There seems to be a measure of closure on the horizon to events that have occupied the news for the past two years and more – the Brexit deadline is on its way and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s actions do not seem to indicate any intention of postponement; trade talks are being mediated; and plans for South Africa’s economic growth are being put forward by the Treasury, although this positive development was tempered by a slew of negative news from our SOE’s as detailed below.
- The Queen of England has given consent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to halt parliament. This will mean that parliament will be suspended for more than a month before the Brexit deadline, effectively narrowing the window for lawmakers to oppose Johnson’s Brexit deal. This has, of course, enraged the opposition.
- China has said that it would not immediately retaliate against the US’s latest tariff increase. China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said: “China has ample means for retaliation, but thinks the question that should be discussed now is about removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation.”
- The US yield curve inversion deepened to levels not seen since 2007, this stoked recession fears once again. Notwithstanding this, it is interesting to note that the S&P 500 gained 1.9% for the week as at the time of writing.
- The S&P Global Ratings Agency lowered Argentina’s foreign and local currency credit ratings to selective default after the country reported that it would delay payments on $101 billion of debt. On the news, the peso fell by 20%.
- Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, tried to alleviate fears over the implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI), by saying that the rollout would be slow, steady and affordable and would not be done in a way that “bankrupts the country”.
- Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, distributed a surprise growth plan to all cabinet ministries this week. In this strategy document, he calls for urgent action to improve and grow the economy, the paper lays out plans to boost economic growth by between 2-3% and to create 1 million additional jobs.
- The restructuring of Eskom has been met with substantial political support, but a collision may be in line with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). NUM has never supported the unbundling of Eskom, and after discussions with enterprise’s management and union leaders, it seems likely that the negotiating process has still some way to go. Follow this link for more.
- According to the presentation to the NCOP’s public enterprises and communications committee. “The SABC is technically insolvent.”
- State-Owned Airline SA Express has been told by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to pay its airport fees, that have accrued over a period of time, or remain grounded.
Source: Dynasty, Daily Maverick, Moneyweb, Reuters, RMB, Aljazeera, and Bloomberg Markets, etc