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BROADCAST VETERAN IN COMRADES HOT SEAT
New Comrades Marathon Association general manager Keletso Totlhanyo with CMA chair, Cheryl Winn.

The Comrades Marathon Association has announced that broadcasting veteran Keletso Totlhanyo will become its general manager, effective March 4. She boasts two decades of broadcasting industry, having managed SABC Sport and holding senior positions with SuperSport and global sports and entertainment content marketing company, Octagon. Hailing from Johannesburg, Totlhanyo - a keen runner and an all-round sporting enthusiast - is looking forward to her move to Pietermaritzburg.

   
   
QUO VADIS PROCESS MANAGEMENT?
Ltr) Ash Roopenchand (PDC), presenter Grant Davis (TLC), Anthea Forder (AppCity), Mike Wolhuter (PDC), Samantha Tegg (Teggs Memorials),  Dr Douglas Ross (MMC) and Neville Tegg (Teggs Memorials).

The future of process management came under the spotlight at the recent Lean forum under the auspices of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce. Facilitated by Grant Davis, business improvement manager at Training Leadership Consulting (TLC), the session investigated the importance of staying ahead of the technology wave by training and skilling both leaders and employees in an organisation for the challenges of an increasingly technological future.

   
   
 
     
  Today in History  
     
 

1872: The air brake is patented when George Westinghouse unveiled the railway braking system using compressed air.

Do you know what your names means? If not, today is good to find out, on Learn What Your Name Means Day.

 
     
  News worth knowing  
     
 

BRACE FOR HEFTY MIDNIGHT INCREASE AT THE BOWSER

Motorists will need to fork out an additional 74c/l from midnight, as a rising oil price offset a stronger Rand against the US Dollar in February. The inland price for a litre of 95 octane unleaded petrol will rise 5% to R14.82 a litre from tomorrow, and diesel almost 7% to R14.05, the Central Energy Fund said yesterday. At this price, petrol is 7.7% more expensive than it was in March 2018, and 9.5% higher than the price in March 2017. During the period under review (February 1 to February 28), the Rand had averaged R13.8038/US$, about 1% stronger than the prior period. The price of Brent crude, however, rose 8.66% in February, as markets watched for the effects of production cuts in 2019 year by oil-cartel Opec. (BDLive)

 
 

SUGAR AND CHICKEN DYNAMICS SMACK RCL

Remgro’s RCL Foods says earnings in the six months to end-December fell more than 25%, mainly because of oversupply in the sugar and chicken markets. Shares in the company, which warned of the decline in February, opened 7.5% higher at R13.85 yesterday.Interim headline earnings dropped 26.3% to R475.1 million due to lower selling prices in the two business units, “mainly due to oversupply”. Margins across the group were also dented by higher commodity and transport costs, RCL Foods said yesterday. The group, whose brands include Rainbow, Simply Chicken, Nola, Selati and Sunbake, said revenues grew 3.5% to R13.3 billion. Its interim dividend remained unchanged from a year before, at 15c a share.RCL Foods said chicken imports had risen, mainly from Brazil and America. (BDLive)

 
 

BIDVEST LIFTS INTERIM DIVIDEND

Bidvest has increased its interim dividend by 10.6% to R2.82, as higher margins made up for marginal revenue growth in the six months to end-December. The trading, distribution and services group said yesterday it had produced “a good result”, despite the frail economy and business, and political uncertainty. Bidvest’s headline earnings increased by 10% to R2.1 billion, even as group revenue inched up 0.2% to R40 billion. This was partly thanks to a 120 basis point increase in the group’s gross profit margin, to 29.3%. Bidvest owns large stakes in Bidvest Namibia, Adcock Ingram, Comair and Mumbai Airport, among other investments. The group said the Bidvest Freight unit’s R1 billion liquefied petroleum gas project was on schedule. The facility is expected to launch in mid-2020. (BDLive)

 
 

SLACK LEASE-SIGNING COMES AT A HEFTY COST

The department of public works has cost itself and taxpayers R3 billiion since 2016 because it has been tardy in signing new leases, which would have been at lower rental rates and with longer terms. Chief investment officer at Bridge Fund Managers, Ian Anderson, said the government was leaking money unnecessarily. “The new leases would be at lower rentals and that would result in savings of approximately R1 billion a year. These proposals have been on the table for some time now so government has paid a few billion Rands of extra rental by not signing these leases timeously,” he said. The department has been slow to sign more than 2 550 leases since 2016, only signing 40, Delta Property Fund said in a briefing to investors. Many landlords had signed leases with state tenants that had terms of at least 10 years, in the mid-2000s. In 2016, as a number of the leases were coming up for renewal, the landlords began to present new 7-10 year leases at lower rentals, given the large vacancies in the office market and the need to retain the state departments as tenants. Distributable income for the year to February 2019 was expected to be between R525.5 million and R560 million, reflecting a decrease of between 19% and 24% compared with the R691.6 million for the year to February 2018. (BDLive)

 
 

