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02 September 2004 Angelo Coppola

The rand was stronger against major currencies in late afternoon trade yesterday after rallying a few hours earlier on rumours that one of the big four local banks was the target of a foreign takeover.

However, currency traders saw the local unit's gains as limited ahead of today US non-farm payrolls data.

In late afternoon, the rand was quoted at R6,5673 to the dollar from R6,6158 on Wednesday. It was quoted at R7,9707 to the euro from a previous R8,0560 and at R11,7350 against sterling from Wednesday's R11,8640.

An offshore bank's local arm was selling dollars. There are rumours of a takeover of a local bank by an offshore bank, a currency trader said. A second trader said that there were a lot of dollars in the market and that stop losses had been triggered through R6,59 and then R6,55.

The dollar posted mild gains yesterday as dealers weighed mixed economic data and staked out positions ahead of a US employment report that has been notorious in recent months for defying expectations.

The dollar stayed within well-established ranges as traders staked out neutral positions ahead of a hard-to-predict payrolls number. July's total was a surprisingly small 32 000 new jobs.

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QUESTION

The second draft amendments to Regulation 28 will allow retirement funds to allocate up to 45% of their assets to SA infrastructure, with a further 10% for rest of Africa; but the equity & offshore caps remain unchanged. What are your thoughts on the proposal?

ANSWER

Infrastructure? You mean cash returns with higher risk!?!
Infrastructure cap is way too high
Offshore limit still needs to be raised
Who cares… Reg 28 does not apply to discretionary savings
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