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Fri, 17 Aug 2018

The lira, the world’s worst performer this year, and South Africa’s rand led the advance as some investors say Turkey’s problems are unique and others look for buying opportunities across emerging markets, writes Bloomberg.

The rand was nearly 2.5% stronger in morning trade against the dollar on Tuesday, after sliding as much as 9.4% on Monday – the most since October 2008.

Bloomberg reported some analysts saying that there are few fundamental reasons for assets across emerging markets to fall because of the lira. Turkey’s problems stem from president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s standoff with the US administration.

With average inflation rates at record lows and current-account balances improving, the developing world is diverging from Turkey. Still, the sell-off has helped make valuations attractive, Bloomberg said. An index of emerging-market stocks is near the cheapest since early 2016, before a two-year rally started.

“After a large sell-off triggered by the rout in Turkey, some investors may have bought emerging currencies on dips,” said Toru Nishihama, Tokyo-based emerging-market economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc.

“The global economy is still expanding and that’s providing underlying support for the emerging markets. But Turkey’s problems from its spat with the US, issues of central bank independence and inflationary pressures are not resolved, which means downward pressure on Turkish assets will continue for a while.”

“Concerns will linger over who could be the next hit. Would that be South Africa because of its weak fundamentals or Russia with deteriorating relations with the US or Mexico where the peso has been purchased on expectations surrounding the new president but no concrete outcome has been delivered?” Nishihama said.


The rand’s performance

According to analysis by Rand Merchant Bank, markets are still digesting their exposure to the Turkish crisis as the lira steadied in Asian trade.

“Turkey’s reliance on foreign funding, as evidenced by its wide current account deficit and its corporates’ exposure to foreign currency debt, renders it vulnerable to higher global yields and a stronger dollar,” the group said.

Contagion from the Turkey crisis prompted intervention from central banks in several countries including Indonesia and Argentina.

While South Africa is also heavily reliant on foreign inflows, the South African Reserve Bank confirmed that intervention would not be necessary in the local market.

“We expect the rand will continue to pull back, and have not changed our minds that the year-end range is between R13 and R14,” RMB said.

RMB said that the slipping rand implies that it has pushed weaker than its long-term PPP (purchasing power parity) fair value.

“Interestingly, rand valuation on the PPP scale implies the currency is close to the value of other high risk currencies measured on the same basis,” RMB said.

The rand outperformance at the start of the year has been worked away, the financial services firm said.

Hugo Pienaar, senior economist at the Bureau for Economic Research, said on Twitter that while there is “lots to worry about in SA”, the rand crash was driven by Turkey woes and strong US dollar, and was likely an over-reaction by the market.

Reserve Bank’s view

Bloomberg reported that the [...]

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Fri, 17 Aug 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son Andile was introduced by his Ugandan fiancee, Bridget Birungi, at a traditional marriage ceremony known as kuhingira in Uganda on Saturday.

The ceremony attended by high-profile guests was held at the residence of the bride’s uncle, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister of Uganda in the leafy upscale Kololo suburb in the capital, Kampala.

Mbabazi, who handed over Birungi to the father of the groom, expressed joy that Ramaphosa’s family had met all the set conditions.

“We would like to thank you for being trustworthy, for being dependable because you fulfilled the conditions. So, we are very happy to fulfill our part of handing over to you the hand of our daughter Bridget Birungi,” he said.


“In our culture, we hand the child to the father and it’s now my pleasure to do just that.”

Upon receiving his daughter-in-law, Ramaphosa said: “We accept her as our daughter firstly, and we also accept her as our son’s beloved wife and I can assure you that the two of them are too deeply in love.”

The president was accompanied by the first lady Dr Tshepo Ramaphosa, his ex-wife Hope Ramaphosa and a big delegation of about 150 people.

“As a big army from home, we are delighted that as we go home we won’t go back empty handed,” Ramaphosa said.


