The Sunday Independent - - Business Report -

THE COUN­TRY’s econ­omy con­tracts to 2.2 per­cent in the first quar­ter, its low­est in nine years, lead­ing to a fall in bank­ing and fi­nan­cial stocks. The cru­cial min­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors de­crease 9.9 per­cent, 6.4 per­cent and 24.2 per­cent re­spec­tively in the first quar­ter. The con­trac­tion brings real eco­nomic growth for the year to March 2018 to 0.8 per­cent. THE ON­GO­ING takeover tus­sle be­tween Mur­ray & Roberts (M&R) and ATON takes a new turn when the en­gi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion com­pany ap­proaches the Com­pe­ti­tion Tri­bunal in an ef­fort to re­strict the Ger­man fam­ily’s vot­ing rights. ATON, which owns about 43.81 per­cent of M&R, was left fum­ing last month af­ter M&R dis­re­garded its takeover bid in favour of a deal with the con­struc­tion en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, Aveng. OLD MU­TUAL Plc breakup mas­ter­mind Bruce Hemphill is to step down from the boards of the group’s sub­sidiaries, Ned­bank Lim­ited and Ned­bank Group. Hemphill leaves to­mor­row to make way for Peter Moyo as the group gets close to fi­nal­is­ing its man­aged sep­a­ra­tion pro­gramme. Hemphill will, how­ever, re­main on the Old Mu­tual Plc board. EM­BAT­TLED multi­na­tional au­dit­ing firm KPMG has an­nounced plans to re­trench 400 em­ploy­ees from its South African unit as a re­sult of the loss of lu­cra­tive government con­tracts. The firm says it will wind down its op­er­a­tions in Bloem­fontein, East London, Mbombela and Polok­wane. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Nh­la­mulo Dlomu says the re­trench­ments will af­fect the firm’s back of­fice staff as well as the au­dit and ad­vi­sory units.

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