The BRICS Institute has officially launched

The BRICS Institute was launched at Regenesys Business School on the 14th of June 2018. The Institute is set to be a vehicle that will foster economic growth and prosperity amongst the BRICS nations, through education, research, consulting and business matchmaking initiatives. The launch event was attended by the board of the Regenesys Business School, the board of the BRICS Institute, government officials, academics, the media and the public.

Director of the BRICS Institute, Dr. Julian Naidoo said that the Institute speaks the BRICS mandate and will be a gateway for the rest of the BRICS businesses to enter the African Market. The BRICS Institute introduced the BRICS Executive Leadership Development (BELD) programme, which is the first practical executive management initiative aimed at developing world-class leaders and fostering economic growth and shared prosperity between nations.

Dr. Naidoo highlighted that the purpose of the programme is to develop senior leaders from the private sector, state-owned enterprises and the government, in order to stimulate business development among BRICS member countries.

The Department of Trade and Industry showed their support to the BRICS Institute. Director to the office of the Deputy Minister, Mr. Phill Mbanyana has confirmed that “the government is ready to align their work to meet the mandate of the BRICS Institute.”

The event was also a platform to honour Professor Mervyn King SC for his contribution to Corporate Governance. Dr. King received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Regenesys Business School for his commendable and lasting leadership. He is a former Supreme Court of South Africa judge who is recognised internationally as an expert on corporate governance and sustainability. He is best known for chairing the King Committee on Corporate Governance, which issued three comprehensive reports in 1994, 2002 and 2009 endorsing an integrated and inclusive approach to corporate governance in South Africa.


For more information on the BELD Programme, go to


By Ntsikelelo Kuse


The rise of Chinese plug-in vehicle market is unstoppable

The demand for electric vehicles in China has gained more momentum as the country aims to sharpen its edge by taking fossil fuel powered vehicles off the road.

Sales have increased as more cities joined the electric vehicles era to find a solution to traffic jams and reduce carbon emissions. 

Last year, the total of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) sales in China were 2.8 times above that of the Unite States.

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), China sold about 555,300 vehicles compared to just below 200,000 in the US.

Chinese electric vehicle brands like Weltmeister and Byton have expertise and insight into the industry, previously holding top positions within established car companies Fiat and BMW.

Weltmeister aims to make its cars affordable to Chinese consumers, while Byton targets the high-end market by taking electric vehicles of BMW, Benz and Tesla as their rivals.

According to China news, it is not an easy job to set a brand and make it stand out.

Investors have offered financial support for these ventures and are patiently awaiting more turnovers. 


SARB honours Mandela centenary by launching limited banknote

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will be launching its first commemorative banknote series, in celebration of the first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela’s birth centenary.

The bank issued a statement stating that these notes will cover all denominations namely R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.

“As part of the celebrations, the South African Mint, a subsidiary of the SARB, will also be issuing a new commemorative circulation R5 coin. As part of the preparations for the launch, test packs of the commemorative banknotes were made available to members of the broader cash industry to allow them to make adequate preparations in relation to issues such as adaptions of cash processing and cash dispensing machines, ticketing machines and so forth.” The statement reads.

All the notes are scheduled to be launched by 18 July 2018.

The bank added that these commemorative banknotes and R5 coin will co-circulate for a limited time, together with the current Mandela banknote series and the existing R5 coin, and both sets will remain legal tender.

New study revealed substantial economic cost of crime to Brazil

Brazil’s Special Secretariat for the Strategic Affairs have revealed the economic cost of crime to Brazil. It is estimated to be about R$285 billion, or over 4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The study pointed out that the economic impact of crime has risen from R$113 billion in 1996, to R$285 billion in 2015, this amount is set to an average increase of about 4.5 % per year.

The increase in crime shows that policy initiatives meant to reduce crime cannot be based solely on expanding resources. The report recommends a thorough examination of existing policies to discontinue those with diminishing returns.

The report also stated that despite a significant increase in public security spending over the last 20 years, “the social return of such increases has been limited” as homicide rates have climbed from 35,000 to 54,000 over that period.

Today, most federal agencies have limited financial resources which reinforce the idea that public policy crime-reducing initiatives cannot be based on simply expanding public spending.

