NATIONAL NEWS - Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:
1. Moody’s defers review on SA
South Africa escaped a ratings downgrade by Moody’s on Friday, a welcome reprieve for the country. Market participants were however disappointed that the ratings agency did not release an outlook to get a sense of the country’s standing following an electricity crisis and subdued economic growth. However, some say it is now an opportunity for the country and its leaders to get back on track and urgently address structural challenges before the next review date by Moody’s on November 1, after the mid-term budget speech. The other two big rating agencies, S&P and Fitch, have already downgraded SA’s sovereign credit rating to junk.
2. Corruption Watch goes after Eskom board
Civil society group, Corruption Watch wants five former Eskom board members, namely, Mark Pamensky, Anoj Singh, Brian Molefe, Veneta Klein and Zetheme Khoza, to be declared delinquent. The organisation has applied to the Pretoria High Court to prevent the former directors from holding directorship positions in a private company again. The five members have all been accused of being involved in corrupt activity at Eskom.
3. Fuel price hike
This is no April fool’s joke.
The department of energy has announced fuel price hikes of almost 9% in April as a result of higher fuel and road taxes. The price hikes are expected to kick in on April 3 and will see the price of petrol rising by 131 cents to R16.13 per liter in Gauteng, and diesel will go up by 81 cents to R14.87 per litre.
4. Schroder Reit makes €3m French acquisition
Schroders European real estate investment trust (Reit), announced its completion of an acquisition of two logistics warehouses in France. The company is seeking to expand its logistics exposure, mainly in the European region. According to the company’s statement, the acquisition is valued at €17.3 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 5.9%. As a result of the acquisition, Schroders portfolio will comprise 13 properties with a value approximately €240 million.
5. Total new vehicle sales
South Africa’s total new vehicle sales figures for March is expected to be released on Monday. In February, it was reported that vehicle sales dropped by 6.5% from a year earlier to 43 251 units.