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Jeremy Gardiner’s A to Z

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Jeremy Gardiner
Director
A

nti-establishment vote

The silent majority. They don't always know what they want, but they do know what they don’t, and what they don’t want is the status quo: more Clintons, Bushes… or Camerons for that matter. Americans and Brits aren't alone – also watch France, Italy and Holland this year.


B

rexit

Pound nearing 35-year lows, growth holding up so far. Full impact will only be felt over the next five to ten years when corporate leases are up for renewal. Will they stay or will they go? So far, UBS, Goldman Sachs and HSBC plan to move staff.


C

yril

Or Kgalema, or Zweli, or even Pravin. With candidates like these, hopefully we will get it right this time.


D

rought

By no means over, but decent rains mean this year’s crops will be much better than last, and that’s reason to celebrate.


E

merging markets

Out of favour since 2009, were just perking up last year when Trump was elected. Hopefully, the recovery can continue. Commodity demand, improved growth and fundamentals, a search for yield and increased developed market political risk should stimulate further recovery.


F

rance

Three significant terror attacks in the last 18 months – far right led by Marine Le Pen on the rise, fuelled by Brexit and Trump.


G

ermany

A year ago, with Obama, Cameron and European leaders behind her, Angela Merkel was one of the most powerful leaders in the world. A year on, post Brexit and Trump, she finds herself increasingly isolated. If Germany goes nationalist, where does that leave Europe?


H

laudi

Outrageous. How do our parastatals get to this point? Would be funny if it wasn’t your money.


I

taly

Italy’s banks remain a risk. As does its politics. George Soros described Italy as too big to fail but also too big to save. Hopefully, the government’s €20bn rescue fund will be sufficient to revive the ailing banking sector.


J

unk

We came so close! Slightly improved growth this year might save us. The rating agencies like our finance minister and they trust him to do what he says he will do. Could those hell bent on removing him for personal gain, please stop?


K

illed

Fifty-one South Africans were murdered every day in 2015. As were over a thousand rhino (up from 13 in 2007), totally unacceptable in a civilised society.


L

oad-shedding

None last year and none going forward. In fact we now have so much electricity, that we’re set to have a surplus by 2022. Indeed, we apparently don’t need the independent power producers, which would be a shame as the sector has attracted R200bn in investment over the past five years.


M

alema and Maimane

Whether or not you’d like to see either of them as president is irrelevant. What is relevant is that our democracy is robust and strong, and now more than ever, capable of keeping government in check.


N

uclear

No load-shedding, an electricity surplus and no need for renewables all make the current rush for nuclear and the secrecy around it, seem suspicious/smell slightly. Bottom line is we don’t need it, can’t afford it, and whilst there is nothing wrong with nuclear per se, one can’t help feeling that those pushing for it, don’t have the country’s energy needs at heart.

O

il

Up double from what it was, but still less than half of what it also once was. Improving growth and producing country cooperation should see firmer, yet still affordable prices.


P

ravin Gordhan

Deserves a medal. Simply doing the right thing should not incur such harassment. Fortunately, good does seem to be triumphing over evil, although sometimes only just. What would we have done in 2016 without him?


Q

uantitative easing

Still going, after all these years. It’s eight years on from the global financial collapse, and so much of the world is still reliant on economic life support. Beware of the day the public loses faith in quantitative easing.


R

and

A stronger rand makes the price we pay for oil cheaper, which brings down the petrol price and therefore transport costs, which brings down food prices and therefore inflation, and therefore interest rates, which makes the newspaper headlines better, and generally consumers happier. Expect a slightly firmer currency this year thanks to commodities and improved growth, assuming our leaders don’t do anything stupid.


S

tandard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s

Love them or hate them, but they’ll be back in June (around the ANC five-year policy conference) and in December (around the ANC leadership conference). We survived last year and should survive this year as well – once again, assuming we don’t do anything stupid.


T

rump

So far he’s successfully alienated America’s allies, and embraced their enemies and that’s before he even became president. We’ll miss Obama.


U

S dollar

Strong as an ox in anticipation of Trump driving growth and profits. Promises to be the currency of the year, although Trump’s complaining it’s too strong, which could induce some weakness.


V

ladimir Putin

Traditional foe of the West, and unlikely friend of Trump. Not sure who’s playing who, but given the individuals involved, this relationship could still end in tears.


W

ater restrictions

Get used to them. In force and here to stay, in some form or another. Nasa says 2016 was the hottest year on record. Isn’t this what global warming experts predicted would start happening?


X

change controls

Surely it’s time to put this Apartheid relic behind us? Way too many resources spent on enforcing it, plus sends a very negative investment message. If South Africans can’t be trusted to keep their money in the country, why should anyone else invest here?


Y

ellen

Chair of the US Federal Reserve – the market anticipates two US rate hikes in 2017, not good news for emerging markets like South Africa.


Z

uma

Nkandla, Nenegate, Guptas, 783 charges, spy charges – all bets off the table. Anything is possible – impossible to predict.

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Opportunity and Cautious Managed Funds update

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