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JSE Investment Challenge: ‘Dancing In The Dark’ From Wits Wins May Prize

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A close-knit team comprising students from the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) has won the May monthly prize in the University category of the JSE Investment Challenge.  Team “Dancing In The Dark” shows that bringing together a diverse set of skills, opinions, and ideas can be a source of strength. Members of this team are students pursuing fields of study in different faculties including actuarial science, health sciences, and accountancy. Roberto Coelho, in his fourth year studying towards a Chartered Accountancy qualification, says a person’s field of study has nothing to do with being successful in this competition. “It is your field of interest that matters the most. All three of us are interested in current affairs, business, reading newspapers, and listening to podcasts on financial and business matters,” says Coelho. Good team dynamics are also important in getting results as members of Dancing in the Dark have demonstrated. The three members of the team know and understand each other very well. Gabriella Paddock, a fourth-year medical student, is Roberto’s partner while Ricardo Coelho – the second-year actuarial science student – is his brother. According to Roberto, their investment strategy was ‘very simple, “we researched different philosophies, looked for good businesses with good cash flow”, a philosophy he says was borrowed from world-famous billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Ralph Speirs, CSI Officer at the JSE says he is impressed with the effort that the learners and students are putting into developing competitive strategies to get ahead in the competition. The Investment Challenge competition aims to add financial literacy to their body of knowledge but not at the expense of their existing school and university academic commitments. Roberto says although the three are pursuing careers that may be considered quite demanding, participating in the Investment Challenge is their preferred way of spending their downtime. “It is challenging and yes there is pressure to succeed, but when you are actually interested in what you are doing it does not seem like work at all. I enjoy learning about finance, so this is my way to unwind,” adds Roberto. Even for Gabriella, who is now entering the most challenging phase of her medical studies, does find time for the competition because she values the importance of being financially literate. “Gabriella is interested in finance, we all have to be financially literate in today’s society, she realises that because she appreciates the value of being in charge of your own financial destiny,” says Roberto. The one thing that Roberto believes Gabriella and the two brothers have in common is discipline. “You don’t have to be a genius to be a successful investor, you need discipline,” insists Roberto. He says working and studying from home does present an opportunity for one to be easily distracted. “You can choose to watch movies or spend your time productively,” says Roberto. To Gabriella, Roberto, and Ricardo, the Investment Challenge is not just a game but “a very good way to learn about the real world”. Another team of finance and business enthusiasts is CHS WallStreet from Claremont High School in the Western Cape who won the May monthly prize in the speculator portfolio for the high school part of the competition. The team has four members including Lathitha Caza, Gerard Umegbolu, Litha Thembela, and Muhammad Ridhaa Adams. Lathitha says he learned about the JSE Investment Challenge from an acquittance based in Stellenbosch and immediately decided to assemble a team at his school. Team CHS WallStreet is the only team registered from Claremont High School but Lathitha is hopeful that their triumph will ignite interest in the competition at his school. Given their busy schedules and the need to ensure that they do not fall behind in their academic work, team CHS WallStreet meets on weekends to develop strategies and decide how they are going to structure their investment portfolio. All four members of team CHS WallStreet want to pursue careers in business, although Ridhaa-the technical genius in the team according to Lathitha- has medicine as his second option. Winners for the May 2022 monthly Investment Challenge competition include: Income category: Kwanzaa-ACCP from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng Equity portfolio: Maulana Karenga-ACCP from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng Speculator portfolio for schools: CHS WallStreet from Claremont High School in the Western Cape province Speculator portfolio for universities: Dancing in the Dark from the University of the Witwatersrand, in Gauteng. Teams can register electronically at https://schools.jse.co.za and https://university.jse.co.za and to stay updated, follow the competition’s social media accounts on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Joburg Cryptocurrency Dealers In The Dock For R34 Million Fraud

Cryptocurrency dealers 57-year-old Zain Muhammed Valle and 25-year-old Michelle Bianca Bezuidenhout appeared in the Lenasia Regional Court Wednesday on fraud and money laundering charges involving R34 million. The pair were arrested yesterday by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in Johannesburg. Valle and Bezuidenhout were arrested at their respective residences in Lenasia and Alberton, in Johannesburg. “Their arrest emanated from the alleged cryptocurrency establishment scam where the complainant was lured to invest in Siyakhula Logistics Pty (LTD) in February 2020, with potential lucrative dividends,” said Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu. “The complainant allegedly transferred approximately R34 million into the establishment and Bezuidenhout’s bank accounts, on different transactions. “Valle and Bezuidenhout joined 32-year-old Jarrod de Lange in the dock today, who was arrested in 2020 by the Lenasia police for the same charges.” Captain Mulamu said allegations are that Valle introduced the complainant, whose identity has not been revealed, to his business acquaintance, De Lange to enter into a partnership in the cryptocurrency establishment. However, the invested money was allegedly used for the business of the leverage trading company without the complainant’s consent. Valle and Bezuidenhout were granted R10 000 bail each, whereas Bezuidenhout’s husband and co-accused, De Lange was released on a R20 000 bail. The case was postponed to 19 July 2022.

