Today I came across announcements and articles on Discovery(DSY). Interestingly the second article I noticed was that Discovery has announced that all their employees are to be vaccinated by January but this is a discussion for another time.

What I did take note of was the article on Moneyweb which stated that DSY has “scrapped its annual dividend again” and went further to state that “it (DSY) may have to raise equity capital to cover costs linked to its investment in China’s Ping An”.

Here is the link to the article published on Moneyweb on the 2nd of SEPTEMBER 2021 (Discovery scraps dividend, flags possible capital raise - Moneyweb)

DSY has not paid a dividend since the COVID-19 Pandemic took hold in 2020, and the article also refers to the fact that DSY also stated that the uncertainty surrounding the impact of the pandemic meant that dividend payments would be withheld for now.

Further along the article reports that DSY would require a further R1.5 billion more in capital to meet regulatory requirements when referencing DSY’s partnership with Ping An in China. Apparently DSY CEO Adrian Gore stated that this capital would be sourced through capital raising rather than debt.

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There are many inherent risks when investing in the stock market, however, one such risk that is often ignored or misunderstood is that investors regularly need to interpret vague or ambiguous information to make an investment decision. This is all too often reflected in models and forecasts in a systematically incorrect way which causes the stock price to deviate from fundamentals.

The Human Factor (hereafter referred to as the H-Factor) is an actuarially based portfolio tool, developed by New York-based asset managers New Age Alpha, aimed at mitigating the risk of this human behaviour. The strategy comprises developing probabilities which indicate the chance of a listed company NOT being able to achieve the growth implied by its current share price.

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Standard Bank (SBK) wants to pull the trigger and buy Liberty (LBH)
But will they be able to deliver on the growth implied in their share price?
And what about the potential interim dividend to shareholders announced in June?

I have picked up a number of articles in the last few days in a number of publications, but as many of you know who read my ramblings in these articles  I tend to refer to Moneyweb so here is the link to the article published on Moneyweb on the 16th of July 2021 (Standard Bank + Liberty: Is bancassurance back? - Moneyweb)

STANDARD BANK is Africa’s largest lender by assets and now in accordance to the articles I have read would like to buy out the minority shareholders of insurance group Liberty.

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South Africa’s “go to” store, SPAR posted their half year results to March 31, 2021 a few days ago. The results were fair and despite ongoing uncertainty around the effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic, The SPAR Group (SGRP) declared an interim gross cash dividend of 280 cents per share.

The above and further comments are based on the article published on Moneyweb on the 25th of May  Switzerland and Ireland shine for Spar, but Southern African growth slows - Moneyweb

In the article it states that The SPAR Group, which owns grocery and wholesale businesses in South Africa, several other African Countries and also in Switzerland, Poland and Ireland have posted a positive set of interim results for the half-year ending March 31, 2021.

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Some old time investors say that one should always hold shares in banks, casinos and in companies that produce booze. These are companies that always make money, come rain or shine.

This article is about 2 alcoholic beverage producers, one onshore and the other offshore.

I recently found this article published on Moneyweb on the 18th of May  Heineken considers takeover of brewer Distell - Moneyweb

In the article it states that Heineken, the second biggest beer producer in the world, is “in talks” about taking over African wine and spirits maker, Distell. Distell, as the article reports, “is considering its options”.

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According to this article published on FIN24 on the 10th of May 2021  Clicks to buy Pick n Pay pharmacies | Fin24 ( Clicks is going to buy the Pick n Pay Pharmacies.

In the article the Pick n Pay Chief Operating Officer, Adrian Naudé said that the future key objectives of Pick n Pay do not include the development of a Pharmacy Division.

Clicks has the largest retail pharmacy network in South Africa and with this deal Clicks will increase its footprint to 632 pharmacies and in contrast to Pick n Pay’s strategy Clicks claim that 50% of the country’s population live within 6 kilometers of a Clicks Pharmacy and with the Pick n Pay deal, Clicks aims to improve this statistic according to the Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder, as quoted in the above-mentioned article.

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Facebook (FB) is a company with an interesting pedigree. Started by a computer whiz kid, Mark Zuckerberg, who created a social media platform that seems to be on everybody’s device. My 15-year-old son keeps asking me why I use FB, I respond to him that I use FB because “everybody is on FB!” His response to me is something along the lines of “No dad, just you boomers are on FB!”.

As a business though, FB is a phenomenal company, it is a worldwide brand, and it is one of
the “FANMAGS” (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Google) which influence the direction
of the Tech heavy NASDAQ index.

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Netflix over the past few years has become part of every avid TV viewer’s life. Many of us are subscribers and we find that the content is just so much better than our previous satellite TV content provider. In addition, anything on Netflix is available on demand when we want it, no more waiting for our next favourite series episode to be aired in accordance with a prescribed schedule. With this convenience arrived a new phenomenon known as “binge watching” where some of us would do nothing on a weekend but binge watch through a whole season of a series. I have even heard of someone taking leave to watch all the seasons of a series!

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According to this article on Moneyweb sun-international-pummelled-to-r1bn-headline-loss  Sun International (SUI) has posted a R1 billion headline loss in its latest set of results.

Yes, the reasons for this are rather obvious. The Pandemic hit and the long lockdown and alcohol prohibitions that came with it, hurt the leisure and conferencing industry hard. Add to that the meeting technology that applications like ZOOM and Microsoft Teams make it look as if the conference industry will never recover to the levels it was pre-lockdown.

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There are an increasing number of individuals looking to expatriate their local funds (in rands) to foreign currency (US dollars, UK pounds, euros etc). This is for a host of reasons such as:

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