Seeing South Africa through the eyes of foreign investors

first_imgJohannesburg, South Africa’s largest city and the country’s commercial capital. Since 2008, some 359 000 skilled South Africans have returned home. (Image: Brand South Africa. Click for a larger view.) • Kotie Basson Media liaison Investec Asset Management +27 21 416 1812 +27 82 375 1317 • Global perceptions key to competitiveness and foreign investment • Homecoming Revolution expands to African diaspora • South Africa: Sound investment destination, emerging market that matters • South Africa’s competitive advantage in the developing world • Foreign journalists get the inside storyJeremy Gardiner, Investec Asset ManagementMy brother has just returned to South Africa after living in Geneva for 14 years. He is going to reside in Johannesburg and work for Discovery Health and he is deliriously happy.What is exhausting, though, is the question (accompanied by a look of near disbelief) asked by almost every South African, from the travel agent to his friends to the real estate agent and the car salesman: “Why are you coming back? Especially now?”What is it about us South Africans that make us truly believe that we are die vark in die verhaal (the pig in the tale) in every story? Whether it is the economy, politics, the currency, corruption, you name it – we really do seem to believe that this South Africa is the only country in the world with problems and that anything that goes wrong is directly self-inflicted.A few points are worth noting.First, most of the pain we are feeling economically is currently being felt more or less similarly across all emerging markets. Very simply, it is our turn. For the first three years after the global financial collapse, former US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke plumped up the global economy with billions of US dollars and emerging markets were a happy beneficiary of this liquidity. South Africans looked on in amazement as the developed world came close to collapse, companies slashed their workforces and these developed economies ground to a halt. Meanwhile, life in South Africa was good – we were still growing, retrenchments were there (but not widespread) and the sun was shining.But then, inevitably and eventually, the developed world started healing. Today the US economy is recovering, economic numbers are improving and they’re fast becoming energy neutral. Producing all their own oil and gas will make them more competitive, improve their deficit and reduce their debt.On the other hand, the European recovery – whilst nowhere near the US recovery – seems intact, and while they are hardly growing, they are at least no longer shrinking. Their risk now is deflation, although recent data has been encouraging and any signs of deflation will be doused quickly enough through monetary methods. Britain is almost booming with growth forecasts for 2014 being raised from 1.5% a year ago, to the current predictions from the Bank of England of over 3%.So with all the good news coming out of the developed world, the quantitative easing drip is slowly being removed. Global investors, seeing the recovery, also decided they could generate decent returns closer to home.Suddenly the rug was pulled out from underneath the feet of the emerging markets currencies and stock markets. What was described in general economic parlance as the Brics (a grouping to which we as South Africans felt unworthy, but delighted to be part of) quickly became referred to by many pundits as a Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept.Emerging markets remain resilientFrom Argentina to Indonesia, via Turkey, economies are slowing, unemployment is growing and currencies have been smashed. But the time for the emerging markets is not over. Many are in far better shape than 1998, and in many cases, they are in better shape than the developed world. They have lower debt-to-GDP ratios, more reserves, better demographics, higher growth prospects, and are generally more resilient.As members of this “club” known as emerging markets, we benefit when times are good, but similarly we suffer when sentiment towards emerging markets sours. As South Africans, we sometimes delude ourselves that we are “first world”, yet whether we like it or not, we are just another emerging market. Interestingly, there was a time we experienced contagion as a result of our proximity to Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. Today, South Africa will lift from our current growth impasse due to our preferred emerging market status. Preferred, ironically, due to our proximity to the rampant growth economies of Africa.Key to psychological survival in South Africa is being able to see us the way foreign investors do, and comparing us to the countries against whom we compete for investment flows. Nobody asks whether they should invest in London or South Africa, or New York or South Africa. What they do say however, is should they invest in South Africa or should they rather invest in South America, the rest of Africa or Asia? And against those countries or continents we generally stack up (reasonably) well.‘We’re not that fascinating’So, the South African economy isn’t alone in facing tough times. The Brazilian and Indian economies have also slowed significantly, as has foreign investment into these markets. Their currencies are at record lows and their deficits and unemployment levels are high. In fact, most emerging market economies have slowed considerably. The rand isn’t being punished because of our politics or strikes, for that matter. Despite ourselves, the rand has been punished along with most emerging market currencies, simply because massive inflows suddenly become massive outflows as sentiment towards emerging markets deteriorated.We have enormous youth unemployment, but the levels are not dissimilar to that of many other emerging markets. For that matter, many European countries have similar youth unemployment levels. We grumble about our politics, but politicians across the world behave badly. “Gravy” is not unique to South Africa; after all, was it not expedient politicians feeding tax breaks to voters in exchange for votes that led to the European collapse (and in many cases debt levels that will take generations to repay)? The French president’s approval rating is below 20%, less than half the level of our president.From a corruption perspective we have much work to do, but we are by no means worse than other emerging markets. In fact, we are better than (or equal to) the majority of South America, the rest of Africa and most of Asia, according to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index. On the list of 177 countries, we rank 72nd.We have to continue to jealously guard our press freedom, for which the country has fought so hard. We also have to appreciate that we currently have one of the freest press in the world. According to the World Press Freedom Index for 2014, we are in line with the UK and the US and once again freer than the majority of South America, the rest of Africa and Asia.In short, we are not nearly as fascinating to the rest of the world as we think we are. Very simply, we are part of a grouping known as emerging markets, and when they are in vogue, so are we, and the reverse applies when they are not. As I have argued earlier, what we are going through at the moment will pass. Almost like winter eventually becomes spring and then summer, so too will the sun return to the emerging markets and indeed to South Africa. Then this phase will be forgotten, and my brother – along with the 359 000 other skilled South Africans who (according to Adcorp) have returned home since 2008 – will stop getting asked why they came home.Jeremy Gardiner is a director at Investec Asset Management.last_img read more