LG Accelerates Its Electric Vehicle Charger Solutions Business

LG Electronics (LG) today announced it has acquired South Korean electric vehicle (EV) charger solutions provider, AppleMango Co., Ltd., jointly with GS Energy and GS Neotek. The acquisition is expected to accelerate the growth of LG’s EV charging solution business and enable the company to take advantage of future business opportunities. This strategic move, combined with LG’s own expertise and wealth of experience in both B2C and B2B segments, will enable the company to create fully-featured charging stations boasting a user-friendly interface and real-time control/management. LG continues to strengthen its EV charging solution business leveraging its exceptional digital signage technologies – specifically, its IP-rated outdoor digital display with sturdy, dust- and water-proof enclosure. Established in 2019, AppleMango has developed proprietary technologies and systems, including a slim, fast charger, to meet the rising global demand for EV charging solutions. In addition to the company’s market-leading charging tech, LG will secure access to the necessary operational infrastructure by working closely with GS Energy and GS Neotek. Both GS companies have considerable experience in operating EV charging stations and related businesses. The new acquisition will help LG to become an integrated solutions provider, bringing together its new charger development capabilities and existing in-house-developed EV charging management system. Moreover, the move is expected to create synergy with LG’s ongoing efforts in the area of vehicle components, including the development and supply of EV batteries and adjacent products, such as energy storage system (ESS) and energy management solutions. “The EV charging market is expected to grow rapidly due to the surging demand for more eco-friendly vehicles,” said Paik Ki-mun, senior vice president of LG Electronics Business Solutions Company. “Leveraging our know-how and experience in the B2B sector, we will offer customized, integrated vehicle charging solutions for diverse customers, enhancing the competitiveness of our existing business and ensuring our readiness for future opportunities.” LG now boasts a comprehensive EV business portfolio, with the recently-launched EV charging solution business joining other LG-owned concerns, including the LG Vehicle component Solutions (VS) Company, ZKW Group and the LG Magna e-Powertrain joint venture. This year, LG will establish an EV charger production line at LG Digital Park in South Korea, and aims to provide customized charging solution for various settings, such as private residences, shopping malls, hotels and public institutions, in the near future.

COPE Reports Arthur Fraser To The Police For Alleged Corruption

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The Congress of the People (COPE) on Monday said it has reported former director general of State Security Agency (SSA), Arthur Fraser, to the police in Pretoria for alleged crimes – including graft. Dennis Bloem, COPE national spokesperson, said the party’s action was prompted by allegations contained in the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture (Zondo Commission). He said the allegations were “very serious” and COPE can not wait for four months – the period President Cyril Ramaphosa will need to make his recommendatios to Parliament. Speaking to reporters outside the Broklyn Police Station in Pretoria, Bloem said COPE wants to “assist the National Prosecuting Authority” to speedily deal with the allegations against Fraser. “We have already laid charges of corruption against Fraser,” said Bloem. At the weekend, when Bloem announced the intention to report Fraser to the police he said: “The abuse of taxpayers money on a private intelligence unit called Principal Agents Network (PAN) is very scary and needs immediate action from the criminal justice system. “An investigation revealed that equipment of this unit like vehicles are still around Gauteng Province and a number of houses are registered in the names of individuals. “We believe that poses a great danger to the security and stability of the country.” Bloem said one of the recommendations of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on SSA was that the Hawks must reopen the investigation on Fraser, “an investigation that was allegedly halted by former Minister of SSA Siyabonga Cwele after an instruction from former President Jacob Zuma”. Bloem added: “This action is the first of a series of rolling actions on the implementation of the Zondo Commission’s recommendations. “We will continuously approach the police to lay criminal charges against different people whom the Commission recommends that the Hawks must investigate and charge. “We believe that the country cannot wait on President Ramaphosa for another four months before we act on the Zondo Commission’s Report. “It is our duty and responsibility to assist the National Prosecution Authority and the Hawks by laying criminal charges against those who must face the full might of the law. “We hope that the Hawks will treat this case as a priority case and arrest and charge Mr. Arthur Fraser.” A few weeks ago, Fraser released a statement saying he had opened a case at the Rosebank Police Station against President Cyril Ramaphosa, whom he accused of defeating the ends of justice, kidnapping burglary suspects and interrogating them on his Phala Phala Farm. Fraser alleges that the thieves stole more than US$4 million in the 2020 burglary. He accuses the President of covering up the incident by bribing the suspects.

