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Simon’s weekly wrap: SA Inc results and market winners

This week MoneywebNOW looked at surprisingly good SA Inc results, ‘risk on’ trade, Pick n Pay’s prospects, local stocks that could benefit from infrastructure spend, S&P’s rating of local active management, and more.
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After the long weekend I spoke with Deryck Janse van Rensburg from Anchor Capital on the SA Inc results we’ve seen so far, as the companies with periods ending December 2020 have now completed their results. He agrees that results were good, considering the pandemic. We also talked about the ‘risk on’ trade as the Nasdaq heads back to all-time highs as well as when we may see interest rate increases and the impact that could have on the markets.

Meanwhile, Pick n Pay released a trading update for the year ending February that included the entire hard lockdown; as such it expects to take a fair hit to profits. I spoke with Gary Booysen of Rand Swiss on his view of the update, which he though was decent, considering. I also asked him about his preferred JSE-listed food retailer.

A lot of talk in the markets centres around infrastructure spending and the potential investments that would benefit from it. I spoke with Chantal Marx from FNB Wealth and Investment, who identified some 30 local stocks that could be winners from this spend – way more than I had thought. Not only are there the traditional construction stocks and suppliers, but also a lot of retailers who’d benefit from increased spending.

The local Standard & Poor Indices versus Active scorecard results were released recently, and I spoke with Len Jordaan of S&P Dow Jones Global. The results show that actively managing a portfolio and trying to beat the index is hard, very hard. As Len pointed out, the scorecard’s aim is not to beat the active managers with a stick, but rather to point out that picking an active fund is difficult and past returns really do have very little bearing on future results.

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