BizBriefing: Jacob Zuma recusal bid denied, Absa profits plummet, cheques obsolete

By Melani Nathan

  • Judge Raymond Zondo has thrown out Jacob Zuma’s recusal application, stating it had no legal basis and failed to convince of his perceived bias. On the matter of their friendship, Zondo said that Zuma had not disputed that they never socialised and he was not invited or informed of major happenings in the Chairperson’s family. Listen to the clip.
  •  Absa Group said it’s unlikely to pay an ordinary dividend this year. It says earnings will probably decline more than 40% from a year earlier. The lender is ruling out a dividend even after Standard Bank Group and FirstRand, Africa’s biggest banks, indicated they have surplus capital that could be distributed to investors. The lenders are having to contend with the longest recession since 1992 and unemployment at a 17-year high.
  • South Africans are reaching the end of an era in banking. As we ring in the new year, we will bid farewell to the cheque. The South African Reserve Bank, Financial Sector Conduct Authority and other regulatory bodies have released a statement announcing the end of all issuing, processing and use of cheques in the national system on December 31. The announcement lists fraud, declining use and ageing interbank cheque processing infrastructure as reasons for their removal.
  • Interest rates have remained unchanged – SA Reserve Bank meeting.

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