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Outlook

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  1. Regulatory issues that were holding back the post office-based bank from offering routine banking services are now finalised, says CEO Mark Barnes. Post Office SA CEO Mark Barnes says regulatory issues that held up the launch of Postbank have now been finalised. Postbank was expected to launch a fullyfledged bank that offers both credit facilities and transactional products around the same time as other new players including Discovery Bank, Bank Zero and Tyme Bank which launched earlier in 2019. The existing Postbank only offers transactional and savings accounts as its status as a state-owned company precludes it from engaging in the full spread of banking activities. Barnes said the issues that prevented Postbank from obtaining a full licence, including differences in licensing provisions between the Companies Act and Banks Act, have now been ironed out. “The restructuring of Postbank is now going ahead and it’s only a matter of time before we start solving a lot of the issues we want to solve,” said Barnes. The restructuring, which entails adding credit facilities to its current bank licence, will bring the idea of a state-owned bank closer to life. In January finance minister Tito Mboweni tabled the Financial Matters Amendment Bill in parliament. The bill, which proposes amendments to the Banks Act, seeks to allow state-owned entities to establish a bank. Barnes said Postbank wanted to extend credit to informal businesses which do not qualify at traditional banks. It also wants to reduce the cost of credit by adopting a different method to lending than traditional banks. To this end, Barnes said Postbank will not be seeking to compete with other commercial banks. “We’d rather have a very specific enabled state bank mandate that has a proper risk-adjusted solution to address economic inequality.” Creating township economies and extending funding to SMEs without asking for surety are some of the things on the bank’s radar. Barnes said they wanted to use data mining and technology to monitor small businesses’ growth. For instance, if Postbank is successful in its ambition to roll out payment systems that enable SA Social Security Agency beneficiaries to use their cards at spaza shops, it can technologically oversee those payments to gauge if the business is growing and then incrementally fund their growth plans. Barnes said through these methods, the bank could be able to lend to township businesses and other SMEs by looking at their cash flow instead of looking at whether they have surety or not. “The state has an obligation to address financial inequality — something that can only manifest inside a state organisation, at the right cost of capital. If we create township economies instead of destroying SMEs, [and have] an inappropriate cost of credit, then we start creating a tax base.” He said extending developmental credit, inclusion of people not served by traditional banks and reducing the cost of credit to low-income earners was on Postbank’s priority list. “You find a lot of gogos in Soweto who have been renting out rooms for 10 years or more. That’s a bankable proposition because it’s a predictable income flow to a trustworthy person. We don’t want an asset. We want behaviour; someone who is behaving in a way that is creating value in a predictable sense.” Another ambition of the bank is to reduce the percentage of profit generated through postal services to 20% by 2030. Since the post office already has a fully-fledged payment system, Barnes said the idea was to offer multiple services at every counter, which can include e-commerce services such as the delivery of chronic medication. “Why can’t we have our own SIM-cards? Why can’t we have our own electronic wallets? We have 11-million social grant beneficiaries. We have 6-million people who deposit money at Post Bank. We have people that do motor vehicle licensing, people who use postal services. We probably have one of the largest client bases in the country and a commercially irreplaceable footprint.” Source: BusinessLive
  2. Jumia to list on the NYSE, aiming to become Africa’s first tech unicorn. Active in 14 countries 4 million active users 81.000 active sellers 13.4m deliveries per year €130.6m revenue in 2018 €862m consolidated loss since inception Source: Techcrunch MTN owns a share of Jumia
  3. It's every investor's dream: to find a stock that doesn't just double your money – or even triple it – but increases your investment 10-fold. I decided to start this thread here, somewhere on the JSE is the next ten-bagger (+1000% return), let's try to identify it. What small cap JSE stock do you think will be the next Ten Bagger?
  4. Looks like they are planning to add some additional services as well. The graphic below shows the services it currently offers. Services that will only be launched at a future date are highlighted in yellow.
  5. Grand Parade to close Dunkin’, Baskin Robbins in SA South Africa’s Grand Parade Investments said on Friday it had filed to close its Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins franchises in the country due to poor performance and would instead channel capital into its chain of Burger King outlets. “The decision to exit Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins was made following sustained losses in these businesses and an unsuccessful process to dispose of these businesses,” the company said in a statement.