The special secretary at the Palácio do Planalto, Hussein Kalout said that the country needs to make public policies more efficient with fewer resources and innovation.

“It is no longer possible to make security policy by increasing economic spending for the State whose social return will continue to be small while crime continues to increase.”


#FashionFindsWednesday: Ulyana Sergeenko built her antique and vintage empire

From graduating in the Faculty of Philology to becoming Russia’s big deal in the fashion industry.

Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian-based fashion designer, who has worked with many celebrities, including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Natalia Vodianova.

The Ulyana Sergeenko brand was launched in Moscow in April 2011 with a first collection designed for autumn-winter 2011/12.

Her debut collection featured clingy knit tops, quilted skirts, floor-sweeping greatcoats, and enough sable to swaddle the Russian army.

Today, the designer has the Moscow-based company that has ready-to-wear women clothing, bags, jewellery and headpieces.

Sergeenko has always love fashion.

With all the love she is receiving, Sergeenko has built a fashion empire that consists of a a collection of antique and vintage clothes and accessories, ranging from the rare ancient jewellery to Soviet school uniform.

The designer frequently visits flea-markets and vintage boutiques as her way of inventing new styles, whereas all her fabrics and trimmings are bought in France, Italy and Japan.

Sergeenko collaborates with highly-skilled ateliers from Russia, along with numerous craftsmen from former Soviets republics. She did that to help them preserve their precious knowledge in the process.

In her 2018 collection called Haute Couture Spring Summer, she designed gowns with long bell-shaped skirts and puffed sleeves with vivid colours. She said that her collection was inspired by the 40s and 50s styles codes.






Indian youth develop a device aiding women’s safety

A group of Indian youngsters have won a 1 million-U.S. dollar prize for designing and developing a device ensuring women’s safety.

Safer Pro is a panic-alert device women can use in an unsafe circumstance. The device includes a “Red Button”, that will alert the female owner’s five guardians whose phone are integrated with the safety device.

The device costs around 30 U.S. dollars and could be worn as a wrist watch or put in a pocket or a bag.

The team of developers consists of six members, including a woman named Neiharika Rajiv.

“All these five are smart intelligent boys from a woman’s perspective, so I joined them all around four years back. I got to know about them through newspaper reports while they were still under-graduates,” said Neiharika.

Neiharika said the device is also very helpful for the young kids, teenagers to be specific, who move out frequently in areas nearby their homes.

“Normally, parents of such kids are a worried lot and concerned about their safety. This device helps parents know about their kids’ minute-to-minute location. The other best part is that it has the facility of sending Voice-Notes to the guardians.” She said.

The team aims is to bring down the cost and make it available to women across India and the world.

In India, 79% of women have been victims of harassment or violence in public. As per official figures released by India’s National Crime Records Bureau, in the year 2016 as many as 39 crimes against women were reported every hour, up from 21 in 2007. The rate of crimes per 100,000 female population was 55.2 during the year, up from 41.7 in 2012.

The team plans to integrate the device with the nearest police station to the victim in case of an emergency the police can reach out to the victim.


Pint and a game, anyone?  

Beer sales and stock prices in China have risen just ahead of the FIFA World Cup that will take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July.

Numerous Chinese football fans will be watching the tournament in bars and restaurants where beer consumption is particularly high. According to Tmall statistics, beer sales had already picked up in May, with monthly sales volume increasing by nearly 100%.  During May, the beer sales reached 1.3 million bottles on a single-day.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Index revealed that beer stocks have risen, this includes Yanjing Beer, Chongqing Beer, Lanzhou Huanghe and Pearl River Beer.

It it evident that The FIFA World Cup has boosted the beer sector which has seen higher sales compared to previous years.

In 2017, the sales revenue from Chongqing Beer’s low-end products such as Chongqing 33 and Shancheng dropped by 2.07%, and that of medium-range products Lebor and Chongqing Guobin declined by 1.81%.

In the first quarter of 2018 Chongqing Beer, a subsidiary of Denmark’s Carlsberg Group in China, sold 214,000 kilolitres of beer, up 3.33% year-on-year, and its revenue reached 813 million yuan, up 10.73% year-on-year.

Marketing research firm Euromonitor International, stated that more than 30% of the beer market in China will be medium and high-end products by 2020.

