Africa in business: from bank notes to beauty

STORY: Here are five business stories making headlines in sub-Saharan Africa this week.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled a new set of naira banknotes on Wednesday (November 23) in a move partly aimed at controlling liquidity.

"There was an urgent need to take control of currency in circulation and to address the hoarding of naira bank notes outside the banking system, the shortage of clean and fit bank notes in circulation and the increase in counterfeiting of high-denomination naira banknotes."

A group of 21 Tanzanian nationals have filed a lawsuit in Canada alleging the world's second-biggest gold miner, Barrick Gold, was complicit in extrajudicial killings by police guarding its North Mara mine.

According to the filing the plaintiffs include nine people beaten or shot by Tanzanian police and the relatives of five who were killed.

A Barrick Gold spokesperson said the Statement of Claim is "riddled with inaccuracies" and that the company would "vigorously defend against these allegations."

Trafigura has agreed a $600 million syndicated financing facility with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank to develop cobalt and copper mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The commodities trader said the funding would help it complete, among other projects, Congo miner Chemaf's new mechanized mine at Mutoshi, which it said will become the third-largest cobalt mine in the world.

Ghana's sovereign dollar-denominated bonds fell as much as 1.9 cents in the dollar on Friday (November 25).

That's a day after Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah said the debt-laden country was considering a "haircut" of up to 30% on its overseas debt.

His comments came after the finance minister announced Ghana's state budget and said the country was at high risk of debt distress.

And finally, South African pharmacy chain Clicks Group has said it will expand its beauty portfolio by acquiring salon-owner Sorbet Holdings for 105 million rand, or $6.2 million.

The Sorbet Group is a beauty-salon franchize chain of over 190 outlets across South Africa, operating under the Sorbet, Sorbet Man and Candi & Co brands, with the latter specializing in ethnic hairstyles.