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Star 2021-09-21

Unchallenged as South Africa’s most influential daily newspaper, The Star covers the heart of the nation with unequalled reporting of local, national and international news and sport. It is widely considered to be a superb advertising environment.

South Africa
Independent Media Pty Ltd
R 6,99
R 1 099,99
253 Issues

in this issue

2 min
financial pressure forces rise in vacancies for home rental market

Edward West edward.west@inl.co.za THE RENTAL market has suffered severe losses, with vacancy rates rising from 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020 to 13.2 percent in the second quarter of 2021 due to financial pressure, particularly on lower income households and higher demand for mortgages, says FNB economist Koketso Mano. Job losses and income declines last year had put financial pressure on many households, driving some to share space to alleviate rental costs, he said in the latest FNB Residential Update. For those with stronger financial positions the 300 basis point interest rate cuts in 2020, which settled rates at 50-year lows, resulted in pent-up demand for home ownership, reducing demand for rentals. The second quarter TPN Residential Rental Monitor shows that tenants paying less than R3…

2 min
denel head pleads for two-month debt holiday to effect strategic plan

Banele Ginindza banele.ginindza@inl.co.za STATE arms manufacturer Denel, hard- pressed on every side to honour financial obligations, is reviewing its avail- able skills base to take on contract work as its personnel numbers have been whittled down to 1 300 employees, some of whom are being back-paid while sitting at home. This is as the parastatal begs its creditors for at least a two-month breather for it to realise value from the disposal of its assets. Yesterday, acting chief executive William Hlakoane said: “It is not about the numbers, it is about the skill sets that we need; we might be sitting at 800 employees and realise we need 300 more with particular skills. “It is what we are working on right now. Only once we have done our…

4 min
rmi’s shares surge as it announces unbundling of discovery and momentum

The investment firm also plans a R6.5 billion rights issue as it pairs down its debt Dineo Faku dineo.faku@inl.co.za SHARES in Rand Merchant Investments (RMI) took a 14 percent leap on the JSE yesterday following its proposed business shake-up that will result in the unbundling of life insurance assets Discovery Limited and Momentum Metropolitan and a shift towards a focus on property and casualty (P&C) insurance. RMI, the owner of OUTsurance, and UK personal insurer Hastings, is also planning a R6.5 billion rights issue, “which is considered the most equitable and efficient mechanism to optimise RMI’s capital structure as a result of the unbundling”. The restructuring would also help the company tackle its R11.8bn debt and reduce it closer to R6bn, a level “more commensurate with the asset…

2 min
ascendis is considering taking the firm private after it completes its recapitalisation

Dineo Faku dineo.faku@inl.co.za ASCENDIS Health said yesterday that it was considering taking the company private as an option in the short-to-medium-term after it completes its recapitalisation programme. Ascendis, the South African health and well-being company, which is grappling with a R7 billion debt burden, also said that it was contemplating the sale of its remaining business. Ascendis acknowledged that it was at a critical strategic juncture and actively evaluating the value creation opportunities available arising from the successful completion of the group recapitalisation. “The option of remaining a listed group, while still being reviewed, is challenged by the significantly reduced scale of New Ascendis Health, the costs associated with remaining listed and limited capital availability in relation to various growth opportunities in the remaining businesses. “Noting the board has engaged…

1 min
ppc reaches further milestones in de-gearing its s african balance sheet

Edward West edward.west@inl.co.za THE COMPLETION of the sale of PPC Lime and PPC Aggregate Quarries Botswana (PPC AQB) was an important and positive step in the company’s ongoing capital restructuring and refinancing project, the group said yesterday. The cement-making and related products company said that the conditions precedent for the two disposals had been met on September 15, earlier than the anticipated date of December 31, 2021. PPC had said in May this year that it planned to sell PPC Lime, while on June 8 it said a deal had been reached to sell PPC AQB to a construction and mining company in Botswana. The net proceeds from the sale of PPC Lime and of PPC AQB would be applied to de-gear PPC’s South African balance sheet, the group…

2 min
retailers remain pessimistic about business conditions in the short-term

Siphelele Dludla siphelele.dludla@inl.co.za SOUTH African retailers remain pessimistic about business conditions in the short-term, despite a spike in confidence levels. The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) yesterday said retailer confidence climbed to a seven-year high in July, notwithstanding looting and trade restrictions. It said retailer confidence inched up marginally by two index points to reach a seven-year high of 56 points in the third quarter, up from 54 points in the second quarter. BER economist Tshepo Moloi said confidence was largely driven by food and beverages, and hardware retailers, on the back of improved sales volumes in these categories. Moloi said while this was certainly a positive development, especially in the aftermath of violent protests and stricter trade restrictions amid a third wave of Covid-19 infections, this confidence…