Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Reinet and Richemont results, panel approves land bill change, deciphering Discovery Bank, Transnet’s pension fund mess.
The next chapter of the land bill comes into play. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters

Here’s what caught our attention on Friday:

1. Reinet Investments results

Reinet Investments’s net asset value for the six months ended September 30, 2018 amounted to €4.8 billion, translating to a compound return of 11 cents per annum in euro terms, since March 2009.  Relative to South African earnings, headline earnings per share came to R20.10, a decrease compared to the R43.83 reported in 2017. Dividends from British American Tobacco amounted to €37 million.

2. Richemont results

Swiss-based luxury goods holding company Richemont is reporting a 24% increase in sales at a constant rate and a 21% increase in actual rates. The company’s profit for the period amounted to €1.130 billion, down 3%, while profit for the period increased to €2.253 billion.

3. Land vs the rand

A panel of South African lawmakers has given the thumbs up to changing the Constitution to favour the expropriation of land without compensation. The decision was made on Thursday. According to Bloomberg the committee is saying that the wording of Section 5 of the Constitution must be changed to ‘address the historical wrongs caused by the arbitrary dispossession of land’. A number of lobbyists are said to challenge the panel’s decision, saying the panel did not follow proper procedure in making the decision. The rand weakened to R14.36 to the dollar at 11:05 on Thursday, but later gained. On Friday, the rand was at R14.19 to the dollar at 8:47.

Read: Panel supports SA land expropriation plans 

4. Deciphering Discovery Bank

Trust Twitter to mock the model that is Discovery Bank, but no, you won’t have to walk 5km to retrieve your bank statement. However, the new bank is based on the premise of incentivising healthy financial habits and changing behaviour. The bank is focused on helping clients spend less, save regularly, insure for adverse events and invest for the long term. Its model is based on research that shows South Africans are struggling to manage matters in these areas.

Still confused? Read: The science behind Discovery Bank

5. Transnet fails pensioners

Transnet pensioners have, for the last 10 years, fought a battle to get the state-owned company to pay out the approximately R100 billion owed to them as part of a 1989 deal. The court case continues, but as the number of respondents reduces rapidly due to the advanced age of the pensioners the question being asked is whether there will be any pensioners alive to witness the successful conclusion of the case.

Read: Transnet’s pension funds’ R100bn dagger pointed at the heart of SA

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