Successful Davos trip signals time for hard choices and renewal

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos attracts some of the most powerful and insightful actors in the world.

Presidents, ministers, captains of industry and foremost social and political influencers gathered in one of the coldest places I’ve been to, and providing their views on the meaning of this year’s theme, Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.

In theory the collective influence of the participants should be sufficient to move the needle on some of the world’s most pressing issues. This is due to the incisiveness of their insights, the institutional and legislative powers they have, the resources they command and the sheer force of personal influence.

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SONA: Ticked, next-up: Budget – tick tock…

By all accounts President Ramaphosa’s first address to the nation was a roaring success.

All eyes now shift to the 2018 Budget Speech set for Wednesday at 14:00. The rand’s reaction to SONA was muted, with markets waiting to see Wednesday’s balancing act. National Treasury’s focus will be on how to confront the ballooning budget deficit and government debt, amongst many other issues (with the short term goal being to avoid yet another credit rating downgrade).
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No Zooooma Response…. No Confidence!!

Pressure mounts as there is still no outcome as to when President Zuma will be vacating the Union Buildings.

The ANC is expected to have a press conference by 2pm today on whether Zuma would be resigning…rather late than never. In addition, opposing parties are running out of patience and are pushing for a vote of “No Confidence”.
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Z-Day has arrived for Rand!

The countdown has begun as Zuma’s days as President appear to be numbered with the ANC NEC meeting later today.

After the long wait and numerous speculation “Patience” is still key. USD/ZAR opens below 12/$ as EM Markets remain strong regardless of the volatility in global stock markets.

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Rand recovers as US Stocks whiplash

The rand broke below 12/$ overnight as US stocks clawed back more than half their losses seen Monday.

The Zuma saga continues as today’s ANC NEC meeting along with the State of the Nation Address was postponed in order to give more time for talks between Zuma and Ramaphosa (Indicating Zuma may have one foot out “the shower” door!).
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Rand slides on US inflation fears

The rand weakened overnight as a result of better than expect US Jobs numbers and wage growth released Friday, sparking fears of higher than expected US interest rate increases during 2018.

The US stock market lost 2.5% as investors cashed out to hold USD in anticipation of a Fed hike in March. The GBP/ZAR continues to flirt with the 17/£ level as a false break to 17.10/£ on Friday was given back on speculation over Zuma’s demise.
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It’s a great time to buy property

While the times are constantly changing and our personal circumstances keep evolving as a result, owning property might still be the ultimate goal for some – and a distant dream for others. Nonetheless, it’s something that we all think about at some point because owning a home is still seen as a mark of success. But as more people become economic migrants, moving around the country and globe, following personal and professional opportunities – does it still make sense?

We recently spoke to Absa property analyst, Jacques du Toit, about current trends in the South African property market, what the data is saying about capital growth and which factors to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent.

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Can I buy a house on my budget?

Let’s be honest, we all know what it feels like to have a budget stretched to its limits. Who hasn’t wished for a little more to spend – especially when you’re thinking of buying a house? And, since this is a massive investment, you need to be realistic about what you can and can’t afford. The last thing you want to do is get yourself in a situation where you can’t keep up you’re your payments.

However, while others are worrying about getting their bodies summer ready, you can get started on your own lifestyle change that will whip your budget into shape.

So, to help you make one of the biggest financial decisions you could make, we’ve compiled this flowchart to guide you through this process:

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Upcoming Blockchain Connect Conference Emphasises Cooperation Between East And West

The two largest economies in the world do not only dominate on the global arena, but also on the smaller scale of the Blockchain industry.

Up until recently, China used to host the largest share of the world’s Bitcoin mining power and trading volume. The country’s position has weakened to a degree, after the People’s Bank of China decreed that all local Bitcoin exchanges…
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Bitcoin Policies Should Protect Investors, Not ‘Feed the Frenzy,’ Ex-FDIC Chair Bair

Former FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair also thinks that governments should not “make their own value judgments about Bitcoin.”

Former US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairperson Sheila Bair has recently commented that the Bitcoin policies created by governments should protect the investors rather than ‘feed the frenzy’ over the cryptocurrencies. The opinion comes from Bair’s op-ed article published on Yahoo Finance this Tuesday.

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