An Independent food and beverage analyst, Zhu Danpeng, said: “World Cup-themed marketing efforts are focusing less on traditional retailers such as supermarkets because their customers are mainly middle-aged and elderly people, who are price-sensitive and no longer belong to the core audience for soccer games.”

He added that restaurants and bars are becoming a major battlefield for attracting consumers, as their customers tend to be less sensitive to beer prices and are easier to sell medium-and-high end products to.

BRICS Journal supports responsible drinking.

Source: China Daily

India’s central bank raised its policy rate for the first time in over 4 years

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the repo rate INREPO=ECI by 25 basis points to 6.25%. The growing inflation concerns resulted in the policy rate rise for the first time in over four years, that also caused a sharp increase in global oil prices and a weakening rupee.

Governor of Reserve bank of India, Urjit Patel said: “The committee felt that there was enough uncertainty for us to keep to the neutral stance and yet respond to the risks to (the) inflation target that have emerged in recent months.”

In addition, this has seen consumer spending skyrocket, as India’s economy expanded at a vigorous 7.7% annual pace in the January-March quarter.

The Indian central bank has become the latest bank in Asia to increase rates that combat inflationary pressures or support the domestic currency.

Senior India economist at Capital Economics, Shilan Shah said: “With growth strengthening and core inflation picking up, we think today’s hike marks the start of a modest tightening cycle.”

In March, China raised a key short-term rate following a Federal Reserve’s rate hike and then in May, the Philippines and Indonesian rates were lifted for the first time since 2014.

The head of research operations at research firm William O’Neil, Sudhakar Pattabiraman said: “Increasing inflation and oil prices continues, we expect another 25-bps hike somewhere during this fiscal year.”

Source: Reuters

Brazil’s Temer sees no currency crisis; central bank vows to keep acting

Despite sharp falls in the exchange rate, Brazilian President Michel Temer has assured that there was no risk of currency crisis in Latin America’s largest economy.

The Brazilian real fell to its weakest level in more than two years at 3.9671 to the dollar. This has caused investors to doubt Temer’s government, forcing them to reinstate costly fuel subsidies, following a strike by truckers that nearly brought the country to a standstill.

The move did, however, result in the resignation of Pedro Parente, the head of state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Temer had made tackling Brazil’s hefty budget shortfall a priority for his centre-right administration.

“We are very committed to a budgetary adjustment. The fiscal question is completely under control. There is no risk (of a currency crisis). It is normal: The dollar is swinging around a lot.” The President said.

He also stated that part of the strong moves in currency markets was due to the prospect of higher interest rates in the United States, which has affected several emerging market economies.

Temer acknowledged that Brazil’s presidential election was also concerning investors but said that whoever was victorious, would need to continue with his government’s fiscal reforms.

The country’s central bank plans to step up its defence of the country.

Central Bank Governor Ilan Goldfajn, pledged to continue providing liquidity to the foreign exchange and interest rate markets as long as needed.

Goldfajn said that the central bank would offer up to $20 billion in currency swaps through the end of next week.

He did not exclude using Brazil’s foreign reserves to intervene in the currency spot market.

“All instruments are valid. For now, it seems liquidity is needed through currency swaps. If the situation changes, if there is demand, we may use reserves.”


Source: Reuters

Consumer prices to fall in Crimea with new bridge link to Russian mainland

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the newly built bridge connecting Crimea with mainland Russia will lower consumer prices on the peninsula thanks to regular traffic flow.

“Some prices are higher in Crimea than in the neighbouring Krasnodar and Rostov regions. The situation will change when the Crimean Bridge is opened for trucks,” the president said.

According to Russia Today, before the bridge was built, the only connections between Crimea and the other parts of Russia were through ferry services and air traffic. This inevitably led to a spike in consumer prices on the peninsula. The 19-kilometer Crimean Bridge, the longest in Europe was opened in May.

The bridge begins on the Taman Peninsula, passes over a 5km dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait and reaches the Crimean coast. It is now open only for automobiles, but regular cargo traffic will open by the end of 2018.

“In accordance with the current law, toll roads can arise where there is an alternative, in this case there is no alternative, so the passage through the Crimean Bridge will be free,” Putin said.


Source: Russia Today