Theresa May Calls For Early UK Election

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she will seek an early election on June 8, in an unexpected gamble aimed at strengthening her hand going into talks on leaving the European Union. The surprise statement came less than a month after she triggered the formal start of Brexit and marks a reversal of her position before the Easter break, when her office insisted an early election wasn’t on the cards.

Source : https://goo.gl/iViQmB

Petrol Price To Go Up By 40 Cents Next Month

South Africa’s downgrade to junk could see petrol going up by at least 40c a litre next month. The fuel increase is just the first of the dominos to fall. Growing unemployment and a slowdown in our growth rate of 1.2%. The increase in the fuel price is almost entirely due to the drop in the rand as crude oil prices had actually come down slightly over the past month.

Source : https://goo.gl/zFbylt

Gigaba On Roadshow To Woo Ratings Agencies & Investors

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will meet with Moody’s on his trip to the US this week, in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a downgrade by the ratings agency. The purpose of this is to discuss global economic trends, and Gigaba will meet with leaders and finance ministers from various countries. He will also discuss South Africa’s role as a gateway to attract investment for the rest of the continent. He added that the trip will include a “small-scale” meeting with investors and not a full-blown roadshow, but government decided not to waste the opportunity to engage with investors and to reassure them. Gigaba said he would also give Moody’s the assurance that government’s policy direction has not changed.

Source : https://goo.gl/HahY55

CompCom Calls For Investigation Into Cell Industry Competition

The Competition Commission has called for a wider investigation into the state of competition in the mobile phone market. This comes after its decision to dismiss a complaint by Cell C against Vodacom and MTN for anticompetitive conduct related to on-net calls (calls between users of the same network) because of lack of evidence. Cell C said the price differentials applied by Vodacom and MTN prevented competition. It accused the companies of excessive pricing, inducement and margin squeeze.

Source : https://goo.gl/cXiT8E

Deloitte To Build R1 Billion Office In Midrand

Deloitte’s new premises will be developed in Waterfall in Midrand, Gauteng joining a number of leading corporates consolidating their operations in that area, including PwC. The total estimated development cost is in excess of R1 billion. The new premises will comprise 42 500m² of \workspace, which will consolidate Deloitte’s current Woodmead and Pretoria offices in a single central location. The building has space capacity for close to 5,000 people.

Source : https://goo.gl/LgnbDT

Uber Launches Uber Central For Businesses

Uber has launched Uber Central, which is built on the Uber Business platform. “With Central, businesses can request, manage, and pay for rides for others, at scale,”. Uber said Central will provide companies with a complete overview of usage, including drafts, trip history, and trip costs. This will allow them to manage their transport logistics and provide Uber-based transportation for employees or customers.

Source : https://goo.gl/IPIftd

Indicators : Oil 54.92 – Rand/USD 13.32 – Rand/GBP 17.04 – Rand/EUR 14.27

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Absa Report Drama. Did Thuli Mess Up?

The Public Protector’s leaked interim report that recommends Absa pay back the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) an outstanding interest of R1.225bn is being ripped apart by Johann Rupert and apartheid era reserve bank governor Chris Stals. The argument that Absa owes SARB interest on the deal apparently hinges on a quote by former Sarb governor Chris Stals, who said Absa agreed to pay back the interest. Stals has however said he was misquoted and that Absa met its obligations in 95. Rupert on the other hand called the report a work of fiction and denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the public protector has opened a case with the police over the leaking of the interim report. Thuli Madonsela may have a lot to answer to if it turns out to be true that she messed up this report.

Shoprite Increases Turnover By 14%

The Shoprite Group increased its turnover by 14.0% from R62.5 billion to R71.3 billion for the six months to December 2016. Shoprite’s non-South African supermarkets recorded sales growth of 32.3% assisted by higher inflation and achieved in the face of low commodity prices and foreign exchange shortages in certain countries. Growth on a like-for-like basis was 14.2%. The Group’s furniture division grew sales by 10.0% for the period.

