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Simon’s weekly wrap: Shoprite is shining

This week MoneywebNOW looked at Treasury’s proposed two-pot pension scheme, possible US rate increases, Vodacom results and how to invest to offset the high petrol price.
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Missed by many in the Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement was more details on the two-pot pension scheme being proposed locally by National Treasury. I spoke with Blessing Utete from Old Mutual on how it would work as it would restrict withdraws when leaving jobs but allow limited withdraws before retirement. There is still a lot more detail to come, but overall, it looks like a really elegant solution for the industry.

James Bullard, a non-voting member of the Federal Reserve’s FOMC, gave a speech on Tuesday whereby he suggested that US rate increases could happen as soon as the end of Q1 next year. I asked Viv Govender from Rand Swiss if he concurred, and he pushed back on the idea. Yes, US rates will rise and likely next year, but only later.

December should see a decline in the local petrol price but filling a tank with petrol is still massively expensive. I spoke to Chantal Marx from FNB on how we can use investments to offset the high petrol prices. She had a number of local and offshore ideas using both stocks and exchange-traded funds.

The Shoprite* trading update was stellar, especially compared to the other food retailers publishing results and updates this past week. I spoke with Mia Kruger from Kruger International about Shoprite which is by far the best food retailer we have in South Africa, from an investment perspective. We also touched on the Vodacom results that were the usual modest single digit increases across the board.

Also this week: Woolies, Spar taking strain, while Shoprite has the winning formula, Carmen Mpelwane of Absa Asset Management on updates from the retailers and expectations of the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision.

The writer holds shares in Shoprite.

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