South Africa is scrambling to secure extra funding to rescue South African Airways (SAA), which last month entered a form of bankruptcy protection in a last-ditch bid to save the state-owned company and around 10,000 related jobs, Reuters reported. Tito Mboweni, the country’s finance minister, told business leaders in Johannesburg ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos next week that the Treasury had provided “financial support to the best of our abilities”.
A consultancy firm that allegedly arranged a fraudulent $184 million loan announced by Nigerian oil company Lekoil Ltd said on Wednesday that it welcomed an investigation into the matter, Reuters reported. Shares in Lekoil Ltd fell by more than 70% following a suspension of trading after the firm discovered the loan was fraudulent. Lekoil had suspended trading of its shares on the London Stock Exchange on Monday after finding that the $184 million loan it had announced from the Qatar Investment Authority was a “complex facade” by individuals pretending to represent the QIA.
Ghanaian prosecutors charged the chief executive officers of two defunct lenders for alleged crimes that contributed to a banking crisis that cost the West African nation 12.5-billion cedis ($2.2 billion) in bailouts, Bloomberg News reported. Michael Nyinaku, the former CEO of Beige Bank Ltd., appeared in the Accra Circuit Court on Tuesday on counts of stealing 341 million cedis and money laundering, court documents showed.
State-owned South African Airways (SAA) urgently needs the government to provide the 2 billion rand it promised the airline last month or it could have to suspend some flights and delay salary payments, a senior trade union official said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. SAA entered a form of bankruptcy protection last month in an effort to rescue the company and 10,000 related jobs. At the time it was promised 2 billion rand from the government and 2 billion rand from lenders.
Zambia is already restructuring, renegotiating or refinancing its extensive Chinese project finance debt, and Chinese companies are playing hardball, according to new research, CNBC reported. Southern Africa's third-largest economy is under pressure from an impending breakdown of its power supply and its inability to pay for electricity imports, and is staring down the barrel of further defaults on construction project financing and bond payments.
Shares in Lekoil crashed by more than 70 per cent on Tuesday as investors responded to news that the Nigeria-focused oil producer had paid $600,000 in fees for a $184m loan that did not exist, the Financial Times reported. The Aim-listed company, which Mark Simmonds, the UK’s Africa minister under David Cameron, recently joined as a non-executive director, will now have to find alternative financing from shareholders to fund the development of its key asset, the Ogo field in Nigeria.
State-owned power producer Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. will be the “death knell” for South Africa’s mining industry unless the government enables mines to produce their own electricity, according to Exxaro Resources Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Mxolisi Mgojo, Bloomberg News reported. “The current state of Eskom is going to be the one thing that is going to be the death knell of this industry,” Mgojo said at a conference organized by Business Unity South Africa, the country’s largest business lobby group, on Tuesday. “Without fixing Eskom we don’t have a mining industry.
The chairman of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. resigned from his post after the South African power utility resumed rolling blackouts earlier than expected in 2020, Bloomberg News reported. Jabu Mabuza tendered his resignation on Friday and “apologized for Eskom’s inability” to meet a commitment it made to President Cyril Ramaphosa to avoid power cuts until Jan. 13, the presidency said in a statement. After implementing the most severe supply reductions to date in December, Eskom pledged at a Dec. 11 meeting to avoid further outages over South Africa’s traditional holiday season.
Rising debt burdens are forcing some of the world’s poorest countries to cut already meagre levels of public sending still further, campaigners have warned. All but one of a group of 15 low-income countries where debt servicing costs consume 18 per cent or more of government revenues have cut non-debt related public spending since 2015, according to the Jubilee Debt Campaign, the Financial Times reported.
Russia’s VTB Capital has sued Mozambique to recover its share of defaulted debts at the heart of the impoverished African nation’s $2bn “tuna bond” scandal, the Financial Times reported. State-owned VTB is demanding repayment of a $535m loan, according to a lawsuit that it filed against the Mozambican government in London. In 2013 and 2014 Mozambique borrowed $1.4bn from VTB and Credit Suisse tied to maritime security projects, alongside a $850m bond it sold to investors for the financing of a tuna-fishing fleet.