| Top 5 on Fin24: Govt says unions agree to wage deal ‘in principle‘ and rand back to bad old ways

Cape Town – A roundup of Monday‘s top economic and finance reads on Fin24.

Dlodlo a no show at wage briefing, govt still getting union signatures

The department of public service and administration said “in principle” unions have agreed to the public sector wage agreement, but no deal has been signed.

Minister of Public Service and Administration Ayanda Dlodlo was not at a briefing on Monday. She was meant to share government’s position on the public sector wage negotiations.

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What Cape Town property owners should learn from Johannesburg valuation hikes

Cape Town property owners can learn from other regions like Johannesburg, where, earlier this year, residents were faced with property valuation increases – some ranging from 60% to 500%.   

“Doing your homework now could make a real difference. Unwelcome surprises could have a very negative impact. If you don’t arm yourself with information now, you will struggle to defend your position next year. More importantly, you will be living with the consequences for the next four years,” says Gary Palmer, CEO of Paragon Lending Solutions.

The municipal valuation increases in Johannesburg come into effect in July this year. They are expected to impact monthly rates bills, influencing the cost of services such as water, refuse removal and electricity.

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Rand is back to its bad old ways

Bearish signs are stacking up for the rand. Volatility is rising and with it the cost of protecting against a weakening currency, short positioning is soaring and foreigners are fleeing South African bonds at a rate last seen 18 years ago.

After outperforming emerging-market peers for much of the year, the rand is falling into line as rising US Treasury yields spark dollar strength, damping demand for riskier assets.

The loical currency is down 5.6% against the dollar over the past month, and more pain is in store as the currency resumes its mantle as one of the most volatile developing nations, according to strategists at Nedbank Group.

“Our view for a weaker rand is now materialising, but we must admit that we are surprised by the speed at which it is taking place,” said Mehul Daya, a Johannesburg-based strategist at Nedbank.

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Glencore said to be near R12.78bn deal for Chevron‘s Cape Town refinery

Glencore is close to a $1bn deal to buy Chevron’s southern African assets, potentially scuppering an earlier agreement with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The Switzerland-based miner and trader will complete the deal within the next six weeks, said one of the people who asked not to be identified because the information is not public.

The assets include a 100 000 barrel-a-day refinery in Cape Town and more than 800 gas stations in South Africa and neighbouring Botswana.

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Super-rich hunt for trophies leads to R38bn in sales

Global buyers have dropped nearly $3bn on art in New York in two weeks, a record haul rooted in a billionaire thirst for trophies, Chinese purchasing power and growing diversification.

Christie‘s chalked up $1.79bn in sales, including every single item from the iconic collection of the late David and Peggy Rockefeller which, for the first time, spread their flagship May sales across two weeks.

Sotheby‘s sold $859m, including $157.2m for a Modigliani nude – the most expensive lot of the season, after Christie‘s last November smashed records by selling a single Leonardo da Vinci for $450.3m.

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