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Welcome to BizNews Radio where we interview top thought leaders and businesspeople from South Africa and across the globe.

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Welcome to BizNews Radio where we interview top thought leaders and businesspeople from South Africa and across the globe.

    SA recession risk rises; SAA close to collapse; Zimbabwe starvation crisis; PIC demands Steinhoff reports

    SA recession risk rises; SAA close to collapse; Zimbabwe starvation crisis; PIC demands Steinhoff reports

    In today's headlines:
    SA is staring down a recession, says Bloomberg. South Africa’s economy contracted for a second quarter this year economy hasn’t expanded at more than 2% annually since 2013.
    SAA is on the brink of collapse. Its bosses are trying to buy more time by asking all the big lenders to help it with a cash crunch, while unions representing staff members are threatening to take action to push the airline into business rescue, a form of bankruptcy protection.


    Zimbabwe is deep into a vicious cycle of sky-rocketing malnutrition, the World Food Programme has warned. It plans to double the number of people it’s providing with emergency food aid in Zimbabwe, where half of the 14-million population is facing severe hunger, says Bloomberg.


    South Africa’s Public Investment Corp., the continent’s biggest fund manager, said it’s preparing court papers to try and force Steinhoff International to release PwC’s full report on what led to the retailer’s accounting scandal, reports Bloomberg.

    • 5 min.
    Chris Logan: Where Tongaat has gone, Hulamin, Nampak are following.

    Chris Logan: Where Tongaat has gone, Hulamin, Nampak are following.

    Back in 2014, independent money manager Chris Logan spoke out publicly against the strategy being followed by KZN's leading company, Tongaat Hulett. He urged the board and executives to drop their approach of selling off prime commercial real estate to pump the cash into the sugar sector - an area Logan reckoned was the worst commodity to bet on. In this episode of Rational Radio he describes what happened as a tragedy; had those controlling the purse strings pursued a different strategy, Tongaat would still be a flourishing business. Logan has similar misgivings about Hulamin and Nampak, companies that he reckons are also guilty of massive mis-allocation of capital. - Alec Hogg

    • 11 min.
    David Shapiro: Making sense of Adrian Gore's R1.4bn share transaction

    David Shapiro: Making sense of Adrian Gore's R1.4bn share transaction

    In the latest episode of Rational Radio, South Africa's favourite market commentator David Shapiro unpacked the massive (and complex) put and call options entered into this week by Discovery founder and CEO Adrian Gore. The trades reported on the Stock Exchange News Service relate to Gore's decision to borrow money to contribute his share of Discovery's R5bn right issue that was conducted in 2015. The biggest individual shareholder with ownership of over 7% in the R73bn business, to retain this share of the business Gore put up his shares as security for the loan to follow his 2015 rights. As David Shapiro explains, the options are in place to protect the bank which lent him the cash. Also in this interview, David shares his perspectives on SA Airways and the similarities between Tongaat and Steinhoff. - Alec Hogg

    • 13 min.
    MTN, Vodacom ordered to slash data prices; Worse than Eskom: SA water crisis looms; manufacturing slumps

    MTN, Vodacom ordered to slash data prices; Worse than Eskom: SA water crisis looms; manufacturing slumps

    In the headlines today:
    President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that South Africa faces a grave water crisis. In his weekly letter to citizens, he says: “Unless we take drastic measures to conserve water sources and promote efficient use, water insecurity will become the biggest developmental and economic challenge facing this country. Our current energy challenges will seem small by comparison.


    South Africa’s two biggest mobile-phone companies have been ordered to step up efforts to lower data prices within the next two months or face prosecution by the country’s antitrust regulator, reports Bloomberg. Vodacom and MTN have the potential to reduce tariffs by 30% to 50%, Tembinkosi Bonakele, the head of the country’s Competition Commission, said in Pretoria on Monday.


    Sentiment in South Africa’s manufacturing industry slipped in November, signalling contraction in the industry for a fourth straight month, reports Reuters. Absa’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research, fell to 47.7 from 48.1 in October, the Johannesburg-based lender said in an emailed statement on Monday.


    Offshore investors sold a net R9.84bn ($669m) of South African stocks last week and R3.46bn of bonds, data from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange showed on Monday, says Reuters.

    • 4 min.
    Azar Jammine: IMF's shout out to Ramaphosa - bring Alliance onside. Quick.

    Azar Jammine: IMF's shout out to Ramaphosa - bring Alliance onside. Quick.

    A bit like a multinational Stokvel, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund acts as the banker of last resort for member countries which get themselves into difficulties. To prepare itself, the IMF has a regular programme of sending surveillance teams to assess its potential exposure - and where it finds problems, to encourage members to act before it's too late. The surveillance team, which visits South Africa twice a year, spent the fortnight to November 21 in the country, meeting with stakeholders from across the social and economic spectrum. On Rational Radio this week Economterix chief economist Azar Jammine explained why the IMF's warnings need to be heeded and how the Ramaphosa Administration is running out of time to convince its political allies to come on side - or reap some rather awful consequences. Because of the tough conditions it always applies, nobody likes having to approach the banker of last resort. Much better to make the changes before having to enter the last chance saloon.    

    • 9 min.
    Companies losing faith in SAA; Inflated Tongaat Hulett profits; Zuma’s date with justice; tweeting for Africa

    Companies losing faith in SAA; Inflated Tongaat Hulett profits; Zuma’s date with justice; tweeting for Africa

    In today's business headlines:
    Companies are starting to lose faith that South African Airways can and will be saved.  Sanlam Travel Insurance Consultants said it would exclude SAA from its insolvency cover and Flight Centre has stopped selling SAA tickets.
    An investigation into alleged wrongdoing at Tongaat Hulett found that a group of at least 10 senior executives at the sugar maker used accounting methods that led to profits and certain assets being overstated. Former Chief Executive Officer Peter Staude, who headed the company for 16 years, was among those identified.
    Emerging Markets may need more than a surprise recovery in Chinese manufacturing to exorcise the pain of November. Bloomberg reports that there are too many risks for Emerging Markets to get a lift from data out of China.
    Former President Jacob Zuma’s long-awaited trial on corruption charges over a $2bn arms deal is set to go ahead in February next year after the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed an appeal that sought to prevent his prosecution on corruption charges. Zuma has the option to approach the Supreme Court in his push to dodge trial, but legal experts say his prospects of success are slim and
    Twitter Boss Jack Dorsey has announced that he will live in Africa for several months in 2020.

    • 4 min.

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