Sunday, 14 December 2014

South Africa: SARS clarifies tax exemptions on foreign pensions

PF 6Dec pensiontax ioliYou will not be taxed in South Africa on a pension that you accumulated while you worked outside the country, although this exemption is subject to several qualifications.
In November, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) issued Binding General Ruling 25, which aims to resolve the disputes that have arisen between SARS and some taxpayers whose pensions are partly or entirely the result of employment outside the country.
The ruling means that a pension that accrues for services rendered outside South Africa by a South African resident will generally not be subject to tax in this country, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) says in a statement. If the services were rendered both in South Africa and abroad, the portion of the pension to qualify for the exemption will be calculated using a formula where the period of employment abroad is a ratio of the total period of employment.
Marika Muller, the deputy spokesperson for SARS, says existing disputes over pensions from foreign employment will be dealt with according to the ruling.
A section of the Income Tax Act exempts from tax any pension received by or accrued to a resident from a source outside South Africa for past employment outside the country, Jenny Klein, a tax manager at ENSAfrica, says.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Nigeria: U.S. Policy to Counter Nigeria's Boko Haram

CFR Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies John Campbell.

Opening remarks by author John Campbell at the launch of Council Special Report No. 70, U.S. Policy to Counter Nigeria's Boko Haramby the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC.
The Council Special Report titled U.S. Policy to Counter Nigeria's Boko Haram is based on seven premises.
  • First, Nigeria is too big and too important for the United States to be indifferent to its present crisis.
  • Second, the Islamist insurgency called Boko Haram poses no security threat to the U.S. homeland, but its attack on Nigeria and a heavy-handed Abuja response characterized by human rights violations challenges U.S. interests in Africa.
  • Third, even after five years of insurrection, we know remarkably little about Boko Haram.
Unanswered questions range from its leadership structure to the sources of its funding to its links outside Nigeria.
Its stated goal – the creation of God's kingdom on earth through justice for the poor by the imposition of sharia – sounds more like a creedal formula than a political manifesto.
We don't even know whether Abubakar Shekau is a real person or a composit, rather like MEND's Jomo Gbomo or Cynthia White.

Nigeria: Aganga Lists Benefits of Compliance With IFRS

Olusegun Aganga
THE Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has identified compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as a veritable tool in the quest to attract much needed investments and guarantee investors' confidence.
Delivering the keynote address at a training the trainer workshop on IFRS for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) organised by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) in Lagos, on Tuesday, Aganga identified some of the benefits of adoption of the global set of accounting standards to include compilation of meaningful data on the performance of various reporting entities at both public and private levels in Nigeria.
This, he said, would thereby engender encouragement of comparability and reliability of financial reporting in the country; assurance of useful and meaningful decision on investment portfolio in Nigeria; and attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Other benefits, according to Aganga, are assurance of easier access to external capital for local and domestic companies, reduction of the cost of doing business across borders by eliminating the need for supplementary information from Nigerian companies, facilitation of consolidation of financial information of the same company in different countries, and easier regulation of financial information of reporting entities in Nigeria.

Nigeria's parliament says Shell should pay $4 billion for 2011 oil spill

A view of the shore of the Atlantic ocean at Orobiri village,days after Royal Dutch Shell's Bonga off-shore oil spill, in Nigeria's delta state December 31, 2011.REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
A view of the shore of the Atlantic ocean at Orobiri village,days after Royal Dutch Shell's Bonga off-shore oil spill, in Nigeria's delta state December 31, 2011.
(Reuters) - Nigeria's National Assembly said on Wednesday oil major Shell should pay $3.96 billion for a 2011 spill at its offshore Bonga oilfield in the latest assessment of damage to the environment.
The non-binding decision comes after years of analysis by various Nigerian state agencies, which have proposed a range of fines as high as $11.5 billion.
The parliament finally reached a decision based on the report of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), which previously recommended a fine of $5 billion.
Shell declined to comment. The company has previously said it took responsibility for the spill and had cleaned the area.
The parliament's decision is non-binding as it only has thepower to recommend fines to the government and cannot enforce them.

