There has been a lot of positivity surrounding South Africa’s future lately. Cyril Ramaphosa is wooing the world with his charm, realism, and charisma in Davos. Aspects including Goldman Sachs commenting that SA is the emerging market to watch out for in 2018 and Brian Molefe having to pay back his unlawful retirement settlement, are signs that we are heading in an exciting direction. Much still needs to be done, and the rating agencies are not budging until they see action.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its world growth forecast up for 2018 and 2019 to 3.9% for both years. Synchronised global growth is forecast to continue.
- Donald Trump has said that he would be willing to be interviewed under oath by Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election, saying that, “I’m looking forward to it, actually.”
- Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, said, “A weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities.” This was quite a revealing statement regarding the “America First” agenda – a weaker dollar will make the US more attractive to trade and will also make their debt to China more affordable. Trump has since contradicted this statement and Mnuchin has had to temper his comments.
- LG has responded to the Trump administration tariffs by hiking up the price of washing machines in the US.
- A hospital fire in South Korea has killed at least 37 people, this number is expected to rise as many of the victims are in critical condition. This is the country’s deadliest fire in more than a decade.
- Cyril Ramaphosa gave a 35 minute, off the cuff, speech in Davos at the annual Brand South Africa dinner. In a packed room of 130 people, Ramphosa outlined his plan to return confidence and investment to SA – it is well worth a listen/read.
- The rand fell to below R12 to the dollar this week, mostly on the back of dollar weakness, the first time since 2015.
- Goldman Sachs has identified South Africa as the “big emerging market story” of 2018.
- The high court in Pretoria has ruled that Brian Molefe’s reinstatement as CEO of Eskom, in May 2017, was unlawful; Molefe’s assertion that he never resigned from Eskom, he just mistakenly retired early, was false; and that Molefe’s pension agreement is invalid, and payments made to him must be paid back within 10 days.
- This week South Africa lost a legend, Hugh Masekela, follow the link for a small tribute to his memory – my favourite song.