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UP-TO-DATE: Keeping you informed of business today

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SOUTH AFRICA: INVESTOR’S HANDBOOK

Deloitte recently released the updated 2013/14 edition of South Africa: Investor’s Handbook, which was produce in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

South Africa has a number of characteristics that make it a compelling investment destination on the African continent. The handbook provides investors with a broad overview of the social, regulatory and economic environment in which they can expect to operate, highlighting the key features and investment incentives which make doing business in South Africa an attractive proposition. It is hoped that this publication will serve as the single most comprehensive and authoritative source of information for investors, exporters and businesses arriving at our shores.

Visit http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-SouthAfrica/Local Assets/Documents/DTI-Investing_in_SA_2013-14.pdf to access an electronic version of the publication.

 KEY INDUSTRY FINDINGS FROM THE PwC 17th ANNUAL GLOBAL CEO SURVEY

Banking and capital markets

  • Ninety per cent of banking and capital market CEOs are confident that their revenues will increase over the next three years.
  • The number who believe that the global economy will improve over the next 12 months has almost tripled since last year – 56% now, compared with 19% last year.
  • More than half plan to take on more staff over the coming year, with most of those anticipating headcount increases of at least 5%.
  • More than 70% see cyber insecurity as a threat to their growth prospects.
  • Nearly 60% see the speed of technological change as a threat to their growth prospects.
  • Limited availability of talent continues to be a concern, with 61% citing it as a threat to growth.
  • Eighty-six per cent identify technological advances as the trend that’s set to have the greatest impact on their businesses and two-thirds cite demographic shifts as likely to have a transformational impact.
  • CEOs see building on their existing market share as the main opportunity for growth, with product and service innovation close behind.

Asset management

•         Ninety-seven per cent of asset management CEOs are confident that their revenues will increase over the next three years.

•         The number who believe that the global economy will improve over the next 12 months has almost tripled since last year – 52% now compared with 19% last year.

•         Fifty-eight per cent plan to take on more staff over the coming year.

•         Continued uncertainty around regulatory changes and the response of governments to fiscal deficits and debt burdens pose the greatest challenges to their prospects with eight in ten seeing their operating costs rising and half believing that their ability to innovate is hampered as a result of regulation.

•         Outside the fast-developing BRICS economies, asset management CEOs believe the big developed economies of the United States, Germany and the UK will be most important for their growth over the next three to five years. They’re also beginning to look to Japan, where reflationary economic policies appear to be stoking recovery.

•         In developing countries, asset management CEOs anticipate that China will be most important for their growth. They’re also optimistic about Indonesia, which has a large population and fast-growing middle class.

 

TRENDS TO COME

If you haven’t heard of CES, the consumer-tech industry’s annual gadgetfest that happens annually in Las Vegas, you’ve certainly lived with some of the products that were launched at this event in the past.

Cases in point: the compact-disc player, which debuted in 1981, and high-definition television, which appeared in 1998. To be sure, the expo is also known for big promises that didn’t exactly pan out. And yet it’s the best place to get a first look at the new ideas in technology that may well wind up changing your life – eventually.

This year, during the keynote presentation, Audi’s A7 sedan rolled onto the stage – without anybody in the driver’s seat. The technology, which Audi calls piloted driving, could show up in production models in the next few years. Both Samsung and LG showed off jumbo-size so-called ultra-high-definition TVs with screens that deliver a 3D-like effect, no goofy glassed required. And a raft of companies, from Sony to Pebble, debuted small, wearable devices that can track everything from sleep to exercise.

Here’s a few of some of the most exciting tech that was unveiled:

•         TVs that bend: Samsung’s adaptable set is a tech demo rather than a commercial product. Push a button and the 85-inch flat screen buckles at the edges.

•         Cars with supersight: Audi’s sport Quattro Laserlight concept is a hybrid that gets 2,5 ℓ / 100 km and has laser-powered lamps rather than traditional LEDs.

Source: Time Magazine, 20 January 2014

 

HOW TO MAKE LESS E-WASTE

Two new reports by MIT and Solving the E-Waste Problem, a UN-backed initiative of governments and industry organisations, found that global e-waste – discarded items with batteries or cords, like TVs and mobile phones – may hit 65,4 million tons by 2017, up 33% from 2012.

Most are incinerated, releasing toxins into the environment, or end up in landfills.

Monitor flow

Many old electronic goods are illegally dumped in developing nations. To get a better grip on how bad the problem is, one suggested solution is to create codes that help regulators identify and track items and their global movement.

Get creative

A large portion of the goods are piling up in Africa, posing

health risks for locals. Experts want to see more innovative work-arounds beyond regional recycling facilities, like the inventor in Togo who reportedly used old gadgets to fashion a 3D printer.

Think before tossing

Some self-serve kiosks and electronics stores will resell or recycle old devices, but experts want them handed off only if they truly have no use; they advocate replacing a worn-out battery rather than buying a new device.

