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MTN accused of illegally moving almost $14bn out of Nigeria

The bar for interest-rate cuts is high –deputy Reserve Bank governor.

SIKI MGABADELI:  Good evening and welcome to the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Siki Mgabadeli.

Capitec reported a 19% growth in headline earnings per share to 1 517c in the interim period in 2015. We speak to CEO Gerrie Fourie.

There’s also been little attention paid in the national debate to what young people know about minimum wages, their wage expectations and who stands to benefit the most from a minimum wage. The Centre for Social Development in Africa at the University of Johannesburg conducted some extensive research and will be sharing the findings with us this evening.

Mine Rescue Services, a non-profit organisation that trains qualifying volunteers for the dangerous work of emergency situations in mines, has recently come to the fore as the only specialised team able to rescue illegal miners and recover the bodies of the dead. We are going to be speaking to their CEO, Christo de Klerk. There have been some incidents of people dying in some really tragic circumstances down some mineshafts. We are going to hear about the work involved in that.

David Shapiro is watching the markets for us today. But first, Prinesha Naidoo has your business news headlines.

PRINESHA NAIDOO:  Thanks, Siki. Good evening.

Shares in MTN have fallen more than 3% after lawmakers in Nigeria accused the company of illegally moving close to $14bn out of the country. The accusation comes a short while after MTN agreed to pay a $1bn fine to the Nigerian government for missing the deadline to disconnect unregistered customers in the country.

Capitec Bank has tightened its credit-granting criteria in the face of rising bad debts. CEO Gerrie Fourie told Moneyweb that the bank is more cautious about lending to clients whose net inflows fall below R5 000 per month, as well as those employed in the strained mining and manufacturing sectors. The fast-growing bank increased its headline earnings by 19% and lifted the interim dividend by 20% to R4.50/share.

And the South African Reserve Bank’s deputy governor Daniel Mminele has said that the bar for interest-rate cuts is high. That’s despite weak economic growth. His comments come after the central bank held the benchmark repo rate unchanged at 7% and signalled that it may be at the end of its rate-hiking cycle. This after the bank’s inflation outlook improved. Mminele said that inflation could surprise to the downside if gains in the rand are sustained and if grain prices drop.

On to financial indicators. At last count, the rand is at R13.52/dollar, R17.52/pound and R15.14/euro. Gold is at $1 327/oz, platinum at $1 027/oz and Brent crude oil at $46.28/barrel.

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