Mergers and acquisitions 2021: Uncertainties remain, but there is cause for optimism

The coronavirus crisis brought economic activity to an abrupt halt in many sectors and regions last year – and this is likely to continue in 2021 – but mergers and acquisitions were not dead in the water, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Mergers and acquisition (M&A) transactions totalled $25.7-billion in 2020 in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Refinitiv’s investment banking analysis for the region. Refinitiv is a global provider of financial market data and infrastructure. The value of announced M&A transactions was 62% less than that recorded during the previous year, when Naspers’s…

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SA beer industry warns craft brewers will not survive extended alcohol ban

JOHANNESBURG – The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) on Wednesday urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift a renewed ban on alcohol, saying small craft brewers would not survive if it was extended beyond mid January. In a national address last week in which he reintroduced restrictions aimed at trying to arrest a surge in Covid-19 cases, Ramaphosa said excessive alcohol consumption was adding pressure on the already strained health system by driving up the number of trauma cases in hospitals. Among other measures, he said the sale of alcohol…

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Pandemic, loadshedding puts brakes on local manufacturing

JOHANNESBURG – RECOVERY in the manufacturing sector is expected to slow further in early 2021 due to the Covid-19 second wave and the return of loadshedding. Absa on Friday predicted a gloomy picture after its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined further in December dragged by declining employment. Absa said the seasonally adjusted PMI declined to 50.3 index points from 52.6 in November, the lowest level since July 2020. The reading just above 50 index points suggested that growth was levelling off after solid month-on-month gains were recorded in the wake…

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Manufacturing in contraction as demand remains depressed due to Covid-19 restrictions

JOHANNESBURG – MANUFACTURING production in South Africa is expected to stay in contractionary territory in the short to medium term as demand remains depressed due to the extension of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) yesterday showed that manufacturing output continued its downward spiral in November, falling 3.5 percent compared with the same month a year before. This was the 18th straight month of declines in factory activity and at the quickest pace since August as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to affect demand. StatsSA…

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African manufacturers will need to boost efficiency to master the challenges of the current market

By Gerhard Hartman, Vice President: Medium Business, Sage Africa & Middle East In the aftermath of the virus outbreak, 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for the manufacturing sector. The World Bank predicts the pandemic will push Sub-Saharan Africa into its first recession in 25 years with growth predicted to fall to -3.3% for 2020. Reduced demand has taken its toll on the balance sheet and cash flow of most producers. Pandemic effects to linger Many side effects from the pandemic could linger for years – from a scramble to…

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Artificial Intelligence Helping African Farmers in the Fight Against Locusts

Kuzi is a free early warning tool, delivered by SMS, that helps farmers across Africa to predict and control locust attacks. Kuzi uses satellite data, soil sensor data, ground meteorological observation, and machine learning to predict the breeding, occurrence, and migration routes of desert locusts. Farmers and pastoralists receive free SMS alerts 2-3 months in advance of when locusts are highly likely to attack farms and livestock forage in their areas, allowing for early intervention. The alerts are in regional languages of Kiswahili, Somali and Amharic, spoken by over 200…

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How SMEs Can Run Leaner and More Profitably in 2021

By Anton Oosthuizen   As 2021 gets into full swing, business owners are doing whatever they can to make this year’s profit line tracks upwards.   As an entrepreneur and business owner myself, I understand the full meaning of the statement, “minding your own business.” For your business to grow, you need to be deliberate about how you manage it if you hope to generate the profits that you seek.   Here are several strategies I encourage you to follow as you look to make your small business more leaner,…

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KBL’s submersible pump-sets get renewed BIS Certification and BEE Star Rating

Mumbai, 11th January, 2020: Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL), the leading pump manufacturing company in India, has recently received renewed certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) Star Rating for 320 and 45 models of its submersible pump-sets, respectively. These water and oil-filled bore-well submersible pump-sets are mainly used in the agriculture and domestic user segments. The BIS certification is a true indicator of KBL’s trusted and assuredsuperior product and service quality. Meanwhile, the BEE star rated pumps result in power and energy bill…

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More International Banks Use FICO Platform for Asset Governance and Regulatory Compliance

South Africa, January 14, 2021 — Analytics software firm FICO today announced that Yapi Kredi, one of the largest private banks in Turkey, will use FICO® Decision Central™ to manage analytics models and decision logic across the enterprise. Yapi Kredi joins many international banks who aim to seamlessly conduct and orchestrate smarter analytics and data pipelines and enhance AI / machine learning lifecycle management. FICO Decision Central enables businesses to capture models and other decision assets so that they can be reused, modified and improved over time.   More information: http://www.fico.com/en/products/fico-decision-central  …

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SA’s fashion industry is not taking Covid-19 lying down

The fashion and clothing industry will overcome the myriad challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic 23 NOVEMBER 2020 – 16:34 PRECIOUS MOLOI-MOTSEPE Picture: SUPPLIED This year we helplessly watched Covid-19 bring the global economy to its knees. Governments around the world responded by implementing lockdowns to contain the rapid spread of the deadly pandemic to their populations. Unfortunately, these measures — intended to save lives — suffocated economies. By the end of 2020, the world’s economy is expected to have shrunk 7.5%, the deepest contraction since the World War 2, which…

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