Much of what has happened this week emulates the state of politics and government at this time. Meetings about meetings, bureaucracy and gridlock − the trade war between the US and China is continuing with stunted progress, the UK is making a no-deal Brexit next to impossible, and the Zondo Commission had its star witness, ex-President Jacob Zuma.
- Microsoft shares have hit a record high. This is great for Dynasty clients as many of our offshore funds have exposure to Microsoft. The company beat analysts estimates on Thursday for fourth-quarter revenue and profit, driven by continued sales increases from its cloud business.
- The Brexit saga continues − UK parliament backed an amendment that makes it harder for the incoming Prime Minister to leave the European Union without a deal.
- Some Democrats attempted to impeach President Trump this week. The vote illustrated the divide in the Democratic caucus over the issue, with 137 Dems joining all Republicans in defeating the measure.
- The US House of Representatives voted to block precision-guided weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. President Trump has already committed to vetoing the resolution.
- Trade talks between the US and China continued this week, but with China not making agricultural concessions and Beijing’s insistence on easing trade restrictions on Huawei, progress remains slow.
- The South African Reserve Bank cut the key lending or repo rates by 25 basis points. The bank repeated its mantra that broader structural reform is necessary to complement monetary policy in order to spark economic growth.
- At the Zondo Commission this week ex-President Zuma answered most of his questions with “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember”, the testimony is set to conclude today. Zuma denied Barbara Hogan’s allegations that he interfered with the appointment of Transnet’s CEO, maintaining that due process was followed. Follow this link for the general highlights of Zuma’s testimony so far and to watch it live.
- This week President Ramaphosa came to the defence of Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan against allegations from EFF leader Julius Malema, follow this link for the President’s statement.
- Eskom’s group treasurer, Andre Pillay, has resigned and will step down at the end of August. He had served in this position since 2016.
Source: Dynasty, Daily Maverick, Moneyweb, Reuters, RMB, Aljazeera, and Bloomberg Markets, etc