Anyone left to argue? Rudco liquidated, CLIENTS LOSE MONEY

It’s peaceful around here this morning. I’m in Stellenbosch running a financial modelling course for the Faculty and Institute of Actuaries, in conjunction with the Actuarial Society of South Africa. The sun is shining, the skies are blue and although the wind is getting up, it is still a pleasant day. But that has nothing […]

Directors’ Dealings – Information, Noise and the role of Randomness

I was reading an article about the directors of Imperial and Steinhoff purchasing shares in their respective companies. Steinhoff directors made the news when the CEO originally used Single Stock Futures to gear his exposure to a significant position in the company. (This position has since been converted into a direct position with about the […]

US CPAs to start speaking French

Until very recently, multinationals listed in the US but not resident in the US were required to show a reconciliaton of their local GAAP financial statements to the US GAAP equivalent. Many of these large companies (based in Europe and the Far East) incurred high costs in time, energy and hard cash in preparing US […]

The wheels (of justice) turn. Just too slowly for Rudco.

“E.s.” commented on my earlier post: Too Good To Be True about the ridiculous proposition for turning lead into gold (offering fixed rates home loans in the South African Rand at 6% interest). The interesting thing here is that since Rudco’s initial plans were announced, interest rates have ticked up several points, and are likely to increase further in December (consensus from the market is currently around 50bps) and quite possibly again early next year. I’m sorry E.s., you clearly haven’t been reading the blogs and comments here and other places. To repeat the four themes: The business model is not viable therefore you should expect problems sooner or later. Rudco are in contravention rules, regulations and judgements, […]

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 […]

Standard Bank, halting trade and Satrix FINI

I was reading the recent news about ICBC’s large investment in Standard Bank and had a thought. If Standard Bank’s shares are suspended from trading, why not plunge into Satrix Fini? If you really wanted to get fancy, you could probably find SSFs on most of the other large players within the Satrix Fini (a […]

Retirement age inequality

Iafrica has a story about a court battle against different state retirement ages. Can’t imagine this will go far in the short-term, but might be the beginning of a serious relook at normal retirement age, for men and women, and in in light of trends of extended retirement periods through “mortality improvements”. Mortality improvement is the lowering of mortality over time as a result of several causes, including better medical care, awareness of the dangers of smoking etc. http://business.iafrica.com/news/540145.htm A two-day hearing of a case brought by a group of men challenging the unequal provision of the state old age pension to men at 65 and to women at 60 will begin on Tuesday.

Telkom, SBC and a few things suddenly making sense

Business Report is running a story about the shareholder agreement between government and SBC that impacted South Africa’s telecommunications environment. Ann Crotty (from Business Report) writes: The shareholders’ agreement signed by the government when it sold a 30 percent stake in Telkom to the Thintana Communications consortium placed both companies above South Africa’s laws, according […]