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Simon’s weekly wrap: Highlights from the past year and Aspen on the up

This week MoneywebNOW looked at office rental space, commodity stocks, MTN and more.
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Tuesday we celebrated the show’s first birthday and having launched during hard lockdown it has been some year. To celebrate we got five of our favourite commentators and asked them a simple question: What was their top story from the past year? We got great and varied answers that really highlighted what a diverse and wild year it has been.

One of the biggest pandemic trends is working from home (WFH), resulting in huge pressure placed on listed property, especially the office rental space. Long-term nobody is exactly sure how permanent WFH will be, but I got Keillen Ndlovu, head of listed property at Stanlib, on the show to chat about this sector. It represents some 21% of total Reit exposure locally and we spoke about lease durations, vacancies and even the sale of office buildings as companies try shed exposure.

MTN issued a strong update that saw the stock up 11.5% on the day while resource stocks are also flying as commodity prices continue higher. I spoke with Martin Smith of Anchor Securities on MTN valuations and if it is his preferred telco stock and whether commodity stocks have more upside. He had some great insights into MTN and the resource sector on the JSE generally.

Aspen has been running hard since late last year after having been in breach of debt covenants a few years back. The company has aggressively sold assets and cleaned up the balance sheet and I spoke with Kearabilwe Nonyana, manager, equities and derivatives at ThinkMarkets about the stock. He is bullish on Aspen and has it as his preferred healthcare stock on the JSE.

Also this week :Karooooo delivers full-year results with revenue up 18%, ‘Vehicle recovery is still an important part of our business. … [But] today it’s all about the data and what we do with the data’: CEO Zak Calisto.

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