Flash briefing: MTI; SA wealth tax; private equity investors hunt for deals; Islamist insurgency; Richemont

By Jackie Cameron

  • The Financial Sector Conduct Authority has completed its investigation into Mirror Trading International (Pty) Ltd. The FSCA is asking investors to contact liquidators – who will attempt to recover funds. Police are investigating the matter and the regulatory authority is also working with foreign regulators to ensure that MTI’s unlawful activities are not perpetuated in other jurisdictions, it said.
  • An annual wealth tax on the net worth of South Africa’s 1% richest people could raise as much as R160bn or 3.5% of gross domestic product. The tax is proposed on net wealth of just under R4m. Under the moderate tax scenario, about 350,000 individuals would be subject to the tax, with the level ranging from 3% to 7% depending on affluence. For more on the study that contains this proposal visit BizNews.com.
  • Private-equity investors in southern Africa are closing deals again after a virus-induced lull, tapping a cash pile that stood at more than R30bn ($2bn) in June, reports Bloomberg. Businesses in the education, health care and retail sectors operating online are among the top picks for investors seeking to take advantage of market gaps amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, Tanya van Lill, chief executive officer of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, said by phone.
  • More than half-a-million people have fled their homes due to an Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique, and the violence and humanitarian crisis will worsen without international help, United Nations officials said on Wednesday. “If nothing is done soon, we won’t have only 535,000 displaced people. We won’t have only 2,000 people killed by the conflict, but tens of thousands,” Valentin Tapsoba, regional director for the United Nations refugee agency, told Reuters.
  • Luxury group Richemont’s sales in the third quarter increased by 5% at constant exchange rates compared to the prior period, with China leading sales. “Robust sales in Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa, both with double digit growth at actual exchange rates, more than offset single digit declines in the Americas and Japan and a marked contraction in Europe. A double digit increase in online retail sales and single digit progression in retail sales compensated lower wholesale sales at actual exchange rates,” says Bloomberg.
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