SIU Freezes Luxury House Owned By Ex-Lotto Boss Prof. Alfred Nevhutanda

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The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Monday said it has obtained a preservation order to freeze a luxury property owned by Vhuthanda Investment, whose sole director is Prof. Alfred Nevhutanda. “The property was allegedly bought for approximately R27 million with money from National Lotteries Commission,” said the SIU. The SIU said its probe revealed that the property was funded by NPOs with the money they have received, under the auspices of grant funding, from National Lotteries Commission. At the time of the purchase, Prof. Nevhuthanda was chairperson of the NLC board. Five NPOs applied for grant funding at NLC and were jointly funded to the tune of over R100M. “Immediately after funding was received, the NPOs transferred money to a legal firm for the purchase of the property and the furniture,” said the SIU. “The R100M in grant funding was purported to be for community empowerment projects like athletics tracks in NW and MP, old age homes in NW and LP and a rehabilitation centre in Soshanguve township, GP.”
DESOLATE: The R100M in grant funding was purported to be for community empowerment projects like athletics tracks in North West and Mpumalanga and old age homes in both provinces and this rehabilitation centre in Soshanguve township, Tshwane

Agility And Resilience In Executing A Focused Strategy

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Just over two years ago the world was upended by the Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented global health crisis. Earlier this year, further geo-political upheaval in Europe through the Russian invasion of Ukraine has either directly or indirectly affected South Africans. The global effects of these shocks cannot be understated and require a heightened level of resilience and agility from businesses, their boards and financial and operational teams alike. The property sector was significantly affected by the various national lockdowns during the first 18 months of the pandemic. Around 50% of Attacq’s portfolio consists of retail (retail experience hubs) with the balance comprising office (collaboration hubs) and light industrial (logistics hubs). Our response was simple: keep our clients in business, keep our assets fully occupied and be proactive in managing these risks with our stakeholders. During this period, we assessed each client’s situation on a case-by-case basis and provided R187 million in total Covid-related relief. The silver lining was that most of our clients weathered the storm and our relationships with them are stronger than they have ever been. Since then, our retail valuations have stabilised and the most recent turnover performances show a marked improvement, exceeding pre-pandemic performances. In addition, our other focus during this period was managing the balance sheet – ensuring we had a strong balance sheet together with a healthy liquidity position. Sometimes, this required difficult decision making. We could not predict the length and breadth of the pandemic and therefore acted prudently. We identified assets for disposal and executed on these in a short time frame. During this period, R2.8 billion of assets were disposed of, and gearing reduced from 46.6% to 38.0%.  A renewed post-Pandemic focus Recently, the focus has shifted to income and yields. Much of the lease deal making during the pandemic was short term, with a view of not locking in low pandemic-level rentals, but to rather be able to renegotiate these once the market had ‘normalised’. This is now bearing fruit. Retail trading densities are up 12.1% with Mall of Africa exceeding 18% year on year and most retailers are seeing improved performances of their own. All our retail experience hubs are more than 96% occupied and our Waterfall Precinct has recently transferred more than 235 residential units in its premium Ellipse sectional title development and Waterfall currently has more than 34,000m² of developments under construction. Consequently, our strategy of owning and managing high quality precinct focused assets has paid off.   Maintaining the momentum New initiatives that are aligned with our purpose of creating smart, safe and sustainable precincts are gaining momentum and these are sometimes borne from the infrastructure challenges we have in SA. These initiatives have an ‘environmental’ underpin providing either energy or water resilience, or they play their part in reducing the cost thereof, and always have a yield enhancing angle to them. Robust budgeting processes are critical when top line growth is muted and there are no sacred cows, but we appreciate that costs in support of new revenue initiatives are required with long-term decision making taking priority. Balance sheet management is ongoing – capital allocation is critically important, especially so in our stagflationary (high inflation, low economic growth) environment that we are currently experiencing. Our Waterfall City development pipeline continues to attract high quality multi-national clients and managing these development costs is of paramount importance. Furthermore, supply chain challenges and high inflation on construction costs have required the team to develop strategies to mitigate these risks. Securing key components of the construction with reputable suppliers and conducting open-book transactions (rentals and selling prices based on actual final capital expenditures) are some of these mitigants. The interest rate hiking cycle is well underway and our policy of hedging at least 70% of our interest-bearing debt will assist in managing the interest rate risk. In business, much as in life, we will face challenges, but the resilience and agility we’ve developed will stand us in good stead in finding the opportunities that lie therein.
  • Raj Nana, Attacq CFO