Insecurity Mars Abuja Carnival As 30 States Stay Away

In view of the ongoing security challenge that has crippled the entire sector of the economy, the 10th Edition of Abuja National Carnival organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation witnessed poor turnout of participant with 30 States of the 36 States of the Federation including FCT Shunning the event.
However seven states including Kogi, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Niger, Akwaibom, Kano and FCT including Ijaw Cultural troupe displayed their carnival float at the event without the presence of any foreign participation.
The Carnival with the theme, ‘Building an Enduring Creative Nation’ was almost cancelled due to insecurity but was poorly publicised by the Carnival committee in the Ministry, despite the budgetary allocation mapped out for the event.
Declaring the event open, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan represented by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo praised the Creative and Tourism sectors for contributing immensely to the country’s rebased Gross Domestic Product adding that the sectors provided economic development options such as poverty alleviation and wealth creation.
He maintained that despite insecurity that Nigeria has recorded remarkable progress in the creative sector even as he called on the private sector to contribute its quota to the development of the sector in line with President Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
In his address, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke expressed regret at the continued bombings rocking the nation, noting that the carnival would have been suspended till next year but had to take place since it was listed in the International calendar.
While thanking the Federal government for constantly preaching unity through its programmes, he noted that the carnival would be low – key due to the mood of the nation.
Source: Leadership

Devaluation: Naira Hits N186 In Black Market

The exchange rate for the dollar in Abuja “black market’’ on Wednesday stood at between N182 and N186, an investigation by a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent found.
This is against the new official exchange rate N168 announced on Tuesday by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.
The NAN correspondent, who checked near the Sheraton Hotel, Zone 4, Abuja, the rendezvous for most black market operators, found that the closest naira exchange to the official exchange rate was N182.
Some of the operators told NAN that the difference between their rate and the official rate was to accommodate the “extra charges’’ they pay to “dealers’’ they get the hard currency from.
A black market operator, Alhaji Usman Gongola, told NAN that he sold one dollar at N186 and bought one dollar for N183.
Another operator, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi, said he sold at N184 and bought one dollar for N182.
Also speaking, Alhaji Mohammed Bichi, told NAN that he sold one dollar at N182 and bought one dollar for N181.
The CBN on Tuesday announced a new exchange rate of N168 to one U.S. dollar as against the old rate of N155 to one dollar.
The CBN governor told newsmen at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday that the measure was to strengthen the economy, following continued slid of oil price in the international market.
Part of the measures, as announced by Emefiele, was an increase in lending rate from 12 per cent to 13 per cent. (NAN)

Nigeria devalues currency amid falling oil price

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has devalued of the naira, setting the new official exchange rate at 168 to the dollar from its previous rate of 155.
The central bank's governor Godwin Emefiele said Wednesday that the falling price of oil forced Nigeria to devalue its currency.
The new exchange rate represents an 8.3 percent devaluation in the face of heightened demand for foreign exchange. The U.S. dollar is goes for 184 naira on Nigeria's illegal foreign exchange market.
The last time the naira was devalued was November 2011, when Nigeria's central bank set the official exchange rate at 155 to $1 from its previous rate of 150.

AMCON announces completion of Enterprise Bank sale at N56.1bn

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (“AMCON”) has announced the successful completion of the sale of the entire issued and fully paid up ordinary shares of Enterprise Bank Limited (“Enterprise Bank” or “EBL”) to Heritage Bank owned special purpose vehicle, HBCL Investment Services Limited (“HISL”) (the “Transaction”), for a consideration of NGN56.1billion.
A statement signed by the head Corporate Communication, Strategy and Research AMCON Mr. Kayode Lambo said the Transaction was structured as a broad public auction process, which attracted interest from multiple domestic and international bidders, with HISL emerging as the preferred bidder.
According to AMCON, completion of this Transaction follows from the fulfilment of the terms and conditions stated in the Share Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) executed between AMCON and HISL.
“The Transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of AMCON and relevant regulatory approvals have been obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities & Exchange Commission.
In line with AMCON’s strategic objectives, this Transaction marks the divestment of the first of three banks that were acquired by AMCON in August 2011 and represents a landmark transaction in the Nigerian banking sector,” the statement read in part.
Citigroup Global Markets Limited (“Citi”) and Vetiva Capital Management Limited (“Vetiva”) acted as Financial Advisers to AMCON while G. Elias & Co. acted as Legal Advisers to AMCON on the Transaction.
Source: Nigerian Tribune

CBN commences public education to identify counterfeited notes

WorldStage Newsonline-- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced the education of the Nigerian public on the incorporated security features of the Naira, warning against the act of counterfeiting.

The Governor of the apex bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, gave the charge in Abuja Wednesday while declaring open the maiden temporary exhibitions of the Currency Museum on “Counterfeit Money: Who Pays?” and “Non-Interest Banking in Nigeria” held at the Bank’s auditorium.

Emefiele, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Governor in charge of the Operations Directorate, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, noted that educating the public would enable them identify counterfeited notes should they encounter such. According to him, the CBN remains committed to safeguarding the value of the Naira by ensuring that banknotes are not susceptible to counterfeiting.

