1. As expected, the Fed last night kept US interest rates unchanged at between 2% and 2.25%. But a rate hike is still on the cards for December. The dollar gained against the rand, which was last at R14.14/$.
2. Pravin Gordhan’s 68-page statement to the state capture commission was leaked yesterday, and revealed that he officially met the Guptas once, at the request of former president Jacob Zuma. But Gordhan also details a meeting with a wealthy Indian businessman in 2010 who showed interest in acquiring a stake in MTN. The meeting was arranged by Tony Gupta. The EFF has lodged a complaint with the Public Protector about the meeting.
3. More misery in the mining sector: Statistics SA yesterday reported that mining output was down 1.8% in the year to September. Things are not looking much better in local factories. Manufacturing production increased by only 0.1% in the year to September, according to StatsSA.
4. Saudi Arabia has offered the SA government $1 billion to partner with Denel, according to a Reuters report. It specifically wants to take a stake in Denel’s munition joint venture with a German firm. This is awkward for the SA government, who is desperate for foreign investment - but other countries are considering sanctions against Saudi Arabia following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
5. Standard Bank and AVI (owner of Five Roses, I&J and Frisco) yesterday listed their shares on the A2X stock exchange, a rival to the JSE.
Online retail in South Africa grew by 25% in 2017, and should grow by another 25% this year:
Bricks-and-mortar retail growth has been weak in comparison:
While total online retail should reach R14.1 billion by the end of the year, it will only represent 1.4% of total retail by the end of the year (up from 1.12%). It will only reach 2% by 2022.
The biggest growth in online sales is in apparel sales. But alcohol, tobacco and vaping sales are also growing very fast. "The increased online supply of vapes, juices and accessories suggest that the SA smoking bans, and the change in the legal status of marijuana during the survey, may have boosted consumption," says Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx.
Also from Business Insider South Africa