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South Africa: Maria Ramos of Absa to retire in February.

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Absa said on Tuesday its CEO Maria Ramos would retire at the end of February after ten years at the helm, sending the bank’s shares higher as traders saw this as a chance for a fresh start.

René van Wyk will become interim chief executive with effect from March until a permanent appointment is made, the lender said in a statement.

Absa, currently South Africa’s third biggest lender, has been trying to carve out a name for itself as a stand-alone African bank after separating from its parent, Britain’s Barclays, in 2017.



Ramos steps down after completing that separation and the relaunch of the brand.

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“With the separation on track and our new strategy as a standalone financial institution in place, Maria feels that this is the right time to retire,” Absa said.

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The bank said Ramos had indicated a desire to step down earlier, but agreed to see the group through the separation negotiations with Barclays.

Nilan Morar, head of trading at Global Trader, concurred: “Making way for fresh blood and new ideas would not typically be a bad thing after a period that is that long.”

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President Ramaphosa to Sign South African Competition Amendment Bill Into Law

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will sign into law today the Competition Amendment Bill, which will strengthen regulations against anti-competitive behaviour in industrial markets.



The bill, which was approved by the National Assembly in October 2018 and endorsed by the National Council of Provinces in December 2018, is a step in the right direction for SMEs, economic inclusion and it opens up the economy to fresh investment and innovation.

It also provides a clear mandate to the competition authorities to address economic concentration in a balanced manner and to promote economic transformation, the Presidency said on Monday.

Additionally, the amended legislation seeks to combat concentration and economic exclusion as core challenges that contribute to slower and less dynamic growth, lower employment and greater inequalities, as well as socio-political conflict.

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The Presidency said this will enable a more effective approach to concentration, with a focus on improving outcomes for small and black-owned business, and strengthen the institutions involved in managing competition policy and law.

The signing ceremony will take place this afternoon at the Tuynhuys Chambers in Parliament. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, who campaigned fiercely for the bill’s codification, will join the ceremony along with a group of stakeholders.

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Manufacturing Output Growth Slows Again in South Africa

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The preliminary data from Statistics South Africa has showed the rate at which South Africa manufacturing output slowed twice again within the month of December.




Negative contributions came from petroleum, chemicals, rubber and plastic products, iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery industries to make outputs edged up a non-adjusted 0.1% year-on-year in December following a 1.3% increase in November and a 3.0% gain in October

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As against a drastic output growth in the prior month; 0.7% following a 0.4% rise in November

Meanwhile motor vehicles, parts and other transport equipment, food and beverages, glass and non-metallic mineral products made the biggest positive contributions in December.

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