Flash Briefing: Eskom sheds growth forecast; Sibanye strike over; 5G Apple; Juventus, NPN, TKG, CPI

By Alec Hogg

In today’s global business news headlines:

  • The South African Reserve Bank says the damage done by state capture is worse than previously understood. The central bank says it has become clearer, that the legacy of state capture of which load shedding is one symptom will constrain growth for a longer period. South Africa’s economic growth could go down to zero if the power cuts continue at the same severity that has been seen in March. The wave of rolling blackouts that has been plaguing the country since November could knock 1.1 percentage points of growth.
  • South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union has agreed to end a five-month strike at Sibanye’s gold mines that has crippled production and squeezed the company’s finances. The deal represents the end to almost five months of legal wrangling between the two sides, amid violence that left at least nine people dead. It suggests a cooling of tensions between Sibanye and one of its biggest unions ahead of potentially-fractious platinum wage negotiations later this year. Sibanye-Stillwater shares jumped 6.59% on the back of the news.
  • News from the United States is that the settlement of a two-year legal between Apple and Qualcomm over patents means that Apple can start competing in the 5G cellphone market. It could have a 5G iPhone ready to bring to market as soon as this year. In other tech news, Facebook has announced that it is working on its own voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant. It is not clear how Facebook will use the assistant.
  • News from London is that shares in football club, Juventus fell by 24% after the Italian club lost the Champion’s League quarter-final to Dutch side Ajax. A goal from Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo, who was signed for €100m wasn’t enough to seal a win. The share price drop takes Juventus shares back towards where they were before a March surge when a Ronaldo hat-trick got them into the quarter finals.
  • Local market news is that Naspers, Capitec and Telkom all hit 12-month highs on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. EOH was also up another 12% after yesterday’s rally of 55.23%. The JSE ended flat as losses by mining stocks offset gains in the other indices. Inflation in March rose by only 4.6% which was better than the market expected.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa’s name has appeared on the list of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. He is described as the man who has perfected the art of patience. Another South African on the list, is Olympic champion Caster Semenya who appears under the Icons category.