An overview of the SADAC payments structure for low value remittances, connecting mobile networks to enable regional transfers and remittances, clearing and settlements, remittances pricing, exchange control and anti-money laundering, are some of the topics to be addressed at the upcoming Cross Border Remittances and Money Transfers Conference. The conference will be held on 15 & 16 March 2017 at the Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Johannesburg. The speaker panel consists of experts in the field of remittances and money transfers and include Era Gunning, Senior Associate: Banking & Finance, ENS Africa, Rishi Pillay, CEO, FSS Technologies Africa; Rachal Balsham, Deputy CEO, MFS Africa; Hester Herbst, Exchange Control & Surveillance Specialist, Investec; Andrew Mugari, Head: e-Banking & Card Services, ZB Financial Holdings (Zimbabwe); Richard Kettley, Director, Genesis Analytics; Nico Agenbag, Head: Interbank Processing, Standard Bank and Arthur Cousins, Head of Project Coordination: SADC Payments Association. According to Trade Conferences International (TCI) MD, Ryno van Ellewee,this is the third time that the event will be showcased. With more than 300 conferences organised since its inception in 2002, TCI is well placed to bring delegates an informative event with top class speakers. He said registering to attend this event will not only allow you networking time with like minded professionals, but will give delegates the opportunity gain knowledge and understanding of the remittances and money transfers landscape in the SADC region. Professional dealing with the following will benefit from attending this conference: remittances, mobile payments, clearing & settlement, regulation, anti-money laundering, fraud, financial crime, interbank payments, exchange control, compliance, cross border transactions, money transfers and international payments. This is a must attend event for anyone who wants to know more the remittances landscape in . . .
Is your organisation still stuck in the old way of operating in the insurance industry? Would you like to be part of the digitally transformed world of insurance? Let that marinade in your mind. The insurance industry is shifting towards a digital world due to the high level of dependency by customers on the internet to purchase products and services. Trade Conferences International – South Africa’s leading financial conference organisers – will be hosting the Digitisation in Insurance 2017. The Digitisation in insurance conference will address key topics which will help organisations to implement new strategies which will assist them to adapt to the disruption of digital in insurance. Digital transformation is posing a challenge for insurance companies to the point where change must happen without interrupting the daily flow of business operations. Digitisation in Insurance conference 2017 is set to offer attendees with valuable information, latest trends, innovations and strategies on how to place themselves in the forefront of adapting to the digital disruption. Following the success of previous insurance related conferences such as Insurance Claims and Digital Mobility in Insurance 2016, TCI is proudly hosting another informative conference that will promote professional conduct in the call centre industry. The Digitisation in Insurance 2017 will take place on 15 & 16 March 2017 at Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Johannesburg. For more information, contact the project manager: Xavier Dipedi: email@example.com For exhibition and sponsorship opportunities tailored for you, contact Marketing, Communications & Operations Coordinator: Jason Joseph: Jason@tci-sa.co.za Alternatively call (011) 803 1553 CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec 12 2016: African Financial Group (AFG), through its subsidiary AFG Wealth, is pleased to announce that it has launched innovative investment products that target investors seeking maximum exposure to superior returns, while simultaneously promoting the transformation of the South African economy. “The increase in black middle class creates opportunities for building a foundation for intergenerational wealth using modern financial instruments. This will also help speed up wealth accumulation and ownership of the economy by black people,” said AFG chairman Dr Gil Mahlati. “We have created investment vehicles that are designed to pool savings in black communities, while investing the capital in fast-growing companies that also embrace transformation. AFG’s strategy of building wealth for previously excluded groups through mobilising savings, with astute asset management, goes a long way to augment the current approach of raising debt to buy minority stakes in white-owned companies.” For investors looking to partake in accelerated wealth accumulation, AFG has designed products that are expected to generate superior investment returns from a range of asset classes, including shares, bonds, property and cash. The products have been designed to suit the pockets and needs of diverse individual investors. High-net-worth individuals can invest in direct share portfolios, whereby investors with investable assets of up to R5 million can invest a lump sum of at least R500 000. Other clients can invest in unit trusts that require monthly contributions of no less than R2 000 or a lump sum of no less than R100 000. AFG has developed indices that track companies with the highest levels of transformation, but at the same time generate decent returns. These indices will give investors exposure to both. “AFG Wealth will invest the bulk of the funds in listed shares to give black investors exposure to the compounding growth power of . . .
