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Simon’s weekly wrap: Market trends, projects and decisions to be aware of

This week MoneywebNOW looked at a threat to retail, Redefine not paying a dividend, Renergen’s gas project plans, market themes and opportunities, Tesla’s share price, and more.
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News from listed stocks remains quiet, with trading updates from retailers being the exception. With this in mind I spoke to Evan Walker from 36One Asset Management about the retail updates so far. While they’re looking better than expected, he notes that in 2020 some R100 billion extra money came into the local economy in the form of extra social grant payments, retrenchments etc, resulting in people cashing out retirement benefits. This has helped retailers, but he remains concerned about the year ahead as this extra money and Unemployment Insurance Fund Covid-19 Temporary Employment Relief Scheme payments, dries up.

Redefine has announced its intention to not pay a dividend for the year ended August 31, 2020, even though it is a requirement of it being a real estate investment trust (Reit). The company claims that its concerns about solvency and liquidity mean it’s not required to make the payment. I spoke with Garreth Elston of Reitway Global about this and whether the JSE would potentially step in and enforce a dividend payment as we saw with Hyprop in December.

Renergen announced it’s starting to investigate phase 2 of its Virginia Gas Project in the Free State and I spoke with CEO Stefano Marani. Phase one is on track to start producing this year but this new phase will be markedly larger and, in many ways, will reduce risk for the entire project as this phase comes on stream in 2023 and 2025.

I spoke with Gary Booysen on his view for 2021 and beyond, with one of the major themes being a better return from emerging markets after a decade of the developed markets surging. These trends are long and low to turn, but they always do turn, and he feels we’re at that point. He also spoke on stocks to watch as we start returning to work after almost a year of working from home and his take on the beaten-down local property sector.

Also this week:

Viv Govender of Rand Swiss on whether Tesla is overpriced relative to other car companies:

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