At first glance, South Africa is in a position of near-crisis. Its economic growth is sluggish, its government is making a series of unpopular decisions, and a severe drought is denting its agricultural output. However, the private sect seems to approve of the country's new finance minister, and the rand is showing signs of stability. So is there cause for optimism? James King investigates.
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Though South Africa's economy is cooling, its banks are continuing to perform strongly. For some, growth is coming from operations elsewhere in Africa, while for others its is stemming from the domestic market. James King looks at the strategies being employed to keep the country's lenders buoyant in a slow-growth environment.
The governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, tells James King about efforts to combat rising inflation and the impact of a devastating drought on the country’s economic outlook.
South Africa’s growth has been sluggish of late but the country’s financial sector remains one of the world’s most sophisticated, while the government’s reforms are allowing businesses to tap into fast-growing markets in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa more easily.
South Africa's lenders, for so long the shining light in Africa's representation in The Banker's Top 1000 rankings, retain the top spots in the regional list but mostly with falls in their Tier 1 capital. The good news, however, comes from the direction of Morocco's financial institutions.
South Africa’s central bank governor Gill Marcus faces the tricky task of curbing inflationary pressures while trying not to damage the country’s weak economy. Whether or not she succeeds will depend to a large extent on factors outside her control.
Africa’s banking industry has gone through huge changes during Jacko Maree’s career. The former chief executive of Standard Bank believes the future for banks on the continent looks promising, but says they will have to adapt to regulatory changes and tap new types of clients. Interview by Paul Wallace.
In the latest ranking of African banks, Nigeria’s lenders had a blockbuster year in terms of profits, demonstrating their recovery from the country's 2009 crisis, while South Africa's banks remain way out in front of the rest of Africa, but continue to experience subdued growth.
Africa’s underdeveloped economies and financial sectors have proved a barrier for central banks implementing monetary policy and prudential regulation. But recent years have seen significant progress, thanks in no small part to central banks’ growing independence from governments.