Africa

A High Court judge has allowed financial services provider Asteron Life Ltd to serve a bankruptcy notice on a man in South Africa by email, provided it receives a “read reply,” The National Business Review reported. Asteron, formerly Royal and SunAlliance, had already received judgement against Pieter Anton Franck. Court permission is required to serve bankruptcy papers on a debtor overseas. As Asteron had been frustrated in obtaining an address for service, it asked for permission to serve the overseas notice by email.
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The African Development Bank is seeking to triple its capital base to accommodate surging demand for emergency loans from African states and businesses hit by falling export income and sharp declines in foreign investment and remittances. Donald Kaberuka, the AfDB’s president, will put the plans to the bank’s annual general assembly in Dakar this week in one of the first tests of developed countries’ commitments to financing an economic rescue package for Africa.
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Professional Insurance Corporation Zambia (PICZ) Limited has sued Zambian Airways Limited for US$135,916 (K754 million) debt in unsettled premiums, the Zambia Daily Mail reported. On January 13, 2009, following the airline’s failure to settle the outstanding insurance premiums, the insurance cover was cancelled and Zambian Airways was charged premiums for time on risk amounting to US$135,916. In addition, the Lusaka High Court has ordered an attachment of all identifiable assets belonging to Zambian Airways, which has now been placed under receivership by its lenders.
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The current global financial crisis is different from all the others since the end of the second world war, George Soros argued in a Financial Times editorial. Among other measures, both Europe and the US in effect guaranteed that no other important financial institution would be allowed to fail. This necessary step had unintended adverse consequences: many other countries, from eastern Europe to Latin America, Africa and south-east Asia, could not offer similar guarantees. As a result, capital fled from the periphery to the centre.
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Nairobi sweets manufacturer Swan Industries has been placed under receivership by Investment and Mortgage Bank (I&M Bank) in a move that threatens to render more than 100 people jobless, Business Daily reported. The Kisumu-based company has been unable to pay a loan, which the bank refused to disclose on confidentiality grounds, on reduced sales in western Kenya and cutthroat competition from low-cost producers based in Nairobi. The bank appointed Mr Vipul Shah and Mr Dipesh Shah of Nairobi-based VSC Consultants as joint receiver managers.
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Barclays Bank has appointed Law of Property Act receivers on five assets owned by Altrincham-based development and investment firm Property Route Ltd, Crain’s Manchester Business reported. The bank has called in charges over five of the company's properties and has appointed the Leeds office of Eddisons as LPA receiver on each. The properties in question are 23 Denison Road and 7 Conningham Road in Victoria Park, Manchester; 35 Canal Bank in Monton, Salford; 108 Ayres Road in Old Trafford and 105 Wilmslow Road in Handforth, Cheshire.
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Thousands of employees in the bus industry could lose their jobs if government fails to pay operators millions of rands in subsidies owed to them, MPs heard on Tuesday. Briefing the National Assembly's transport committee, Southern Africa Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) representative Jane Barrett said many bus operators would close shop unless the government paid all outstanding subsidies within a week's time, the Independent Online reported. "If payment is not made within the next week, 26 000 bus workers are in danger of losing their jobs.
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The legal battle involving Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL) shareholders VIP Engineering and Marketing Company Ltd and Mechmar Corporation ended recently after the High Court of Tanzania ruled in favour of VIP Engineering and placed the power producer under receivership, The East African reported. VIP Engineering had accused Mechmar Corporation of misappropriation of Tsh164 billion ($126 million) paid to IPTL as capacity charges. VIP Engineering could not account for the money.
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InterChem Pharma Ltd, the Moshi-based pharmaceutical firm owned by media mogul Benjamin Mengi, has been placed under receivership over a large debt accrued from Barclays Bank Tanzania Ltd., The East African reported. The firm, which three years ago acquired a $6 million loan for setting up an anti-retroviral (ARV) drug manufacturing plant in Tanzania, will go under the hammer next year.
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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is preparing to take over key businesses in mining, banking and manufacturing as his international isolation deepens, two members of the ruling party’s politburo said. The 84-year-old leader said two days ago that he may form an “Economic Revolutionary Council” to overcome sanctions, the officials said. Mugabe’s plans suggest he doesn’t intend to bow to calls to step down as the economy collapses and cholera spreads.
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