Snapchat Raises $3.4bn In IPO

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, priced its initial public offering at $17 a share on Wednesday. It had previously proposed a range of $14 to $16 a share. That equates to a Snap market value of nearly $24 billion, making it the largest U.S. tech IPO since Facebook. Snap’s sales are growing at a fast pace, rising to more than $400 million in 2016 from just $58.7 million in 2015. Most analysts expect Snap to report around $1 billion in sales this year.

Source : https://goo.gl/CzEPlr

Net 1 To Buy 15% Of Cell C

Electronic payments provider Net1 UEPS Technologies, which has found itself at the centre of a social grants storm in South Africa, has confirmed that it has agreed to buy a R2bn, 15% stake mobile network Cell C. Along with Blue Label Telecoms, Cell C is set to be able to pay off its debts and has said it has further concluded a memorandum of understanding to acquire 49.6% of DNI-4PL Contracts with an option to acquire a controlling stake in DNI in the future. DNI is a distributor of mobile subscriber starter packs for Cell C and also distributes pre-paid airtime through a network of field operatives and agents.

Source : https://goo.gl/60LWzN

SABC’s R5.1bn Irregular Expenditure

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has put forward a proposal to SABC group executives that the Hawks launch a forensic investigation into the affairs of the SABC. The proposal was made during a briefing by the SABC to Scopa on the broadcaster’s financial annual report for the 2015/2016 year which revealed R5.1-billion in irregular expenditure. CEO James Aguma painted a rosy picture of its progress regarding audience figures for radio and television, its progress on financial management, blaming a R411 million loss on expenditure on unforeseen events of national interest, less than three percent funding from government, and currency fluctuations, among others.

Source : https://goo.gl/wCMukn

Unilever Charged For Cartel Collusion

This follows the investigation by the Commission which found that Unilever and Sime Darby divided markets by allocating specific types of products and customers goods in the market for the manufacturing and supply of bakery and cooking products throughout South Africa. The Commission said its investigation found that from at least 2004 to 2013, Unilever and Sime Darby entered into a sale of business agreement, which contained a clause in terms of which they agreed not to compete with each other in respect of certain pack sizes of margarine and edible oils.

Source : https://goo.gl/M7VoS1

SA Taxi Seals R100 Million Finance Deal

SA Taxi has signed a deal with the Small Enterprise Funding Agency (SEFA), which is wholly-owned by the Industrial Development Corporation. SA Taxi’s business model includes the financing of industry-specific vehicles, provision of bespoke taxi insurance that helps operators protect their income-generating asset and optimise cash flow, a Taximart division that restores pre-owned vehicles to a virtually new condition, and a dealership network through which both new and pre-owned minibus taxis are sold directly to taxi operators.

Source : https://goo.gl/xHMq6D

Joburg Trashed Due To Jozi@Work Protests

A group of angry Jozi@Work protesters took to the streets of the Johannesburg CBD for the second consecutive night on Wednesday‚ leaving a trail of destruction and trash in their wake. About 200 workers‚ wearing their yellow uniforms‚ marched through Bree and Jeppe streets up to Rissik Street in front of the city council offices‚ upending rubbish bins along the way‚ in protest against the canning by Mayor Herman Mashaba of the Jozi@Work programme.

Source : https://goo.gl/izGJzr

IndicatorsOil 56.17 – Rand/USD 13.03 – Rand/GBP 15.99 – Rand/EUR 13.74

 

 

 

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Tswane Truck Protests Cause Havoc

There were massive traffic jams on Gauteng’s N1 North, R21 North and the N14 routes leading into Pretoria in Tshwane this morning. Representatives of the Coal Transport Forum said that Eskom’s agreement with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will see mining job losses and the truck drivers transporting the coal blocked the roads in protest of the looming IPP agreements. As part of diversifying its energy mix, Eskom is expected by government to roll out an IPP programme that allows for the likes solar and wind power to be fed into the national grid.

Source : https://goo.gl/CSyRSH

SASSA Begs ConCourt To Allow CPS Contract To Continue 

The social security agency approached the Concourt for an order “authorising Sassa to engage the respondent (‘CPS’) to provide services for the payment of social grants for the period 1 April 2017 to 30 March 2018. The Concourt had given Sassa about three years to sort out the illegal CPS contract for distributing social grants, but the agency is so unready that it is asking the court for another year’s grace. The question is why wasnt anything done since 2014 and why does the department insist on CPS being the provider? They cant tell us that only this company can do the job.

Source : https://goo.gl/LwWfA1

FICA Bill Gets The Green Light From Parliament

Opposition MPs on Tuesday urged President Jacob Zuma to sign the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill without delay after the National Assembly adopted minor changes to it aimed at answering his concerns that it may be unconstitutional. Zuma now has two choices. He can either sign the bill in the form in which the National Assembly approved it on Tuesday, or take it to the Constitutional Court.

