Investment Forum 2015

On 6th May, 2015, First Avenue hosted its 2nd Annual Investment Forum at Four Seasons Hotel (The Westcliff) in the leafy suburb of Westcliff in Johannesburg.  The agenda included talks and panel discussions by our associates from Group of Boutique Asset Managers (a member only association of boutique managers worldwide) members who are experts in their respective […]

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When it is Bad to have Good Choices

Let’s take it from the top. The top of the cycle, that is.  As the market corrects, anticipating a roll-over in the economy, investors behave in a way you would expect any rational, thinking person to do: either they abandon the equity market – if they haven’t already – or they seek out companies that […]

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Investment Forum 2014

On 15th May, 2014, First Avenue hosted its inaugural investor conference at The Munro boutique hotel in the leafy suburb of Houghton in Johannesburg.  The agenda included talks by our International advisory panel members who are experts in their respective industries.   Please find below links to the presentations of the day: “The Behavior of […]

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What Drives Gold

The value of gold is the price of gold You will have noticed the stand out performance of South African gold equities since the start of the year and perhaps wondered why they are doing well this time. Gold equities are in fact (poor) derivatives of the metal itself, and so it is useful to […]

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Mining in SA: A Tragedy of the Commons

SUSTAINABILITY OF THE SA MINING INDUSTRY The investment case in South African resource equities, as in all other equities, should be premised on sustainability.  In other words, if factors responsible for economic value creation in mining are not renewable, then mining companies cannot sustain the valuations investors place on them, regardless of the level of […]

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A Mobile Telecoms Perspective Part 2

ICASA TAKES STRONG STANCE AGAINST HIGH TARIFFS. In our previous note, we explained how the structure of the local mobile telecoms industry has led to inefficient outcomes for consumers.  An effective duopoly of MTN and Vodacom has resulted in pricing and tariffs that are amongst the highest in the world.  We showed high mobile termination […]

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SA Mobile Telecoms – A Price War?

Over the past year, Cell C and 8ta have disrupted the SA mobile market by introducing aggressively priced data and voice offerings. These come against a backdrop of an implicit duopoly in the local industry that is protected by a strong ‘network effect’. Initially supported by high termination rates, high voice prices are now justified […]

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Trouble Brewing in the Unsecured Lending Market

In our view, the massive growth in unsecured lending over the past couple years has been driven by a ‘gold rush’ mentality on the part of credit suppliers. With the economy at large growing slowly, but cost pressures biting the banks’ bottom line year after year, lenders are desperately seek high margin revenue growth from […]

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Our Take on Platinum Part II

Since our last communication, we have observed the labor troubles that have gripped the platinum group metals (“platinum”) industry and the world’s attention morph into a broader political issue. In our view, these events, in fact, represent a grand failing of South Africa’s industrial policy. Much of the political commentary on the tragic events in […]

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