The last quarter under review saw the JSE finish better than it had traded during the quarter, ending on 75712. The local and global markets enjoyed some positivity, as central banks kept interest rates on hold. There is a glimmer of hope that inflation, globally, may be getting under control, which could in time, lead to interest rate cuts. This will provide some relief for consumers who have debt in the form of mortgages, bonds, overdrafts and financed loans.  The cost of living, combined with the increased repayment rates have added significant pressure to household cash flows. During the quarter, the Rand showed some resilience against major currencies.

In South Africa, power interruptions continue to constrain economic growth and the infrastructural decline has become even more evident with the snarl up of our ports, making importing and exporting that much more difficult. The political pressures coming to bear on the ANC due to non-payment of service providers shows a complete lack of financial discipline within the ruling party, which is glaringly evident across all state and municipal department financial structures. As we look forward to an election year, one can only hope that the voters come out in numbers to vote for a positive change, although it remains to be seen whether or not some of our political parties have the maturity to govern in coalitions. There are good examples of how some municipalities are getting things right, both under coalitions, as well as accountable individuals who are returning some municipalities to financially stable, productive entities.

The continued exodus of listed companies from the JSE is a concern as prescriptive laws govern business ownership structures, forcing BEE transformation and black empowerment mandates that negatively affect businesses and overseas investment.  With the political winds of change blowing, we hope to see amendments to these laws so they are not the strategic thrust of the ruling party, but rather a more inclusive approach being adopted.

The continuation of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine has seen this war dragging on, although with the onset of the Northern Hemisphere winter, it is likely that this conflict will reach a stale mate until the thaw early next year. The development of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict during the quarter caused markets to fall and one can only pray for peace in this region.

China’s lackluster economic growth during the period under review and continued aggressive regulatory oversight of the economy has caused concern amongst international investors, particularly in regards to some of the tech companies, where the communist party has appointed members to the respective Boards in order to ensure the Peoples Party’s oversight of these entities.

The US has seen some positive returns in the indices driven mainly by the magnificent seven i.e. the big tech stocks in the US.  If one strips out the returns, the Nasdaq index would be flat to slightly negative, which indicates a significant over reliance on these companies to continue to grow their consumer bases or risk missing expectations.

Below is a breakdown of how the International Bourses have fared:

The below graph tracks the performance of the Rand against the US Dollar over a seven year period:

The below graphs track the performance of the JSE All Share Index over a seven year period:  

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients for their continued engagement with regards to compliance related issues as well as the team at Ewing’s, who have managed to stay on top of a new complex compliance environment. We will be continually monitoring new developments, particularly around the greylisting of South Africa and the efforts to be removed from this list, as it would help enormously with the flow of business between our international trading partners.

The global community’s compliance regimes have recently published an article, highlighting where the South African efforts have significantly reduced the number of concerns that were originally raised.  Hopefully, South Africa is able to continue to focus on this goal, despite the distractions of the looming election year.

Our office will be closed between Christmas and New Year and will reopen on the 2 January 2024.  We take this opportunity to wish our extended investment family a peaceful and safe festive season.


Thank you for uploading your documents