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Mired in mud?

25 July 2004 Angelo Coppola

RMB and the Business Day report that the rand was mired at weaker levels on Friday, after finding temporary respite from news that Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni would remain in his post for another five years.

Traders said the unit had initially succumbed to pressure from the recovering dollar, sliding by 2,6% to R6,22 to the dollar as markets fretted about the issue of central bank succession and mixed signals from authorities on the effect of rand strength.

After government announced that Mboweni's contract had been renewed, the currency firmed 5c to R6,15 to the greenback, but by 3pm, it was at R6,22 against the dollar - its weakest level since July 6, according to Reuters Data.

The currency, the most traded emerging market unit after the Singapore dollar, scaled a five-and-a-half year peak of R5,87 to the dollar last Monday, taking its gains against US currency so far this year to about 12%.

The dollar surged to fresh one-month highs against the euro and Swiss franc on Friday, accelerating its upward momentum since Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's upbeat assessment of the US economy and relatively tough talk on interest rates earlier this week.

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QUESTION

Healthcare brokers have long complained about inflation-plus medical scheme contribution increases; but pandemic may have changed things. What will pandemic-induced changes in hospital utilisation do to medical scheme contribution increase patterns?

ANSWER

Below inflation increase for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
Long-term trend of below inflation increases
Inflation-linked hikes for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
This is a 2-year hiccup, inflation-plus increase trend remains in place
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