News

Twin Peaks: A New Regulatory Era

The Financial Sector Regulation Act (FSR Act) was signed into law by the President on 21 August 2017. The Act aims to consolidate the regulation and supervision of the financial sector and its various subsectors - namely banking, insurance, financial products and services and market infrastructure - to ensure that each subsector is subject to financial regulation. This regulation requires financial firms to control risks and hold adequate capital as defined by capital requirements (Prudaential requirements) and consumer protection rules in the form of market conduct supervision.
 

Economic and Market Overview

Global

2017 turned out to be a buoyant year on the global economic front. Leading indicators in most developed economies were trending up and talk about a synchronised global recovery has been widespread. This was evident in capital market performance over the last twelve months.
 
The manufacturing PMI lead indicators have been particularly strong towards the end of 2017: the ISM indicator in the US rose to its highest level since 2004, the Chinese official PMI is the highest since 2012, and the European composite is its highest since 2011.

The Outlook for Agriculture in 2018

The South African agricultural sector has gone through a turbulent time over the past year, with many farmers facing a battle of survival in drought-stricken areas.  In the first of a two-part series, Kim Cloete speaks to Jo Viviers, a partner in the Moore Stephens Humansdorp office, about prospects for the industry and how Moore Stephens is helping to advise farmers.

Five Money Resolutions for a More Financially Secure 2018

There is no question that we are living in uncertain economic times, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t feel financially secure. For most people, financial security means having a reliable source of income, but there are other ways to ensure that, even during tough times, you won’t feel the crunch. We recommend committing to these five resolutions to ensure that in 2018 your financial well-being is in the best shape possible.

National Treasury Softens Stance on Tax Exemption for Foreign Employment Income

National Treasury has confirmed that the tax exemption for foreign employment income, as contained in section 10(1)(o)(ii) of the Income Tax Act, will be amended to allow for the first R1 million of foreign remuneration per year to be exempt from tax in South Africa if the individual is outside of South Africa, for a certain period of time.

This is a welcome change from Treasury’s previous stance on the matter, which proposed a complete repeal of the exemption, with foreign remuneration consequently fully taxable in South Africa.

Economic and Market Overview

Global

Real global economic growth has tilted up and is approaching the long-term trend of 3.5% per annum, and yet global interest rates remain at depressed levels. At 1.25%, the Federal Reserve’s Fed funds rate is high when measured against its peers (Bank of England’s clearing bank rate at 0.25% and the European Central Bank’s repo rate effectively at 0%). Yet it is by no stretch of the imagination high when measured against historical levels. 

Monetary policymakers, especially outside of the US, are particularly dovish and very careful not to stifle economies with near-term interest rate increases. There are, however, pockets of strong growth around the world – the aggregate real GDP growth of emerging markets averages nearly 5% at the moment. Sadly, South Africa is the worst performing of these markets at around 0.5%.

Self-Insurance: Manage Risk While Optimising and Sustaining Your Company’s Growth

Did you know that alien abduction insurance has been available in the USA since 1987? Today, it would be unusual to find someone who has not purchased some form of insurance, whether it be for his/her car, home, life or business. Insurance gives us the financial security against unforeseen, calamitous and sometimes tragic events, with insurers providing policies for these risks, and many, many others.

How to Live the American Dream

It may be called the “Land of the Free”, but the ability to live and work in the USA as a freedom citizen of another country is largely denied – and increasingly coveted. So much so, in fact, that the uptake of various federal visa programmes administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has skyrocketed in recent years. Among the most popular of these are the EB-5 and E2 programmes.

A Short Case Study of Successful Collaboration Between Moore Stephens Cyprus and Moore Stephens South Africa.

Andrew Pitt a Director of Moore Stephens Cape Town Inc. wrote a simple email to George Stylianou of Moore Stephens Nicosia on the 3rd October 2016 introducing himself and asking whether MS Nicosia would be interested in taking part in a due diligence project for an acquisition which would potentially take place in Cyprus. Within minutes of receipt George responded positively and an hour later an NDA was sent by Andrew to establish confidentiality in place.

Internal Audit – To Outsource or to Insource?

We are regularly asked this question by clients who are looking to establish an internal audit function.

As professional service providers of internal audit services on an outsourced basis, there is obviously a case to be made that we are not in a position to provide independent advice, as it relates to this question. We do, however, like to think that we put our ethics before our wallets.

IFRS 17: A Synopsis

In a distant kingdom, many years ago, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) wanted to achieve consistent accounting for all insurance contracts by all companies around the world (although the US has opted out and US GAAP will persist), to enable comparability with non-insurance products. In May 2017, the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 on Insurance Contracts was released with an effective date of 1 January 2021, with prior-year comparative reporting required.

Moore Stephens Insurance Advisory 

The level of disruption in the Insurance Industry has highlighted insurance companies’ need for affordable, efficient and high quality advisory services.

Continuing pressure to be efficient, reduce costs and increase profitability are an ongoing challenge for the market. As the insurance sector has evolved, so has our service offering. With the breadth and depth of our insurance expertise and experience, we are ideally positioned to help our insurance clients overcome their challenges.

Recession: Surprise!!

South Africa plunged into its second recession in eight years during the first quarter of 2017. Africa’s most industrialised economy contracted by 0.7% in the first three months of the year after a 0.3% drop at the end of 2016.
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