The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
BizNews turned eight yesterday and as part of our birthday celebration, we put together a special gift for our community members (ie you!) – a Special Report on the causes and consequences of last month’s looting and rioting in KZN and parts of Gauteng. No holds barred. Would you expect anything else?
It’s an interactive PDF – download here:
My inbox was flooded with good wishes on BizNews’s 8th birthday. Sincere appreciation and rest assured, we intend continue serving our community for many more years.
Not among our fans right now is Phil Nicholson from MultiChoice who wrote:
Piet Viljoen’s article was sensationalist and incorrect. For inexperienced investors they are going to panic and get out a very depressed prices. I seldom see positives on BizNews about Naspers/Prosus despite almost all pensions in SA benefiting from the extraordinary returns enjoyed over the years.
Problems with Piet’s article
- Jack Ma has been accounted for.
- The Chinese government has given a public commitment they will not interfere with the VIE structure.
- His grammar needs some work. It detracts from the credibility of the article.
Piet’s response was fascinating – including news that despite his misgivings, he has actually invested into Tencent for the first time. Piet wrote:
I’m sorry if my article came across as sensationalist – that was definitely not the intention.
The following were my main points:
- Tencent is a wonderful business and it/Naspers has generated wonderful returns for its investors.
- But – there is an existential risk to investors investing via VIE structures.
- This is not a high probability event, but should be considered.
- Value investors such as myself have missed out on the returns of NPN/PRX/Tencent through faulty thinking
- Now might be a good time to buy shares in NPN/PRX/Tencent, given their recent poor performance – but not as much as the index weight, which I believe to be too risky.
In my opinion the article did a good job of bringing these points to the fore.
After I wrote the article, I acquired a small position in Tencent – for the first time ever – in my Global Value fund. The actual purpose in writing this piece was for me to frame my thinking around the pros and cons for doing so. Locally, I am still avoiding NPN/PRX, as I am wary of the financial machinations. Once that settles down, I will take another look.
As for my grammar, I’m Afrikaans – I work at it, but I would be the first to admit it’s not perfect!
Finally, this article gives a bit more background to the Jack Ma question. To my mind, it really is a bit scary. But then, I can’t even pretend to understand Chinese culture and how things work there.
Community member Glen Griffiths is one of a number who have expressed unhappiness at Discovery’s recent decision on offering discounts to its vaccinated clients. Glen wrote:
Thanks so much for your daily insight into all kinds of happenings, as a small business owner I find it very sound information that provides all angles to stories so that intelligent people with a sound mind can use their God given matter to have their own views on these matters.
I read with interest the snippet on Discovery, I am a client of Discovery, and read with disgust that they want to charge a premium to clients who don’t have the vaccine. I spoke with family and even mentioned I am sure this will end up in court cases if they press on with this. I also wonder at the arrogance of them to make this call and how they basically send a message that we should do as they say or be punished.
If they want to do this then they should also look to charge more to people who have sugar in their diets thereby increasing their chances of cancer, diabetes and other diseases, and how about they charge higher rates for members who do no exercise and are unhealthy as a result of this and their diet.
I am a healthy person with no co-morbidities, exercise daily, eat healthy and as such I am a Diamond Vitality member and yet I am going to pay higher fees because I won’t do as they decree and take a vaccine which as your one previous daily in the last month not even the US authorities have formally approved any of the vaccines meaning they are all basically exploratory and pretty much still in testing.
I am a numbers person and I read that 200 million have been infected by the virus – the world population is 7.8 billion which means infected people are below 3% of the world’s population so over 97% have not been infected, this after 17 months – so then why are we being bullied into taking the vaccine without asking questions??? Mainstream media, governments and WHO among others clearly have an agenda which is being pushed …. I wonder what the real reason is behind this? We will probably never know.
Then there’s David Pretorius who shared this real life example of an incident that really concerns him. He wrote:
Brilliant letter that Mr De Vries addressed to Prof. Gray. However, he will be waiting in vain for a reasonable response. I have mentioned to you my mother’ situation and her oncologist tried to bribe her with taking the vaccine before she would prescribe Ivermectin! My mother actually tested positive for Covid and did research on whether she could take Ivermectin with chemo. Turns out the positive advantages of Ivermectin coupled with chemo actually helps cancer patients. The oncologist literally said: ” Take the vaccine and I will prescribe the Ivermectin” – Shocking!
And finally for today, here’s some good questions – and suggestions – from Clifford Thackwray who wrote …
Business survival requires knowledge of what is happening and quick reaction to changes and opportunities. So why is organised business not really making its voice heard? There is more than a little evidence that there are cheap and safe drugs which may have been used in treating Covid 19 which also have prophylactic properties.
This may or not be true but there is too much evidence to ignore. Surely the situation warranted a task force drawn from government, medical authorities, economists, businessmen, the media, religious leaders etc. to energetically investigate the problem and arrive at an informed decision. Instead we have several groups, each with their own agendas dithering and fighting only for their own turf. Stupid!
What if lockdowns were found to be unnecessary (see Sweden)? What if only the first lockdown was necessary? What if we can stop the lockdowns now? How many lives, jobs and businesses will have been saved?
What if it were proved the touted medications did not work? In that case reliable and useful knowledge will have been established and the case put to rest. Instead we have no satisfactory answers and a leadership interested only in serving their own interests.
It is very late but business can still use their muscle if they act together. In the interim lives, jobs and profits, except for a few, are going down the drain.
To receive BizNews founder Alec Hogg’s Daily Insider every weekday at 6am in your inbox click here. You can also sign up to the weekend’s BizNews Digest for a wrap of the best content BizNews has to offer, for a leisurely Saturday read.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.