Weakening Government Credit Profile Leads To Moody’s Downgrade Of SA Banks

Posted on June 13th, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (13 June)

Moody’s Investor Services pointed to a weakening government credit profile leading to its reduced capacity to provide support to banks in case of need when it downgraded the five largest South African banks on Monday night with a negative outlook.

Moody’s downgraded the long-term local and foreign-currency deposit ratings of the five largest South African banks one notch above investment grade to Baa3 with a negative outlook from Baa2.

The downgraded banks are Standard Bank, FirstRand Bank, Absa, Nedbank, and Investec.

The ratings agency said the primary driver for rating downgrades was the challenging operating environment in South Africa, characterised by a pronounced economic slowdown, and weakening institutional strength.

Moody’s downgraded South Africa’s sovereign credit rating last week and assigned a negative outlook.

The rating agency said it expected GDP growth of only 0.8 percent in 2017 and 1.5 percent in 2018, from 0.3 percent in 2016, levels significantly below the government’s target growth.

The South African economy last week entered a recession for the first time since 2009, after growth contracted by 0.7 percent in the first quarter of the year.

Moody’s said these challenging economic conditions, combined with potentially weaker investor confidence, volatility in asset prices, and higher funding costs would likely pressure banks’ earnings and asset quality metrics going forward, and challenge their resilient financial performance so far.

In addition, the banks’ high sovereign exposure, mainly in the form of government debt securities held as part of their liquid assets requirement, linked their credit profile to that of the government.

Orange Digital Investment Launches New Investment Initiative Of 50 million Euros Devoted To African Startups

Orange is strengthening its corporate venture strategy by creating a new Africa section in its flagship programme for investment in startups, Orange Digital Ventures. As part of this initiative, the Group is committing 50 million euros corresponding to half of the direct investments made via its new Orange Digital Ventures Africa programme; the other half is devoted to indirect investments through specialised funding for Africa.

Orange Digital Ventures Africa is the Group’s investment vehicle for early-stage innovation projects in Africa in areas such as new connectivities, fintech, the Internet of Things, energy and e-health. The objective is to target startups offering responses to Africa’s fundamental challenges while leveraging the operator’s assets on the continent. This support will concern all innovative startups, whether they are based geographically in Africa or they address African issues from another continent.

A dedicated team based in Dakar will be set up next September for the programme in order to respond to the startups need for responsiveness and simplicity. This new initiative underlines Orange’s commitment in Africa, a growth territory where currently nearly one of every ten inhabitants is an Orange customer, and its determination to always be a cutting-edge player in digital ecosystems.

It supports Orange’s existing open innovation initiatives in Africa, such as the Orange Fabs in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal and BIG in Jordan to facilitate partnerships with the startups; the network of partner incubators such as CTIC in Dakar; the availability of Orange APIs on the continent; and the Orange Social Venture Prize recognising social entrepreneurs in Africa.

Pierre Louette, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange and Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures, commented: “Since the beginning of Orange Digital Ventures, the new services and business models in Africa have been one of the priority investment themes of our corporate venture business. With this announcement, we are engaging a bit further alongside the African digital ecosystem, which like everywhere else and maybe even more than elsewhere carries with it a development challenge.”

The startups may contact the Orange Digital Ventures Africa team via the website http://DigitalVentures.orange.com.

12 Startups To Pitch At Seedstars World Mozambique Announced

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Maputo on the 14th of June to scout for the best entrepreneurs in technology. The competition is carried out with the support of local lead partner, Standard Bank and local ambassador UX Information Technologies. In addition, the initiative has partnered with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Shell, and received support from Internet Solutions, Castle Lite, and Coca-Cola.

In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 80 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to 500.000 USD in equity investment.

The 12 startups that are selected to participate at the Seedstars World Maputo 2017 pitching event are:

  • Supevy – A platform that highlights good products and services close by, with prices and customer reviews.
  • buycomz – An e-commerce platform for international luxury products with free shipping and easy payment capabilities.
  • CrimeDown – A USSD and mobile platform aiming to reduce crime and protect citizens by providing resources to locate police stations and report cases of assault or accidents easily.
  • Dream Solutions Enterprise – An event management platform that provides innovative services from event promotion and online tickets sales, to the creation of reports and real-time tracking.
  • Fakul – An education platform, offering a cheap and fun way to get students ready for University Admission Exams in just 20 days.
  • Karingana Wa Karingana Textiles – A platform aiming to revolutionize the African textile market by offering brands customized prints produced on demand in small quantities.
  • Kharin,Lda – A platform that promotes and advertises tourism and culture in Mozambique. It also helps tourists make the most of their local experience.
  • Olenvo – An e-Learning platform that brings people who want to teach and those who want to learn, making the learning process more personalized, open and flexible.
  • Publiaki – LavaMe is a mobile app for an eco-friendly carwash service that does the custom service scheduling and uses no water.
  • Side – An education platform that can help connect parents and tutors to improve education quality and provide additional resources for students to learn.
  • TABECH SERVICOS E.I. – MóvelCare is a virtual mobile insurance service that uses mobile phones to access funeral insurance without the use of internet.
  • Tech4Kids Academy – An education platform targeting African children, especially girls, and aiming to use technology to provide learning opportunities at an early age.