Another win for South Africa: Terry Pheto awarded for movie role

first_imgAcclaimed South African actress Terry Pheto has won an award at the UK National Film Awards for her role in A United Kingdom.Terry Pheto wins the Best Supporting Actress award at the UK National Film Awards in London on 29 March 2017 for her role in A United Kingdom. (Image: Ana M Wiggins, Screengrab via Terry Pheto’s Instagram)Brand South Africa reporterSouth African actress Terry Pheto has added another accolade to her impressive acting career. Her latest win is the Best Supporting Actress award at the UK National Film Awards in London on 29 March 2017.Pheto won the award for her role as Naledi Khama in the movie, A United Kingdom.“Truly honoured and humbled by this incredible accolade,” the star wrote on her Instagram account. “Thank you #NationalFilmAwardsUK for the recognition.”Congrats to @TerryPheto voted #BestSupportingActress sponsored by @FIJIWater at the 3rd annual #NationalFilmAwardsUK— National Film Awards (@NATFilmAwards) April 3, 2017WINNER of #NationalFilmAwardsUK BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS award for #AUnitedKingdom @TerryPheto— Thula Sindi (@thulasindi) March 29, 2017A United KingdomThe movie, a biographical romantic drama, tells the story of the interracial marriage of Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams Khama, played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, respectively.Watch:When the movie was released, Pheto told the Sowetan newspaper that it was an honour to work with such established actors.“To feature amongst the calibre of actors and actresses cast for this film and have my talent recognised by international casting agents and producers is humbling.“I’ve been an actor for 13 years now and every day I work on honing my craft and becoming a better actress and to get jobs such as this one definitely proves hard work pays off,” Terry said.Victory celebratedHer win was celebrated on social media platforms, with congratulatory messages flooding Pheto’s timeline.@thulasindi @TerryPheto Congratulations Ms Pheto!!??Continuously flying the SA black excellence flag high, thank you— Masechaba Mtolo (@uMaMoshoeshoe) March 29, 2017@TerryPheto waving the South African up high… Congratulations on your award sisi!!! You are making us proud ??? #Queen— Herman Radipabe (@RamsRaddy) March 29, 2017@TerryPheto Congratulations Terry. Well done. You deserve it all. ???— IG: Sibu_Nk (@Bozoom_Nk) March 29, 2017Congratulations @TerryPheto. As you let your star shine without limits you are permitting girls and young women in Africa to do the same.— Adv Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) March 30, 2017@TerryPheto congratulations on your big award. You had star quality since the very first time I met you.— Marianne Fassler (@Leopardfrock) March 30, 2017Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Gilas gold? Perlas looking at SEA Games crown too

first_imgPH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games But head coach Pat Aquino admitted that the schedule—not just their opponents—presents a big stumbling block.“I don’t know about the schedule but it works against us,” said Aquino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCompetition starts Aug. 20. He said Perlas, which played in the tough Fiba Asia Women’s Cup, will play Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar in that order.“Then we will take on (title favorite) Thailand the following day. Thailand will be coming from a break going into that game,” Aquino told the Inquirer. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH PH water polo gunning for podium celebration WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Photo by Marc Reyes/INQUIRERIt won’t be just Gilas Pilipinas shooting for a basketball gold in Kuala Lumpur.Perlas Pilipinas, the less-heralded women’s squad, will also go all out for a Southeast Asian Games crown when the biennial meet kicks off next week.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimescenter_img Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Read Next SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief The crucial game against the Thais will be at 8:30 p.m. Then the Philippines takes on host Malaysia at 11 a.m. the following day.“Imagine we need to go back to the hotel, it would take time. How much sleep can we get?” said Aquino.Still, team captain Raiza Rose Dy said the team is in high spirits.“Our experience in the Fiba Asia Women’s Cup was a big help, because of world class competition; we got to play against WNBA players,” said Dy. “That is something not experienced by other SEA Games countries.”The Philippines wound up fourth two years ago in the Singapore edition which was dominated by Malaysia.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

