Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Vehicle sales data, Purple backtracks on Barnes’s pay, economic outlook, Nigeria softens rules for telecoms, rand update.
The rand has kept stable for the most part since the start of the year. Picture: Shutterstock

Here’s what caught our attention on Tuesday:

1. Total new vehicle sales

Data for South Africa’s total new vehicle sales for December is expected to be released on Tuesday. Vehicle sales decreased to 47 486 in November, after the 51 856 recorded in October of 2018.

Update to follow.

2. Barnes’s pay backtracked by Purple Group

Following the scrutiny of shareholder activist, Theo Botha, JSE-listed Purple Group has resolved to turn over a plan to pay non-executive chairman, Mark Barnes R2.858 million for the year ending August. Moneyweb is reporting that Botha commented on the remuneration being higher than other companies which have a greater market value. Purple claims that the fees were “incorrectly disclosed”.

Read: Purple backtracks over chair Barnes’s R2.8m pay

3. A positive 2019 outlook

The search for optimism is on as we enter the new year. As a whole, economists are seeing the biggest markets starting the year on a stronger foot. The backdrop of the US almost reaching full employment is giving its economy a boost, however trade tensions and debates are still looming. South Africa’s open economy is however at potential of losing or gaining as local politics escalate.

Read: World’s biggest markets kick 2019 off on strong footing 

4. Nigeria softens rules for telecoms

The Nigerian Central Bank has resolved to soften rules for telecommunications companies to operate in the country to allow cash transfers. The country is seeking to extend services to 50 million people who are without bank accounts and resolved that this would be the best way to do it. Bloomberg is reporting that MTN, alongside other telecommunications companies are applying for licenses to allow them to create units to collect deposits and maintain savings accounts.

5. Rand update

The rand has kept stable for the most part since the start of the year. On Tuesday, the rand was at R13.98 at 9:52. Concerns over its performance will be a theme in the coming months, with elections looming and the land reform debate.

Listen: The rand in focus

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