Busi­ness risks a wa­tery smile, but fuel prices still draw frowns

Sunday Times - - Business Opinion & Bits -

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.

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