Sappi: The challenges of competing in a shrinking, dying market

The companies that generally make headlines are the sexy ones – companies in exciting, novel growth industries like Facebook or Twitter, or companies producing sexy, advanced products like Apple or Samsung. Far less attention goes to companies that are eking out a living in mature or declining markets, even though such companies form a large … Read more

Bye bye horse racing, hello GT247 as Purple Capital goes back to its CFD core business

I’ve always liked the way Charles Savage and Mark Barnes, his chairman at Purple Capital, go about their business. These are two of the great characters of SA’s financial services sector. Never afraid to have a go, they’ve also got the bruises to prove that experience sometimes brings pain. Today’s trading update from their under-performing … Read more

UPDATED: Sekunjalo to rejuvenate Independent? Not on this performance. Then again, maybe this isn’t yardstick

There was more interest than usual in yearend results from investment holding company Sekunjalo. Earlier this year the company’s principal shareholder Iqbal Surve led a consortium which paid R2bn for leading SA newspaper group Independent News & Media. I was looking forward to chatting to Surve’ about that deal to get an idea how the … Read more

SA investors pour money into global ETF tracker – smart money or mug money?

Although the rand has lost a lot of ground against the US dollar over the last eighteen months, it seems that South African investors have nevertheless developed a taste for US-denominated global ETFs. According to Wehmeyer Ferreira of Deutsche Bank, money has been pouring into the Bank’s db X-tracker US Fund. In fact, since the … Read more