R40 billion. A spokesperson says the bank is committed to lifting the number of women in agriculture in South Africa. Emphasis would also be on youth empowerment. Chief risk officer for the bank, Konehali Gugushe says women need to see agriculture as an industry in which they can play a meaningful role. Speaking of women who have historically played a supporting role as subsistence growers, Gugushe says: “Although they contribute significantly to food supply, it is clear that agriculture is long overdue for a gender-based overhaul.”

Economic trends

After three months of surpluses, South Africa’s trade balance returned to a deficit in August. The deficit of
R8.6 billion rocked analysts who had predicted a trade surplus of R3 billion for August. The main reason for the slump was attributed to lower exports of precious metals and minerals.

The Barclays purchasing managers index (PMI) indicates a slowdown in manufacturing activity. Factory order volumes have declined and domestic selling price inflation has moderated indicating pressure on turnover growth heading towards year end.

Year-on-year sales of new vehicles declined by 14.3% in September. Car sales dropped 14.4%, light commercial vehicles 14.8%, medium commercial vehicles 9% and heavy vehicles 10.8%.

Analysts report that the decline in new vehicle sales is representative of subdued economic activity due to low business and consumer confidence.

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