JSE Direct with Simon Brown

Weekly podcast hosted by Simon Brown covering the JSE and listed companies.
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Feb 28, 2024
Nikkei 225 reached a new all-time high after 35 years
  • Historical context: peaked in December 1989, 82% drawdown by March 2009.
  • Factors contributing to the 80s crash: Yen protection, low rates, speculative bubble.
  • Current challenges: aging population, economic complexities, recent inflation.
  • Investment options: Sygnia JP (SYGJP) - JSE-traded, and Investec's structured product.
Warren Buffett's Annual Letter
City Lodge Results
  • City Lodge results: Revenue up 10%, dividend up 20%, HEPS up 10%.
  • Occupancy at 61%, pricing power at 65%.
  • Challenges in margins due to increased focus on food and beverage.
  • Comparison with other hospitality stocks: Sun International, Southern Sun.
MultiChoice Canal+ Offer
  • Canal+ acquires 35.01% of MultiChoice voting rights, triggering a mandatory offer.
  • Takeover Regulation Panel ruling.
  • Speculation on Canal+ offer price, potential sweetening of the deal.
Bitcoin and Bitcoin Halving
  • Bitcoin trading around $59,884, near all-time highs.
  • Upcoming Bitcoin halving in April and its potential impact.
  • Local perspective on Bitcoin and its role in the market.
  • Bitcoin in ZAR trading over a million, emphasising its volatility.
  • Discussion on Bitcoin's market cap compared to traditional stocks.
Pick n Pay* Update
  • Pick n Pay's disappointing update: debt doubled, sales going backward.
  • Market's negative reaction reflected in the stock price.
  • Potential exit strategy if weekly close falls below 2022.

* Simon holds ungeared positions.


Feb 22, 2024

Budget 2024 panel.

For the last many years AJM Tax has done a post budget panel which includes Simon Brown and this year was no different. Hosted in Cape Town the panel was;

  • Karyn Maughan, senior legal journalist at News24
  • Dr Albertus Marias, Director AJM Tax
  • Azhar Varachhia, Managing director Alpha plus Capital
  • Simon Brown, Just one Lap and MonewebNOW

Below is the AJM Tax one pager of budget highlights.AJM Tax budget 2024 

Feb 14, 2024
Pick n Pay* Chart Analysis
  • Resistance zone around 26, potential to touch 26.70
  • Higher highs, higher lows, horizontal resistance
  • Target: 30 bucks to fill the gap
  • Comments on Pick n Pay's potential under Sean Summers
  • No need for a rights issue, potential market spook if it happens
  • Simon's position: Started building, considering more
  • Current status: Down 1.7%, trading at 25.30

Pick n Pay close 13Feb24 (daily) Pick n Pay close 13Feb24 (daily)

Transaction Capital and WeBuyCars
  • Transaction Capital planning to list WeBuyCars
  • Unbundling process expected in March
  • Valuation: 7.5 billion rand
  • Key information: Founders' put option on Transaction Capital is off the table
  • WeBuyCar's strong performance in January with a record 14,000 cars sold
  • Market Cap of Transaction Capital: R6.5 billion
  • Opportunities and challenges in SA Taxi business
  • Overall assessment: Looking not too bad
  • Current stock level: 850c
  • Expectation of pro rata shares for Transaction Capital holders
  • Timing details expected in the circular
Gold Price Movement
  • Gold weaker despite US and UK inflation data
  • Current gold price and chart analysis
  • Simon's position in Anglogold Ashanti*
  • Observations on unexpected weakness in gold price after inflation data

Gold daily chart 14Feb24 Gold daily chart 14Feb24

Canal+ Offer for MultiChoice
  • MultiChoice facing a 105 rand Canal+ offer
  • Market sentiment: Canal+ likely to come back with a better offer
  • Current stock price: 104.63
  • Speculation on possible offer prices: 120, 135, or even 160
  • Market confidence in Canal+ making a mandatory offer

Global Market Trends and Dollar Strength

  • Dollar strength in global markets
  • DXY trading at 104.87
  • Money flowing into the US due to fear and concerns
  • Impact on Rand: Trading at 19.07
  • Market skepticism about inflation concerns

DXY (US$ index) 14Feb24 (daily chart) DXY (US$ index) 14Feb24 (daily chart)

Inflation Analysis
  • Recent US and UK inflation data
  • Market reaction to inflation numbers
  • Central bank concerns about reaching inflation targets
  • Jerome Powell's cautious approach and potential rate cuts
  • Local inflation expectations and potential rate cuts in South Africa
  • The challenge of getting back to the inflation target

* I hold ungeared positions.

Feb 7, 2024
Disney results:

Last week's big story was about tech, starting with Disney, a stock recommended here back in September at ±$80.

