Flash Briefing: SA fund investors miss stock market gains; Germany pays Namibia for genocide; Bitcoin smacked again

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  • The total assets invested in South African collective investment schemes (CIS) ended the first quarter of 2021 at a record R2.9trn, but most of this money went into fixed interest funds – which means investors lost out on stock market gains. Sunette Mulder, Association for Savings and Investment South Africa senior policy advisor, told City Wire that the majority of CIS investments made in the year ended March 2021 missed out on the strong stock market recovery as most of the money went into interest-bearing portfolios.
  • Germany will recognise colonial-era mass killings in Namibia as genocide and offer 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in aid as a gesture of atonement, reports Bloomberg. German and Namibian negotiators concluded an agreement on Friday after more than five years of talks. Namibia accused German colonial rulers of committing genocide against the Herero and Nama between 1904 and 1908.Germany occupied Namibia from 1884 until 1915. The League of Nations then handed control to South Africa, which had defeated German forces defending the territory, and it ruled until independence in 1990.
  • Bitcoin smacked again – this time by comments from Japan’s central bank governor. It slumped to wipe out most of this week’s advance as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda warned about token’s volatility and speculative trading. The digital currency lost 7% to trade around $35,700, recalling levels seen in last week’s crypto meltdown. Bitcoin is now flat for the week after a run that’s seen prices swing between $33,000 and $39,000. The threat of tougher regulation continues to be a drag on crypto market sentiment. China and Iran have cracked down on Bitcoin mining operations for using too much electricity and there’s speculation that the US policymakers may increase financial oversight given the market’s growing size and intense volatility.
  • More than 600 SA companies were liquidated in the first quarter. Over 600 companies were liquidated in the first quarter of 2021 – a sharp increase from the first quarter of 2020 – following the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports BusinessInsider.
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