Top reads on Fin24: Calls for Steinhoff to account to Parliament and shame for SA dirty power plant

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Cape Town – ICYMI: A roundup of Tuesday’s must-read financial and economic news.

Finance committee lashes out at Steinhoff as its share price stages partial comeback

Parliament’s oversight committee on finance has said it is “outraged at what has happened at Steinhoff and utterly condemns the company’s behaviour”.

The committee’s chairperson Yunus Carrim (ANC) said the committee would call Steinhoff representatives, and other stakeholders, to appear before Parliament in late January 2018. 

This is a move supported by the DA’s finance spokesperson David Maynier, who sits on the committee. 

READ: Parliament’s finance committee lashes out at Steinhoff

Meanwhile shares in the Stellenbosch-headquartered company extended their price gains on Tuesday, after fallings to lows of just R6 on Friday. 

By 16:50 on Tuesday, Steinhoff shares were trading up 25% on the day at R11.70.

But the shares are still over 70% down on where they were trading last Tuesday afternoon, before news of Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste’s shock resignation amid an accounting scandal sent its stock into a precipitous decline.

Steinhoff may also have to sell some of its profitable assets to raise the cash it needs to keep running the rest of the company, said Thandeka Zondi, director of strategy at Johannesburg-based auditing firm SekelaXabiso.

READ: Steinhoff shares stage partial comeback, still down 70% in a week

M&G gets new US owner as Trevor Ncube passes on baton

The Mail & Guardian has been acquired by the New York-based Media Development Investment Fund, and that its longtime publisher Trevor Ncube has left the company.

The fund has become the majority shareholder of M&G Media Limited, and M&G’s Chief Executive Officer Hoosain Karjieker a minority shareholder.

Ncube, the newspaper’s former publisher, said in a statement he was “regrettably” no longer in a position to invest in the newspaper. 

“My partner for 14 years, the MDIF, under the leadership of Harlan Mandel have put forward a compelling case plan that will ensure the survival of the M&G well into the future,” he said. 

READ: M&G gets new US owner as Trevor Ncube passes on baton

Top 10 countdown to the best phones of 2017

2017 will go down as one of the most exciting for phones, with the launch of a number of surprise devices building on the best features of previous smartphone models.

The year had it all, showing what nostalgia cellphone can evoke, and also how users can still be impressed by never-seen-before features in a smartphone.

Fin24 has compiled a list of phones released in 2017, which includes Apple’s latest iphone range, the Nokia 3310 remake and Huawei mobile’s to name a few.

READ: Top 10 countdown to the best phones of 2017

Personal income tax revenue dwindles

Returns from personal income tax have moderated over the years, mainly due to the slowing economy, according to a report by the South African Revenue Service and National Treasury.

The 10th annual edition of tax statistics was released on Tuesday, and provides an overview of tax revenue collections and tax information for 2013 to 2016.

Speaking at a briefing on the report, SARS research head Dr Randall Carolissen said revenue for the 2016/17 year came to R1.144trn, having grown 6.9% from the previous year. Over the past 10 years, since the 2007 to 2008 fiscal year, revenue growth has come to R8.13trn.

Personal income tax, which could be relied upon in the past to boost revenues, grew below past levels of 12%, recording growth of 9.4%. It remains the biggest contributor to revenue at 37.2%.

READ: Personal income tax revenue dwindles as SA economy slows

SA power plant listed 4th dirtiest in world’s ‘Dirty Dozen’

Power plant

South Africa’s Thabametsi project has been listed as one of the “Dirty Dozen projects”, twelve fossil fuel projects worldwide environmental groups say exemplify the massive volumes of public finances still flowing to fossil fuel projects, which are driving climate change.

The list comes as world leaders and global financial institutions gathered on Tuesday for the One Planet Summit in Paris, organised by President Emmanuel Macron and the French government.

On the fringes of the conference, civil society groups came together under the Big Shift Global campaign to highlight the massive finance gap remaining to shift away from fossil fuels towards clean energy, in line with the aim of the Paris Agreement on climate change to limit warming to below 2°C.

The conference will celebrate the second anniversary of the historic agreement.

READ: SA power plant listed 4th dirtiest in world’s ‘Dirty Dozen’

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