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Platinum Wealth

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  1. BIG NEWS: #AfriForum & #GerrieNel have officially been appointed by the #Botswana government to represent them in a high-profile money-laundering & fraud case, in which businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe (sister-in-law of @CyrilRamaphosa & wife of Jeff Radebe) is implicated. Motsepe-Radebe was identified as a cosignatory of at least 2 bank accounts holding some of the more than $10 billion allegedly stolen from the #Botswana government to finance a “coup” before the national election in this country.
  2. Seven men accused of defrauding VBS Mutual Bank have told the Palm Ridge Regional Court they are innocent, each pleading not guilty to the multiple charges they face. Four of the men were arrested during early morning raids on Wednesday, while three others handed themselves over to police later. An eighth accused is in quarantine due to Covid-19. Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi put his foot down on Thursday when he refused to hear the case until court orderlies ensured that the packed public gallery was cleared and physical distancing regulations, aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19, were strictly implemented. Nemavhidi said he would not continue until the orderlies ensured that physical distancing was maintained and that those who were standing were removed. State prosecutor Hein van der Merwe told the court that there were seven accused present and the eighth person was absent. Source: News24
  3. Discovery said on Monday its full-year profits could fall by up to 90%, hit by a R3.3 billion ($191 million) provision to cover the potential impact on claims and policy lapses due to the coronavirus. It also said it would not pay an annual dividend, with the payouts to be considered when appropriate, sending its shares down 5.5% before recouping some losses. The company said the hefty provision covered the potential impact on claims and anticipated policy lapses as stretched customers stop paying, while the outlook also covered the impact of long-term interest rates. It warned its headline earnings per share – the main profit measure in South Africa – for the year to June 30 were expected to be between 70% and 90% lower than the 789 cents reported a year earlier, though it said the final outcome was subject to a high degree of volatility. “Discovery is confident that the group is strong under high stress scenarios, with sufficient liquidity and solvency to weather uncertain conditions,” it said, adding capital ratios and cash buffers were expected to remain within or above target. The provision, Discovery said, was intended so that all of the currently expected impact of the novel coronavirus as far ahead as 2022 was carried in this financial year. Changes to interest rates in South Africa after the government lost its final investment-grade credit rating earlier this year, and historically low interest rates in the United Kingdom where it has a unit, were expected to have a further substantial impact on performance. Discovery’s profits have been falling in recent years as it ploughed money back into new businesses including a hefty investment in launching a digital bank, which it said now has 177 000 clients and R2.1 billion in retail deposits. So far, lapses in most of its businesses had been low, it said, while new business annualised premium income was up 4% for the 11 months to May 31. Source: MoneyWeb
  4. The rationality of the government's regulations for the Level 4 lockdown was challenged in court on Monday due to the short time allowed for public participation. The controversial regulation continuing the ban on smoking, which was announced by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is among those questioned. Dlamini-Zuma said the decision was reached after public consultation. Last month, Mpiyakhe Dlamini, Duwayne Esau, Tami Jackson, Lindo Khuzwayo, Mikhail Manuel, Neo Mkwane, Scott Roberts and Riaan Salie asked the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town to declare the lockdown regulations invalid and the National Coronavirus Command Council inconsistent with the Constitution and Disaster Management Act. On Monday, judges Rosheni Allie and Elizabeth Baartman listened to arguments via a virtual platform. They reserved judgment. Advocate Anton Katz SC, for some of the applicants, said: "The process chosen by the government to make the regulations failed the rationality test in the process stage." He added they were in dispute with the respondents on whether or not public participation was required - he said yes, they said no. However, there was a public participation process, but the process was not rational, Katz argued. On 25 April, he said, a notice that there was a process for public comment appeared on the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs' website, and Dlamini-Zuma mentioned it during a press conference on the same day. Source: News24
  5. One Hong Kong businessman moved $10 million to Singapore and plans to transfer more. Another is eyeing London property, worried that prices in Hong Kong are too high. Well-to-do families across the city are opening offshore bank accounts and applying for alternative passports. While it doesn’t add up to an exodus just yet, Hong Kong’s rich are increasingly hedging their bets as the financial hub suffers its worst economic and political crises since at least 1997.Many high-net-worth investors are either reducing their Hong Kong exposure or taking steps to ensure they can withdraw assets at a moment’s notice, underscoring the challenge for Chief Executive Carrie Lam as she tries to maintain the city’s status as magnet for Asian wealth. Rich individuals are major players in Hong Kong’s equity and real-estate markets as well as big buyers of Chinese corporate bonds issued in the city. Private bankers say their clients accelerated contingency planning efforts after China announced last month it would impose controversial national security laws on Hong Kong. The legislation threatens to erode the former British colony’s judicial independence, provoke sanctions from the U.S. and revive street protests that battered the tourism and retail industries even before the coronavirus outbreak plunged the economy into its deepest recession on record. “What we’re basically seeing is a bit like a slow-moving train wreck,” said Richard Harris, chief executive of Port Shelter Investment Management in Hong Kong. “People who haven’t moved their money out may be tempted to think: ‘Well, maybe I should be moving my money out.’ That process is likely to continue.” To be sure, there’s little evidence so far of widespread capital flight. Hong Kong bank deposits increased to a record in April and the city’s currency has continued to trade at the strong end of its permitted band against the dollar, a sign of persistent inflows. Lam’s government has said the security laws will help make Hong Kong a “safe, stable and welcoming city” and won’t affect the “legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents and international investors under the law and independent judicial power.” Hong Kong’s wealthiest billionaires have publicly endorsed the legislation and expressed confidence in the city’s future. In private, however, many Hong Kong entrepreneurs and high-earning professionals are sounding a more pessimistic note. Cheng, the businessman who moved $10 million to Singapore, also secured his permanent resident status in the city-state this year and has been selling his Hong Kong properties. He has no concrete plans to emigrate yet, but is considering his options. He and his family have passports from the U.S., Canada, Australia and France. Cheng, who was born in Hong Kong, said he worries about China’s tightening grip on the city and the prospect for more unrest. Like several of the people quoted in this story, he asked not to reveal his full name because of the political sensitivity of the subject. Sam, a senior investment banker in Hong Kong, has decided to leave the city. The 43-year-old is emigrating to Australia with his wife and two young boys in about three months, the second time he will have left Hong Kong during a period of political turmoil. Sam grew up in the city, but moved to Brisbane when he was 12 after his parents got spooked by China’s crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. He came back to Hong Kong 20 years ago for his career but now sees no upside to staying. “Things are looking bad and deteriorating,” he said. “We may as well pack our bags and move to Australia so that the kids can have a better environment growing up.” Margaret Chau, a Hong Kong-based immigration program director for Goldmax Immigration Consulting Co., said inquiries at her firm have jumped about five-fold after news of the national security legislation. For now, most of her wealthy customers are more interested setting up an escape route than leaving right away. “They see this as a backup plan,” Chau said. Kerry Goh, chief executive officer of multi-family office Kamet Capital in Singapore, said his clients have shifted from asking generic questions about moving out of Hong Kong to making detailed inquiries about everything from schools to visas and bank accounts. “What’s happened in Hong Kong has really sped up the timing of 2047,” Goh said, referring to the expiration date of China’s 50-year pledge to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy after the handover from Britain. “As Hong Kong’s troubles shoot up, the benefits of Singapore have become more self-explanatory.” A demonstrator shows a British National (Overseas) passport as another waves a colonial-era Hong Kong flag during a protest on May 29. Other more far-flung locales are also attracting increased interest from investors in Hong Kong. Puerto Rico’s Standard International Bank, a so-called International Financial Entity that expanded its footprint in Asia last year, has seen its deposits more than triple since December 2019, according to general manager Maria Diaz. “Turbulence in Hong Kong has changed the landscape,” she said. Dennis, a 34-year-old executive at a Hong Kong-based consulting firm founded by his parents, said his family and many of their friends have started moving cash out of the city. He’s looking to buy more properties in the U.K., where he spent almost a decade attending boarding school and university. “I could buy a much bigger flat in London, so why not?” he said. “I’m just trying to protect my money against any uncertainty.” Source: Daily Maverick
  6. Open an easyequities account and buy an ETF - that would be the safest way to invest your R500. You can read our e-book if you want to get some direction as to what to choose and how everything related to investing on the JSE works. E-book (How to invest - the beginner's guide) Download here: https://platinumwealth.co.za/forum/ebooks/ Important: Make sure you have an emergency fund first before you invest. https://platinumwealth.co.za/insights/finance/building-an-emergency-fund/
  7. I found this to be a very insightful interview with Sheldon Quarmby who is Founder and CEO of Interfile, the company behind solutions like uFiling and SARS eFiling. https://futurecitiesafrica.com/discussions/sheldon-quarmby-improving-service-delivery-to-citizens-and-digitising-cities-to-succeed-in-the-future.php
  8. As of Thursday afternoon, online shops in South Africa may sell anything other than booze and tobacco products. New regulations dropped the limits imposed on physical stores – which may still sell only approved items – entirely. But e-tailers have to implement new measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and they must promote local goods. As of Thursday South African online stores may sell any product other than booze and cigarettes under Alert Level 4. According to new regulations published on Thursday afternoon, e-commerce sites are no longer limited to the small range of items that physical stores may sell – though they (and customers receiving packages) must comply with new requirements to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The new directions are immediately in effect. South Africa had been one of the only countries in the world to shut down online e-commerce, apart from the sale of essential goods, during its national Covid-19 lockdown. E-tailers had been limited to the same limited list of goods legal for bricks-and-mortar retailers to sell. But on Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that restrictions on both retail and e-commerce would be eased for Alert Level 4, even before much of the country moves to Level 3 at the end of May. Now online shoppers can buy anything again, with only alcoholic drinks and tobacco products still restricted. That will also apply to parts of the country that do not move to Level 3 because of a high rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and will continue to apply should South Africa move back up to the present Level 4 again in future. At the same time, online stores must now promote local goods. "In order to limit the social and economic hardship caused by the pandemic on local industries and enable consumer choice to support local producers, retailers must give prominence to those goods which are manufactured in the Republic of South Africa," the new rules read. Online retailers are also require to "provide for as many payment options as possible for consumers, that are based on reducing risks of transmission, and enabling poorer consumers to access delivery services." In a section of the regulations dealing with definitions, courier services are said to "include the delivery divisions of retailers and delivery services set up by spaza shops and informal traders", pointing to how the government believes poorer consumers may gain effective access to online shopping. Source: https://www.businessinsider.co.za/online-shopping-allowed-level-4-2020-5
