Steinhoff’s new CFO; Stop being Twits – Cyril; Zim inflation horrors; Deutsche Bank fizzles; Boeing gets dropped

By Jackie Cameron

  • Steinhoff has a new Chief Financial Officer. The retailer, listed in Johannesburg and Frankfurt, announced on Monday that Theodore de Klerk would take over as its new CFO on September 1. De Klerk is the conglomerate’s current operations director and member of the group’s management board. He will be replacing Philip Dieperink, who is stepping down by “mutual consent”. Theo has been with the group in various positions since 2003 and is well-qualified for the post,” Steinhoff is reported as saying.
  • As inflation in Zimbabwe hits a 10-year record of close to 100%, the second highest rate in the world after Venezuela, the Zimbabwean government is ready to raise civil servants’ pay for the second time in three months. This is in response to a threat by a labour group to embark on mass protest action because incomes have been eroded by soaring inflation, says The Guardian. The southern African nation is grappling with a severe shortage of US dollars, fuel, bread, medicines and 17-hour daily power cuts, which have forced businesses to use expensive diesel generators, says Reuters. Currency reforms introduced last month to ban the use of foreign currencies and make the interim RTGS currency the sole legal tender have done little to instil confidence that people’s living standards will improve soon under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power after Robert Mugabe was removed in a 2017 coup, adds the news wire.
  • The Deutsche Bank share price fizzled, with the shares down more than 6% as job cuts started in Asia, reports Bloomberg. Deutsche Bank is winding down its equities business from Sydney to Mumbai and announced earlier that its 91,000-person workforce would be reduced by a fifth. But the ax swung deep in London, which houses about 7,000 of Deutsche Bank’s UK employees and is the hub for the investment bank that’s bearing the brunt of the downsizing, says the news agency. The cuts come during a gloomy summer for banking jobs in the UK capital, reports Bloomberg, as Brexit collides with beleaguered investment-banking returns to produce thousands of redundancies. “It’s a bad time to be looking for a job with the normal summer lull and generally poor market conditions,” it quotes an industry insider as saying.
  • Saudi Arabian budget carrier Flyadeal reversed a commitment to buy as many as 50 Boeing 737 Max jets, becoming the first airline to officially drop the plane since its grounding following two deadly crashes. Flyadeal will operate an entirely Airbus SE fleet, the company said Sunday in a statement, buying as many as 50 A320neo-family planes from Boeing’s European rival, says Fin24.
  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticised ministers in his cabinet for “unbecoming” behaviour on social media after a spat unfolded over electronic road tolls in country’s richest province, says Bloomberg. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula and the premier of Gauteng province, David Makhura, exchanged words on Twitter after giving conflicting messages on the issue of e-tolling. Many motorists have refused to pay the charge since its introduction in 2013. Such exchanges on social media are unbecoming of their high offices and fail to provide the leadership required in this instance,” according to a statement from the president’s office on Saturday. Ramaphosa called on the three officials to propose a solution to the impasse to the cabinet by the end of August. While the user-pay principle remains a policy of government, the electronic tolling system as part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan presents challenges in its current form, according to the statement.
  • Leading stock price upwards on the JSE on Monday, were mining holding company Assore, which gained about 5%, and gold miner Harmony and retailer Woolies, both up more than 4%. The biggest loser was budget retailer Mr Price, down nearly 3%. Late on Monday, R14.15 would buy you one US dollar, while the rand was trading at R17.70 to the British pound and R15.87 to the Euro.