Johannesburg- There is no better way to test your knowledge and get updated with the latest retail and online payments developments, than by attending the Payment Ecosystems & Gateways Conference 2017. Branded as the most updated and innovated payments conference in Southern Africa, this event will highlight the current payment ecosystems landscape, payment innovation, processing trends & technologies, payment gateways, mobile commerce driving mobile payments, security, risk management and many more. The Payment Ecosystems & Gateways Conference will take place on the 22 & 23 February 2017 at the Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Johannesburg. Previous attendees of this revolutionary event have hailed the conference to be a sought after platform comprising of networking opportunities, excellent panellists and informative topics with expert discussions on industry developments. This year’s conference will be addressed by over 16 industry leading speakers examining the payment ecosystems and gateways landscape. Professionals dealing with online payments, eCommerce, mCommerce, mobile payments, payment gateways, payment ecosystems, technology, innovation, processing, API’s, blockchain, risk management, customer relationship management, information technology, digital banking, technology enablement, business development eChannels, corporate and investment banking as well as security and fraud will benefit from attending the event. Normal fee per delegate is R 8 700.00 + VAT = R 9 918.00 p.p 12% Discount for 3 or more delegates: R7 656.00 + VAT = R8 727.84 p.p. (Save over R1000 p.p.) 20% Discount for 5 or more delegates: R6 960.00 + VAT = R7 934.40 p.p. (Save over R1500 p.p.) To register as a delegate email Michandre Malan on firstname.lastname@example.org. Exhibition enquiries are handled by Jason Joseph Jason@tci-sa.co.za, or call both on 011 803 1553. Otherwise visit www.tci-sa.co.za or www.financialconference.co.za for more information. CLICK HERE . . .
Everyone knows the saying “too little too late”. But when it comes to debt review, when is it too late to apply? Debt review or debt counselling is a process in terms of the National Credit Act, Act 34 of 2005, where a consumer who is over-indebted (a consumer who is unable to satisfy timeously all the obligations under all the credit agreements to which the consumer is a party to) applies to a debt counsellor to assist him or her in restructuring his or her debt with credit providers by reducing the monthly instalment and extending the term of the credit agreement. According to statistics, approximately 54% of all credit-active consumers are over-indebted with some statistics saying it is more than 60%. These over indebted consumers are likely to have legal action instituted against them by credit providers. Before credit providers are however allowed to institute legal action they must send a notification in terms of Section 129 of the National Credit Act advising consumers of the default and informing them to approach a debt counsellor, ombud or consumer court within 10 days. After the 10 days the credit provider may institute legal action by issuing summons. As soon as summons is served on a specific account, that account cannot form part of the debt review. Consumers are therefore advised to seek debt counselling assistance as soon as they realise they are struggling to satisfy their obligations under credit agreement and definitely as soon as they receive a Section 129 letter. The advantages of applying for debt review is that credit providers cannot issue summons after the debt review process has been initiated and they must act in good faith and participate in the debt review process. During the debt review process the debt counsellor will negotiate a reduced instalment and can even negotiate a reduced interest rate. This new agreement or proposal will then be referred to court to be made an order of court for the consumer’s . . .
The Valuator Group, an accredited, multi-faceted, boutique valuation company operating throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, has recently opened an office in Dubai, identifying the huge opportunities offered by the region as a significant deciding factor. The last three decades have seen a dramatic change in Dubai, which has become a major business centre boasting a diversified and dynamic economy. Its strategic location, excellent infrastructure, international standing and open-minded government policies are attracting investors in a big way. Activities such as trade, transport, industry, finance and tourism have shown consistent growth and have assisted the economy to achieve a high level of expansion. Commenting on the decision to position themselves in the UAE, Gavin Commins, CEO of The Valuator Group, says, “The stability of the country continues to attract more entrepreneurs and foreign capital to the UAE, with many middle-eastern investors investing in Africa. We want to ‘hold their hands’ in the investment process in substantiating asset identification, verification and values.” Besides targeting a wide spectrum of clients, the group’s initial focus will be on the burgeoning hospitality sector, to which Dubai and Abu Dhabi are committed, as can be seen by the expansion of Emirates Airlines, the building of theme parks and major hotel chains in the region, and the hosting of the next World Expo in 2020 - all of which have played a vital role in the growth of Dubai’s economy. The company has already carried out several valuation assignments in the region. Recently appointed CEO of The Valuator Group UAE in Dubai, Darrin Raniga, says, “We will be offering market (Open Market Value) and replacement cost (Estimated New Replacement Cost) valuations with a particular focus on insurance.” The group’s strength lies in their multi-faceted offering covering all valuation expertise from land and buildings, luxury yachts and boats, light . . .
Johannesburg, November 2016: Steyn City in association with Auto & General celebrated the fifth anniversary of its community care initiative, Delivering Happiness to Diepsloot, on 16 November, with an event that spread joy to more children than ever before. Steyn City CEO Giuseppe Plumari explains that the project was initially conceptualised as a vehicle for providing support to the children living in the lifestyle resort’s neighbouring township. “This was important to us,” he states, “because we believe that Steyn City needs to have an improving effect on those around us.” This is why the development has also launched initiatives like the Steyn City skills centre, artists programme, and participates in Mandela Day activities. While these are all worthy causes, Delivering Happiness to Diepsloot has a special place in the hearts of Plumari and his team not only because it is the lifestyle resort’s signature initiative, but also because it has the potential to create real, sustainable change by increasing access to education through the annual donation of related items, such as schoolbags and stationery. “So many children have a hunger to learn, to improve themselves through education. However, in many cases, the lack of basic gear is a real impediment to learning.” This year, the children were gifted schoolbags filled with stationery, sweets and toys. These are no ordinary schoolbag, however; each features a sewn-in poncho which is waterproof as well as light reflective. “Consider the difference this will make to the many children who have to walk to school, no matter the weather,” Plumari comments. A number of other items were included in the packs distributed amongst the children, thanks to the generous sponsors of the campaign. Auto & General provided sponsorship of R600 000, which was spent on the bags. Without this, the intervention would not have been possible,” Plumari says. A further 1 710 bags were pledged by individuals who took part . . .
