Africa economy

Trading surges at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange despite lockdown

Africa's biggest stock market had tested remote working before Covid 19 restrictions
Africa's biggest financial market was ready for staff and traders working remotely, because it had tested its system before the Covid 19 restrictions were imposed by the government.

Foreign investors took the exit door, but a requirement for local fund managers to keep a portion of their holdings in South African assets kept the market busy.

Leila Fourie, the Chief Executive of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, tells the BBC's Russell foreign investors will take a positive view of South Africa, because they can get a better return there, than Europe or the US.

(Picture: Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Copyright Reuters.)

Do African countries need their debt cancelled to tackle coronavirus?

Many countries are spending multiples of their health budget servicing debts
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken economies around the world, but the impact on poorer countries is expected to be particularly acute.

The G20 club of wealthy nations announced debt relief measures in mid April. However, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has said that repayments should be suspended until the pandemic is over - or cancelled completely.

Would such radical measures allow countries in Africa to better weather the emergency and invest in health service?

Yvonne Mhango is an economist for Sub-Saharan Africa with Renaissance Capital in South Africa.

(Photo: Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. Credit: Getty Images)

Is South African Airways about to be grounded permanently?

Debt ridden SAA has not made a profit since 2011 and the government has cut off funds
SAA is deep in debt, has not made a profit since 2011 and the government has refused to provide more funds to the administrators who are trying to rescue the troubled state airline.

Friday is the deadline for trade unions representing 5,000 staff at South African Airways to accept a severance package.

Nick Fadugba, a former Secretary General of the Association of African Airlines, tells the BBC's Russell Padmore, the government has an opportunity to team up with a big international carrier, to create an airline that would be a major force in the continent's aviation industry.

(Picture: South African Airways jet. Credit: Getty Images.)