In­ter­est rate hike un­likely, but Lib­erty shares fall af­ter data hack

Sunday Times - - Business | Opinion & Bits -

THE in­fla­tion rate fell in May as food prices rose at the slow­est pace since 2013, re­duc­ing chances that the Re­serve Bank will in­crease in­ter­est rates later this year. Con­sumer prices climbed 4.4% from a year ear­lier com­pared with 4.5% in April, Stats SA data showed. The me­dian es­ti­mate in a Bloomberg sur­vey was for 4.6%.

CAPE Town’s city coun­cil scrapped plans to hire a de­sali­na­tion barge to sup­ple­ment the city’s wa­ter sup­ply af­ter good win­ter rains have helped ease the worst drought on record.

SOUTH Africa should take some so­lace in a sta­ble out­look, ac­cord­ing to Kon­rad Reuss, S&P Global Rat­ings MD for Africa. Speak­ing at the Vi­sion 2030 Sum­mit at Em­per­ors Palace, Reuss said: ”A sta­ble out­look points out that the risks are not stacked on the down­side un­less things worsen.” Last month S&P af­firmed South Africa’s credit rat­ing at junk sta­tus with a sta­ble out­look. LIB­ERTY’S shares tum­bled 4% on Mon­day as the in­surer di­vulged lit­tle new de­tail of a data breach un­likely to re­sult in a fine, even if the com­pany has fallen foul of in­for­ma­tion pro­tec­tion laws. The breach is the lat­est blow for Lib­erty, whose earn­ings have gone back­wards for the past two fi­nan­cial years.

THE cur­rent ac­count deficit swelled to the big­gest in two years in the first quar­ter as a strong rand weighed on ex­port in­come. The short­fall on the cur­rent ac­count widened to 4.8% of GDP com­pared with a 2.9% gap in the three months through De­cem­ber, the Re­serve Bank said in its quar­terly bulletin.

SOME Uber driv­ers went on strike as the cost of run­ning cars in­creases with higher fuel prices. Driv­ers at the ride-hail­ing ser­vice are un­happy about the 25% ser­vice fee charged by Uber per ride, es­pe­cially af­ter the gov­ern­ment hiked fuel prices for the third time this year.

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