Business risks a watery smile, but fuel prices still draw frowns
THE economy may be showing signs of a recovery after business confidence rose to its highest level in six months in October — a month in which President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted an inaugural investment conference and named a new finance minister. The index measuring business sentiment climbed to 95.8 from 93.3 in September, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry said. It was at 92.9 a year before.
SANDTON City is now fully let for the first time, having spent the past three years signing up more luxury brands than any other centre in SA. The 45-year-old superregional centre has zero vacancies, while other super-regional centres average 5.8%, according to the SA Property Owners’ Association.
SA’s high-speed rail network, Gautrain, is seeking R4bn to increase its trains by 50% ahead of a potential expansion to other parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
AFTER being hit hard by record-high fuel prices, drivers’ hopes of a petrol price cut were dashed, with prices remaining unchanged. However, the Central Energy Fund said diesel would increase by 48c/l and illuminating paraffin 28c/l. The department of energy attributed the fuel adjustments to the rand’s appreciation and falling Brent crude oil prices.
SOUTH African gold production plunged the most in almost four years in September. Output retreated 19% from a year earlier, Stats SA said. Overall mining output fell 1.8%, while production of platinumgroup metals rose 7.2%.
CREDIT Suisse has pulled out of SA after more than a decade as part of CEO Tidjane Thiam’s bank-wide revamp, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Switzerland’s secondlargest bank is in the final stages of a drive to focus on managing the money of wealthy investors and scale back investment banking.