Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Moneyweb’s investigation into Picvest billions, Moyo heads back to work (again), City Lodge cancels major contract in Maputo and more.
Another showdown is looming as Old Mutual’s reinstated CEO heads back to work for the third time. Image: Moneyweb

Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:

1. Moneyweb investigation into Picvest billions

In the sixth installment of Moneyweb’s investigation into the Picvest billions it is revealed that Orthotouch sold 31 properties to the Accelerate Property Fund in 2013 in the aftermath of the collapse of the Highveld Syndication (HS) scheme. And despite assurances that the disposal would benefit investors, the sell-off amounted instead to the effective looting of the historic HS assets.

For more on the exclusive follow-the-money investigation click here.

2. Moyo heads back to work

Another showdown is looming as Old Mutual’s reinstated CEO, Peter Moyo, heads back to work for the third time since being fired, on Wednesday. Moneyweb is reporting that Moyo plans to report to work despite the insurer rejecting the court ruling reinstating him as CEO. On Monday, the Johannesburg High Court ruled that Moyo could submit the insurer’s letters of termination as evidence in his case to declare the board in contempt of court.

Moyo wants the board to be imprisoned for six months or for a period declared by the court. Board members, including chairman Trevor Manuel will need to convince the court why they should not face hefty fines or imprisonment.

Read: Moyo heads back to work. Again

3. City Lodge cancels major contract in Maputo

Contractor-related delays and disputes at City Lodge’s unfinished hotel in Maputo have resulted in the cancellation of the building contract. Moneyweb is reporting that the City Lodge Hotels Group has called up the R40 million performance guarantee of Lutios, the appointed Mozambican contractor, and terminated the contract. The planned 148-room City Lodge Hotel in Maputo was part of City Lodge’s R1 billion African expansion strategy. The company’s CEO says the group will now bring in a dedicated contracts manager to supervise the subcontractors working on the project.

Read: City Lodge cancels Maputo hotel building contract

4. Ecsponent delays publication of results

Financial services provider Ecsponent expects a delay in the publication of its financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2019. The company says the hold-up follows its transaction with MyBucks SA. During the 2019 period, Ecsponent concluded transactions that included the conversion of certain loan assets into equity of MyBucks SA and the further transaction for the capitalisation of MyBucks. The company says it is reliant on the conclusion of MyBucks’s financial statements before it can issue its results.

Ecsponent has however issued a trading statement for the period, in which it expects a headline loss per share of 6.64 cents, down 195% for the period.

5. SA raises $5bn in Eurobond sale

South Africa has raised $5 billion in its biggest ever Eurobond sale. The deal on Monday was split between a $2 billion 10-year tranche and $3 billion of 30-year notes, yielding 4.85% and 5.75% respectively, Bloomberg is reporting.

Read: SA raises $5bn in its biggest-ever Eurobond sale

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