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March 1998
Diversify to reduce risk

Sir John Templeton, says that “asset allocation and diversification are the foundation stones of successful long term investing”.
William Sharpe, who won the Nobel Prize for economics for research on what determines investment performance,...

March 1998

It is accepted wisdom these days that life assurance products have been sold for purposes of which some of them were never intended. Endowment policies, in particular, are not really the best savings vehicles around and never have been. Life...

March 1998
Equation all wrong

It is all very well taxing the rich to give to the poor. But the authorities must note the lessons from overseas, where it has been proven time and time again that high taxation on employees is a disincentive to work. Then make your country...

March 1998
Medium to long term

Industrial funds are invested primarily in top industrial and financial shares that represent approximately 65% of the market capitalisation of the JSE. Up to 95% of assets can be invested in industrial and financial sector shares. Portfolio...

March 1998
Watch carefully

3.1 On receipt of a complaint as aforesaid the ombudsman will proceed to investigate such complaint, solicit such information or expert advice as is deemed necessary for a fair mediation and will furnish the parties with his...

March 1998
Tax saving option

Returns on world markets last year ranged from a gain of 117,1% in Turkey to losses of 78,1% in Thailand. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) All Share Index delivered a negative return of —4,5% while the All Bond Index, representing South...

March 1998
Chip off the old block

There are now 23 black controlled companies listed in the various sectors of the JSE, as of January 1998, up from 18 in June last year. These companies now have a combined market capitalisation of about R45,8 billion (about 4,6% of the entire...

March 1998
Prudent move

Metropolitan Life is expanding its range of unit trusts to provide for the investment needs of pension and provident funds. Called the Metropolitan Prudential Managed Unit Trust, it will be available 1st March.
“The emphasis is on providing...

March 1998
Equally so

Following the 1997 Budget announcements changes to the taxation of government and municipal pensions have been written into the 1997 Income Tax Act. These provide that a portion of lump sums payable from public service municipal pension or...

March 1998
Bermuda copy

Government should create a tax- free zone within South Africa where local short-term insurers could sit ‘offshore’ and operate ‘internationally’ on a tax-free basis. This would allow SA to use its expertise in short-term insurance, exploit the...

March 1998
Cash less

There is sometimes a heavy price to pay for ‘convenience’. No one likes standing in a queue — especially if it means ending up at a counter fenced off with bullet-proof glass that muffles communication and makes the whole customer service thing...

March 1998
How to be a winner

Going direct is the flavour of the month with most banks, insurers and assurers looking at the option. RMB asks if this is merely a knee-jerk reaction to avoid losing market share; and, is it the answer to the frustrated consumer’s plight, or...

March 1998
A rash decision?

Boasting a title of “the largest organ in the body”, the skin probably draws less attention to itself than what it deserves. Cast out to weather the storms of nature, its victories over the elements, nevertheless, seem to outweigh the visible...

March 1998
Strong growth

Fedsure Life, main operating subsidiary of the Fedsure Financial Services Group, attracted R2,5 billion in new business premium income for 1997. This represents a 74% increase over 1996. In respect of recurring premium new business the company...

March 1998
A fall in reserves

Shortly after facing a hostile bid from African Life, Norwich Holdings announced its year-end results to 31st December 1997. It reported that headline earnings were up 35,7% to 39,8 cents a share. The company said this was in line with...

March 1998
Overseas move

Of all the prospective mergers under discussion in the insurance industry at present, the one between Commercial Union (CU) and General Accident (GA) is the only one determined by overseas negotiations. Respective parents in the UK (both...

March 1998
Almost home

While RMBH has concluded a deal to sell off its short-term insurance operation, Aegis Insurance, to Guardian National, it is on the acquisition trail as far as life assurance interests are concerned.
Discussions have reached final stage with...

March 1998
Deal goes ahead

The short-term insurers are also having their turn in the merger limelight. After much speculation, Guardian National published a cautionary statement dated 23rd February, saying the ‘company is in discussions which, if concluded, could have an...

March 1998
No deal

At the time of the negotiations with Fedsure in January, it was puzzling as to why Capital Alliance Holdings would wish to dispose of its life company (Capital Alliance Life), being such an important aspect of the group’s current business.

March 1998
Only a matter of time

Merger fever is spreading through the insurance industry like never before. It seems
that companies are looking to establish strong market positions in the face of new sources of competition, on the one hand, and stricter, more consumer...