WhatsApp delete for everyone will only encourage drunken texts and awkward conversations

first_imgWhatsApp started off as a honest to goodness text messaging app – simple, lean and mean. From there on, the little fella has made its way up in the world and gained a lot of features along the way – voice calling, stories, hashtags, photo/video based statuses and more. It even got acquired by a big fish called Facebook along the way – Yep, WhatsApp surely made it big in this cruel little world.Recently WhatsApp has introduced two controversial new features – live location sharing and delete for everyone. The feature list keeps on increasing, and with that, the bloat and complications – but that rant is a topic for another article. Today, the spotlight is on Whatsapp’s much talked about recall feature, which allows users to delete messages they sent by mistake – within seven minutes that is.This feature might just encourage the very frivolous behaviour it wants to save its users from.People all over the world are celebrating as if climate change has been resolved or pollution is no longer a lung choking concern. No awkward conversations anymore? Hallelujah. No drunken texts or embarrassing situations! Where was this feature all my life? Well, this feature is not all it is cracked up to be and might just encourage the very frivolous behaviour it wants to save its users from.There are a reason that laws and orders exist – fear. That is what keeps people in check and in line. Without them, there’s anarchy. You have to be careful who you are sending messages to and have to have at least a modicum of your senses active when you are typing a message – you don’t just say anything to someone’s face do you?advertisementKnowing that you can delete a message you have sent in effect takes that fear away. Now people will rant away and send anything they want – with the assumption that they can simply delete it afterwards. Problem solved right? What about the inevitable awkward conversation that will follow – “Why did you delete that message? What did you send that you did not want me to see?”. Worst case scenario – you send a drunken text and lose track of time. Who really knows when seven minutes fly by when alcohol is pumping through their system? Now that will be fun indeed.You do not need a delete or recall feature – all you need is a little bit of sense and good decision making.In a day and age of social media festered with trolls, hate and enmity – such a feature just encourages reckless behaviour. Today’s generationprefers communicating via WhatsApp and Snapchat over having a realface-to-face talk. Words once said cannot be recalled, can they? Thebest offense is defence – a phrase often used in sports. You do not need a delete or recall feature – all you need is a little bit of sense andgood decision making.The actual implementation of the feature is also a bit wonky – you will not receive a notification the recall fails. This is the best part. If you rest all your hopes on this delete feature and go on a frenzy sending messages you instantly regret – well, there is a chance the message will actually go through and cause irreparable harm.Ill advised drunken texts or a prompt that reads – “This message was deleted”- both will incite awkward conversations and both can be avoided with good sense. Try that for once, it is better that anything an application can offer.Also Read: Forget Google-Apple burger debate, we need to talk about the hideous new WhatsApp emojislast_img read more

10 months agoPhilippe Sandler delighted with Man City debut

first_imgPhilippe Sandler delighted with Man City debutby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePhilippe Sandler was delighted to make his debut for Manchester City in yesterday’s FA Cup win over Rotherham.The Dutch defender, who was played at centre-half, featured as a second-half substitute for the 7-0 thumping.Sandler said, “I always play there. Honestly, I have never been in the midfield. Why now? I stood there during the training session. Sending passes. Since I’ve been here, I try to develop as a central defender. “Vincent Kompany helps me enormously. I learn a lot from him. “I do not know if I will get another chance again soon. I especially want to be completely fit first.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

HM Honors Lili Reinhart With the Second Annual Variety and HM Conscious

first_imgOn Tuesday, August 28th, Variety in partnership with H&M honored Lili Reinhart for her active voice on the important topics of mental health and body positivity.Lili Reinhart With the Second Annual Variety and H&M Conscious AwardHer approach to raising these issues in the public eye has made her a natural choice for the second annual Variety and H&M Conscious Award at the 4th annual Power of Young Hollywood event. This event celebrates an esteemed group of young actors, musicians, digital influencers and more, whom are profiled in Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood issue.Lili Reinhart, the 21-year-old American actress and budding fashion icon is the second recipient of the Variety and H&M Conscious award. Lili, best known for her role as Betty Cooper on the CW’s Riverdale, has been an outspoken voice and advocate for mental health issues and body positivity. Shedding light on her own personal struggles she has been able to deliver crucial messages to the public about the importance of asking for help and eliminating stigma. She has also been a strong BoPo Activist again using her own experiences to personalize the topic of body positivity and that everyone should have the ability to feel confident and happy in their skin.At H&M everyone should be able to dress their personality no matter what that is. This business ideal lives in tandem with H&M’s vision to be at the forefront of social and environmental sustainability and creating a more sustainable fashion industry that is good for people, communities and the planet. Working with their long term commitments to be 100% fair and equal, 100% circular and 100% leading the change, H&M believes in strengthening communities and raising awareness on important social issues and rewarding like minded partners like Lili Reinhart for her exceptional voice and strength. It is her fearless approach in addressing issues, head on, that has set a strong example for women and men, to feel comfortable and confident in who they are as individuals.For the occasion Lili was dressed by H&M in a gown made from more sustainable materials from their upcoming Conscious Exclusive collection.For more information on H&M’s sustainability work, click here.last_img read more