Business

  • Rand has one of its worst days in 2018

    Rand has one of its worst days in 2018



    “We haven’t seen the rand lose as much ground as it did yesterday for the whole of 2018,” says TreasuryOne’s Andre Botha.

    Click here to read the full text by Staff Writer

  • Finance: Alaska Airlines is joining Delta, American, and United and launching a basic-economy class — but the cheap tickets come with a catch (ALK)

    Finance: Alaska Airlines is joining Delta, American, and United and launching a basic-economy class — but the cheap tickets come with a catch (ALK)



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    Alaska Airlines expects its new Saver Fare tickets to generate $100 million of revenue in 2019.

    • Alaska Airlines announced that it is going to offer a new discount fare class beginning this fall the Saver Fare.
    • Saver Fare tickets will not be changeable or concealable and those who hold these tickets are not eligible for upgrades.
    • In addition, those traveling with these tickets will board the plane last and will be assigned to seats at the back of the plane.

    Alaska Airlines announced on Monday at that it is going to begin selling discount no-frills tickets called Saver Fares.

    The low-priced tickets are not changeable or cancellable and will not be eligible for upgrades, Alaska Airlines chief commercial officer, Andrew Harrison announced on the company's Q1 2018 earnings call.

    Those traveling on Saver Fare tickets will also board last and will be seated at the back of the plane. Alaska Airlines expects Saver Fares, which will go on sale this fall, to drive as much as $100 million in revenue in 2019.

    Alaska's Saver Fare tickets will function in a similar manner to the unbundled no-frills basic economy fares offered by American, Delta, and United Airlines. However, Alaska was not immediately available to comment on whether carry-on bags will be allowed on board for Saver Fare tickets holders.

    Alaska Airlines is also going to implement several new product and policy changes between now and June. Changes include offering exit row seats for sales, dynamic pricing for premium seatings, implementing new technology to better manage revenue, and the elimination of fee waivers for reservation changes made more than 60 days before a trip.

    These additional changes are expected to drive $20 million in revenue this year and another $50 million next year.

    On Monday, Alaska Air Group announced a Q1 profit of $18 million, down from the $124 million the company reported last year during the same period. On April, 25, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will complete the merger of their operations at which point the Virgin America brand will be retired.

    Click here to read the full text by Benjamin Zhang

  • How much lawyers earn in South Africa in 2018

    How much lawyers earn in South Africa in 2018



    According to New World Wealth’s latest report, a large number of South Africa’s wealthiest population studied a Bachelor of law or obtained a higher legal qualification.

    Click here to read the full text by Staff Writer

  • Finance: Google-parent Alphabet is rising after its earnings report (GOOGL)

    Finance: Google-parent Alphabet is rising after its earnings report (GOOGL)



    Alphabet Google stock price earnings per share

    The search giant beat analyst expectations for earnings and revenue.

    • Alphabet reported first quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations on Monday.
    • The stock is surging after-hours.
    • Follow Alphabet's stock price in real-time here.

    Shares of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, surged as much as 4% after the company reported first quarter earnings that beat expectations, but then quickly retreated back to gains of less than 1%.

    For the first quarter of 2018, the search engine giant posted adjusted earnings of $13.33 per share where analysts had expected $9.30, on revenues (ex-traffic acquisition costs) of $24.9 billion, where analysts had expected $24.5 billion.

    "Our ongoing strong revenue growth reflects our momentum globally, up 26% versus the first quarter of 2017 and 23% on a constant currency basis to $31.1 billion," said CFO Ruth Porat in a press release. "We have a clear set of exciting opportunities ahead, and our strong growth enables us to invest in them with confidence."

    Shares of Alphabet are flat for 2018 so far as worries about online privacy and regulatory risks weigh on the stock.

    "If there is structural risk rising to the leading Internet Platforms, it is likely to come from government," RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said in a note ahead of the earnings report. "And that risk does seem to be rising. Based on numerous discussions with investors, we believe the market may be under-appreciating the regulatory risk facing GOOGL."

