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 […]


Investment Outlook for 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 […]


The Trump effect

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November marked one of the most decisive shifts for global financial markets in recent years, with a number of asset classes — from bank stocks, emerging-market bonds to hard commodities — staging sharp price swings in the space of a mere three weeks. Bloomberg reports that investors appear to think that the unexpected victory of […]


Zuma under siege

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On Wednesday 2 November, President Jacob Zuma dropped his court bid to delay the release of the Public Protector’s report over alleged influence peddling in government as thousands marched in the streets of Pretoria against the president. The rand strengthened more than 1% and bonds firmed in response to the withdrawal, which analysts said was […]