HEARD on the street
Equity fund performance down
Despite the strengthening of the rand and successful elections held last year, equity fund managers appeared to struggle to outperform the respective benchmarks, according to the South Africa S&P Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard, which comes out semiannually.
It found that 72% of actively managed South African equity funds failed to beat the S&P South Africa DSW Index over a one-year period and that the group’s performance was also poor over three- and five-year periods, as 80% and 77% underperformed the benchmark, respectively.
Meanwhile, 77% of actively managed global equity funds trailed the S&P Global 1200 Index. This number increased to 96% and 93% over a three- and five-year period.
However, 87% of actively managed short-term bonds beat the STeFI Composite Index over a one-year period. This figure dropped slightly over three- and five-year periods to 73% and 79%, respectively.
But diversified actively managed funds had a tougher time with 83% underperforming the JSE/ASSA ALBI Index over a one-year period, a dramatic drop in performance compared with the three- and five-year periods where these numbers were 43% and 57%, respectively.
Cash robberies will rise in April
Shoppers are being asked to be vigilant this Easter and on other public holidays as cash robberies are set to increase in April, according to Cash Connect Management Solutions. “All indications suggest that the retail sector experienced an increase of 150% in robberies in 2016. In the same period, the use of plastic explosives in attempts to steal from cash deposit devices increased by over 400%.
“We can reasonably expect to see a spike in business crime in April as consumers go on holiday and the volume of cash increases at retail stores throughout the country,” said Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions.
Phillips said that trends showed that syndicates attack in groups of six to 12 armed men, with armed robberies as the highest number of attacks, closely followed by business burglaries.
“The common use of plastic explosives in the execution of an armed robbery against cash deposit devices and the dramatic increase in this kind of attack suggest that criminals are enjoying an abnormally high degree of success and that many of the devices in use are not strong enough to offer the type of resistance necessary to discourage them,” he said.
Long4Life lists on the JSE
Long4Life, a new investment company launched by Bidvest and Bidcorp founder Brian Joffe, listed on the JSE’s Main Board this month in the financial services – specialty finance sector. Long4Life said it would pursue investments predominantly with a lifestyle focus, including businesses sectors such as beauty, outdoor, sport, retirement villages, and restaurants, among others.
The company raised R2 billion in its initial private offering (IPO) through the listing of just over 405 million ordinary shares. The IPO was open to institutional investors and Joffe provided R100 million of the initial capital himself.
“This listing is the start of Long4Life’s exciting journey. It brings together a group of dedicated people with unique skills that offer investors a distinctive proposition, leveraging a collective and outstanding entrepreneurial track record established over an extended period to identify, acquire and grow businesses, and thereby generate exceptional value for all stakeholders. We are looking forward to sharing this journey with our new shareholders and partners,” said Joffe, whose role will be that of CEO.