EDITOR’S LUNCHBOX: The SA Reserve Bank and its nationalisation, in bite-sized chunks
Stories of note
Bytes from the digital world
According to the Reserve Bank’s website, 0.5% of its shares in issue are held by about 650 private shareholders whose annual dividends are capped at 10c per share. Of the R200,000 total dividend it pays a year, the minorites get R1,000.
In an interview with Business Times, Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago did not talk about how a mountain has been made of a molehill by calling the buying of the tiny fraction of the central bank that the government does not already own "nationalisation", but stressed that allowing populist politicians to undermine central bank independence was the route to hyperinflation and disaster.
The ANC, which resolved at its December conference to "nationalise" the Reserve Bank by buying out minorities, has allowed the EFF to take charge.
In my opinion
Matters of debate
When SA’s central bank was established in 1921, it followed the fashion at the time of private ownership. That fashion changed during the Great Depression, when central banks everywhere were turned into state institutions.
The Bank retained some historical vestiges of private ownership by trading on the JSE until 2002, and 10,000 of its two-million shares in issue still trade over the counter.
Buying out the minorities in the Bank "potentially creates a windfall for existing Bank shareholders who may demand a premium to be bought out", writes Stuart Theobald.
Instead of blaming Turkey for the rand breaching R15 to the dollar last week, Justice Malala blames President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The long and the short of the markets
In Scotland, pension fund managers charge 30 basis points. "So you can imagine my shock when I started paying towards an SA pension and discovered that about 2% of my contribution was going to the manager," writes Lukanyo Mnyanda.
When Collin Matjila took over as Eskom’s acting CEO in April 2014, he lost no time doing the Guptas’ bidding. He bulldozed through an irregular R43m sponsorship deal for televised business breakfasts hosted by the Guptas that auditors later declared to be a reportable irregularity.
Next in line were Eskom’s coal contracts.
Looking at Libstar after Friday’s horrendous fall, I notice 36ONE are the biggest institutional holder after the PIC. Have 26.5m shares. About 4% of company. Big bet for small fund. FactSet shows this being 5% of 36ONE asset management funds. Should have shorted this one instead?— David Shapiro (@davidshapiro61) August 20, 2018
Graph of the day
German software publisher SAP, which admitted after an internal investigation that kickbacks were paid by its representatives to the Guptas to win Transnet and Eskom contracts, is now named in a new scandal involving EOH and various water boards.