Earlier, the Director, Currency Operations Department of the Bank, Mr. Olufemi Fabamwo, observed that technological advancement posed a serious threat for national currencies to be counterfeited.

He, however, stressed that the CBN was alive to its role of protecting the country’s legal tender from counterfeiting by putting in place appropriate policies relating to preventing and minimizing currency counterfeiting as well as providing the public with basis for easy identification of fake notes.

Reflecting further on the second subject of the exhibitions, Fabamwo noted that the concept of non-interest banking was largely still being misunderstood in Nigeria.

While disclosing that the activities of non-interest banks are duly regulated by the CBN, he urged stakeholders to embrace the products offered by non-interest banking based on their universal acceptability and benefits to customers.

Capital Market Capitalisation Appreciates By N155bn

cbn_building33Stock market activities are beginning to shape up as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concluded the last MPC meeting for the year with new adjustments including the one per cent increase in MPR.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has sustained the uptrend as the market capitalisation further gained N155billion on Wednesday to close at N11.481 trillion from an opening of N11.263 trillion. Also, the All-Share Index rose by 467.45 points or 1.37 per cent to close at 34,583.29, from the 34,115.84 achieved on Tuesday.
Nestle led the gainers’ chart by N35.01, to close at N900.01 per share. Mobil gained N7.49 to close at N157.39, while Nigerian Breweries grew by N3.06 to close at N163.17 per share.
Flourmill appreciated by N2.17 to close at N45.75, while Guinness went up by N2 to close at N160 per share. On the other hand, International Breweries recorded the highest price loss of 60 kobo, to close at N26 per share. Champion Breweries trailed with a loss of 49 kobo to close at N9.36, while UAC Property dipped by 32 kobo to close at N10.53 per share.
Forte Oil lost 21 kobo to close at N203.99, while Ikeja Hotel depreciated by 16 kobo to close at N35.80 per share. Banking stocks led market volume as Zenith Bank traded 149.71 million valued at N3.12 billion. Skye Bank followed with an exchanged of 117.98 million shares valued at N383.64 million.
Source: Leadership

Naira devaluation: House committee faults CBN

The House of Representatives Committee on banking and currency, has frowned at the devaluation of the local currency and increase in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), saying that the development would further suffocate budding businesses.
The Chairman of the House Committee, Chukwudi Jones Onyereri, said CBN’s decision should have been preceded by considerations of attendant hike in interest rates by banks.
According to him, the increment from 12 per cent to 13 per cent would be responded to by the financial institutions in a fierce manner such that interest rates would become higher urging CBN to think about placing a cap on rates as a matter of urgency.
Onyereri, who made the disclosure during the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency’s oversight visit, in Lagos, on Tuesday, raised concern that some interventions of CBN may constitute a distraction, advised that the apex bank face projects that will directly impact on the lives of the people.
He said that part of the country’s challenge is misplaced priorities and policy directives that do not take into consideration the domestic factors.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


130 years ago gold was discovered in South Africa, and 20 years ago the country became a democracy. This has seen the release of the 1oz 20-Year Democracy Gold Coin. Alan Demby, Chairman of The South African Gold Coin Exchange joins CNBC Africa for a look at whether the gold coin market could offer shining returns.


From the recently concluded World Economic Forum on Africa CNBC Africa's Wole Famurewa spoke to Jabu Mabuza, Chairman of Telkom and discussed how business leaders can achieve inclusive growth and create jobs.


The east3Route Investment Seminar 2014 recently took place at the International Convention Centre in Durban. At the event a panel of high profile delegates in the tourism sector took to the stage to discuss the policy environment to improve the investment landscape in the east3ROUTE region. CNBC Africa's Nozipho Mbanjwa spoke to BUSA president, Jabu Mabuza about investment opportunities on the continent.


The confidence index for Africa among business leaders has remained unchanged over the third quarter of 2014, according to YPO Global Pulse.

The Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO) Global Pulse Confidence Index for Africa released on Tuesday puts Africa at 61.9 points despite the Ebola outbreak that is rampaging West African states.
According to Paul Kavuma, CEO at Catalyst Principal Partners, business leaders in Africa maintained a cautious optimism.
“Any sought of confidence rating over 60 per cent still shows strong confidence and optimism in the economy. So generally Africa although it remains stagnant from one perspective, it is actually stagnant but at a high level and while it may have been stagnant because there are some economics that have been under more pressure while others have been really racing well  and doing extremely well,” Kavuma said in a statement.