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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 2/18/2021

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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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South Africa
Media 24 Ltd
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25 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

We are facing a huge problem in the South African economy. I would even venture to say that it might be a bit bigger than the problem the finance minister has with trying to balance the state’s books. The problem is that there are hopelessly too few formal small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa. Now, don’t get me wrong: Informal sector businesses focused on owner survival are crucial to combating poverty. But formal small and medium-sized enterprises, precisely because of their nature, have a far greater chance of achieving growth and financial success due to, among other things, access to finance, insurance and geographical reach (thanks to the availability of transport). And it is in fact the growth potential of formal small and medium-sized enterprises that is so critical…

5 min.
the merchants of venice, artificial intelligence and the future of information

Information is power. In the 1340s, a dozen or so Florentine firms bandied together to start a postal service, called the Scarsella dei Mercanti Fiorentini, the purpose of which was to run regular correspondence between the firms and their agents in Barcelona, Paris, Cologne, and Bruges. It was a simple idea with a powerful effect: it suddenly made communication more reliable, allowing merchants to ascertain prices of goods in distant markets at frequent intervals. With it came other innovations, like invoices, bills of lading and shipping manifests. It is largely these innovations that allowed these Florentine merchants to be much more successful than their competitors. And it was not long before they were copied by others: the Venetians and the Genoese. This and many other stories are told by Steven Marks…

4 min.
the ship has not yet sunk

every year ahead of the budget speech, finance minister Tito Mboweni asks members of the public to share with him tips about how to allocate the budget to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty. Mboweni, who is scheduled to table his budget in Parliament later this month, needs to look no further than the recently published 2020 review report of the National Development Plan (NDP) for inspiration rather than his publicity stunt, which creates an impression that ordinary citizens’ views are taken to heart by the ruling elite. The 75-page review contains several tips for Mboweni on how to utilise the budget to meet his objectives. The review, conducted by the National Planning Commission (NPC), is an honest take on the number of failures by South Africa to implement the NDP since…

1 min.
“disappointed not to have been able to see through the turnaround.”

— African Bank announced that its CEO, Basani Maluleke, will leave in April to pursue “other career opportunities”, the day before the presentation of the annual results, which caught the market by surprise. Business Day reported it established that Maluleke’s resignation was the direct consequence of her “difficult” working relationship with the bank’s chairman, former Liberty Group CEO Thabo Dloti. Maluleke was quoted as saying she was disappointed not to have been able to see through the turnaround of the organisation, while Dloti was reportedly quick to point out that the transformation of the bank since it came out of curatorship five years ago couldn’t be ascribed to the leadership process of just one person.…

1 min.
“what value is (there) giving him an intelligence briefing?”

– US President Joe Biden told CBS that former president Donald Trump should not have access to intelligence briefings (a privilege afforded to former presidents) due to his “erratic behaviour unrelated to the insurrection”. Biden questioned what impact Trump has, “other than the fact that he might slip and say something”. David Priess, a former CIA officer who briefed the late president George HW Bush years after he left office, told The Wall Street Journal that the briefings occur for two reasons. If current presidents want to reach out to a predecessor, it makes those conversations more worthwhile. Secondly, former presidents sometimes travel overseas in semi-official roles.…

1 min.
“many people in europe are unhappy … and looking to settle elsewhere.”

— Chris Cilliers, CEO and co-principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Cape Winelands, said they are still seeing an international interest in commercial wine farms, guesthouses and some residential property. Whilst the interest is still there (especially from Swiss and Belgian buyers), he told Fin24 that it’s notably slower. He said many people in Europe are unhappy with their governments’ response to the pandemic and are looking to settle elsewhere, echoed by competing agencies. Seeff said it clinched over R178m in sales to foreign buyers over the past four months alone, while RE/MAX Living said it made just shy of 40 sales to foreigners, from March 2020 to January 2021.…