Commission ditches Manyi's Futuregrowth collusion complaint | Fin24
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Commission ditches Manyi's Futuregrowth collusion complaint

Mar 07 2017 17:55
Adiel Ismail

Cape Town - The Competition Commission has thrown out a complaint by Mzwanele Manyi's Decolonisation Foundation involving Futuregrowth Asset Management, Africa’s biggest private fixed-income money manager.

Manyi, an ardent supporter of President Jacob Zuma and defender of the controversial Gupta family, wanted the Commission to investigate a case of collusion, following an audacious move by Futuregrowth to pull the plug on loans to some of the largest State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

FULL STATEMENT: Why Futuregrowth won't grant loans to SOEs

The Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that it has taken a decision to non-refer (not to prosecute) the case.

"The Commission is of the view that the conduct complained of does not contravene the Competition Act."

Manyi in his complaint alleged that Futuregrowth canvassed other fund managers to support its stance to boycott lending to SOEs.

"The Complainant alleged that there was collusive behaviour that took place between fund managers of different financial institutions," the Commission explained to Fin24.

The Commission then engaged both Manyi and Futuregrowth about the complaint.

At the time, the local unit was the worst performer among 31 major and emerging market currencies. At R14.63/$, it maintained its slump for ninth day, the longest losing streak since May 2013, reported Bloomberg.

Futuregrowth resumed offering loans and rolling over existing debt to the SOEs after reviewing oversight mechanisms at the SOEs.

READ: Futuregrowth CIO recants: 'Had no idea of the unintended consequences'

The freeze on loans was criticised by the government with calls for the state to seize doing business with Old Mutual, which owns Futuregrowth.  

"The decisions were made by Futuregrowth alone, as an independent, fiduciary asset manager. It is grievous that Old Mutual has been dragged into a debate which they neither knew about, endorsed, nor could practically control," explained Canter at the time.

"In my view, Old Mutual has shown themselves to be a pro-active and developmentally focused organisation, who has sought to bring about positive change in South Africa."

A list of allegations

Manyi has made several allegations against senior government officials and former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

The former government spin doctor laid charges against Madonsela accusing her of bias, according to BizNews. However, he also asked her to investigate Trevor Manuel, Pravin Gordhan and Nhlanhla Nene over their possible dereliction in duty as finance ministers.

Manyi wanted the investigation to go as far as the role Treasury played when, what Manyi claims, Eskom procured Kusile for R100bn more than it should have. He also called on the Public Protector to probe what he terms irregular state contracts awarded by Eskom and other parastatals.

He further called on Manuel to explain why prices were inflated during his term of office. He claimed Treasury, together with Nene and Gordhan must account "for all the billions that have disappeared".

During an SABC interview, Manyi also revealed that his foundation received a dossier showing that large sums of money had been deposited into the bank account of Treasury's former chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown. Manyi said he forwarded the dossier to the Hawks for investigation.

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