Source: Time Magazine, 30 December 2013

 

ACCOUNTING UPDATES

SAICA APC expresses its views on the proposed changes to the Conceptual Framework

SAICA APC submitted its response on the proposed changes to the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting. The APC was generally supportive of the proposed changes to the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting and it, amongst other recommendations, suggested that that profit or loss and OCI be clearly defined so as to create robust principles to make decisions whether income and expenses should be classified in profit or loss or OCI. The SAICA APC comment letter on ED 336 – Discussion Paper – A Review of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, can be downloaded from the SAICA website.

Annual Improvements to IFRSs 2010–2012 cycle and 2011–2013 cycle issued

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued amendments to IFRS 1 – First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS 2 – Share-based Payment, IFRS 3 – Business Combinations, IFRS 8 – Operating Segments, IFRS 13 – Fair Value Measurement, IAS 16 – Property, Plant and Equipment, IAS 24 – Related Party Disclosures, IAS 38 – Intangible Assets and IAS 40 – Investment Property. The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 July 2014. Annual Improvements to IFRSs 2010–2012 cycle and Annual Improvements 2011–2013 cycle can be downloaded from eIFRS.

Proposed changes to IAS 27 to allow the use of the equity method to account for investment in subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures

The IASB has proposed amendments to IAS 27 – Separate Financial Statements, to restore the option to use the equity method to account for investments in subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates. ED 338 – Equity Method: Separate Financial Statements – Proposed Amendments to IAS 27 – Separate Financial Statements, the IASB press release and the SAICA comment letter can be downloaded from the SAICA website.

IASB to amend four IFRSs

The IASB proposes to amend IFRS 5 – Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations, IFRS 7 – Financial Instruments: Disclosures, IAS 19 – Employee Benefits and IAS 34 – Interim Financial Reporting. Comments on ED 339 – Annual Improvements to IFRSs 2012 – 2014 Cycle should reach the IASB by 13 March 2014. ED 339 and the IASB press release can be downloaded from the SAICA website.

 

Fundamental changes to general hedge accounting requirements and IFRS 9 effective date removed

Fundamental changes have been made to the general hedge accounting requirements. The new general hedge accounting model more closely aligns hedge accounting with risk management activities undertaken by entities when hedging their financial and non-financial risk exposures.

As the impairment phase of IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments is not yet completed, the IASB decided that a mandatory effective date of 1 January 2015 would not allow sufficient time for entities to prepare to apply IFRS 9. Accordingly, the IASB decided that it would be necessary to have a later mandatory effective date and that the new date should be determined when IFRS 9 is closer to completion. Detailed information on the amendments to IFRS 9 can be accessed from eIFRS.

Accounting for contributions to defined benefit plans simplified

The IASB has issued narrow-scope amendments to IAS 19 – Employee Benefits to simplify the accounting for contributions that are independent of the number of years of employee service. The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 July 2014 with earlier application permitted. The amendments can be downloaded from eIFRS.

Bonuses paid to directors of private companies

Members are reminded that the tax treatment of variable remuneration changed with effect 1 March 2013. The position is that both the accrual to the employee and the deduction of the expenditure incurred by the employer will take place on the date during the year of assessment on which the amount is paid to the employee by the employer. So, whilst from an accounting point of view it is necessary to account for a bonus that a director of a private company is entitled to in the financial year that it relates to, the bonus may only be deducted in that same year if it was actually paid to the individual concerned. If it is paid after the last day of the year of assessment (for instance 28 February 2014) it cannot reduce the taxable income of the year to which it relates.

AIR CARGO: PULLING ITS WEIGHT AGAIN

The global air freight industry is slowly showing signs of recovery since the 2009 financial crisis.

Recently released figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show a slow and steady improvement in the air freight market last year. Global freight-tonne-kilometres flown, a measure of turnover for the industry, has shown consistent improvement since 2009, as has business confidence in the industry.

According to IATA, growth from the world’s more developed economies, including the Eurozone’s emergence from recession, and more recently the acceleration in world trade growth, is underpinning the recovery.

 COMCAST AGREES TO BUY TIME WARNER CABLE

Comcast Corp (CMCSA) agreed to acquire Time Warner (TWC) Cable Inc for US$45,2 billion in stock, a surprise deal that combines the two largest US cable companies and creates a bulwark against competition from phone and satellite providers.

Time Warner Cable investors will receive 2,875 Comcast stocks for each of their shares, the companies said in a joint statement.

The transaction, subject to approval by stockholders and regulators, is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

APPLICATIONS OF THE MONTH

TripIt travel organiser

If you travel a lot, then TripIt is a must-have app. TripIt makes it easier to organise and share travel itineraries, especially for people that travel every week. As you receive confirmation e-mails from the different services that you book with, you will need to forward them to plans@tripit.com.

TripIt can recognise reservations from over 3 000 booking sites including cruises, concerts, and restaurants. You can share trip plans through e-mail, Facebook and LinkedIn contacts.  By organising your travel information, the TripIt app can help you avoid missing a flight or forget the car rental service that you have a reservation with.

Dropbox

Want to automatically have your files synced as you edit them? Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage companies that exists today. Best of all, Dropbox offers 2 GB of storage for free. You can earn up to 3 GB of additional free space by automatically syncing photos and videos with Dropbox.

Every referral you make with a free account gets you 500 MB up to 18 GB.

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