Africa Brief: Global retailers, Sudan, Malawi, Zambia mining, and more

Global clothing retailers eye Africa’s fashionistas

Last year saw the expansion of global fashion brands expanding into South Africa, due to the increasing consumer culture; Africa attracts investments from international companies. Global retailers are looking for new income streams in SA, as it has a relatively untapped market.

This puts pressure on local retailers to shorten their merchandise cycle to remain competitive with the other brands. This means a wider variety for local consumers as more brands expand into SA, which previously had a conservative clothing market.

For the full story, read Global clothing retailers eye Africa’s fashionistas by Zeenat Moorad, published in Business Day on 07/01/2013.

Sudan: Khartoum, Juba to honour deals 

Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to demilitarise their shared borders in order to allow oil exports to flow from South Sudan’s oilfields through Sudan’s pipelines.

For the full story, read Sudan: Khartoum, Juba to honour deals by SAPA-AFP, published in The Star, Business Report on 07/01/2013.

Malawi: Lagarde backs Banda reforms

Christine Lagarde, managing director of International Monetary Fund, arrived in Malawi to offer support to the government an president with an economic recovery programme instituted by President Joyce Banda.

For the full story, read Malawi: Lagarde backs Banda reforms by SAPA-AFP, published in The Star, Business Report on 07/01/2013.

Zambia: Mines asked to cut power use

Due to the power shortage in Zambia; as a result of increased usage by households, Zesco has asked mining companies to cut back on electricity use. There has however been no reply from the major mining houses on this issue.

For the full story, read Zambia: Mines asked to cut power use by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 07/01/2013.

Merger omits Zimbabwe unit

Barclays Zimbabwean unit has been excluded from the merger with the Absa Group. Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasuku intends to take up controlling stake in the foreign-owned banks, which could hurt recovery prospects in the banking sector.

Barclays Zimbabwe marketing and corporate affairs head believes that the exclusion will not affect operations. The indigenisation programme however, has generated high risk for the country. The Absa Group will be renamed to Barclays Africa Group Limited to reflect the enlarged portfolio post the merger.

For the full story, read Merger omits Zimbabwe unit by Ray Ndlovu, published in Business Day on 08/01/2013.

MTN to roll out LTE technology in Uganda

Uganda will be obtaining the latest technologies over the next few months as MTN rolls out the LTE (long term evolution) network technology, having commercially launched last year in South Africa. Over the past 2 years MTN Uganda has made major investments in the country, planning to invest $70m in the current year.

The investments focused mainly to expand the network infrastructure to support mobile subscriber growth. Last year, MTN announced Benin had granted it a universal license to provide mobile services using any technology.

For the full story, read MTN to roll out LTE technology in Uganda, published in Business Day on 08/01/2013.

Absa shares down on Zimbabwe rate order

Absa shares fell 1.18% to R163.35, as a result of its parent Barclays being forced to curb interest rates by the Zimbabwean government. A draft agreement states that lending rates cannot be more than 10 percentage points above the companies’ cost of financing, ranging between 1%-7%.

For the full story, read Absa shares down on Zimbabwe rate order by Bloomberg, published in Business Day on 08/01/2013.

David Okwara

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