Source : https://goo.gl/ufQa9u

Curro To List University Business Embury Later This Year

Curro is busy designing courses and degrees and getting them accredited, a process that will take two years. Curro believes that the tertiary-education component can reach more than 100,000 students over the long term and is keeping the school and tertiary education businesses separate, and plans to unbundle its tertiary offering and list it separately during the course of the year. Curro saw a significant leap in the number of learners attending its schools, adding over 7,200 learners during the course of 2016, and adding 4,400 more in the 2017 school year, taking it to a total of 47,589 learners by January 2017.

Source : https://goo.gl/93GiQo

Youtube Launches TV Streaming Service

Google launched YouTube TV on Tuesday, which will cost $35 a month and offer access to content from broadcast networks as well as YouTube. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki‏ said people around the world watch one billion hours of YouTube content each day, and younger generations don’t want to consume television through traditional channels. You’ll now be able to watch shows from over 40 networks including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as Bravo, FX, ESPN and Fox Sports. Along with the cable channels, users can also watch shows previously only available on YouTube Red, the ad-free YouTube subscription service.

Source : https://goo.gl/YJAxxv

Fired Prasa Acting CEO Refuses To Leave

Collins Letsoalo‚ the disgraced acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA‚ is going nowhere.  Letsoalo claims he did nothing wrong. “I am still the acting CEO; there is nothing wrong that I have done‚ I have not appointed myself and would never give myself an increase‚” he said. “I am seconded by the shareholder and appointed by the board chairperson as acting group CEO and to date no one has informed me of this removal‚” he said.

Source : https://goo.gl/OkhqRO

Eskom & Transnet Sponsored PPF Led By Mzwanele Manyi

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown disclosed in a written reply to a parliamentary question on Tuesday by DA finance spokesman David Maynier that Eskom and Transnet had provided sponsorships of R440,000 and R400,000, respectively, to the forum.

Source : https://goo.gl/iRavfZ

Indicators : Oil 56.50 – Rand/USD 13.10 – Rand/GBP 16.17 – Rand/EUR 13.83

Prasa CEO Ups His Salary 4

The acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is accused of upping his own salary to more than four times the agreed amount. Collins Letsoalo who has been acting CEO since July 2016, was supposed to be paid R1.3 million a year. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that Letsoalo demanded that Prasa pay him the R5.9 million package that controversial former CEO Lucky Montana was paid, plus have a chauffeur-driven car and company cellphone with unlimited calls

Source : https://goo.gl/VAP0Iu

Hawks Target Mcebisi Jonas

City Press has established that the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State (Cats) unit is gathering evidence that could implicate Jonas in a case of corruption involving a supplier to SAA’s aviation maintenance division, SAA Technical. The case is being investigated by Cats unit head Brigadier Nyameka Xaba, who also investigated the case against Gordhan. The theory is that removing Jonas will allow Brian Molefe to replace him and that is key because the deputy minister of finance is also chairperson and Non-Executive Director of Public Investment Corporation Limited.

Source : https://goo.gl/cDNb69

Millions Of Traffic Fines To Be Scrapped In Gauteng

The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that millions of traffic fines issued since 2008 must be scrapped. According to a ruling on Friday, all fines issued since 2008 that did not comply with the conditions outlined in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act must be cancelled.

Source : https://goo.gl/TolZxa

Cell C’s BEE Partner threatens To Derail BlueLabel Deal

Cell C’s black equity partner, CellSaf, has threatened to scupper Blue Label Telecoms’ significant investment in the cellphone operator. CellSaf accused Oger Telecom of not working in the best interest of Cell C and threatened legal action if Blue Label’s proposed acquisition of a 45% interest in Cell C goes ahead. CellSaf owns 25% of Cell C’s holding company, 3C Telecommunications.

Source : https://goo.gl/0t3fzC

Nokia Launches 4 New Phones, Not Just The 3310

HMD, the guys who have the brand rights to Nokia, announced a slate of low-cost new phones that will be sold under the Nokia brand. The company, run by a cast of former Nokia executives. The new phone models by Nokia are the “Nokia 6”, “Nokia 5”, “Nokia 3” and “Nokia 3310”.  The new 3310 has the same old-fashioned keypad and comes in a couple of bright plastic-y colors. A small color screen and potentially weeks of battery life round out the 49 euro ($52) device.

