Today’s Top 8 Business Stories

1) African Central Banks Face End to Cutting Cycle at July Meetings
After aggressive interest-rate reductions to shore up their economies against the havoc wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, central bankers in most sub-Saharan African countries will ask themselves whether the cutting cycle is over when they meet over the next nine days.

2) S. African Airways Records 1Q Loss of $118 Million, BM Says
South African Airways recorded a net loss of 1.97 billion rand ($118 million) for the first quarter of its 2020 financial year, a period during which the country was in a strict lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, Business Maverick reported. The state-owned airline hasn’t operated commercial flights since March, Business Maverick reported, citing a letter from SAA’s administrators to creditors and trade unions, which it has seen.

3) Eskom Plant Closure Worsens Power Cuts Amid Nepotism Concern
Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s own mishandling of a repair contract led to the closure of its Camden power plant, a move that worsened power cuts by South Africa’s near-monopoly electricity provider, the company said. In its first detailed explanation of the shutdown, Eskom said the initial 635 million rand ($38 million) contract expired in 2018 amid questions about conflicts of interest and environmental regulations.

4) Rand, Bonds Steady Ahead of Rate Decision
The rand was steady on Monday as traders weighed the unabated spread of the coronavirus against prospects of further policy easing by the central bank this week. Virus infections in South Africa topped 350,000 at the weekend, making the country the fifth-worst affected globally, even after the government introduced stricter lockdown rules a week ago. Deaths from Covid-19 rose above 5,000.

5) World’s Most Food-Insecure Region Hit by Lockdown Price Boom
Panic buying and lockdown-driven price increases pushed up food prices in major economies in sub- Saharan Africa, the world’s most food-insecure region. Data for South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria published last week show food prices were among the main contributors to headline inflation.

6) S. African Stocks Slip as Weaker Naspers Outweighs Gold Record
South Africa’s main stock index is 0.3% lower as of 9:41am in Johannesburg as weakness in market heavyweights Naspers and Richemont outweighs another record high for gold shares. * Eyes remain on the EU leaders summit, where talks over a massive stimulus package are due to resume Monday.

7) South Africa’s Gold Stocks Soar as Bullion Closes In on Record
An index of gold stocks in Johannesburg rose as much a 2.7% to a fresh all-time high on Monday, as bullion prices look set to take out the record reached in 2011, amid loose monetary policy, low real yields, record inflows into exchange-traded funds and increased asset allocation.

8) SOUTH AFRICA DAYBOOK: Blow to Prosus Ebay Bid, SAA Money, Virus
EBay Inc. would prefer to keep a stake in the classified advertising business it’s selling, according to people familiar with the matter, lessening the chances Prosus NV will win the hotly contested auction. Read more here WHAT TO WATCH: * NEWS: ** (DGH SJ): South Africa’s Liquor Industry Offers to Help Curb Drinking ** (WBO SJ): Eskom Plant Closure Worsens Power Cuts Amid Nepotism Concerns.

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