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NO LIFEBOAT

A Nedgroup Investment report estimates that corporate deposits stood at a whopping R470-billion in June. But, given the prevailing uncertainty about prospects for the domestic and the global economy, there is little chance that this cash will be deployed as part of...
Oct 28, 2011

POWER DELAY

Eskom confirmed last week that the first unit at its 4 800 MW Medupi power station project, in Limpopo, may not be delivered by the end of next year as planned. Whether any delay will result in the lights going off or not will depend materially on the outlook for...
Oct 21, 2011

TROUBLED TIMES

The news flow changes from day to day and markets are reacting, mostly negatively, to the slightest hint of possible new risks. Sadly, the double-dip threat appears increasingly real and the lack of clarity from the eurozone about how it plans to prevent Greece’s...
Oct 14, 2011

TURNING THE TABLES

For years, leaders in Africa, Asia and Latin America were forced to doggedly implement painful, sometimes poisonous, structural adjustment programmes to reduce debt and improve financial management. Now it’s the turn of leaders in Europe and the US to do likewise,...
Oct 07, 2011

GATHERING STORM

The eurozone debt cloud continues to hang menacingly over the world economy. Last week, the level of distress was raised another notch when Standard & Poor’s cut its unsolicited ratings on Italy, which is far larger than the highly vulnerable Greek economy. The...
Sep 30, 2011

MOVING ON

South African energy group Sasol confirmed last week that it had decided to pull back from a coal-to-liquids project it had been pursuing in China together with the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group. New CEO David Constable insisted that the group was still keen on...
Sep 23, 2011

FALLING SAFE:

During the first weeks of this month, the global markets were akin to a falling safe, which nobody was prepared to catch. More worryingly, the gloom in the financial markets was also increasingly being reflected in the real economy. The fall in South African business...
Sep 16, 2011

CHANGE AND PAIN

The political momentum, which began in Tunisia and swept through much of North Africa and the Middle East, became unstoppable in Libya towards the end of August as the rebels swept into Tripoli and as the international community began recognising the National...
Sep 09, 2011

ECONOMIC ROLLER COASTER:

Fears that the world economy is headed for a ‘double-dip recession’ have resurfaced in recent weeks. Low-growth prospects, together with high sovereign debt in Europe and the US, are weighing on sentiment and on markets. The only real beneficiary has been gold, the...
Sep 02, 2011

FIGHT GOES ON:

The biggest squabble in town is undoubtedly the infighting within the African National Congress, the outcome of which will determine whether or not President Jacob Zuma will remain leader after the elective conference of 2012. But the second-biggest probably relates...
Aug 26, 2011

REALITY CHECK:

The world’s stock markets, which fell dramatically in early August, offered an outward sign of growing internal angst about prospects of a ‘double dip’ recession. But in South Africa, there is also growing concern about our future competitiveness. The power price...
Aug 19, 2011

BODY BLOWS:

African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema has received a number of body blows over the past few weeks. First, he tried, and failed, to muzzle a City Press article delving into how he finances his lavish lifestyle. Then, his nationalisation...
Aug 12, 2011

Batten Down The Hatches:

He may have prevailed in his recent campaign to be re-elected as president of the African National Congress Youth League, but the pressure is mounting on young Julius Malema. His funding of a lavish lifestyle, which includes the construction of a R16-million bachelor...
Aug 05, 2011

HUMBLE PIE

The tabloid press specifically, but also the media, in general, is having to eat some humble pie as Britain’s phone hacking scandal rages on and on. Media practitioners are having to do some real soul searching about their role in society and about whether some...
Jul 29, 2011

EURO WORRIES:

Greece’s financial woes have analysts pondering the future of the euro as a currency, as well as the sustainability of the European Union itself. The political management of the crisis has raised all manner of questions, with the most basic now being whether monetary...
Jul 22, 2011

SHIFTING GOALPOSTS

The South African government gave assurances last week that the renewable-energy industry was unfazed by the prospect of including an element of price competition into the first round of project bidding. But potential developers could not hide their unhappiness. They...
Jul 15, 2011

TAXING ISSUE:

South Africa’s coal-heavy power utility burnt 124.7-million tons of coal in 2010/11 and produced 230.3-million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). That means it is incredibly vulnerable to a proposed direct tax on carbon emissions. It has submitted a response to a National...
Jul 08, 2011

INVESTMENT DEFLATOR

There is little doubt that the hitherto one-sided debate surrounding the nationalisation of South Africa’s mines, banks and land is starting to exact an insidious toll. The uncompromising tone adopted by the youth wing of the African National Congress (ANC) is...
Jul 01, 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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