ESKOM FLOUTED PROCEDURES IN CHINESE LOAN

Eskom did not follow correct procedure for the US$2 billion (about R28 billion) Chinese loan it got‚ its corporate funding specialist, Sincedile Shweni, said at the state capture inquiry yesterday. In 2015, Eskom entered into a dubious agreement with China-based Huarong Asset Management, which had approached the cash-strapped power utility with a loan proposal for Eskom to build or refurbish power stations. Former Eskom CEO Anoj Singh allegedly ignored legal advice by independent law firm White & Case and officials at Eskom, who said the loan terms were ambiguous, and signed off on the deal. The contract outlined a US$2 billion loan Eskom would receive; but it had caveats. There was a commitment fee of about R400 million and an even larger penalty if Eskom backed out. (BDLive)

 
 

… AS TECHNICAL TEAM TAKES CHARGE

Eskom has appointed a technical review team, which will look at the operations, maintenance and technical environment at the ailing utility’s power stations, the department of public enterprises announced yesterday. The 11-person team, made up of industry specialists which includes academic, engineering and power systems professionals, will review Eskom’s power stations within four weeks of commencement of their work. It will be led by two co-ordinators, Tsakani Mthombeni, who is already a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Eskom task team, and  Ian Morrison. The other nine members of the technical review team are: Seeralan Chinaboo, Khumo Morolo, Gladman Mkwai, Robbie van Heerden, Sibuyela Sishuba, Walter Schmitz, Vitesh Maharaj, Lwazi Goqwana and Phindile Mooketsi. (BDLive)

 
 

MUTED EARNINGS DRIVE DOWN CAPITEC STOCK

Shares in Capitec, which reached a record high last week, were trading 4.1% down on yesterday afternoon after the banking group said earnings in the year to end-February would increase by no more than 20%. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) would be between R45.14 and R46.30, representing an increase of between 17% and 20%, the banking group said. Capitec reported an 18% increase in HEPS for the year to end-February 2018. But analysts said TymeBank was disrupting the market with lower fees, which was a risk to Capitec, given that its transactional banking clients are price sensitive. Capitec said in February that it was cutting its fees. This could temper its profit growth and could explain some of the share price movement as analysts and fund managers adjusted their models. (BDLive)

 
 

POUND AT MERCY OF BREXIT MACHINATIONS

Sterling fell yesterday as prime minister Theresa May's top lawyer tried to clinch a Brexit compromise with the European Union in a last-ditch bid to win over rebellious British lawmakers. The Pound had gained earlier in the session on signs some pro-Brexit lawmakers were willing to compromise with May, increasing the chances she will get her Brexit deal through parliament next week. But dismal construction sector data after the Britain's construction industry reported the first fall in activity in almost a year last month contributed to the softer sentiment. Media reports over the weekend suggested London was softening its demands of the European Union in renegotiating parts of the Brexit withdrawal deal that is deeply unpopular within large parts of May's own Conservative party. The British parliament is set to vote on May's deal next week, although the vote could be held sooner. If it fails to pass, lawmakers will get to vote on whether to delay Brexit, currently set for March 29. (Reuters)

 
 

MOODY’S RATING REWARDS GREEK REFORMS

Greece's benchmark 10-year government bond yields dropped to their lowest since 2006 on Monday after Moody's raised its rating late last week, bolstering investor optimism towards the euro zone's most indebted country. The country's debt agency was quick to pounce on this positive sentiment, announcing that it has appointed banks for a long-awaited 10-year bond sale, likely to be launched in the coming days. Moody's on Friday lifted Greece's issuer ratings to B1 from B3, citing the effectiveness of the country's reform programme. "The move from Moody's is reflection that the reforms are already bearing fruit in the shape of some fiscal improvement with the primary surplus," said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz. "But I think what is also important is that Greece is showing it has access to markets." (Reuters)

 
   
     
  Advertorial  
     
   
 

FINANCE FOR NON-FINANCIAL MANAGERS


Starts: 3rd April 2019

Are you in Sales and Marketing, Warehousing and Logistics, Engineering, Operations, Human Resources or perhaps in another non-financial management role? If so, this programme is for you! Finance for Non-Financial Managers (FNFM) is designed to develop financial literacy and create a better understanding of your contribution to strategic decision making.

This programme aims to unscramble the conundrums of reading financial statements, capital budgeting and the importance of cash flow. It will provide a more structured approach to sales and product forecasting, budgeting and measurement of performance against budgets. This programme will empower you, and give you confidence when communicating with accounting and finance professionals in your organisation.

Duration:

3 Days

Contact:

For more information please contact Adiela Raiman
T: +27 31 260 4665
E: raiman@ukzn.ac.za

 
     
  QUOTE  
     
 
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Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. 

Dr Seuss

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  financial indicators  
     
 
Dollar R14.22 - 0.25%
Pound R18.71 - 0.06%
Euro R16.11 - 0.12%
Yen 0.126974  
Repo 6.75  
Platinum $ 836.00 + 0.30%
Gold $ 1287.40 + 0.06%
Oil $ 65.55 + 0.92%
All Share 56217.13 + 0.02%
Prime 10.25  
 
 

These rates are correct at time of going to press.