Tag: Formations

Gold Surges


Six weeks ago, on 24th June 2019, we ran an article about gold under the heading “New Gold Bull”. In that article we drew attention to the fact that gold in US dollars had broken convincingly up out of a long-term wedge formation and we suggested that it was probably entering a new bull trend. Since then the dollar price of gold has risen by a further 7,8% to reach $1506. Consider the chart:

US Dollar Gold Price October 2010 to August 2019 – Chart by ShareFriend Pro

For South African investors, however, an investment in gold or gold shares on 24th June 2019 would have been significantly enhanced by the recent collapse of the rand to levels above R15 to the US$. The rand price of gold has surged from R20052 to R22596 – a gain of 12,7%.

Gold always has been and remains the world’s best defense against the weakness of paper currencies. It is the ultimate store of value. Unfortunately, it does not pay any dividends rent or interest, but it holds its value through thick and thin. Read More

The Confidential Report – August 2019


The Rand

For most of June and July this year, the rand was strengthening as international investors became more confident of the reforms which the Ramaphosa administration was implementing. Now the battle between Ramaphosa and the Public Protector has become sufficiently aggressive and dangerous to unnerve international investors – causing some of them to withdraw their funds from our government bonds with the result that the rand has fallen 7,5% in the last two weeks.

The yield on our R186 long bond has increased by 6,3% to 8,46%. Overseas investors are now willing to forgo this relatively high return because of the increased political risk in the country. Clearly, this trend is not good for South Africa or private investors. The fight within the ANC comes on top of the problems of financing Eskom and lower tax collections to indicate that the government deficit is probably going to widen substantially. Moody’s is under mounting pressure to follow the other ratings agencies and downgrade us to sub-investment.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to ascertain exactly what is happening behind closed doors. We can only watch the markets, especially the rand and the yield on the  R186 for clues – and right now the news on that front is not good. The markets are communicating that there is a chance that Ramaphosa might lose his position of power in the ANC – and if that happens then the economy and the stock market will be in dire straits.

A new concern has arisen with RMB’s John Cairn’s saying that there is a high probability (47%) that the rand will fall by as much as 30% or more once the US begins a new cycle of reducing rates over the next year – simply because it always does that when interest rates are falling in the US. Against this, it seems that the recent cut in rates in the US is just a “mid-term adjustment” and not the beginning of a new trend of lower rates. Read More

FirstRand


FirstRand (FSR) is a company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), well renowned and highly favoured by big institutions because of its large volumes (trading daily on average 1.3 million shares per day) and its quality management.

It operates in 10 African countries, and has platforms in Africa, Asia and Europe. It also has representative offices in Dubai and Shanghai, as well as a branch in India. The company was founded by Laurie Dippenaar, G.T. Ferriera and Paul Harris in the 1970’s. With a market capitalisation of R355bn, it is by far the largest banking group in South Africa. FNB offers a diverse range of banking products to consumers, small and large businesses and government departments. Wesbank is the largest asset financing company in Southern Africa covering vehicles of all types, both private and consumer, as well as aviation assets and agriculture. It also has operations in the UK and in Africa to the North. Ashburton is in asset management and related markets in the UK. RMB offers corporate and investment banking in 35 African countries. Read More

The Confidential Report – May 2019


US Economy

Seven months ago on 20th September 2019, the S&P made a new record high at 2930 – and from that level began a correction. Corrections are completely normal and even healthy events which occur regularly during the course of a bull trend. This ten-year bull trend began on 6th and 7th of March 2009 when the S&P made an intra-day low of 666.79 on 6th and then made its lowest close at 676.53 on 7th.

The fall in the market, before this bull market began, had been caused by an American banking crisis which later became known as the “sub-prime crisis” when Lehman Brothers collapsed. What followed was an inordinate monetary policy stimulation of the world economy during which more than $12 trillion worth of quantitative easing (QE) was done to try to avoid a repeat of the Great Depression of 1929.

Ten years later we can say that the QE was eventually successful and the world economy has finally turned around – but not without some very scary moments such as the Greek crisis during which it looked as though the entire European Union was in danger. Read More

Institutional Blindness


The Business Day reported on 10th April 2019 on the Investment Forum in Sandton where several asset managers talked about the major share collapses of the past three years – most notably Steinhoff, EOH and Tiger Brands. The big institutions and major fund managers (like Alan Grey, PSG and Coronation) lost hundreds of billions of rands when these stock market “darlings” suddenly collapsed.

But in each of these cases, there was clear technical evidence that all was not well long before they collapsed.

STEINHOFF

In the case of Steinhoff, the share made a perfect declining triple top at least 15 months before the Viceroy report came out and caused the share to collapse. Consider the chart:

Steinhoff (SNH) January 2016 to April 2019 – Chart by ShareFriend Pro (Click to Enlarge Image)

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