Source : https://goo.gl/xUkVKd

Over Half Of Joburg Water Lost To Leaks & Illegal Use

The Johannesburg and Durban metros are currently losing losing a combined 56% of their water through leaks and illegal connections. In the Johannesburg Metro alone‚ we have 35% of non-revenue water and of that 16% is unaccounted for. In the eThekwini Metro also‚ we have 40.7% of non-revenue water and of that‚ 59.3% is unaccounted for. In all likelihood‚ in both cases‚ this is water lost through leaks and illegal connections.

Source : https://goo.gl/r92Ktw

Indicators : Oil 56.74 – Rand/USD 12.98 – Rand/GBP 16.06 – Rand/EUR 13.72

16 Letters Detail Gordhan & Moyane War

16 letters have emerged exposing the true extent of the war between SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and minister of finance Pravin Gordhan. In one letter Moyane accuses Gordhan of subjecting him to “horrible and intolerable working conditions through belittling, humiliating, denigrating, antagonising and disparaging persona” he goes on to say, “I ask  myself every day what have i ever done to you that has made you mistreat and beseige me as if i am a little boy”. In turn, Gordhan warned Moyane that approving his own performance bonus was unethical, immoral and illegal. In most cases Gordhan did not respond to the letters but it seems Moyane approached pres Zuma for help which the president didnt give him.

Source : https://goo.gl/VpRSBz

Xenophobia March & MTN Nigeria Attack

Thousands of people are expected to take part in an anti-immigration march in Pretoria where law Law enforcement officers will be deployed along the route and at venues where memorandums would be handed over. The anti-immigration march was organised by a group calling itself the Concerned Mamelodi Residents. Meanwhile, the MTN offices in Nigeria were attacked yesterday and vandalised in retaliation to what is going on here. This lead to police having to be deployed to protect the premises.

Source : https://goo.gl/CzE26j

SA Tops Global Equity Returns Since 1900

South African stocks have returned an average 7.2%, more than 2%age points above the global average and the most among 23 nations tracked by Credit Suisse and LBS. The nation is Africa’s biggest coal and iron-ore producer, and the world’s largest of platinum, manganese and ferrochrome. Denmark tops the list for bond returns with an average 3.3%, equities were the best-performing asset in every country, showing over the long run there has been a reward for higher risk.

Source : https://goo.gl/Ungikg

Discovery posts Encouraging Results

Shares in Discovery rose as much as 7.92% to R127.99, despite the group missing earnings forecasts. The share price closed 4.35% higher at R124.70. Delivering the group’s results for the six months to December 2016, CEO Adrian Gore said the group had more than R1bn to fund new business growth and operating losses in emerging businesses Ping An Health, Discovery Insure and the Vitality Group were substantially lower.

Source : https://goo.gl/7E41sQ

Swiss Firm hit By $100 Million Fraud

Swiss engineering group ABB on Wednesday said it fell victim to a “sophisticated criminal scheme” at its South Korean subsidiary, with the chief suspect an executive responsible for ethics training. The executive is suspected of forging documents and colluding with third parties to steal funds, ABB said, estimating it would take a pre-tax charge of about $100 million for the affair, which analysts said raised concerns about its corporate oversight. The company claimed that he embezzled a combined 35.7 billion won ($31.31 million) in 73 transactions, the official said, adding that police were investigating the man’s accounts.

Source : https://goo.gl/PTHKXE

Swedes Overpaying Their Taxes

Official figures published on February 22nd showed tax revenues poured in far faster than forecast last year. Sweden’s government got a budget surplus of 85bn kronor ($9.5bn) in 2016. Nearly half of that, 40bn Skr, was from overpayment by firms and individuals. This appears to be deliberate. Income tax rates, at least for the well-off, can be as high as 57% while we are crying about 45% in South Africa. then again, you get what you pay for in those countries while nobody really knows what we get here.

Source : https://goo.gl/D9ctDr

Indicators : Oil 56.43 – Rand/USD 12.90 – Rand/GBP 16.16 – Rand/EUR 13.66

 

 

 

Brian Molefe Sworn In As MP

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has reportedly been sworn in as ANC member of Parliament. The official announcement is expected to be made when the National Assembly sits on Thursday afternoon.

Source

VAT On Fuel Coming In 2018

Treasury is currently mulling the potential of removing the zero VAT rating on fuel but adds that “this will be subject to consultation leading up to the 2018 budget”. Gordhan announced that there will be a 30c per litre increase in the fuel levy and a nine cents per litre increase in the RAF levy‚ effective on 5 April.

