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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 12/17/2020

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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

as the finweek team put together the December 2019 issue a year ago, I distinctly remember how our markets expert, Maarten Mittner cautioned that we should “expect the unexpected” in 2020. Little did we know just how bizarre and devastating 2020 would in fact turn out to be. Now, as we all look forward to putting the year behind us, there is also the nagging reality that the arrival of 2021 is not going to miraculously bring relief with it. The consequences – economic, social and political – of the events that took place over the last 12 months will continue to echo into the new year. It is with this in mind that we compiled this issue of finweek. The theme “So, what now?” attempts to explore these consequences as South…

5 min.
how technology influences politics

social media has changed politics. It is now much easier for leaders to talk directly to their followers. In the US, Barack Obama was one of the first presidents to use social media to bolster support. Donald Trump tweets almost daily to his more than 88m followers. Twitter and other social media do not only benefit political incumbents. A recent study forthcoming in Management Science calculates the additional campaign contributions that politicians, who run for the US Congress, received after they began using Twitter. The authors estimate that “the differential effect of opening a Twitter account in regions with high versus low levels of Twitter penetration, amounts to an increase of 0.7% to 2% in donations for all politicians and 1% to 3.1% for new politicians, who were never elected to…

4 min.
b-bbee is buckling under pressure

just as I thought broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) policy had been relegated to the backseat of public discourse, it has stormed back into the front seat. Between 2010 and 2019, the policy went into a lull due to a significant reduction in the number of major B-BBEE equity transactions that were concluded, resulting in news and information about the policy virtually disappearing from mainstream media. During its heydays, B-BBEE dominated news headlines and many of its beneficiaries, mostly politically connected people, became famous overnight – thanks to the policy helping them to strike riches within a short space of time. However, the dearth of headline-grabbing B-BBEE deals, where black investors bought shares in JSE-listed companies, did not mean that self-enrichment by the politically connected elite came to an end. It simply migrated…

6 min.
the crazy year that was 2020

The new decade literally kicked off with a bang in January 2020, after US President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iran’s major general Qasem Soleimani and almost triggered World War III. Little did the world know that it would end up fighting a war after all, albeit a different and viral one. As one of the craziest years ever (finally) draws to a close, we take a look at some of the most defining events that shaped 2020. “OK. WHAT SHOULD WE DO ON SAA?” – Finance minister Tito Mboweni posted a question on what the state should do with South African Airways on Twitter in November 2020, which was regarded as “disgraceful, reckless, and selfish” of him by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, because the tweet…

7 min.
miners brace for new leaders

the outlook for some of the JSE’s largest mining shares by value in 2021 may have more to do with as yet unnamed management, rather than the incumbents. That’s because a permanent change of management is imminent for two of the bourse’s largest gold companies – AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields. Glencore, the Swiss-based mining and mineral-marketing behemoth, announced a new CEO during the first week of December. A fourth company, Rio Tinto, is still waiting on the appointment of a new CEO. The question of who might best fit the corporate mould in these companies also poses questions with equal relevance for the industry at large, especially as the ‘shocks’ of 2020 become part of investment consciousness in 2021. Here’s finweek’s take on what to expect for the mining industry next…

4 min.
get your business online

the Covid-19 recovery will be digital, reads the title of McKinsey& Company’s insights paper on how the pandemic has led to changes in customer behaviour and preferred interactions. Recent data shows that we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of a few months, according to McKinsey. Data from Standard Bank shows that since March 2020 (the beginning of the national lockdown in South Africa), there was an 84% increase in the value of online spend at supermarkets and grocery stores year-on-year, while spending at online general merchandise stores increased by 458%. These numbers indicate that SA consumers looked to new and safer ways to shop. The bank attests to witnessing this dramatic shift in behaviour around payments during the lockdown period. Businesses that remain…