Simon’s weekly wrap-up: changing trends

A look at no-name brands and industrial mineral mining gaining traction, rand theories and Curro’s online school offering.

Tiger Brands is struggling with its higher-priced branded consumer goods. I have long stated that a ginger biscuit is a ginger biscuit and while a ginger biscuit expert may differ, under uncertain economic times will we still pay up for the branded item? Local retailers all have store brands but they make up a smaller percentage of sales then what we see globally. But the trend locally has been for consumers to move toward more store brands – this will likely be accelerated as consumers shop more thriftily under tough and uncertain economic conditions. Listen:

As South Africans we typically assume the rand is a one-way bet to weaken against the major currencies. Over the long-term that is true, as we weaken by the inflation differential of about 2% to 4% a year between SA and the US. But in the short term the currency has had prolonged periods of strength and Anchor Capital believes this is what we’re seeing right now. It’s expecting the rand to strengthen back to R16/US$ as global investors move into the riskier emerging markets and also buy our high yielding bonds. Listen:

Peter Major of Mergence Corporate Solutions pointed out in our Thursday interview that while we all focus on gold and platinum group metals mining in South Africa, the reality is that the majority of our mining is actually the less exciting, but still important, industrial mineral mining. The point here is that much of this mining is open cast and as such, much easier to undertake under Covid-19 restrictions. This is as opposed to deep-level mining, which is frankly near impossible to manage under social distancing, even if only at 50% capacity. Listen:

Also on Thursday I spoke to Jan Paul from Curro about its new online school offering. This is a pure online offering staring in June and initially it naturally aims at parents who are worried about sending their kids back to the classroom. But it also fits in with more remote families wanting quality education that may not be in their area and will also complement the home-schooling space. It’s early days, but in time it could become an important part of its business.

Other MoneywebNOW podcasts:

China/US tensions, reopening of liquor sales and Spear Capital’s R100m e-commerce investment

Rand strength, global supply chains and the tourism industry opening under lockdown Level 3

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