Here’s what is happening in the markets:
- President Jacob Zuma has released a report advocating partial privatisation through listing and the sale of equity in some state-owned companies. Over 100 business leaders met with Zuma in the past few weeks with a plan to salvage South Africa’s ailing economy – addressing management problems in state-owned companies was one of the eight main focus points.
- The JSE is sending more than 40% of the annual financial statements from its listed companies back for review. The companies have not complied with a new rule the JSE introduced which involved the disclosure of interest in other entities and the fair-value measurements. The rule is in-line with international standards of reporting.
- South African stocks ended a tough week with the biggest daily percentage gain since late January. This was thanks to a rally in commodity prices which boosted mining shares- however, the rand was slightly weaker. The rand is trading at R15.78 to the US dollar, R22.93 to the pound and R17.72 to the euro.
- In global markets, Asian shares bounced back after a five session losing streak as a “strong fix” for China’s currency and a return from the Lunar New year took helped matters – while in the USA, Wall Street rallied also ending a losing streak, boosted by a rebound in financial and commodity shares
- Oil prices continued to drop below $30 a barrel as Iran loaded its first cargo to Europe since international sanctions against the nation ended. US oil for March delivery slid to $28.95 a barrel, while Brent Crude for April dropped to $32.67.
In other news: South Africa’s four-day finance minister David van Rooyen has been linked to the Gupta family through two of his “advisors” who accompanied him to National Treasury. The two – Mohamed Bobat and Ian Whitley – were identified as so-called “Gupta allies”.