He challenged his daughter-in-law to hold tight to her husband.


“Many girls in South Africa are envious of you, even on social media they were saying why did he go so far when we are here.


“They don’t know that you fell in love in China.

“Hold onto your man and never let him go” he advised.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s eldest son Andile has sent his entourage to Uganda to officially kick start lobolo negotiations with the family of his …

The president said weddings are a consolidation of relationships not only between families but also people and communities.


“In this case, we believe it is a consolidation of the relationship between South Africa and Uganda, and this is going to cement us even more.”

He applauded the leadership of Uganda for making the relationship meaningful and supporting SA in its earlier days of the Struggle against apartheid.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, who was one of the invited guests, welcomed Ramaphosa who he described as a freedom fighter and sharp business person.

He also applauded him for being appreciative of the African heritage.

Museveni cautioned the couple against producing many children as had been advised by one of the bride’s aunts, who had suggested that they have 22 children.

“Be careful about the advice of the other aunty, I don’t want to bring controversy on a wedding but I discourage that recklessness, 22 is reckless.

“You can look at a more manageable and decent figure,” said Museveni, who gave the couple an unspecified number of cows.

The couple also received gifts from the family of the bride, which included traditional stools, baskets, mats and gourds.



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Fri, 17 Aug 2018

If you’re heading overseas to travel for the first time, the thought of applying for your South African passport might be a bit scary.

Chances are, you’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about it. But, here’s the thing: applying for your passport for the first time doesn’t need to be a hassle.

Traveling solo is a great experience – and there are loads of very popular (and affordable) destinations all over the world.


How to apply for your South African passport for the first time:

Register a profile on eHomeAffairs


Registering on eHomeAffairs consists of creating a profile with a secured password.

Complete your personal details.

Create a password.

Answer the security questions.

Capture the received OTP (one time PIN) to confirm your cellphone number.

Login to your profile.

Capture the login OTP (one time PIN) received via SMS.

Complete the application form.

The application form is for a Smart ID Card and/or Passport.

You can capture and submit an application form for yourself or if you are still a minor your parents or legal guardians directly related to you can apply for you.

All fields highlighted in red are mandatory and must be completed.

Submit the completed application by selecting ‘Submit to Home Affairs’.

Upload supporting documents if applicable.

Required supporting documents will be listed.

Please note that originals will be required to be presented at the branch office.

Make the online payment.

Capture your banking details.

Please note that submitting a payment on eHomeAffairs is only an instruction to your bank.

In order to complete the payments process, you need to login to your internet banking to authorise the payment.

A payment authorisation process guide can be requested from your bank.

Once the payment has been authorised, please note that bank payment verification process must take place and may take a few minutes.

Make a Booking at a Home Affairs enabled Bank office.

Please note that digital biometrics can be captured at any Home Affairs office or at a Home Affairs.

Enabled Bank office, for which a booking is a prerequisite.

You do not need to make a booking to provide your biometrics at any of the Home Affairs offices.

Print your Confirmation Letter.

The barcoded confirmation Letter as well as your ID Book (if available) is required to be taken when going to the branch.

Biometrics Equipped Bank Branches can be found in the following cities: Centurion, Johannesburg. Pretoria and Cape Town.

How is independent travel achievable and enjoyable?

“The good news is that you can grow, learn and discover without breaking the bank. If you do the research and take an open mind, you will probably have one of the best trips of your life and want to do it all over again,” said Teresa Richardson, MD South Africa for The Travel Corporation, which includes youth-travel brand Contiki within its portfolio.


Contiki’s guided holidays visit the far corners of the world. For your next adventure, here are some top-selling destinations that are easy to reach:


Thailand has it all. Neon lights, vibrant cities, beautiful beaches and exotic cuisine, all within budget.

Packaged tours include accommodation, meals, transport and enough free time to spend your holiday your way.

Koh Samui, Koh Tao and [...]

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