Private equity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Brief: Mixed reaction to the new BEE law, Governor faces abuse charges and more…

Mixed reaction to the new BEE law

The focus of the new law is on preventing fronting.  Most emphatically, Gerhard Papenfus, CEO of employer body the National Employers’ Association of SA, says that the new legislation, together with the Employment Equity Act, will make SA the most racially defined nation in the world.  The legislation “makes it completely unattractive for white entrepreneurs” to start up a business in SA. The same applies to foreign investors.  Vanessa Phala, Busa executive director for transformation and social policy, says: the introduction of penalties is “cautiously welcomed”, but that “we have to guard against unintended consequences”.

For the Full Story read,  Mixed Reaction to the new BEE Law by Mark Allix published by Business Day on 11/02/2014

Experts set to draft rules for hedge funds

The protracted process of drawing up regulations for the entire hedge fund industry is drawing to a close, with the Treasury looking to finalise them by the second quarter of this year.  In terms of the proposals, hedge funds would be regulated by the existing Collective Investment Schemes Control Act and their business declared as collective investment schemes. Retail hedge funds would have to comply with stricter regulation while the regulation of the restricted funds would focus on systemic risk reporting, monitoring and adequate disclosure to investors. Qualified investor hedge funds will be allowed to invest in retail funds but not vice versa. Investors in qualified funds will have to comply with prescribed criteria, including a minimum initial investment amount of R1m.  All existing funds would have to be registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB) in either of these two categories.  Qualified investor hedge funds will be required to set their own leverage limit and to disclose this to investors, while the leverage limits for retail hedge funds will be determined by regulation.

For the full story read, Experts set to draft rules for hedge funds by Linda Ensor published by Business Day on 11/02/2014

Premier Foods adds Swazi mills to stable

The wheat and flour milling operation of Swaziland’s Ngwane Group, has been sold to Premier Foods of South Africa for R100 million.  In South Africa, Premier Foods operates a maize milling facility, five wheat mills and 11 bakeries and is noted for consumer brands such as Blue Ribbon bread. Ngwane Mills’s profitability and its prominent position in Swaziland’s maize and grain products sector makes the acquisition a safe bet for the larger Premier Foods which has long been in the same line of grain-based production.

For the full story, read Premier Foods adds Swazi mills to stable by Titus Gwebu published by The Star Business Report on 11/02/2014

Ban on new SIMs mooted

Nigeria’s government may temporarily ban cell phone companies from selling new SIM cards in order to force greater investment in network quality by putting the brakes on soaring customer numbers. A ban on signing up new customers might force the companies to focus on improving infrastructure and the quality of service for existing phone users.

For the full story read Ban on new SIMs mooted by Bloomberg published by The Star Business Report on 12/02/2014

Deal opens way for Kudu plant

Namibian power utility NamPower has reached a deal with Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy to develop a much-delayed $1.2 billion (R13.3bn) gas-to-power plant in Oranje-mund. NamPower will source $lbn for the project, while Copperbelt Energy is expected to contribute up to $100 million. NamPower is looking for another equity partner to finance the remaining $100m.

For the full story, read Deal opens way for Kudu plant by Reuters published by The Star Business Report on 12/02/2014

Governor faces abuse charges

Kenyan central bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u might be suspended should he be charged with abuse of office and would be unable to resume his post until the case was settled, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. The office of the director of public prosecutions said it had recommended that Ndung’u be prosecuted over a-tender for security software that the commission alleges led to the loss of more than 400 million shillings (R51m) of public funds

For the full story, read Governor faces abuse charges by Bloomberg published by The Star Business Report on 13/02/2014

Zimbabwe: Chinese aid talks progress

Zimbabwe expected to conclude negotiations for comprehensive financial aid with long-time ally China in the next three months, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Tuesday as President Robert Mugabe’s government seeks to revive a slowing economy. Government seeks to revive a slowing economy. The government requires $27 billion (R296bn) – more than twice the size of Zimbabwe’s economy – to fund a five-year plan to improve basic services and rebuild the impoverished country, according to state officials.

For the full story, read ZIMBABWE: Chinese aid talks progress by Reuters published by The Star Business Report on 13/02/2014

David Okwara

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