  • Key financials: Linear networks revenue up 9%, Direct-to-consumer up 12%, Parks up 16%
  • Direct-to-consumer still incurred a loss of $400 million
  • Consumer products, content sales licensing, and ESPN performance discussed
  • Overall, not a knockout result but not terrible; I remain a satisfied shareholder


Meta (formerly Facebook) Earnings:
  • Advertising revenue up 24% year on year to 38.7 billion
  • Other segments discussed, including Reality Labs (MetaQuest)
  • Net profit $14 billion, up 35%; stock surged 20%
  • Mark Zuckerberg's dividend income from the declared 50-cent dividend discussed
  • Positive sentiments about Meta's performance, particularly in comparison to other tech giants
Canal+ Offer for MultiChoice:
  • Canal+ made an offer for MultiChoice at 105 Rand per share
  • Market reaction, initial excitement, and stock movement
  • Simon's caution about potential risks and timing of the deal
  • MultiChoice's response: Board concluded the offer significantly undervalues the group
  • Canal+ continued to buy MultiChoice shares, now owning 35.1%
  • Discussion on the mandatory offer threshold and potential scenarios
  • Regulatory considerations: Foreign ownership rules and competition commissions
    • The price of the mandatory offer must be equal to;
      (i) identical to, or where appropriate, similar to the highest consideration paid by the bidder for those acquisitions and
      (ii) accompanied by a cash consideration, at not less than the highest cash consideration paid if the shares that carry 5% or more of the voting rights were acquired for cash.
  • Simon's conclusion: Canal+ likely to succeed, potential challenges, and market dynamics

Simon Brown

Feb 1, 2024
Breaking News: Canal+ Offer for MultiChoice:
  • Canal+, French TV business, offers 105 rand per share for MultiChoice minorities.
  • Synergies between the two businesses.
  • Legal considerations regarding foreign media ownership.
  • MultiChoice closed at 75 rand; market likely to respond positively.
Market Updates:
  • Hyprop reports positive festive trading for its tenants.
  • Transaction Capital plans to list WeBuyCars in March; potential value unlock.
  • Evergrande declared bankrupt with over 300 billion dollars in debt.
  • Hong Kong economy expanded 3.2% in 2023.
  • China overtakes Japan as the world's top car exporter.
Cristal Challenge Stock Picks:

Richemont*: Luxury brand with potential in a recovering economy.

[caption id="attachment_41062" align="aligncenter" width="849"]Richemont weekly chart close 31Jan24 Richemont weekly chart close 31Jan24[/caption]

Calgro M3*: Debt under control, potential dividend, well-managed company.

[caption id="attachment_41063" align="aligncenter" width="849"]Calgro M3 weekly chart close 31Jan24 Calgro M3 weekly chart close 31Jan24[/caption]

AngloGold Ashanti*: Gold as insurance; geopolitical concerns.

[caption id="attachment_41061" align="aligncenter" width="849"]Anglogold Ashanti weekly chart close 31Jan24 Anglogold Ashanti weekly chart close 31Jan24[/caption]

Zeda: New listing, unbundling, potential growth.

[caption id="attachment_41065" align="aligncenter" width="849"]Zeda weekly chart close 31Jan24 Zeda weekly chart close 31Jan24[/caption]

Mr. Price*: Positioned well in the retail sector, positive trading update.

[caption id="attachment_41064" align="aligncenter" width="849"]Mr Price weekly chart close 31Jan24 Mr Price weekly chart close 31Jan24[/caption]

Closing Remarks:

Reminder to sign up for email alerts before live sessions.

Host: Simon Brown

* Simon holds ungeared positions.

Host: Simon Brown
Date: 1 February 2024

Jan 25, 2024



JSE Direct Episode 571 for January 25, hosted by Simon Brown.

Simon introduces the idea of transitioning the podcast to a live format using Riverside, allowing viewers to see charts and interact during recordings.

Market Updates:


  • Stock surged 10% on better-than-expected trading update.
  • Identified as an opportunity last year when it pulled back to R2,500.
  • Trading at R2,653 at the time of the recording.


  • AVI delivered a strong update, but struggling with I&J.
  • AVI focuses on defending margins, willing to lose volumes for profitability.
  • Potential sale or listing of INJ discussed.


  • Mixed trading update.
  • Struggles in Australia, especially with David Jones, while food segment remains strong.
  • Concerns about the performance of the clothing segment.


  • Mostly a strong update, struggles in UDP (wholesale drug distribution).
  • Selling price inflation averaged 7.5%, higher than the previous period.
  • Clicks achieved highest-ever daily sales in late December.