Top Tech Trends Transforming The Motorsport Industry

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Technology is permeating every industry, and motorsport is no exception. The stalwarts of the World Rally Championship and Formula 1 are constantly developing new technologies.  The love, enthusiasm, and exposure to motorsport will continue to increase as the sport connects more with modern technology.For instance, the Race At Road America, which is part of the NASCAR Cup Series, showcases some of the technological innovations in motorsport.

Top Tech Trends

Here are some of the top tech trends currently transforming the car racing industry:
  • All-wheel drive

The Audi rally team introduced the all-wheel-drive (AWD) into the motorsport universe. This technology rapidly found its way to the team’s state-of-the-art Quattro road car by 1980. The primary goal of the all-wheel drive is to assist in the smooth handling of a vehicle on rough terrain and flats. The all-wheel-drive – known as ‘Quattro’ during its rally incarnation – has been refined, based primarily on its crude simplicity. The AWD varies the power relay every wheel receives, depending significantly on their individual needs.
  • Carbon fiber materials

Carbon fiber is now the number one material for constructing high-speed machines, such as Formula One vehicles. The material has significantly improved handling, speed, and strength since it was first used in the motorsport industry. Carbon fiber is flexible and super light but up to 10 times stronger than steel. It has helped reduce the overall weight of race cars by as much as 50 percent.
  • Active suspension

If you’re a race car enthusiast, you should know that regular or standard suspension is passive. In other words, this suspension performance is affected by road conditions. But this is not the case with active suspension. This new tech development efficiently lowers and raises the chassis of every wheel on uneven terrain or surfaces for better traction and handling.
  • Joypad steering wheels

Nowadays, Formula 1 steering wheels resemble joypads. Every button on a race car’s steering wheel has a particular function. It is not there for aesthetics but to significantly maximize the driver’s performance.

Conclusion

These are some of the top tech trends that have transformed – and are currently transforming – the motorsport industry. These technologies are so sophisticated and useful that you can even find them in everyday vehicles. The motorsport industry will likely see more technologies being developed and implemented in race cars. The purpose of these technologies is to enhance drivers’ performance. 

2022 Tech Trends to Look Forward to in Sport Betting

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Experts project that the sports betting business will reach over 60 million by the end of 2026, an almost 100% increase from where it is currently. There are just a few possible causes for this rapid growth. To begin with, technological improvements have made sports betting more accessible to the average consumer.  You may easily access sports betting sites from the convenience of your own home. Simply predict the score in point spreads betting, for example, and enjoy the experience. Furthermore, sports betting has become more user-friendly since bettors no longer need to visit their local bookmaker to place a wager.  Given its recent tremendous expansion, what can we anticipate from the betting sector in the future? Let’s discover more about the technological advancements that’ll impact the betting industry’s future.

Micro-Betting

Developing a betting app or website enables bookmakers to develop new sorts of betting, increasing the thrill of each betting experience. Bookmakers anticipate that this will be a future trend because the micro-gambling industry is fast expanding, allowing customers to put modest bets during the length of a single game.  Micro-betting or in-play gambling allows gamblers to stake their money on a range of minute-by-minute events during a live game instead of betting only on the winning team or other outright markets. This may appear to be a simple chore, yet it causes considerable problems for bookies.  They must anticipate the chances of small bets properly in real-time and keep them updated throughout the game. Most betting businesses employ machine learning and automation to produce a variety of betting options in seconds.

Mobile Betting

The mobile sports betting technical trend has existed for decades. Still, it didn’t really have a place in the market until recently, when all bookmakers began modifying and optimizing their websites and applications for online betting.  Mobile phones are now strong enough to operate complicated apps that’ll enhance the betting experience of the common user. The key reason why bookmakers want to shift to the mobile betting industry is that more than 6.37 billion individuals, or 80% of the population, already own a mobile phone.

