Africa

Steinhoff International Holdings NV pushed back the dates for the publication of audited earnings for 2017 and 2018 after the findings of a forensic probe by PwC made the process more time consuming and complex, Bloomberg News reported. The South African retailer, which almost collapsed amid an accounting scandal in late 2017, is working toward ensuring that all appropriate adjustments are made to valuations and profitability at various subsidiaries, the company said in a statement on Friday. That has slowed down the process considerably.

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Zimbabwe’s lenders, which include units of Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Ecobank Ltd., appealed to the central bank to raise interest rates that have been capped at 12 percent for the past two years, saying this would increase lending in the collapsing economy, Bloomberg News reported. They also proposed that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduce an overnight rate to facilitate lending between financial institutions and the central bank, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe submissions seen by Bloomberg show.

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Nigeria expects to raise around 750 billion naira ($2.45 billion) from tax defaulters by the end of the first half of this year, the country’s tax chief said on Tuesday. The OPEC member, which has Africa’s largest economy, in 2017 emerged from a recession brought on by low oil prices and authorities have in the last few years sought to boost non-oil revenues, Reuters reported. Crude sales make up two-thirds of national revenue.

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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni urged the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd. to reverse a decision not to chase down people who aren’t paying electronic tolls to fund a freeway upgrade around Johannesburg and Pretoria. The state-owned company known as Sanral has faced resistance to e-tolls from motorists since their inception in 2013 and hasn’t issued public debt in at least three years following a drop in revenue caused by the boycott, Bloomberg News reported.

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Troubled South African retailer Steinhoff said on Tuesday it would place up to 694 million shares in KAP Industrial via an accelerated bookbuilding to raise cash to repay debt and shore up its finances, Reuters reported. The placement, which will be offered to institutional investors only, will result in Steinhoff, which has a 26 percent stake in KAP, no longer holding an interest in the diversified industrial group. Steinhoff in December 2017 admitted accounting irregularities, wiping about 85 percent off its market value and throwing it into a liquidity crisis.

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Confidence in South Africa’s civil construction sector is at the lowest in at least 22 years and could stay there for some time, Bloomberg News reported. A gauge tracking sentiment in the sector dropped in the first quarter to the lowest since its inception in 1997, according to a statement Tuesday by FirstRand Group Ltd.’s First National Bank and the Stellenbosch-based Bureau for Economic Research. That means 90 percent of participants in the quarterly survey are unsatisfied with current business conditions.

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African Bank Holdings Ltd. is joining the rush into digital banking to fail-proof the business and provide an exit for shareholders that resurrected the South African lender from its collapsed former parent, Bloomberg News reported. The firm’s unusual owners, which includes the South African central bank and six of the nation’s largest lenders, stepped in to save it with an equity injection when African Bank Investments Ltd. went into administration five years ago.

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Martin Kingston, who on April 1 steps down as chief executive officer of Rothschild & Co.’s South African unit after 13 years, wants to help revive the country’s beleaguered state-owned companies…South Africa’s state-owned companies became beset by skills shortages, unsustainable debt and bloated work forces during the nine-year tenure of former president Jacob Zuma, which ended in February last year, Bloomberg News reported. The country suffers regular power outages, a dysfunctional commuter train system and almost daily corruption scandals related to the firms.

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Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to dig deeper into the accounting misdeeds that brought the retailing giant to its knees as it seeks to get to the bottom of some $7.4 billion in fictitious or improper deals, Bloomberg News reported. A forensic probe by PwC found that a small group of former executives -- with the help of others outside the company -- structured phony transactions that substantially inflated earnings and asset values, according to a 10-page summary of the report published Friday.

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Steinhoff International Holdings NV is seeking to sell properties in Europe worth about 400 million euros ($450 million) to raise cash as it restructures its debt, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. The South African retailer, which almost collapsed amid an accounting scandal in late 2017, has hired Eastdil Secured LLC to advise on the sale of office buildings, warehouses and production sites in countries including the U.K., Germany, Poland, and Hungary, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

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