Generation Rent: Is it by choice?

    Image credit: blog. Zurple. com

A new trend amongst Millennials has begun to take shape as the economic situation of the current day vastly differs from previous generations. Advancements in technology have made  Millennials more inclined to rent more than previous generations.

Renting which used to be seen as a stepping stone to ownership is now how Millennials live their lives and define their futures by. As inflation, stagnated wages, economic constraints and advancement in technology put certain tradition norms out of reach for Millennials.

Having children and getting married after graduating has also been put on the backburner as Millennials. More emphasis on their own personal futures and goals, as the costs of obtaining a house mortgage and purchasing car become more impossible each year. More Millennials have decided to forgo certain norms until their in better financial positions.

This brings us to how renting is seen as more cost effective and more flexible for the generation of the internet. The renting of housing forgoes other added costs like rates, insurance and utilities which gives renter more of their disposal income to save or pursue their goals. Renting also brings the freedom to move whenever they want and to wherever they want to.

Thanks to technology renting is becoming more prevalent. Millennials are not only renting the living spaces but are also renting their holidays thanks to apps like AirBnB, they renting their transportation  with apps like Uber and Taxify even the way Millennials enjoy their Entertainment is through subscription to streaming services like Netflix and Apple Music.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka



Brazil trade balance reaches US$ 3.67 bn surplus in February

A positive trade balance occurs when exports outpace imports – Photo: EBC

The Brazilian trade balance posted a surplus of US$ 3.673 billion in February, the result of US$ 16.293 billion in exports and US$ 12.620 billion in imports. The numbers were released by the Ministry of Economy on Friday.

The trade balance is the result of the difference between imports and exports over a given period. When positive, it means that the country sold more products abroad than it imported. In the reverse scenario, it turns negative.

Main categories

February’s exports consisted of US$ 8.363 billion in sales of basic goods (such as soy and corn), US$ 5.956 billion in manufactured goods (such as cars) and US$ 1.974 billion in semi-manufactured goods, such as cast iron and soybean oil. As for imports, the top purchases from abroad were of industrial ovens, electric motors, crude oil, diesel oil, cars, medicines, and others.


Brazil gov news 


SA, World Bank work to boost investment climate

South Africa and the World Bank have signed an agreement that will boost the local business environment while also helping to enhance foreign direct investment into the country.

Signed on Monday in Johannesburg, the Advisory Services Agreement was signed between the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the World Bank Group.

The partnership is aimed at improving the business environment for domestic entrepreneurs and undertaking policy and institutional reform to enhance foreign direct investment inflows.

Business regulation, investment policy and promotion, and market regulation and competition policy are the focus areas of the partnership.

The advisory agreement formalises the partnership between the Government of South Africa and the World Bank Group to support the national reform effort led by the dti, the Department of Economic Development and National Treasury.

World Bank support to South Africa will be provided in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Prosperity Fund of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The project will deploy a Country Private Sector Diagnostic, a standard World Bank Group tool to identify industry sectors that can attract significant domestic and foreign investments and deliver positive development impacts in the near term.

Director General at the dti, Lionel October, said the department will gain insight into best practice from the partnership.

“Support from World Bank Group and its development partners promotes South Africa’s growth agenda. The dti and InvestSA hope to gain insights into best practice from the partnership.

“I would like to assure you that we are committed to addressing the employment deficits that we face, and this will start with providing the right environment for the private sector to flourish. The four-year programme will be led and coordinated by InvestSA,” said October.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa committed government to ensure business competitiveness and an enabling business environment as a cornerstone of the drive for both domestic and foreign direct investment and the jobs that they are expected to generate.

Improving investment

 Government has set the target of improving its current rank of 82/190 in order to be, within three years, among the top 50 economies in the annual Doing Business Report published by the World Bank Group.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, expressed its commitment to help South Africa in its efforts.

“IFC is committed to working across the World Bank Group to help South Africa achieve best practices and real impact in its reform efforts. The target set by President Ramaphosa of generating investment of $100 billion within five years is important. It sets the tone for the policies needed to attract foreign direct investment,” said Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa.

Early deliverables under the support programme will be inputs into South Africa’s Investment strategy.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey said the UK is keen on supporting South Africa to attract an additional $100 billion of investment into South Africa.

“The UK is the largest investor in South Africa, but we’re determined to build on that here and elsewhere in Africa. We also strongly support President Ramaphosa’s ambition to attract an additional $100 billion of investment into South Africa.

“Today’s announcement is part of how we are going to support government’s ambitions and deliver on our own ambition about the role that UK investors should play.”

The UK, Casey said, will make use of its R900 million Prosperity Fund in South Africa.



China-Brazil entering a new stage of bilateral relations

Brazil and the People’s Republic of China are entering a new stage of bilateral relations – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accepted an invitation to visit China in the second semester of 2019.

This has come as a shock as the election of the right-wing president was predicted as an end of China-Brazil trade relations. During his election campaign, Bolsonaro said that “China isn’t buying in Brazil” however “China is buying Brazil”.

Talking to the press the Brazil President said that his country wants to open up the whole world, develop trade, open border.

China is Brazil’s main trading partner and represented 27.8 percent of its exports in 2018.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will also be visiting Brazil, during the 11th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit. Brazil assumed the presidency of the bloc of the fastest growing economies.

READ MORE: Brazil to host next BRICS Summit in 2019


By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

New Development Bank (NDB) will issue bonds in South Africa and commercial paper in U.S. dollars


The BRICS multilateral funding institution, New Development Bank (NDB) will issue bonds in South Africa and commercial paper in U.S. dollars in the first half of 2019. NDB’s President K.V. Kamath said in an interview with Xinhua.

