Russian stocks fall sharply: Ratings downgrade looms; Visa, Mastercard withdraw

From the Associated Press: Russian stocks tumbled today as another credit rating agency put the country on notice of a possible downgrade and Visa and MasterCard stopped serving two Russian banks, a day after the U.S. ordered economic sanctions against two dozen people from President Vladimir Putin’s entourage. Fears over Russia’s economic outlook have ratcheted … Read more

Sizing up Facebook’s WhatsApp deal: What is Zuckerberg really up to?

The jury is out on whether Facebook (FB: Nasdaq) is a good investment proposition. It created ripples of excitement when it announced a staggering deal to snap up mobile phone messaging service WhatsApp last week. Should you be adding some Facebook shares into the mix of your largely South African portfolio? Looking at the current revenue … Read more

South African rand and Turkish lira: the Delicate Duo of emerging market currencies

If you’re a  South African on holiday or networking with business movers-and-shakers in the UK or Europe, it’s not fun converting what you are spending back into rands. On the other hand, tourists who fancy a game-watching holiday or spending time on a pristine beach, must be rubbing their hands in glee when contemplating their … Read more

Who would invest in Greece? We would – SA stock exchange investor

One way of hunting for shares that are likely to outperform the stock market averages is to look for companies with high barriers to entry. These are organisations that have a monopoly in a market because the high costs of setting up and running such a business are beyond the reach of most. Or, perhaps … Read more

Average salary: R400pm. Seven year old VW Polo: R260 000. That’s Cuba.

Cuba remains a gift to economic theorists. A living monument to the folly of a closed economic system built on the socialist fallacy that the State knows best. With a regulated average wage of under $40 a month, Cubans no possess no financial incentive to produce anything more than the minimum. So the country is … Read more

Apple ties up with China Mobile, potential to boost iPhone sales by over 25%

Tim Cook has achieved something his company’s founder Steve Jobs couldn’t get right. The company has tied up a deal with China Mobile which with 740m subscribers is comfortably the biggest cell phone business on earth. The new relationship has the potential to add more than 25% to Apple’s iPhone sales. It sells around 34m … Read more