Edcon has been teetering for a while, but the Covid-19 lockdown may very well be the coup de grace which deems the company defunct. Mr Price has delayed the release of its reports during the lockdown, and there are murmurs that bonuses and raises for their executive staff may be frozen until further notice. Moody’s has finally dropped the hammer and South Africa is now officially at junk status. How will this affect South Africa, from the Reserve Bank to the citizen who is paying a bond and school fees? Will Covid-19 be harder to recover from than the market crash of 2008?

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The credo of those who trade on stock markets right now is “sell, sell, sell!” The trend as we stand is to move from equity to cash. The All-Share index is 9% down this week. South Africa – of all the emerging markets on planet Earth – is doing well, let’s see if that holds. Banks are trading at 2008 levels, yikes! Capitec came out with a strong message for shareholders. On the surface, some property shares are showing a 40% yield, but the fine print needs a sharp eye. There’s a difference between panic and capitulating – Anthea explains. Big up to the blue bank of South Africa… students and SMEs will be grateful for the next 90 days.

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We’re in a bear market now, that’s not great news. In the USA, central banks will cut interest rates and pump “easy money” into the system. We saw quantitative easing in 2008, and what did the banks do then? Sasol are struggling, but do we just need to calm down? As an investor, when is the best time to buy/sell shares? Anthea gives her post Covid-19 hopes for South African consumers.

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Seleho is quite clear about where you shouldn’t put your money as corona fear spreads throughout the market. Has South Africa stayed with the markets of the world in terms of growth? The blue and green banks of South Africa have posted contrasting results… it’s amazing to see the polarity. Ye old faithful Bidvest continues to offer value in a shrinking economy, how are they so robust? OPEC is at loggerheads internally, and Anglo American declares a force majeure.

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This week we saw the biggest decline on the markets since the global financial crisis of 2008. If you are a long term investor, don’t panic. Tito’s speech contained no tax increase… what a miracle. Can he cut the public sector wage bill though? How much more debt can South Africa take on before the Rand blows out? Sasol have had another shocker. BHP Billiton have had impressive reports and are just ticking along nicely. But Shoprite results are not as good as the books might suggest.

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Coal consumption has been reduced by 50% in China, the coronavirus has almost halted the Chinese economy. Economists are downgrading economic growth worldwide because China’s activity affects the world at large. It’s Budget Speech week and Anthea has a less than positive take on the prospects beyond Tito’s address. How will Moody’s deal with South Africa after they hear the budget speech? Discovery Group have had a mixed year of activity and Vitality Life numbers are no good. Truworths have been bullish in a tough economy. And Woolworths… oh dear, the less said the better.

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The coronavirus is still having a tremendous effect on world markets. Hong Kong’s landlords have cut prices by up to 50% in an effort to keep tenants occupying their properties. Moody’s has taken a surprisingly positive stance after Cyril’s SONA. However the Budget Speech will determine whether South Africa will be downgraded or not. AngloGold’s fire sale, is it something to worry about or just a strategic global move? Eskom are retrenching non-core management with a budget of R400m being allocated to these layoffs. Tongaat Hulett are not looking so sweet at the moment, debts of R8 billion suggest things are not ideal. And Anthea tells us if she thinks Cell C will survive.

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As the Chinese workforce gets back to work, it’s revealed that oil demand is down 20%, the coronavirus’ effect is everywhere. The People’s Bank of China has pumped 1.7 trillion Yuan into the economy. The Mining Indaba was not the extravaganza of years gone by. The purchasing managers’ index is at 45.2% – what does this mean for the economy? The US has added 200,000 jobs according to the latest reports. US and European economies are booming! Amazon hits the trillion dollar market cap… welcome to the club Jeff.

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Coronavirus has affected the Asian market – Asian shares are down 7%. Two thirds of Chinese businesses are closed for the week. The winners from coronavirus are the biotech companies. Anthea says when the Rand is weak, invest off peak. Elon Musk is on his way to a possible $50 billion bonus. Toyota are investing R4.2 billion in South Africa, good news. And Jeff Bezos added $7.9 billion to his personal wealth this week.

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The Corona virus is affecting the markets. Even after a bullish 5 months, the markets are so fragile. In these uncertain times, where should we be investing our money? How do we find high return businesses? Tesla is now worth twice as much as Ferrari, how is that possible? Naspers is making “10 Cent” moves. Get your hands on platinum and Clicks shares, they’re a sure thing. And load shedding cost Anglo Platinum an estimated $700m over the last year.

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