    This is the first earnings season since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump. Like many other companies reporting this quarter, Alphabet said its effective tax rate dropped, from 20% last year to 11% for the first quarter.

    The report was also Wall Street's first look into Google's Nest business, the smart-thermostat and other digital home appliances maker that it bought for $3.2 billion in 2014. The unit $112 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2018, it said.

    Click here to read the full text by Graham Rapier

  • How much you could be paying for a car in South Africa in 10 years’ time

    How much you could be paying for a car in South Africa in 10 years’ time



    A new report from Old Mutual shows how much more you can expect to pay for a car, university and medical fees over the next 10 years.

    Click here to read the full text by Staff Writer

  • Finance: The 10-year is getting really close to the key 3% level

    Finance: The 10-year is getting really close to the key 3% level



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    The 10-year hasn't hit 3% since January 2014.

    • The 10-year yield is up 2 basis points at 2.98%.
    • It hasn't touched 3% since January 2014.
    • Wall Street has been watching the 3% level closely, because a breakout above that level could hurt stocks.

    The 10-year yield is closing in on the key 3% level. Modest selling on Monday has the yield up 2 basis points at 2.98%. It has not hit 3% since January 8, 2014.

    The 10-year fell from a high of 2.95% in February to a low of 2.71% in March. It has been grinding higher since President Donald Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum at the beginning of March.

    But that rally intensified last week, with the 10-year climbing 15 basis points since Wednesday as data out last week showed the tariffs were causing prices to perk up.

    First, the Fed's Beige Book pointed to growing inflation worries. "There were widespread reports that steel prices rose, sometimes dramatically, due to the new tariff," the Fed said.

    Then, the Philly Fed's prices paid index surged on the back of President Donald Trump announcing tariffs. "Price increases for purchased inputs were reported by 59 percent of the manufacturers this month, up notably from 44 percent in March," the report said.

    That has prompted more talk the Federal Reserve could hike rates as many as four times this year. It has previously said it sees three rate hike in 2018.

    The 3% level has been closely watched on Wall Street because of the implications a breach could have on the stock market.

    Jeff Gundlach, the founder of DoubleLine Capital, forecast in January that returns on the S&P 500 this year would be negative, and said that his forecast "would become an extraordinarily strong conviction as the 10-year starts to make an accelerated move above 3%."

    And a breakout is possible if we get to 3%.

    "With 10y Treasury yields above the 2.95% YTD high, the market is setting up for a break above 3.00%," Morgan Stanley strategist Matthew Hornbach wrote in a note to clients on Friday. "A break above 3.00% suggests 3.25%, while failure suggests a retest of 2.70%."

    Click here to read the full text by Jonathan Garber

  • The world’s best and worst nationalities in 2018 – including South Africa

    The world’s best and worst nationalities in 2018 – including South Africa



    The latest Henley & Partners Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index ranks the top nationalities in the world.

    Click here to read the full text by Staff Writer

  • Finance: Porsche officials have been charged with doctoring emissions results to make cars meet Korea’s environment standards

    Finance: Porsche officials have been charged with doctoring emissions results to make cars meet Korea’s environment standards



    Porsche cars

    Porsche is owned by Volkswagen, a company that ran an emissions cheating scandal that ended up costing the company $25 billion.

    • Officials from Porsche AG South Korea have been charged with falsifying gas emissions documents.
    • The Volkswagen-owned company also faced raids and a reported arrest in Germany last week.
    • Volkswagen's emissions scandal cost the company $25 billion in the US alone.
    • South Korea is currently targeting Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz for years of emissions cheating.

    Three officials from Porsche AG in South Korea have been charged with falsifying gas emissions documents.

    The charges relate to the doctoring of gas emission test results on Porsche cars so as to receive local government certification between 2014 and 2015. Porsche, which is owned by Volkswagen, sold 2,000 units of those models up until February 2017, according to Yonhap.

    The officials were also charged with violation of environmental laws and obstruction of business in Seoul on Monday. They are not currently being held in detention.

    The indictments follow a raid of Porsche's offices in Germany last week investigating the company and three current and former employees for knowing the engines by sister brand Audi had been manipulated. A senior executive was reportedly arrested.

