Taking Stock - Chinese automaker Geely partnership.

In todays taking stock, we discuss how Chinese automaker Geely has partnered with social media and gaming giant Tencent to develop features for smart cars.

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Local stocks closed higher yesterday as the All-Share index added 0.79% during the session, while the Top 40 index added 0.85%. Resources led the charge, adding 1.34% as industrials closed 0.66% firmer and financials dropped 0.16%. December inflation came in as expected, with investors now watching for an interest rate decision by the South African central bank on Thursday. A Reuters poll sees the bank holding rates through the year. In other news, an annual wealth tax on the net worth of South Africa’s richest people could raise as much as R160 billion ($10.7 billion) and would narrow inequality in a nation where the most affluent 1% of the population own 55% of personal wealth, a study showed.




European stocks closed higher on Wednesday, ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended up by 0.7%, with autos adding 2.7% to lead gains as all sectors and most major bourses were in positive territory. On the data front, U.K. inflation doubled in December, despite stringent coronavirus restrictions over the Christmas period. Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation climbed to 0.6% in December from 0.3% in November, according to the Office for National Statistics.




The US stock market rallied to a record close as President Joe Biden was sworn into office, sparking hopes for another stimulus package and smoother vaccine rollout ahead. A slew of strong quarterly results also boosted sentiment, including from Netflix which soared 16.9%. Netflix soared after the company reported strong subscriber growth and said it’s considering share buybacks. Netflix handily beat estimates for global paid net subscriber additions, reporting 8.5 million versus the 6.47 million analysts anticipated. The company also said it expects to break even on a cash flow basis this year. Biden was inaugurated to succeed President Donald Trump as the 46th president of the United States.




Shares in Asia rose this morning after stocks on Wall Street sailed to record highs as US President Joe Biden was sworn into office. Australia’s unemployment rate came in at 6.6% in December, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by the country’s Bureau of Statistics. That compared against expectations for a 6.7% reading in a Reuters poll, and followed November’s unemployment rate 6.8%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.54% higher.




The rand led gains across emerging market currencies on Wednesday as domestic inflation remained steady, while stocks hit a record high on hopes of bumper COVID-19 stimulus measures in the United States.  The rand rose about 0.6% and was set for a third day of gains as it marked a steady recovery from losses made last week. The dollar held losses versus most major peers on Thursday as optimism that a massive US stimulus package under the new Joe Biden administration will bolster growth sapped demand for safe-haven currencies.




Gold eased from a two-week high this morning as investors booked profits after prices jumped in the previous session on hopes of a massive US stimulus package under the new Joe Biden administration. Oil prices fell this morning after data showed US crude stocks unexpectedly rose last week, reigniting worries about pandemic restrictions cutting into fuel demand. US crude oil inventories rose 2.6 million barrels in the week to January 15th, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute.


Compagnie Financière Richemont (CFR) +1.2%

The rapid recovery in the Chinese economy has boosted luxury goods brands Compagnie Financière Richemont SA’s sales for the three months to end December. Though overall sales were only up 5% to €4.18 billion (R75.4 billion) in constant currency, the 27% rise in Asia Pacific to €1.73 billion offset the 20% drop to €982 million its European market, the group said in a trading update Wednesday. The increase in sales for the quarter by the owner of the Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels brands is a turnaround from the 26% slump in sales for the half-year to end September 2019. Richemont’s latest quarterly numbers in a sense reflect the lumpy recovery of the world’s economy, which has seen some regions like the Asia Pacific accelerate, while others like large parts of Europe and the US have struggled because they have been unable to bring the deadly virus under control.


Headline – NHCPA to launch class action suit against medical aid schemes

The National Health Care Professionals Association (NHCPA) says it will launch a class action lawsuit against medical aid schemes following the release of the Section 59 Investigation Panel interim report, which found that there was “systemic discrimination perpetrated over a number of years,” against black medical practitioners by three healthcare groups. The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) launched an investigation in 2019 after members of the NHCPA and Solutionist Thinkers made allegations that their members were being racially profiled, harassed and bullied by medical aid schemes. The two organisations also alleged that medical aid schemes would demand confidential clinical information regarding patients and would withhold payments.


TENCENT (700) +2.1%

Chinese automaker Geely has just announced another big tie-up in its quest to build the cars of the future. The country's largest privately owned carmaker announced late Tuesday that it is partnering with Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent to develop features for smart cars, along with autonomous driving tech. Tencent said in a statement that the companies would work together on mobile apps and other functions, such as multiscreen interaction, smart surfaces and intelligent speech, that will be accessible to drivers and passengers. Neither company said how much money it was committing to the partnership. Last week, Geely said it would team up with search giant Baidu to build electric cars — the latest example of automakers working with rivals and tech companies to build vehicles that help tackle the climate crisis.


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