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Banking & Finance
Steinhoff International Holdings NV’s former CEO Markus Jooste advised friends to sell the retailer’s shares days before the stock collapsed, according to a mobile phone text message reportedly seen by Bloomberg. The message, sent on or about 30 November 2017 to at least two people, told recipients there was unspecified bad news coming, notes the Bloomberg report in Business Day.
Hackers using state-of-the-art technology stole and defrauded South Africans out of R250m in a single year, according to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) when releasing the latest digital banking crime statistics yesterday. It revealed that in 2017 cyber-criminals were involved in 13 438 online‚ mobile and Internet banking attacks, and the total sum siphoned off in all digital banking-related crimes during that year was R250m.
The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) has welcomed a High Court decision that Magistrate's Courts should be the first port of call for financial institutions seeking judgment against their clients, where matters fall within the lower courts' monetary jurisdiction. According to a GroundUp report, the LRC argued that 'measures must be taken to reduce the economic, social and geographical barriers that prevent a respondent's access to court' as required under the Constitution.
SA investors, including Allan Gray, Investec’s asset management arm and Old Mutual, are backing litigation against crisis-hit Steinhoff in the Netherlands, they said on Friday. The investors represented about 20% of the shareholding in Steinhoff when the retailer uncovered accounting irregularities in 2017 that sent its share price tumbling, a statement from representatives of the investors said, according to BusinessLIVE.
Thousands of African Bank’s investors have just over two weeks to lodge their amended R2.1bn claim against the company and its auditors, accusing them of undervaluing shares and negligent auditing, notes a Sunday Tribune report. The 13 000 investors, through their representatives, Hlumisa Investment Holdings and Eyomhlaba Investment Holdings, say they suffered loss and damages as a result of the bank being placed under curatorship by the SA Reserve Bank.
A full Bench of the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) ruled this week that repossessed homes may no longer be sold at auction without reserve prices – the point below which the property cannot be sold – except in exceptional circumstances. GroundUp notes court rules were changed last year to allow for the setting of reserve prices, but this was applied inconsistently by judges in the Gauteng courts.
The two VBS executives who opposed having their estates liquidated by the curator of the bank lack credibility and are nothing more than liars and thieves, Judge Moroa Tsoka has found, according to a Business Day report. ‘It appears their actions were motivated by nothing else but greed. In their opinion, enough was never enough,’ concluded Tsoka, who presided over the application brought by VBS Bank curator Anoosh Rooplal to have the estates of the bank’s CEO, Andile Ramavhunga, and one-time COO, Robert Madzonga, sequestrated.
The VBS Mutual Bank scandal has widened after controversial and politically-connected Angolan banker and millionaire Álvaro Sobrinho lost his R144m investment in the bank, according to City Press. The deal with Sobrinho – a business partner of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos’ daughter, and who owns a bank and a football club in Portugal – was allegedly brokered by ANC Limpopo provincial treasurer Danny Msiza and young businessperson Kabelo Matsepe.
VBS Mutual Bank's executives carried out the country's ‘biggest bank robbery’ – and did so in designer suits – an advocate has claimed in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg). Michael Antonie SC, representing the curator in the VBS matter, made the claim during applications to have executives of the mutual bank provisionally sequestrated, notes a Fin24 report.
After two days of hearings into the allegations of collusion by major banks, the Competition Commission remains confident of its case, says a Mail & Guardian Online report. Despite some banks arguing it is everything from ‘vexatious‘ to ‘so overwhelmed by its own case’ that it cannot keep track of the details, the commission remains determined to have the merits of the matter heard.
Commercial banks accused of rigging currency trades have poked holes in the Competition Commission’s case against them, saying the watchdog is relying on broad accusations that lack specific evidence, notes a Moneyweb report. The commission’s case against bank traders began yesterday, with the Competition Tribunal hearing various objections from banks, mainly on the clarity of evidence, the jurisdiction of the commission over foreign entities, and the lapse in the period of bringing charges.
The family trust of former VBS Mutual Bank chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi was allegedly paid nearly R5m from Vele Investments’ heist of money from VBS Mutual Bank. A Mail & Guardian report says this has emerged from the ongoing investigation by VBS curator Anoosh Rooplal into the bank’s collapse and are contained in civil claims made against VBS shareholder Vele Investments and former bank officials.
Eskom is in talks to recover the interest on money paid to global consultancy McKinsey & Company, the electricity producer has confirmed, according to a Business Day report. The utility said it was in ‘protracted talks’ with the management consultancy to recover the capital amount, claim back VAT and recover interest accrued on the capital.
The state has lodged an 87-page application in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) to go after the personal assets of the executives accused of looting VBS Mutual Bank of more than R1.5bn. Some of the executives allegedly lived the life of billionaires, raiding depositors’ money to purchase mansions, sports cars and a helicopter.
The SA Reserve Bank painted a grim picture yesterday that suggests as much as 75% of VBS Mutual Bank’s assets may have been stolen by its executives and directors, says a Business Day report. ‘It’s a travesty that the failure of management put so many depositors at risk,’ said SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago.