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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 5/21/2020

Finweek is South Africa’s leading financial weekly magazine focusing on investment. With its brisk, creative and authoritative analysis of business and investment issues, it’s an essential business tool in the daily battle for competitive advantage. Today's business decision-makers have to cope with increased pressure on their time and are expected, more than ever before, to succeed in the face of stiffer competition. Finweek provides relevant information in quick bytes, along with award-winning investment advice.

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25 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

writing this week’s note had me on tenterhooks. Not because of the usual uncertainty that comes with having to write 400 words that aren’t complete drivel, but because as I write this, I am filled with stomach-churning anxiety – and a side of anger – because, frankly, it’s not been a great couple of weeks since our last deadline. It started with the news that Associated Media Publishing had closed its doors, followed a few days later by the shock announcement that Caxton had decided to withdraw from magazine publishing. Most of us at finweek know people who have been directly affected by this – former colleagues, friends or even family. My mother is one of them. As of 4 May she is out of a job, as is the entire team…

5 min.
sport serves bigger goal than we think

i miss sport. I miss following my favourite teams, the bloggers who write about them, the news about new recruitments, arriving at a friend’s house on match day, the intensity of a big rivalry, the gloating after a win, and, yes, even the agony of perennial disappointments (and, to be honest, there are many if you’re a Protea, Stormers and Arsenal supporter!). Sport, I now realise more than before, has a way of bringing people together like no other social event can. On a big match day, I could have the same conversation with people of all walks of life, men and women, black and white, rich and poor, in multiple languages. I miss those interactions with my fellow South Africans. We, more than any other nation, know only too well…

5 min.
will african states use covid-19 to grab more power?

never let a good crisis go to waste, SirWinston Churchill may, or may not, have said. Many politicians and economists are now taking that advice anyway, capitalising on the Covid-19 crisis, to advance their own agendas or justify their pet theories. In South Africa, for instance, the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a strong anti-smoker, seems controversially to have browbeaten President Cyril Ramaphosa into reversing policy and imposing a ban on tobacco and cigarette sales during the lockdown. The minister of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel, likewise banned e-commerce partly because of “the impact on other businesses”. So Patel, a communist, is clearly using the regulations to try to effect fairness among businesses. Neither of these policies have much to do with curbing Covid-19. At the other end of…

3 min.
in brief

“IN THE ABSENCE OF A BUSINESS RESCUE PLAN, THE ISSUING OF NOTICES COMMENCING A CONSULTATION PROCESS OVER PROPOSED RETRENCHMENTS IS PROCEDURALLY UNFAIR.” − Judge André van Niekerk of the Labour Court ruled that the retrenchment notices issued to almost 5 000 South African Airways workers were “procedurally unfair” under section 136 of the Companies Act because the airline’s rescue practitioners, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, had not presented a decisive plan on how the airline will be rescued, according to Daily Maverick. The court ordered the rescue practitioners to withdraw the retrenchment notices as a result. Dongwana told Reuters that the administrators will appeal the court ruling. “THERE IS NOTHING SINISTER IN A CHANGE OF POSITION FOLLOWING A CONSULTATIVE PROCESS … IN FACT, THE VERY NATURE OF CONSULTATION IS THAT CHANGE MAY…

2 min.
double take

THE GOOD SA fell out of the World Government Bond Index following downgrades of the country’s debt to junk by all three major rating agencies; S&P, Fitch and Moody’s. But the immediate impact seemed muted; bonds gained and the rand rallied after the exit. The R2030 government bond yield dropped 105 basis points in the last week of April, after a 70 basis points decline the week prior, said the Bureau for Economic Research. Kieran Curtis, investment director for emerging markets at Aberdeen Asset Management, told Bloomberg, “the Moody’s downgrade had been such a long time coming that many active fund managers will either have sold, or will have the flexibility to continue to own and presumably are comfortable with that”. THE BAD The SA government said that it is holding back some…

3 min.
virtual working will be the only option for many small businesses

with South Africa’s extended national lockdown having forced many businesses to embrace remote working at just a moment’s notice, the jury is still out as to how effective the rushed transitions to a purely digital existence have been. It’s simply too soon to tell. Most business leaders and teams are still immersed in Zoom meetings and Google Docs, fighting screen fatigue and bleary eyes as they acclimatise to a strange ‘new normal’. Cocooned in makeshift home offices, the daily stresses of long commutes and road rage have been replaced by the evils of online trolls and Zoombombing (when uninvited users enter your online meeting and share inappropriate or disturbing content). And while some companies have flourished in this purely virtual way of working, others have faltered. “SA businesses have experienced an earthquake of…