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Top reads on Fin24: Prasa appoints new CEO, Steinhoff sells assets and Bitcoin surpasses $15 000

Dec 07 2017 18:39

Cape Town - ICYMI: A roundup of Thursday's must-read financial and economic news.

Steinhoff sheds more blood as analysts warn of further fallout


Investors have continued to sell Steinhoff International, sending the furniture retailer's share price down almost 40% on Thursday to an intra-day low of R11.00.

This followed the abrupt resignation late on Tuesday night of its CEO Markus Jooste with immediate effect amid an accounting scandal.

Thursday's share price drop is in addition to the more than 65% dive over the previous three sessions, which has meant a market loss of over R130bn for the firm. 

By 16:11 Steinhoff shares on the JSE were changing hands down 34.84% at R11.47, bring the market capitalisation to just under R49bn.

Prasa appoints third acting CEO in two years


The troubled Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) has appointed Cromet Molepo as its acting group CEO (GCEO). Molepo is Prasa's third acting GCEO in the last two years.

News24 has reliably learnt that Molepo, who once left another state-owned entity amid allegations of financial misconduct, was appointed as the rail agency's new acting boss by the Prasa board on Thursday morning.

Molepo subsequently confirmed his appointment.

Court to to deliver judgment on Bankorp-CIEX matter in 2018

Judgment on the Bankorp-CIEX report has been reserved and the court will endeavour to deliver judgment early in 2018.

The matter was heard in the North Gauteng High Court over three days before a full bench of judges including Judge Dawie Fourie, Judge Cynthia Pretorius and Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi. It relates to a report Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane released in June, where her findings called for ABSA to repay R1.125bn for a lifeboat provided to Bankorp by the Reserve Bank during the apartheid era.

Both the SARB and ABSA filed court applications to have the court review the report and set it aside. The SARB particularly sought a declaratory order that Mkhwebane abused her powers.

On Wednesday, Mkhwebane’s lawyer Paul Kennedy SC argued that if the court granted the declaratory order it would prepare the ground for the Public Protector to lose her job.

Why caution is required when investing in Bitcoin

There is a huge risk that bitcoin is already overvalued.

The practical use cases for bitcoin are limited. It doesn’t enable enough transactions to take place per second to be used as a replacement for a modern payment system. And it doesn’t offer any functionality other than pseudonymous transactions – transactions where the true identity of the counterparties is hidden.

Bitcoin is favoured by pyramid schemes, including the infamous MMM pyramid scheme in Nigeria. In a recent article, the Financial Times called bitcoin itself a pyramid scheme, much to the dismay of crypto enthusiasts.

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