Just what are ancillary own funds?

Reading the Financial Soundness Standards for Insurers (FSIs) is an exercise that can only end in madness. I’m sufficiently familiar with them now that I mostly refer back to them for particularly tricky or thorny issues. Without fail, the words fail to clearly communicate exactly what was intended. Take ancillary capital as an example. To […]

Finally, something newsworthy on Eskom and electricity prices

The typical quality of conservation around electricity prices in South Africa is so low as to be worthless. Cry after cry about it being “unfair” or “it will drive inflation” or any number of issues, while all the time disregarding that if Eskom doesn’t make money, we pay for it through taxes in any case. […]

Junk bonds in place of an IPO

The 30 second intro to Junk Bonds Junk Bonds, also known as High Yield Bonds, are debt instruments issued by companies with poor credit ratings, or are the debt instruments of companies that were issued as high quality bonds from strong companies that have since fallen on hard times (“Fallen Angels”). Typically these are any […]

Visagie still around?

A comment came in today on an old article about the dodgy lending scheme Rudie Visagie was proposing. The reader “trymore” provides some details of a new deal apparently being run by Rudie Visagie. As I stated last time this gentleman’s name came up, I have no personal interest or involvement here at all. My […]

Confidence and capital – Nationwide has neither

Nationwide Airlines is on the ground. A series of business and operational problems met the global economy of skyrocketing avgas prices and left them insolvent by R172m (assets of R46m less liabilities of R218m). They’ve also left friends of mine stranded in South Africa after a trip from Ireland for another friend’s wedding (congratulations Kay and […]

Solvency II makes another milestone – QIS3 out

Apparently the results for QIS3 are now available.  QIS3 (“Quiz 3”) is the third Quantitative Impact Study along the path to rolling out Sovlency II for insurance companies between 2010 and 2012. It provides further light on what capital requirements will actually be when Sovlency II comes into effect. Perhaps a warning is required for […]

Follow up on gold hedging: Western Areas, South Deep and GoldFields

Gold Fields purchased Western Areas (through a share swap) and thus inherited the notoriously “toxic” hedge-book of Western Areas. This event is worth considering in the light of my previous blog on hedging. Let’s apply some analysis and critical thinking here. First, some real-world imperfections. The hedge book was created in the time of the […]