  9. Gold's Gym filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, becoming the latest business to pursue restructuring amid coronavirus-related business disruptions. "We want to be 100 percent clear that Gold's Gym is not going out of business," President and CEO Adam Zeitsiff said in a press release. "The brand is strong, and we'll continue to innovate and grow our digital business, our licensing program and our global footprint as we focus on serving our millions of members across the world." The company referred to difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and said it hoped to reemerge from bankruptcy proceedings by August 1. It said the bankruptcy filing would affect only company-owned locations, which represent about 10% of the company's roughly 700 locations around the world. The gym chain was forced to temporarily close locations across the US in March in response to states' restrictions on businesses. In April, it announced it would close 30 company-owned locations for good. In a recent interview with Business Insider, Zeitsiff outlined the company's plans to reopen gyms under new protocols including reduced capacity and enhanced cleaning procedures. "We have been working with our landlords to ensure that the remaining company-owned gyms reopen stronger than ever coming out of this pandemic," the company said in a statement on Monday. "To be clear, the filing should not impact our licensing division, it is not associated with any of our locally-owned franchise gyms, nor will it prevent us from continuing to support our system of nearly 700 gyms around the world. While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly impacted our company-owned gym operations, we expect the filing will have no further impact on current operations."
  10. True, these days one can buy it directly on Luno or Ice3x, I see even Binance is now available in South Africa.
  11. Cyril Ramaphosa to address SA at 8.30pm about Covid-19 relief measures That follows a cabinet meeting held on Monday and deliberations with the national coronavirus command council and other bodies. President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8.30pm on Tuesday evening on additional economic and social relief measures that form part of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This follows a cabinet meeting held on Monday and deliberations with the national coronavirus command council, the president’s co-ordinating council, and the national economic development and labour council (Nedlac), among others, the presidency said. SA is in the fourth week of a five-week national lockdown, which was imposed in a bid to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3,000 people in SA and left nearly 60 dead. The virus has caused panic and fear across the globe and brought economies to a standstill. SA’s lockdown has compounded the country’s own economic and social problems. A crucial cabinet meeting held last week to plan SA’s response to Covid-19 and the resulting economic crisis ended inconclusively, with no decisions taken and all proposals put off until later.
  12. A gunman disguised as a policeman killed at least 18 people, including a female Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer, in the worst mass shooting in Canada's modern history. The 12-hour rampage started late on Saturday and ended with a car chase. Police said the suspect shot people at different locations in Nova Scotia, many of them randomly. He was killed in a confrontation with police. He was reported to have been driving what looked like a police car. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the attack as "a tragedy". "Violence of any kind has no place in Canada. We stand with you and we grieve with you," he said, addressing the nation on Monday. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters this was "one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province's history". The RCMP said on Monday that they believe there may be more victim within the remains of homes torched as part of the weekend's attacks. Mr Trudeau said that his government was "on the verge" of introducing bans to assault style weapons before parliament was dissolved amid the coronavirus outbreak. "We have every intention of moving forward", once the outbreak is curbed, he said. More Info: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52346447
  13. US oil prices plunged, falling below $0 Monday to $-37.63 a barrel. That's the lowest level since NYMEX opened oil futures trading in 1983. The selloff can be attributed in part to market mechanics. The May futures contract for West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, is about to expire. Most investors are already focusing on the June contract, thinning out trading volume and feeding volatility, UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said. The June futures contract for WTI is trading around $22 per barrel, but that's still sharply lower on the day. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, fell 8% Monday to $25.81 per barrel. The extreme pressure on the WTI contract for May highlights ongoing concerns about the supply and demand dynamics plaguing the oil market. "No one in America wants oil in the short term," Jeffrey Halley of Oanda told clients on Monday. Saudi Arabia, Russia and other producers tried to prop up prices with a deal last week to slash production by 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June, the deepest cut ever negotiated. But that isn't expected to soak up the supply glut caused by evaporating demand for energy. Oil storage facilities are still at risk of overflowing, raising the chance that some oil producers in the United States and Canada could start paying customers to take crude off their hands, according to Staunovo. Investors are particularly worried about storage reaching capacity in Cushing, Oklahoma, the main US hub. Rystad Energy, a consultancy, forecasts that US commercial crude stocks will hit all-time highs by the end of April and will continue rising into May.
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