    "We reject these allegations and will do our utmost to clear up the matter," Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told staff in a memo, seen by Reuters.

    Nearly three years ago it emerged Volkswagen had rigged millions of diesel-powered cars to cheat on emissions tests around the world. The company admitted to equipping nearly 11 million cars with software that cheated the emissions tests.

    In the US the company has paid fines, penalties, compensation, and fees of more than $25 billion. The company pleaded guilty and so too did executives and employees.

    South Korea has also been active in targeting misleading behaviour by Volkswagen and other automotive manufacturers.

    The environment ministry last year announced it would fine BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche a collective $63.1 million for violating emissions rules.

    Prosecutors have already indicted six current and former officials from BMW Korea for falsifying records since 2011 and, according to Yonhap, an investigation into Mercedes-Benz is ongoing.

    Click here to read the full text by Tara Francis Chan

  • How much it costs Eskom to collect a single electricity meter reading

    How much it costs Eskom to collect a single electricity meter reading



    Electricity meters are have long been a point of contention in South Africa, with numerous horror stories as to meters which incorrectly tracked usage or were incorrectly read.

    Click here to read the full text by Staff Writer

  • Finance: 'The market is robust:' Goldman Sachs-backed Circle doubles minimum bitcoin trade size to $500,000

    Finance: 'The market is robust:' Goldman Sachs-backed Circle doubles minimum bitcoin trade size to $500,000



    happy trader

    Circle Trade, the trading operation of Circle, has increased their minimum ticket size to $500,000.

    • Circle Trade, the trading operation of Circle, has increased its minimum ticket size on bitcoin trades to $500,000 from $250,000.
    • The move comes during a trading lull in the market for digital currencies across crypto exchange venues.
    • Chief executive Jeremy Allaire told Business Insider the size of block trades has grown significantly since the beginning of the year.

    Trading activity at one of the largest cryptocurrency trading shops is picking up despite a lull across exchanges that trade crypto.

    In an interview with Business Insider, Circle chief executive Jeremy Allaire said the size of block trades made by Circle Trade, the firm's over-the-counter trading desk, has grown since the beginning of the year. The firm has also doubled the size of its minimum crypto trades from $250,000 to $500,000, according to Allaire.

    That's despite a sharp decline in cryptocurrency trading volumes across retail exchanges. Per data from CoinMarketCap, 24-hour trading volumes are down to about $20 billion a day from all-time highs near $70 billion at the beginning of the year.

    But "the market is robust" for Circle.

    "The minimum ticket size has moved up to $500,000 with an average of $1 million," Allaire said.

    Some transactions, according to Allaire, are larger than $100 million.

    "That watermark will continue to rise," Allaire said.

    OTC trading occurs off exchange venues, such as Coinbase's GDAX or Kraken, for instance. The point of such desks is to provide a platform for high-net-worth crypto-holders and institutions to make large trades without impacting the broader market.

    As an alternative to crypto-exchanges, they typically have deeper liquidity to support such transactions. One industry insider told Business Insider that deeper liquidity in OTC markets has played into the growth of a number of trading shops.

    "If I have $5 million, I can't do that trade on GDAX," the person said.

    OTC desks can also provide a more secure alternative to crypto exchanges, which are known for hacks and outages.

    Circle, which counts investment bank Goldman Sachs as a a strategic backer, trades more than $2 billion in cyptocurency a month. It recently expanded its operations in Asia, Bloomberg reported.

    Recently, Circle announced it acquired Poloniex, a cryptocurrency exchange. It plans to scale the business by bringing it to new markets, adding the number of coins on its platform, and enabling fiat-to-crypto transactions.

    Elsewhere in the cypto OTC market, DRW's Cumberland operates a trading desk. Kraken, as Business Insider first reported, recently launched their own, too.

    A person familiar with operations at Genesis, another cryptocurrency trading shop, told Business Insider its average trade size has increased to about $300,000. The company trades $1 to $2 billion a month, the person said.

    Click here to read the full text by Frank Chaparro

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