Axa exits tobacco and Standard Bank's $19m fraud loss

May 23, 2016, 12:28 PM

Hello I'm Russell Padmore with this Business Update from the BBC.

The main headlines:

The French insurance group Axa has unveiled plans to sell all of its investments in the tobacco industry.

$19 million has been stolen from South Africa's Standard Bank, using cash machines in Japan.

And the African Development Bank has forecast the continent's economy will grow three point seven percent this year.

The authorities in Japan are hunting for criminals who stole millions from cash machines across the country, in a robbery that took a few hours, using fake credit cards from South Africa's Standard Bank. It's reported up to a hundred people raided ATMs at more than a thousand Japanese convenience stores, which cost the African financial group $19 million. From Johannesburg, where Standard Bank is based, here's the BBC's Matthew Davies.

The African Development Bank predicts the continent's economy will shrug off the slump in commodity prices to achieve economic growth of three point seven percent this year. The AFDB is holding its annual meeting in Zambia this week, where it will emphasise its plan to transform Africa's economies, by expanding activities other than farming and oil. But attracting new investment for medium sized projects is a challenge, when bodies like the African Development Bank are so focussed on bigger multi billion dollar projects. That's according to Doctor Amy Jadesimi, the managing director of the transport and hotels group LADOL, in Nigeria.

Countries in East Africa are making moves to ease restrictions on visas for travel within the region, perhaps leading the way for the rest of the continent. Economists claim the removal of travel restrictions across borders could boost economic growth and that has prompted calls for the abolishment of visa requirements. The BBC's Michael Kaloki reports from Nairobi.

As Africa industrialises one thing it will need is management skills - including people management skills. Managers need to motivate their staff, and there are plenty of pitfalls awaiting the unwary boss, mistakes that can just earn the scorn of the people they are aimed at. Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times often draws our attention to the poor attitude of bosses and this time she has found a senior figure at the heart of the financial world, who she thinks did get something right - but not much.

Axa will sell two billion dollars worth of investments in the tobacco sector, citing the impact of smoking on public health. The insurance giant is divesting itself of assets connected to tobacco to support the efforts of governments around the world to improve the health of their citizens. Axa's incoming Chief Executive, Thomas Buberl, gave an exclusive interview to the BBC to explain the company's new strategy.....