A good week

Standard Bank’s expected 40%-plus jump in first-half headline earnings might end up being the lowest among the big four banks, and more to do with extreme caution in setting money aside last year than with any great growth plans on its part, but at least it means CEO Sim Tshabalala’s worst pandemic fears were not realised. The R20bn that the bank took as provision against a wave of bad debts will almost certainly flow back to the bottom line, which means shareholders who held fast will have their faith rewarded.

A bad week

Can the department of international relations & co-operation get anything right? Or at least get someone else to manage its property portfolio? Perhaps, then, R118m might not have been blown on a nonexistent plot in New York and the properties the department does actually own wouldn’t have decayed to a point of national embarrassment. And perhaps minister Naledi Pandor wouldn’t have to blame apartheid for the shambles, 27 years into democracy. It’s called management, minister.

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