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Simon’s weekly wrap: Economic activity slowly recovers

This week MoneywebNOW looked at activity levels at Yoco and Sun International, Alviva benefitting from the work-from-home trend, L’Oréal as a defensive stock, Thankyou’s conscious capitalism, extending income protection cover, and more.
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As we’ve moved into level 1 lockdown in South Africa I spoke with Yoco and Sun International to get a sense of how much economic activity is returning. Yoco provides payment terminals for small businesses and brand and communications head Matthew Brownell reports that sales levels are almost back at pre-lockdown levels, with only the Western Cape still lagging due to its reliance on international tourism.

Sun International COO Graham Wood reports very busy weekends and casinos, but weekdays remain quiet and the lack of conferencing is hurting. It’s also dependent on international tourism in many of its resorts and prime hotels and, while our borders are open to many countries, Wood is not expecting any rush from foreign tourists to visit South Africa just yet.

Alviva changed its name from Pinnacle some three years ago and had been one of our local hot stocks until the shine came off the group amid claims of irregularities. But that is behind the group, and Alviva is much more than the box dropper Pinnacle was, with services now comprising more than half of its business. I spoke with CEO Pierre Spies on results, supply chain disruptions and Alviva benefitting from the work-from-home trend.

With US tech stocks and local miners setting the pace for rising markets, defensive stocks are firmly out of favour. But quality defensive should have a spot in any diverse portfolio. I spoke with Tasneem Samodien from Old Mutual about the category and one of her preferred defensive stocks: US-listed L’Oréal.

Also this week:

Anchor Capital’s Deryck Janse van Rensburg on banks and property stocks flying and Remgro’s results. Daniel Flynn of Australian company Thankyou talks conscious capitalism and the art of doing good. FMI’s Nic Smit on assessing risks in order to extend income protection cover.

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