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Helping hand for budding entrepreneurs

  • Published in News

ABSA is changing perceptions of the way we think about financial institutions, particularly when it comes to entrepreneur development. Its Shared Growth Strategy is designed to assist emerging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa to grow and prosper through various Enterprise Development (ED) initiatives, while adding to shareholder value. These initiatives contribute to the wider national agenda to promote a thriving SME sector that enables economic and social development in the country.

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Will bots ever take over the world of customer service?

Driverless cars, 3D printers and smart homes have arrived, and nobody is surprised any longer about pronouncements that artificial intelligence has come close to matching human capabilities, even surpassing it in some ways. Still, there are certain areas of life and business where the human touch will arguably always have a place over robotics - “bots” for short.

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2016 Absa Pinotage Awards

  • Published in Videos

Legendary Stellenbosch wine estate Kanonkop and Rijk’s Cellars from Tulbagh have furthered their dominance of the Absa Top 10 Pinotage Awards by each raking in an unprecedented 11th Absa Top 10 Trophy. At this year’s awards function, held on 26 August at the Cavalli Estate outside Stellenbosch, the Kanonkop Pinotage 2010 and Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2013 won two of the Absa Top 10 trophies handed to the winning wines in the 2016 competition. The 10 winners topped a total of 144 wines entered for the event, which was the 20th time South Africa’s leading cultivar-focussed wine competition was held.

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MPC interest rate decision

Jacques du Toit, Property Analyst at Absa Home Loans

 
Interest rates unchanged: 
 
Based on a number of economic and interest rate-related factors, the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to leave the key monetary policy interest rate – the repo rate – unchanged at a level of 7% per annum at its penultimate meeting of 2016. This caused commercial banks’ prime lending base rates for extending credit to the consumer and business sectors to remain stable at 10,5% per annum. Factors that prompted the MPC in keeping the repo rate unchanged include a strengthening rand exchange rate in recent weeks, less upward pressure on inflation, a subdued economic performance in the first half of the year, continued financial pressure on households and businesses and indications of a continued relatively subdued cycle of monetary policy tightening in the US. Recent high-frequency domestic data releases (mining production, manufacturing production, retail sales, new vehicle sales and the leading business cycle indicator) point to continued poor economic growth prospects in the near term. However, macroeconomic trends and inflationary pressures will be closely monitored and further rate hikes in coming months cannot be ruled out.
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