Flash Briefing: Is SA closer to bringing in Guptas? UAE extradition deal; green light for municipal elections; Zimbabwe
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Flash Briefing: Is SA closer to bringing in Guptas? UAE extradition deal; green light for municipal elections; Zimbabwe

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  • South Africa is a step closer to holding the powerful Gupta family to account for corruption and state capture, with the United Arab Emirates confirm it has ratified an extradition treaty with South Africa, which is seeking the extradition of three Gupta brothers who are close associates of former president Jacob Zuma. The Gupta brothers are alleged to have used their links with Zuma to steal more than R500bn ($37bn) from the state, reports Bloomberg. Interpol has been asked to help South Africa with the execution of arrest warrants for Atul and Rajesh Gupta and their spouses, along with four other people. The US Treasury in 2019 imposed sanctions on brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta and a fourth businessman, who it said were members of a “significant corruption network”
  • South Africa will hold municipal elections in October as planned, and will institute measures to mitigate against the risk of the coronavirus spreading during the voting process, the chairman of the nation’s Independent Electoral Commission said. The IEC has looked at voting in more than 100 countries and judging from their experience considers it appropriate that the local election can proceed, Glen Mashinini told reporters in Johannesburg, says Bloomberg.
  • Zimbabweans living abroad almost doubled the amount of money they sent home this year, bolstering the economy, Central Bank Governor John Mangudya said. Remittances, says Bloomberg, jumped to $411.1m in the first four months of the year, compared with $221.9m a year earlier, Mangudya said by phone Wednesday from the capital, Harare. The inflows are Zimbabwe’s second-biggest source of foreign-exchange earnings, after revenue from platinum exports.
  • Some banks, awash in deposits, are encouraging corporate clients to spend the cash on their businesses or move it elsewhere, reports BizNews Premium partner The Wall Street Journal. Bank deposits have continued to surge this year. Between late March and May 26, they rose by $411bn to $17.09trn, according to the latest available data from the Federal Reserve. That is slower than the pace last spring, but still nearly four times the average of the past 20 years, according to the Fed data. High deposits usually aren’t a bad thing for banks, as long as they can use the money to make loans. But bank lending has been slow as many companies prefer to borrow money from investors. For banks, total loans equaled 61% of all deposits as of May 26, down from 75% in February 2020, according to the Fed data. The industry net-interest margin, a key measure of lending profitability, fell to a record low in the first quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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