South African busi­nesses say some state as­sets must be sold

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Dur­ing a meet­ing with South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma. the heads of some of the coun­try's big­gest com­pa­nies pre­sented sug­ges­tions on how to boost the ail­ing econ­omy, in­clud­ing the sale of state-owned as­sets and the cre­ation of an anti-cor­rup­tion com­mit­tee, said Mike Brown, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Ned­bank Group Ltd.

In­creas­ing taxes while cut­ting back on govern­ment ex­penses and more ef­fec­tive man­age­ment of state-owned com­pa­nies, by ap­point­ing ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als to the boards, were also top­ics for dis­cus­sion, ac­cord­ing to Brown, who hosted a meet­ing of as many as 60 CEOs at Ned­bank's of­fices with Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han last month. A re­view of leg­is­la­tion, in­clud­ing la­bor laws, and a com­mit­ment by the coun­try's big­gest com­pa­nies to sup­port govern­ment were some of the other sug­ges­tions, he said.

Zuma spoke to more than 140 busi­ness lead­ers and cab­i­net min­is­ters on Tues­day in Cape Town on ways to im­prove in­vestor sen­ti­ment and stim­u­late growth in an econ­omy weak­ened by a fall in me­tals prices, slow­ing de­mand from China and the worst drought in more than a cen­tury. Among those at the meet­ing were Ralph Mupita, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of in­surer Old Mu­tual Plc's emerg­ing mar­kets busi­ness, Colin Cole­man, part­ner and head of Gold­man Sachs Group Inc. in South Africa, Bar­clays Africa Group Ltd. Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Maria Ramos and Christo Wiese, the bil­lion­aire chair­man of Sho­prite Hold­ings Ltd.

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