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Sibanye Pays R1.3 Billion Dividend

Sibanye, which during 2016 added the whole of Aquarius Platinum and Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg mines to its portfolio, declared a total dividend of R1.45 per share for the year, returning R1.3bn to shareholders. Sibanye reported a profit for the year to end-December of R3.3bn compared with R538m a year earlier. Net debt in the group grew to R6.3bn from R1.3bn a year earlier as its gross debt shot up to R8bn from R1.8bn a year earlier

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Pravin Gordhans Investment Portfolio

A document released by Parliament’s ethics committee reveals that finance minister Pravin Gordhan held shares in more than 35 listed companies in 2016. Fin24 provided an image from the document highlighting Gordhan’s investment portfolio, which includes some of the biggest JSE-listed companies. The ministers’ portfolio includes shares in the banking industry, mining, real estate investment trusts, retailers, and the telecommunications sector. News24 reported on Tuesday that members of Parliament who did not meet the deadline to submit their financial interests and gifts will be given seven days to explain why they failed to do so. The seven days will only come into effect once the members have received letters from the acting registrar of Parliament, who has not sent them out yet.

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$1 Trillion Trade Deal

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is aimed at cutting red tape and making the international flow of goods more seamless. It spans all 164 members of the World Trade Organization, including the U.S. The WTO said the deal will slash its members’ trade costs by average of 14.3% and will boost global merchandize trade by $1 trillion a year.

Source

Indicators : Oil 56.31 – Rand/USD 12.97 – Rand/GBP 16.09 – Rand/EUR 13.67

 

Budget 2017 Broken Down

Here are the major points to focus on from the Budget delivered by minister Pravin Gordhan.

  • New tax rate for the super rich. High income earners, those earning more than R1.5 million a year, will pay 45% tax. Around 100 000 taxpayers will be affected
  • Sin tax on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products will go up between 6% and 10% this year.
  • An increase of 30c/litre in the general fuel levy and 9c/litre in the road accident fund levy.
  • Government will spend R187.5 billion on health
  • Government will spend R320.5 billion on education including and extra R5 billion for higher education.
  • 47.5% of available funds are allocated to national government, 43.4% to provinces & 9.1% to local government.
  • The annual allowance for tax free savings accounts will be increased to R33 000
  • Old age grant will increase by R90 to R1600 for pensioners over the age of 60 and R1620 for those over 75
  • Foster care grants increase by R30 to R920 a month.  The child support grant increases by R20 to R380 a month
  • Public procurement will amount to about R1.5 trillion over the next three years
  • Measures being put in place to make sure banking sector rigging will be stamped out and more licenses have been issued in the banking sector.

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Pravin To Deliver His Budget Speech

Pravin has quite a juggling act on his hands with the 2017 budget speech. In October, Gordhan said tax-policy measures will raise an extra R43bn ($3.3bn) and spending will be reduced by R26bn in the next two years to narrow the budget shortfall. That said, there is a distinct possibility that taxes will be raised while some sacrifices will have to be made to trim government spending. Raising the 14% value-added tax rate is another option but this is politically unpopular because its thought to hurt the poor.

Source : https://goo.gl/kehGqS

Telkom Considers R13Bn Bid For Cell C

Telkom is considering a bid of as much as $1bn (R13.16bn) for wireless operator Cell C, which has missed debt payments and is trying to complete a recapitalisation. Blue Label Telecoms agreed to buy a 45% stake in Cell C last year, but the deal has yet to be completed a week before the end-February deadline. Telkom held talks with Cell C’s owner Oger Telecom in 2015 about buying the carrier but failed to agree on a price.

Source : https://goo.gl/dM3yk3

Barclays Africa Granted Immunity In Forex Rigging Case

The Competition Commission has granted Barclays Africa conditional immunity from prosecution in return for its continuing cooperation in the rand currency trading probe. “We did, through the investigation, receive a leniency application from Barclays/ABSA which cooperated and gave us more information,” The head of the Commission Tembinkosi Bonakele told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday. I think these banks are being treated with kid gloves.

Source : https://goo.gl/kRtb3k

Verizon Cuts Yahoo Deal By  $350 Million

Verizon and Yahoo  have agreed to cut the acquisition price by $350 million following Yahoo’s disclosures in recent months of two huge security breaches affecting more than one billion users. Verizon’s new price tag for buying Yahoo’s core Internet assets is $4.48 billion, all in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

Source : https://goo.gl/MlqDtu

HSBC Suffers Loss Of $4.2 Billion

HSBC reported a net loss of $4.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016. The biggest single hit to its battered bottom line came from a $2.4 billion writedown of the value of its private banking business in Europe. HSBC’s fourth-quarter results also suffered from lower revenue and higher costs than the same period a year earlier, when it posted a net loss of $1.3 billion. The bank’s shares were trading down around 5% in Hong Kong after it published the earnings report.

Source : https://goo.gl/NV9xrV

Indicators : Oil 56.90 – Rand/USD 13.13 – Rand/GBP 16.35 – Rand/EUR 13.81