Category Archives: Investment Environment

Economic & Market Commentary : November 2017

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Global Although less than robust, global economic growth remains healthy with key measures indicating some momentum in the recovery are very strong. The manufacturing PMI lead indicators have been particularly strong: the ISM indicator in the US rose to its highest level since 2004, the Chinese official PMI is the highest since 2012, and the […]


Economic and Market Overview – October 2017

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Global Real global economic growth has tilted up and is approaching the long-term trend of 3.5% per annum, and yet global interest rates remain at depressed levels.  At 1.25% the Federal Reserve’s Fed funds rate is high when measured against its peers (Bank of England’s clearing bank rate at 0.25% and the European Central Bank’s […]


Economic and Market overview

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Global Remaining unchanged from last month global economic growth continues to track the market consensus of 3.3% in real terms this year, slightly stronger from 3.1% in 2016.  The latest quarterly data shows that the Eurozone grew by 0.6% quarter on quarter during the second quarter of 2017.  This implies that Europe is growing at […]


Interest rates fall as politics stalks the SARB

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The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) announced a 25 basis point (bps) cut in the benchmark interest rate at its 20 July meeting, thus dropping the repo rate from 7.00% to 6.75%. Most market analysts had expected interest rates to remain unchanged at this meeting, but had nevertheless expected […]


The global political challenges

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South Africans have become accustomed to the often bewildering statements and recommendations made by those in high political office. The most recent is the suggestion by the Department of Education that Mathematics should be removed as a compulsory promotion requirement of high school students. This is surely lowering an already low bar since the current […]


Recession. Surprise!!

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South Africa plunged into its second recession in eight years during the first quarter of 2017. Africa’s most industrialised economy contracted by 0.7% in the first three months of the year after a 0.3% drop at the end of 2016. The London Financial Times newspaper points out that the two consecutive quarters of decline mean […]


WEF Durban – after the downgrade

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The United States of America is undergoing uncertain transformation after the surprise election of Donald Trump as the new president in November last year. The United Kingdom and the European Union are undergoing uncertain transformation after the unexpected Brexit verdict from voters in June last year and France will now undergo uncertain transformation after the […]


Back to the past – downgrade time

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Under cover of darkness on Thursday 30 March, President Jacob Zuma announced the long-awaited cabinet reshuffle that has been on the cards since his disasterous appointment of Des van Rooyen as finance minister in December of 2015. While a number of the new appointments were rather contentious, the appointment of Malusi Gigaba as new finance […]


Encouraging signs of broad-based growth

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On the last day of February, newly elected USA President Donald Trump gave his first address to the US Congress. This was a much-awaited occasion as his first few weeks in power were very controversial and characterised by a number of hard-hitting executive orders that polarised opinion across the globe. Mr Trump took a “conciliatory […]


Politics clouds the start to 2017

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The dominant feature for South African investors in 2016 was the unexpected strength in the Rand when measured against the US Dollar. Over the course of the year the Rand/Dollar exchange rate strengthened by nearly 12%. It was clear in hindsight that the extreme weakness in the exchange rate after the Zuma-led Finance Minister debacle […]