Market update – out of the last ten trading days, we only had one negative close, while the Rand continues to strengthen – currently 13.26 / US$. Some good news in the manufacturing sector as August prints at 1.5% growth vs expectations of ½ % contraction. In company news, the PPC saga continues and Mondi released Q3 results – a shocker of a result, but is there a nice surprise waiting for us as they de-lever their balance sheet? PSG releases H1 results – good old steady eddie. Sun International acquires Thunderbird Resorts in Peru – are they really ready to acquire again, after a less than incredible run in the last year? Founder and CEO of Outsurance, Willem Roos, resigns – what impact will this have on the company?

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The JSE has reached all-time highs despite the economy still struggling along, while there are lots of companies either unbundling, being taken over or bids being retracted. The US employment number decreased for the first time since Sept 2010, thanks to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (or is it Trump?). And Anthea warns of the perils of corruption and how the Transnet pension fund was used to aid the Gupta purchase of Optimum Coal mine.

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Even the 1% positive close on Friday couldn’t save the JSE from a negative September. On the macro front, Private Sector Credit Extension was released and indicates that the consumer is deleveraging 6.6% year on year and we managed to maintain a Trade Surplus of R6bn. The SAA bailout which saw NT approve a transfer of R3bn from the National Revenue Fund is discussed and Anthea is disappointed by the WEF annual competitiveness report showing that SA fell 14 points to be ranked 61. Plus in the US, jobless claims climbed by 12k to 272k and US 2nd Quarter GDP growth came in at 3.1%.

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The Rand weakened for a sixth straight session on Friday (-1.3%) and the stock market remained soggy, falling another ½% – with all major indices lower. Commodity catch up: Gold lower ahead of ECN and US Fed meeting this week (especially after last week’s US consumer inflation number). Oil is at 5 month highs and Iron Ore has slumped after Chinese data printed lower than expected…

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Quite a few companies reporting this week – AVI today, Aspen and Impala Platinum on Thursday, Richemont on Wednesday. It’s the launch of the Apple iPhone 8 tomorrow, plus several new products including a new version of the Apple Watch and Apple TV. The iPhone is about two-thirds of Apple’s revenue with the share up 37% this year, making them the world’s most valuable company. The JSE All Share is up 12% for the year. Naspers is up 42% this year and makes up close to 20% of the index.

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Global markets started the day stronger on Friday because of positive Chinese manufacturing data, and somehow even the US opened strongly despite weaker than expected non-farm payrolls. The US reported creating 156,000 jobs for the month of August versus an expecting 180,000 – wage growth remained constant at 2.5%y/y. The Dollar initially weakened, leaving the stronger Rand to keep our market in check. We discuss Discovery, Stellar Capital and Mr Price reports. Jannie Mouton has transferred R1bn into a charitable trust after seeing an interview with a smiling Warren Buffet talk about giving away 99% of his wealth.

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We had 5 straight days of gains last week, with the All Share index ending just a tenth of a percent higher on Friday, and 2.6% higher for the week. Retailers: we dissect Woolworths and Massmart results; not a pretty picture. Let’s have a conversation about the value of your vote as a shareholder, shareholder activism and Naspers. Koos Bekker (Chairman of Naspers) said at the AGM on Friday on the notion of corporate governance: “It sounds wonderful. If you want to be the best soccer team in the world it is important to wash your hands after using the bathroom. But will you win? Not unless you train the hardest, recruit the best and are merciless in your ambition. Once you have won, then you can look at things. If you lose, the best governance in the world can’t help you.” No surprise… Yellen’s last speech at Jackson Hole was – as suspected – a damp squib, while (super) Mario Draghi confirmed that the ECB will continue the process of eliminating quantitative easing.

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Friday ended a third of a percent lower on the markets, but thanks to Naspers’s 5% rally we managed a 0.3% positive close for the week. Education stocks ADvTECH and Curro reported last week. We had a flurry of miners report: Harmony and Goldfields both reported flat gold production numbers and negative cash flow, while Exxaro was “saved” by their coal assets; and Sibanye Gold released a trading statement which implies a very different company to the one they were last year. And while everyone was enjoying after work Friday drinks, Bidvest released a trading statement saying that Brian Joffe had resigned from the company with immediate effect.

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The global markets were mixed and despite the weaker Rand, the JSE was under a lot of pressure, falling over 1% on Friday. The US managed a positive close despite muted inflation figures. Alviva, formerly known as Pinnacle, was up over 2% after releasing a decent trading update. Naspers was down almost 3% after a report saying that China’s online watchdog is investigating Tencent. And Disney – who own the top media library – have announced they are pulling all their content from Netflix.

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Market update: we’ve had a nice little rally, up ½% on Friday bringing the week’s gain to 2%. But the Rand has suffered quite a blow this week, last trading at 13.47 to the US Dollar on Friday, partly driven by a stronger greenback after the US non-farm payroll numbers surprised to the upside. It looks like Wiese is not giving up just yet on combining his Steinhoff and Shoprite assets, they announced on Friday that Steinhoff is looking to take a controlling stake in Shoprite. Both paper companies, Mondi and Sappi, reported last week. Companies like Amazon, Takealot and Superbalist are reviving the industry with all the boxed home deliveries.

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