Top5 on Fin24: Fear of Viceroy's next report haunts JSE, and tourists bring own water to Mother City

Jan 12 2018 17:05

Cape Town - A roundup of Fridays's must-read financial and economic news. 

Fear of US-based research group's next investigation has JSE on edge

The name is enough to spread mayhem among South African traders. And all Viceroy Research is willing to disclose is that they’re three people working out of New York to protect investors.

Stocks including Africa’s largest generics drugmaker and biggest real estate investment trusts were sent reeling this week on speculation that they were in Viceroy’s sights.

Bloomberg managed to speak to the group's owners via email. Here is what they said. 

READ: Faceless Viceroy stalks JSE as investors fear Steinhoff 2.0

Some tourists reportedly bring own water to drought-stricken Cape Town

There have been reports of some tourists to Cape Town bringing their own water along from their home towns, according to Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy. 

Duminy said it was good to see that water consumption in drought-stricken Cape Town had remained the same despite increased numbers of tourists over December, and thanked all visitors to the Mother City for their water-saving efforts.

Initial reports on the December 2017 peak tourism month show high growth in international arrivals, and an increase in visitors to regions across the Western Cape, according to the Western Cape tourism and investment promotion agency (Wesgro).

READ: Tourists bring own water to Cape Town

SA investors want to join Dutch class action against Steinhoff

South African investors are looking to join a Dutch class action against retailer Steinhoff, according to a report.

Business Day on Friday reported that the Dutch Investors Association (VEB) had been approached by SA shareholders to join its class action launched on December 7.

This after Steinhoff's CEO Markus Jooste abruptly stepped down towards the end of last year, and the firm hired PwC to investigate "accounting irregularities". The PwC investigation is still ongoing. 

Jooste's resignation was followed by the exodus of a number of top executives, including chair of the board Christo Wiese and the group's chief financial officer Ben le Grange. 

The Dutch class action suit is one of a number being considered by various European law firms and investment bodies. 

German law firm TILP in December filed a investor lawsuit against the embattled retailer, saying in its legal opinion Steinhoff made itself liable for damages after providing its shareholders with incomplete market information.

READ: SA investors want to join Dutch class action against Steinhoff - report

In other Steinhoff-related news, US banking group JPMorgan Chase & Co. is said to have taken a R1.7bn writedown on a margin loan to the Stellenbosch-based retailer. 

SA's low growth drags down Africa's prospects 

Low economic growth for South Africa, one of the two largest economies in Africa, means that overall economic growth for the continent will be constrained, according to research by Oxford Economics.

The research report on Africa’s growth and sovereign risk in 2018 was released this week. It indicated that Africa’s economic recovery will gain momentum in 2018, especially given policy reforms, the recovery and stabilisation of global commodity prices and easing of drought conditions, among others. Median growth is expected to increase from 4% in 2017 to 4.4% in 2018.

However, “subdued” growth in both Nigeria and South Africa will weigh down overall growth in the continent. On a weighted-average basis, GDP is expected to expand from 3.3% in 2017 to 3.4%.

“The South African economy has been plagued by political uncertainty and ailing business confidence, and is seen growing just 1.6% in 2018,” the report read.

READSA's low growth drags down Africa's prospects - research

First editor of Business Insider SA appointed

Helena Wasserman has been appointed as the inaugural editor of Business Insider South Africa.

Media24 said in a statement on Friday that Wasserman is a seasoned financial journalist and editor with more than 20 years’ experience on some of the SA’s leading business titles, including Finweek, Fin24 and Sake24.

Media24 announced the launch of Business Insider SA in December 2017.

Launched in 2007, Business Insider is the largest business news site in the US and one of the fastest-growing news brands in the world. Collectively, the Business Insider network of sites reaches over 120 million unique monthly visitors across all platforms, per Google Analytics.

READ: First editor of Business Insider SA appointed

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