It seems as though an end to the Brexit conundrum maybe in sight. Although this has come with a fair amount of feather ruffling this week, it is only the beginning. This proposed deal is just the tip of the iceberg of further negotiations that will have to be meditated in the future. The question must be asked, is it worth it?
- This week British Cabinet signed off on a Brexit deal. This victory may ring hollow as two senior ministers have resigned in the wake thereof. Now the Prime Minister may be facing internal rebellion with rumours of further resignations.
- This has sent the pound tumbling as it lost 1.5% against the US dollar, just on Thursday.
- If this all seems a bit too much here is a link to everything about Brexit that you need to know.
- The euro was under pressure earlier this week against the US dollar due to sentiment regarding Italy’s ability to align itself to a stabilised budget. The EU is likely to publish a negative opinion on Italy’s budget within the next three weeks. There is a chance that Italy will be put into an Excessive Deficit Procedure, which would mean more oversight by the EU. Sanctions may also follow should there be non-compliance.
- Trade war irony – CEO of shipping giant Maersk, Soren Skou, has said that Chinese exports to the US have increased by as much as 10% since the last quarter while US exports to China fell by up to 30%.
- In an attempt to try to resolve the trade war, China has presented the US with a series of potential trade concessions.
- California has been devastated by wildfires over the last two weeks. 63 people have been confirmed dead, 631 people are missing, and thousands of houses have been destroyed. California’s biggest utility, PG&E, has lost half its value over the possibility that it is responsible for one of the wildfires.
- Apple shed $107billion of its market value in one week to Wednesday, amidst declining expectations for iPhone sales.
- Oil prices have dropped to their lowest level in over eight months amid fears about a slowdown in demand.
- Malusi Gigaba resigned as the Minister of Home Affairs on Tuesday, 13 November 2018.
- This week, SA Parliament adopted the Joint Constitutional Review Committee’s (CRC) recommendation to amend the country’s constitution to make expropriation of land without compensation (EWC) more explicit. Currently, the constitution makes allowance for EWC but the rules of engagement lack clarity. Market reaction to this was muted as the decision was highly anticipated and already priced into financial markets. It was also announced that that EWC would not be finalised before the upcoming general election.
- Professor Pierre de Vos has written an article on our current Public Protector and what she might be up to. After she has made a series of bad calls, for instance prescribing to the Reserve Bank what to do regarding Absa’s apartheid bailout, she is now in pursuit of Pravin Gordhan. Follow the link for this article.
- Barbara Hogan testified in the Zondo Commission this week; you can watch her testimony by following this link. She said, as part of her statement, that, “At the time, my sense was that the president and I had very differing views on governance … the president felt I was a hindrance and I did not enjoy his confidence”.
- It’s been a bumpy year for Chinese technology giants, but Tencent bucked the trend with higher-than-expected earnings. The bad news was revenue grew at the slowest pace in three years as the Chinese government tightened restrictions on video games.
- Eskom will brief the media today on the position of this state-owned enterprise. They are to announce a turnaround plan at the end of November.
- To end on a lighter note, while all the Brexit drama was happening, President Ramaphosa was making deals with the European Union. President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said, “I don’t hope that the next summit between South Africa and the European Union will take another five years. That was a major mistake, I don’t know who is responsible for that. If it was [up] to me, the next summit will take place next Friday morning 11 o’clock!”