Undoubtedly USA politics has an impact on the global economy and markets, but what does this mean for South Africans in particular? Will the strong Republican win trigger a weakening in the Rand? Will interest rates hike? Will trade agreements between South Africa and the US suffer? Will Investment Companies notice an increased or decreased international interest in South Africa? A look at historical USA voting trends and the resulting impact on the South African economy may help us predict what’s to come and whether the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America will negatively impact our country, as is feared. Looking at historical data for the last twenty years, it is evident that the US elections do impact the value of the South African Rand, however, other factors play a part in the extremity of the trend observed. There is a noticeable spike in the Rand/Dollar exchange value in the month of November after US elections in the election year, and usually in December or January following, the Rand per US Dollar will dip below that what it was before the election. Speculating on possible reasons lead us to believe that the hype and stress about the change in leadership in the country causes investors to sell their shares, and the market stress pushes up the cost in Rand per Dollar periodically. It is, however, obvious when looking at the historical data that the current political climate in South Africa and other economic factors play a role in the general reaction to the US Election observed. For instance, in 1996, contrary to the years after and prior, there was a very small spike of only one cent on the day, and in the days that followed, a small drop in the Rand/USD exchange of a mere two cents. In the months that followed, the Rand/USD exchange rate spiked and dipped again to R4.55/USD. In the election years that followed 1996, a growing trend was observed where the value of the Rand dropped on the day of the US election and . . .
INVOLVEMENT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT ARM IN CLASSICAL CASE OF TAX EVASION - JUDICIAL REVIEW MISCELLANEOUS CIVIL APPLICATION 292 of 2016. Richard Bell vs. Kenya Revenue Authority The news to the million of Zuku customers their service provider is battling is involved in past under hand dealings leading to tax leakage of 3.4 billion was not received well as in their eyes, they know wananchi as a local company and woud expect that it pays its fair share of taxes in Kenya. The revelation was first made by the Standard newspaper where it reported that Wananchi group owners are fighting an “eye watering” tax bill in courts vide a Judicial Review Miscellaneous Civil Application 292 of 2016. Bell if fighting the KRA for serving the bill on him. Incorporation in a Tax Haven and No Economic Substance The dispute stems from the structure of R. Bells companies which though run from Kenya are incorporated in Mauritius which has been regarded as a tax haven in the world. The taxman has zeroed down on three companies namely Wananchi Group Holdings Limited, Wananchi Satellite Limited and Wananchi Programming Limited ,that is the Wananchi companies, all of which are incorporated in Mauritius but have no office, staff or assets in Mauritius and no national economic substance save for the selfish economic motive by the proprietors. However, this is not unique to these Wananchi companies only. A close scrutiny at any rich Kenyan or most Kenyan linked multinational reveals that they have dealings with a Mauritius based related party entity in a bid to minimise their tax liabilities in Kenya. To succeed in this, these companies would offer purport to offer management fees to Kenyan companies hence reduce the Kenyan company taxable income. The foreign based company could also borrow on behalf of the Kenyan company and as such, any loan repayments would escape withholding tax in Kenya. The entity could also be involved in Trident Trust Services Limited . . .
Funeral insurance is the most prevalent form of insurance in South Africa with just less than 90% of all risk cover being attributed to this form of insurance, more than a quarter of which is informal. And this is reflected in the 4.2 million policies RubiBlue’s EasiPol product has running through its policy management software and the R3.7 billion in payments it collects annually. “We currently work with 550 funeral policy providers, and are signing between 20 and 30 new funeral parlours onto our product monthly,” remarks RubiBlue MD, Chris Ogden. The South African funeral assistance business became a target of debate in 2003 following the South African Parliamentary Committee on Finance (PCOF) where evidence of abusive practices in the funeral insurance market in South Africa was presented. And where RubiBlue spotted a gap in the market and created EasiPol to collect policy payments. The collection of policy payments in rural locations was previously fraught with fraud, ‘lost’ payments and often policy holders not being covered due to arrears. This is mainly due to instalments made in cash because it is estimated that 67% of the adult population in South Africa are unbanked, with 37% living in rural areas. “There were also reports from funeral service operators of inaccurate reporting, and many consumers complained about poor customer service during emotional times,” adds Ogden. “EasiPol is a tool to prevent this.” Growth propulsion On the rapid growth and uptake of the service, RubiBlue puts it down to not only organic client growth, higher retention ratios and funeral service providers realising that EasiPol allows them to enter rural markets which have previously been inaccessible for their products. Improving citizen well-being Giving the unbanked access to formal financial services such as insurance policies has its benefits to individuals: improved well-being, financial responsibilities taken care of, and a personal sense of worth for . . .