Artificial Intelligence

AI (artificial intelligence) is a significant advancement in the sports betting sector because it utilizes data to anticipate the outcome of each match or race. It has the potential to deliver various benefits to bookmakers and bettors.  This implies that bookies may set more accurate odds and improve their earnings, while bettors can have a greater win ratio thanks to studied data that humans can’t access at all or as quickly. AI will be the next significant development in the sports betting sector, reshaping the whole industry.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

While virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies aren’t yet fully developed, many experts expect that they’ll be employed in a range of sectors, including sports betting. Consider buying a ticket and obtaining a front-row seat to a live event without actually attending it. With your VR headset, you’ll be able to watch any sporting event live and place bets from the comfort of your sofa.

Experience Over Outcome

The sports betting market is quickly increasing in popularity, and people’s betting patterns are changing. Previously, every bettor’s primary purpose was to earn a profit, but today they also value the experience and want to have fun. These technologies have the ability to enhance the entire betting experience and attract new clients to the industry.

Prosus, Naspers To Sell More Of Tencent Shares To Fund Buybacks

Today, Prosus and Naspers announced the start of an open-ended share repurchase programme of Prosus and Naspers shares. This programme will be funded by regularly selling small numbers of Tencent shares and is designed to efficiently unlock immediate value for shareholders and increase NAV per share over time. The programme will be active as long as the discount to NAV is at elevated levels. Prosus, the Dutch-based technology investor controlled by South Africa’s Naspers, said the programme is designed to increase net asset value per share, taking advantage of both Prosus’s and Naspers’s trading discounts to their underlying net asset value. “Today, we are announcing an open-ended share repurchase programme that is designed to unlock significant value for our shareholders over time,” Bob van Dijk, CEO of Prosus and Naspers. “We expect the programme to significantly increase the net asset values per share for Prosus and Naspers. “It will also rebalance our asset base towards our fast-growing non-Tencent assets, whose value we expect to increase over time while retaining exposure to Tencent’s significant value creation potential. “We will continue to execute our long-term strategy to build valuable consumer internet businesses to deliver sustainable returns over the long term.” Naspers and Prosus have appointed intermediaries to execute the Repurchase Programme and sale of Tencent Shares, within parameters set by the Group during open periods and subject to applicable law and regulation. The intermediaries will execute the Repurchase Programme and sale of Tencent Shares independently from, and uninfluenced by, Naspers and Prosus. The Repurchase Programme will commence immediately and is open-ended. Prosus intends to cancel the Prosus Shares repurchased by it under the Repurchase Programme in due course, so as to reduce its issued share capital. Also read: Naspers Announces The Disposal of Close To R63 Billion Of JD.Com Shares

Takealot Reports A R111 Million Trading Loss, Despite 29% Growth In Revenue

Takealot, the country’s largest e-commerce platform, reported today a trading loss of $7 million or R111 million, or a 1% trading loss margin, for the year to end-March 2022 similar to the 2021 financial year. The Naspers-owned retailer said it remained near breakeven. Despite increased competitive pressure from bricks-and-mortar retailers, Superbalist, one of South Africa’s leading online fashion destinations, delivered strong revenue growth of 55% and improved its trading loss margin by almost 2 percentage points to 7% during the year. Mr D benefited from increasing awareness of online food delivery, a slower recovery of the restaurant market, and shifting consumer demand online. The business grew orders and GMV 51% and 51% respectively and improved overall profitability. Also read: Takealot To Deliver Groceries In Partnership With Pick n Pay Naspers-owned Takealot Group and Pick n Pay announced today that their two companies have signed a commercial services agreement which will enable customers across South Africa to buy Pick n Pay food, groceries, and liquor on a new platform on the Mr D app. This new service brings together the strengths of Pick n Pay and the Takealot Group. Pick n Pay will bring its tremendous expertise in running fresh food and grocery, its nationwide store network, and its leading Smart Shopper loyalty programme. The Takealot Group will bring its proven ability to satisfy online, its technical expertise, and its unrivalled delivery network. “This is a great day for customers.  Pick n Pay already offers an excellent on-demand grocery service through asap!. By working with the Takealot Group, customers will now be able to benefit from a bigger, better, faster, and more exciting offer.  It will be the best of Pick n Pay now on Mr D, and benefiting from Takealot Group’s industry-leading platforms and service standards,” Pick n Pay CEO Pieter Boone said. Also read: GUGU LOURIE: Amazon has its work cut out as it takes on SA and Nigerian online giants