  6. The Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, will deliver the South African budget speech on 20 February 2019. I will post a video to the live speech here when it goes live. I really hope this is not a political event given the current election year. They need to focus on national government debt. #BudgetSpeech2019 Watch it live here:
  7. Better put, Eskom is a metaphor for South Africa. It’s a vast, unwieldy megalith entirely bankrupted by people who have treated it as a personal ATM and a political soccer field. Stage four load shedding hit us on Monday like a wet cement towel that just managed to dry. Eskom is running on a prayer, and not one addressed to a deity familiar to this publication. The world’s largest power utility should serve as a point of pride, especially in a country that has more than enough human capital to run its various operations exactly as advertised. Instead, Eskom is a state-owned zombie apocalypse: R440-billion in debt, money that is guaranteed by the sovereign, and unable to meet its rather simple mandate: keep the lights on, and the wheels of industry turning. This is a disaster that threatens to blow out the entire economy, a terrorist attack on the fabric of this county perpetrated by the very people who have sworn to govern it responsibly, and (laugh no more) competently. Former president Jacob Zuma has been busy in retirement — busier than he was during his two terms at the helm. He’s been campaigning with — and ostensibly for — President Ramaphosa in KZN, while engaging in a Twitter “charm” offensive that has the aim of portraying his presidency as unfairly maligned. But even if his critics got everything else wrong, the numbers don’t lie: when Zuma took the reins in 2009, Eskom produced 40,000MW, had 30,000 employees, and carried the debt of R40-billion. It now produces 48,000MW, has 37,000 employees, and services more than ten times the debt. It does not generate enough revenue to pay the interest, let alone salaries, maintenance, and fuel. About that fuel. Eskom is addicted to “beautiful clean coal”, as US President Donald Trump would phrase it. Dating back to the apartheid years, supplying South Africa’s abundant, relatively cheap coal to the utility was a patronage sinecure, and lucrative in the extreme. But every party comes to an end, and the quality stuff mined proximate to coal plants is a thing of the past. There were not so subtle hints of this during the “wet coal” blackouts of 2007/2008; experts have been promising for roughly two decades that this would prove a problem. In response, the government decided to go ahead with building Medupi and Kusile, the two largest (and most expensive) coal-fired plants in the world — names that will end up etched as epitaphs on this country’s tombstone. Terrifyingly behind schedule and under-built, they will add roughly 9GW to the network; a big contribution indeed, but still built to pump insane amounts of CO2 into the fast-warming planet’s atmosphere. Then there is a culture of non-payment — municipalities are R17-billion in arrears to the utility — and rampant theft of electricity by people without the means to pay. Then there are the likes of the Gupta brothers, Zuma’s infamous benefactors who managed, among other gravity-defying acts, to get a R600-million prepayment from Eskom they used to buy a coal mine called Optimum from mining giant Glencore. So the fact that you’re possibly reading this in darkness on a dying device really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Former Eskom Group Holdings Acting Chief Executive Matshela Koko, another of the larcenous cretins who proliferated during the Zuma years, tweeted some numbers during Monday’s blackout. Koko is right. Except that, until his recent forced exit, he was the Top. Koko and the rest of Zuma’s kleptocrats form an unbroken, centuries-long tradition of South African elites who refuse to accept blame or any accountability. The endless queues at taxi ranks, the R2-billion loss in revenue every day, the waiters serving empty restaurants, the dark school rooms — that’s all because of Koko, Brian Molefe, Ben Ngubane and their many fellow executioners. (At least Koko’s step-daughter saw the light, a billion-rand worth of it, as her company snagged at least eight Eskom tenders. Koko is a caring man.) President Ramaphosa said on Monday that he was “shocked” and “angry” about the state of affairs. But one does wonder about the office of the deputy presidency, which Ramaphosa occupied for four of Zuma’s nine years, and its insulation from the decline that was obviously happening around it. Ramaphosa, and indeed everyone within the governing party, should not be angry but deeply ashamed. Their saving grace on 8 May — Election Day — is that there are no viable alternatives, and no one waiting in the wings to save the country. The people who broke it will be the people tasked with fixing it, when in a perfect world they’d be huddled in the dark with the rest of us, waiting for capable and honest replacements to wipe up the gargantuan mess of their creation. During his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa said that Eskom will soon be broken up into three distinct parts — transmission, generation and distribution. This restructuring has been government policy since 1999. Implementation, however, has never been a strong point. Unions, already smelling job cuts and privatisation, are threatening war. They will have one. And Ramaphosa will soon be presented with a horrific choice: dead workers on the street, or selling a pre-industrial backwater to his international investment partners in the UK, Germany and China at a bargain-basement price when foreign investment is desperately needed to pay down the debt incurred during the Zuma years’ free-for-all. The lights are out for two reasons: corruption and mismanagement. For most countries, it would take a terrorist attack of unimaginable proportions to shut down the power grid. Here, the threat came from within — from the leaders elected to serve us and protect us. Their shame can only be quantified in darkness. Right now, there is plenty to go around. Source: Daily Maverick
  8. South African media and e-commerce group Naspers has gained stock exchange approval to spin-off and list Multichoice, Africa’s biggest pay-TV business by subscribers, the company said on Monday. Multichoice stock will list on February 27, Naspers said in a Johannesburg Stock Exchange announcement, with the share capital going to current Naspers shareholders. So, who of you guys are buying the dinosaur?
  9. It feels so weird to think Steinhoff is now a mid-cap company.
  10. Torre is de-listing not sure if that is good or bad for Stellar who own 57% of TOR
  11. It's dropping hard -- I think I will buy some if it breaks $5k
  12. Looks like he is back. https://twitter.com/smalltalkdaily
  13. I bought R1500 worth of #DSY shares yesterday. Let's hope this banking venture pays off. I would like to catch a Capitec run in the coming years.
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