Credit Regulator Takes Standard Bank To Court

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is seeking a high court order to stop banks from unilaterally taking money from customers’ savings accounts to settle outstanding balances on their credit agreements. The regulator is seeking an order declaring that provisions of the National Credit Act supersede common law “set-off”, whereby a consumer’s debt is satisfied by setting it off against credit held by that consumer with the bank, such as in a savings account.

Theresa May Speech Leads Pound Higher

Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to pull Britain out of the European Union’s single market while staying inside parts of its customs union, saying the UK parliament will get a vote on the final Brexit deal. The prime minister didn’t say what would happen if the parliamentary vote is lost. At that point, it might be impossible to reverse the Brexit process, meaning the UK found itself outside the EU without any agreement with the bloc. That outcome would be a disaster for the UK.

British American Tobacco Buys Rest Of Reynolds

BAT has announced it will buy the 57.8% of Reynolds American it does not already own for $49.4 billion after agreeing terms with an independent Reynolds committee. The deal will consolidate its ownership of Newport, Kent and Pall Mall, which Reynolds – the second largest cigarette maker in the US – produces.

China Pledges $40bn Investment In Nigeria

Nigeria has ordered Taiwan to move its trade mission from the capital, Abuja, to the commercial hub, Lagos, following a visit by the Chinese foreign minister during which his government pledged to invest $40 billion into infrastructure in Nigeria. Interesting how other African countries are treating the One China policy after the D.A issue.

Currencies & Stuff

Oil 55.57 – Rand/USD 13.53 – Rand/GBP 16.65 – Rand/EUR 14.43

Richest 1% Have 42% Of SA’s Wealth

The total net wealth of just three billionaires in SA is equivalent to that of the bottom 50% of country’s population, according to Oxfam’s inequality report released on Monday. The Oxfam report An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 38%. This has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. The richest are accumulating wealth at such an astonishing rate that the world could see its first trillionaire in just 25 years,

Ford Recalls 4500 Kuga’s After Fires

Ford South Africa had a press conference yesterday where they recalled the recall of over 4500 1.6 model Kuga’s after a recent series of fires. Investigations show the fires were caused by overheating in some parts of the engine which led to oil leaks. A total of 48 Kuga’s have so far caught fire in South Africa‚ 11 of them this month.

Moody’s And S&P Hit With Massive Fines For Inflating Ratings

Moody’s has agreed to pay almost $864m to resolve a multiyear US investigation into credit ratings on subprime mortgage securities. Moody’s inflated ratings on mortgage securities which is a big part of the 2008 financial crisis. Standard and Poor’s, after fighting the US in court for two years, settled similar claims with the US for $1.5bn last year. Basically these guys deceived the market into thinking bonds that were crap were actually good, when it all fell apart the world went into a recession. Scum!

Important Theresa May Speech Expected

Theresa May is expected to use the most important speech of her premiership to confirm that Britain will be leaving the single market while insisting that it wants to remain “the best friend” to European partners. She is expected to say there is no option that leaves Britain “half-in, half-out” as she sets out 12 key priorities for the EU negotiations.

Uganda To Build Railway Linking Kenya, Rwanda And South Sudan

Uganda said the first phase of a railway designed to improve connections between the landlocked East African country and three of its neighbors will cost $2.3 billion, with Chinese contractors expected to begin construction this year. Uganda, which plans to start producing oil by about 2020, is seeking to build a combined 1,724 kilometers of standard-gauge railway.

Vodacom Launches Free Facebook

Vodacom has launched a new promotion Facebook Flex. “Facebook Flex will give customers on the Vodacom network an opportunity to connect with friends and family using the basic version of Facebook for free,” said Vodacom. Vodacom said Siyakha is a platform that will offer zero-rated and lower-priced products and services to the “emerging prepaid segment of Vodacom’s customer base”

Currencies & Stuff

Oil 55.65 . Rand/USD 13.53 . Rand/GBP 16.36 . Rand/EUR 14.39