Flash Briefing: Tributes for Buzan; ZACP wants to gift SOEs; 3G ejects Kraft boss; US blocks Iranian oil

By Alec Hogg

Today’s global business news headlines:

  • The United States yesterday ratcheted up its fight against Iran. The White House announced that it is ending waivers for countries importing oil from the Middle Eastern country as part of the Trump administration’s effort to deprive Iran of export revenue. The US had previously granted eight unnamed countries, believed to include China, India and Turkey, a 180-day waiver to continue buying oil despite US sanctions, provided each took steps to reduce purchases and move toward ending Iranian imports. The deadline for renewing the waivers was set to fall on May 2. The price of crude rose 2.5% on the news to almost $64 a barrel yesterday in off market trading.
  • Tributes continue to pour in for the 76-year-old inventor of mind mapping, Tony Buzan, who passed away earlier this month after a heart attack. Buzan, a lifelong student of how the brain worked, believed the only difference between the apparently brilliant and dullards was how their brains were trained. Here’s how he described his invention in an interview we had a decade ago.
  • The Capitalist Party of South Africa, ZACP, last night tabled a plan to hand over direct ownership of the country’s 715 state owned enterprises to citizens. It describes the mismanagement of SOEs like Eskom, SAA and Denel as having “resulted in theft on a scale not seen since land seizures by colonisers.” The party says technology makes the handover feasible and chairman Kanthan Pillay told me last night his calculations show how it will enrich every citizen by comfortably above R50,000. The idea is to provide a parcel of shares to each person registered with the Independent Electoral Commission. The ZACP is holding a townhall meeting online later today to provide the detail.
  • Brazilian investment company 3G Capital, has moved one of its more favoured executives into the CEO post at food giant Kraft Heinz. The company announced yesterday that long time Anheuser-Busch InBev executive Miguel Patricio, who is 52, will replace Bernardo Hees, who has led Kraft Heinz since the company was created in a 2015 merger orchestrated by Warren Buffett and 3G Capital. The outgoing chief executive has been under pressure since February 2017, when Kraft Heinz made an unsuccessful bid to buy Unilever for $143bn. 3G is known in South Africa for engineering a fully priced acquisition of former local brewing champion SABMiller.