According to the bank’s President, it is already done, they are only waiting for a launch. “The new bonds in South Africa will be denominated in the local currency and will be placed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange,” said the Kamath.

The New Development Bank (NDB) put down successfully $ 448 million of RMB-denominated bonds in the China Interbank Bond Market on the 25 February. The NDB placed two positions with maturities of 3 years (2 billion yuan) and 5 years (1 billion yuan) and was priced at the lower end of the announced pricing range with coupon rates of 3 percent and 3.32 percent respectively.

READ MORE:NDB put down sucessfully $ 448 million of RMB-denominated bonds in the China Inter-bank Bond Market

Since establishment the NDB has continued to show growth, despite wide criticism from the media – many publications have prophecies on the failure of the bank.

READ MORE: Key milestones of the New development Bank (NBD)


Source: Xinhua

Brazilian economy grows second year in a row

Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.1% in 2018 in relation to the previous year, reaching R$ 6.8 trillion in the period. This marks the second consecutive year of economic growth after two years of recession. The data was released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) on Thursday (28). 

The result was impacted mainly by the good performance of the service sector, which grew by 1.3% last year. According to the IBGE, all seven main branches of economy activity saw growth, including trade (+ 2.3%) and real estate activities (+ 3.1%).

Other highlights

Last year’s GDP was also influenced by the positive results of the agriculture and livestock sectors (up 0.1%) and industry (+0.6%).

According to the survey, this was the first time the industrial sector grew after four consecutive years of contraction. Performance in the sector was driven, among others, by increased activity in electricity and gas, water, sewage, and waste management sector (+ 2.3%). In agriculture and livestock, the result is mainly explained by the former, which saw great harvests of coffee, cotton, wheat, and soy.


The result is in line with the expectations of the financial market and confirms the recovery trajectory of the Brazilian economy after two years of GDP decline.

According to IBGE, consistently low inflation and the slight improvement in labor market numbers have contributed to the overall positive performance of the economic activity. The financial market expects the Brazilian economy to grow 2.65% this year.



BRICS States to create an independent payment system

The coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are to create an independent payment system called BRICS pay.

The BRICS states want to create a distinctive online payment wallet to integrate a payment system of the five countries. Izvestia said on Friday citing the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). It is reported that Russia wealth fund with partners from China and India, who have the technological capabilities to launch the system.

According to Russia media, the online payment platform will be similar to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. It will be made to link the countries national payment systems.

The BRICS payment system is set to decrease the dependence of the bloc on transnational payment organizations. The central banks of BRICS countries, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), have been working on developing a joint payment space, as reported by




OPINION| BRICS Credit Rating Agency can change the international capital market

BRICS Credit Rating Agency can change the dynamics of the global capital market. The global capital market is dominated by the top three credit rating agencies – S&P, Moody’s and Fitch. Emerging economies have had problems with Western credit rating agencies ‘politically biased’ decisions. The rating agency will further reduce the dependency of developing countries on the verdicts of the big three.

The bloc has grown at an increased rate over the past years. The grouping has successfully established a multilateral development bank, the New Development Bank (NDB) which has since its establishment in 2014 funded 27 projects in member states and has US$ 6.7 billion in lending amount.

India’s Economic Affairs Secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg during the first BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, in April 2018 urged members of the bloc to set up an independent rating agency of the five-member group. The BRICS rating agency was proposed during the 7th annual diplomatic Summit in the Russian city, Ufa in Bashkortostan. The proposal was affirmed during the 8th Summit in Xiamen.

Former Indian union commerce and home secretary G K Pillai had said earlier in 2012, that the control of intelligence in the world was biased and the bloc needed to set up its credit rating.

According to India having an independent agency would remedy impediments caused current and dominant rating agencies such as S&P, Moody’s and Fitch. These three western rating agencies hold over 90% of the sovereign rating market.

The BRICS Business Council Financial Services Working Group assessed the sustainability of establishing an independent credit rating agency in December 2016. In the global investor survey undertaken by the Russian chapter across 24 countries in 2016, 73% supported the idea of a BRICS Rating Agency, as reported by IOL.

Financial services company, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has ascribed an ‘AA+’ long-term and ‘A-1+’ short-term issuer credit ratings on the New Development Bank (NDB) in 2018.

READ MORE:S&P rates Brics New Development Bank AA+



By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

NDB and FAO co-host Workshop on Development Impact and SDGs

The New Development Bank (NDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) co-hosted a workshop on Development Impact and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focused on the sectors of Irrigation, Water Resource Management & Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) on 20-21 February 2019 in Shanghai.

In the spirit of SDG 17, the workshop sought to share technical knowledge among a range of development actors on how to better integrate the SDGs into the design and implementation of infrastructure and sustainable development projects related to water. Among the participants were government representatives from BRICS countries, specialized United Nations (UN) Agencies and programmes (FAO, UNDP, UN-Water), multilateral development banks (ADB, AIIB, NDB) and national financial institutions (BNDES, CDB, DBSA), in addition to think-tanks and sector experts (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IMWI).

The workshop initiated a community of practice that will continue working on the links of investments in the water sector and their contribution to the achievement of SDG 6 and SDG 17.



Minister Sisulu to host her French counterpart in Pretoria

On Thursday, 28 February 2019 The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, will co-chair the Eighth Session of the South Africa-France Forum for Political Dialogue (FPD) with the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, in Pretoria.

This is the first time that the Forum will be led at Ministerial level following the decision taken during former President Jacob Zuma’s State Visit to France in 2016 to elevate the Forum from Directors-General to Ministerial level, so as to award the growing relationship between the two nations greater political impetus.

The two Ministers will sign a number of agreements and host a joint press briefing at the conclusion of the FPD. The meeting take place at DIRCO Conference Centre, OR Tambo Building, Pretoria