The bad debt bo­gey

Hopes of re­cov­ery marred by legacy is­sues

Finweek English Edition - - Letters -

SOUTH AFRICAN in­vestors will gain an ear­lier than ex­pected in­sight into the health of do­mes­tic con­sumers and lo­cal com­pa­nies when Absa re­ports its fi­nan­cial re­sults on Mon­day – more than a week ear­lier than had been slated. It fol­lows a de­ci­sion by par­ent Bar­clays plc to bring for­ward its own re­sults pre­sen­ta­tion in an ef­fort to pla­cate the nerves of jit­tery in­vestors con­cerned that the Bri­tish­based group is in need of fresh cap­i­tal and a pos­si­ble gov­ern­ment bail-out.

All eyes will be on South Africa’s bad debt lev­els af­ter Bar­clays re­vealed last week its im­pair­ments world­wide would rise to a stag­ger­ing £8bn.

While Bar­clays strug­gles in global mar­kets, it’s clear the en­vi­ron­ment in SA has also de­te­ri­o­rated sig­nif­i­cantly over the past year, not only for in­di­vid­u­als but also for com­pa­nies. Re­cent of­fi­cial re­tail sales fig­ures, plus

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