Economic Updates:

  • December spending records discussed with BankserveAfrica.
  • Expectations for rate announcements from local and European central banks.
  • Hawkish tone expected from local governor; questions about Jerome Powell's stance.
Global Market Highlights:

All-Time Highs:

  • S&P 500, Nasdaq, Dow Jones hit all-time highs.
  • Russell 2000 still 20% off its highs, considered in bear market territory.
  • India's stock market surpasses Hong Kong, becoming the world's fourth-largest share market.
China in trouble, is it over? Should we be worried?
  • Simon reflects on recent data and developments in China.
  • Population decrease and aging population noted.
  • Speculation on a potential $278 billion spending spree to support the market.
  • Concerns about state-directed capitalism and common prosperity policies.
  • Recent crackdowns in gaming, education, and potential implications for healthcare.
  • China's focus on national defense and potential impacts on Taiwan.
  • China's shift towards a more inward-looking and self-focused path.
  • Speculation on the impact of China's changes on global growth, commodity prices, and investments.
  • Simon announces plans to start recording the podcast live, with notifications on social media and newsletters.
  • Acknowledgment of the podcast's longevity (571 episodes) and a request for reviews.

Simon Brown signs off, encourages reviews, and mentions future live recordings.

Reminds listeners to take care of themselves and others.

* Simon holds ungeared positions.


Jan 17, 2024

In this episode of JSE Direct, Simon Brown discusses various market topics, including the bleak outlook of the Hang Seng Index due to Chinese GDP results.

Positive news for Grindrod with the Maputo Port Development Company's impressive performance.

The rise in uranium prices driven by increasing demand for nuclear power plants, he found two US listed ETFs benefiing from this trend.

[caption id="attachment_40966" align="aligncenter" width="849"]Spot uranium price Spot uranium price[/caption]

The approval of 11 Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC. When does the JSE get a crypto ETF?

Do elections matter for markets?

Upcoming elections in 2024 across 70 countries. Simon explores the question of whether elections truly matter for investors, emphasising historical examples where market reactions were short-term and highlighting the importance of focusing on long-term investment strategies amid political volatility.

Jan 11, 2024

Now for the eleventh year in a row, we kick off the new year with a prediction show.

Marc AshtonKeith McLachlan and Simon Brown put their heads on the block with three wild and woolly predictions for the markets for 2024 followed by a call on the Top40 and ZAR for the year ahead.

Importantly we start each show with a review of the previous year’s predictions and you’ll find the 2023 predictions show here.


Dec 6, 2023

Simon Shares

  • Transaction Capital (JSE code:TCP) results swung into a massive loss, no surprise. SA Taxi loss making but overall H2 was better then H1 in all three divisions.
  • Purple Group* (JSE code: PPE) results also swung into a loss. But as a discretionary consumer business, why is everybody so surprised?
    • Average client has 1.45 products. This seems low, very low.
    • Philippines not yet regulated, but they not giving up.
    • Project delays.
  • Tigerbrands (JSE code: TBS) show a tough environment and RFG (JSE code: RFG) may offer better value.
  • Local Q3 GDP at -0.2%.

  • Gold at all-time highs.

Charts by KoyFin. Get 15% off a two-year subscription

* I hold ungeared positions.

Simon Brown

Nov 15, 2023
Share buybacks and stock compensation, the bad and the ugly

Share buybacks are good right? The company uses their free cash to buyback shares which reduces the number of remaining shares such that each share has a higher claim over future profits which adds to their value.

Further they're tax efficient in that paying dividends results in dividend tax.


  • Firstly, in cyclical stocks you need to be buying back at lows, not highs and the companies usually have no free cash at lows, so either they don't buy back or they do so at highs when they have the cash. Horrid value destruction.
  • Secondly, some companies are buying back but also issuing new shares to staff, at times at a rate faster or similar to what they're buying back. This is then effectively an underhand salary to staff. This is especially an issue with large tech stocks, see examples below.
  • Thirdly, new share issues are considered non-cash, but ultimately they are cash as you gave somebody real shares that have future claim on profits.
  • Fourthly, often acquisitiosn are done with stock increasing the outstanding shares. Many will see this as a free deal as shares don't cost. But they do cost as they reduce every other shares value and if the company has been buybacks, well then they paid cash for those shares, just indirectly.

Locally we do see buybacks, but share issues are relatively small so the impact is less shares and more value per share.

Using IFRS accounting diluted HEPS uses the share count of all outstanding shares PLUS all promised shares not yet delivered. These are basically options that could become shares and gives a way better reflection of the profit, even thugh not yet issued they will potentially come to makret and be issued.

Apple (Nasdaq code: AAPL) has been buying back shares and as such over the last decade it's outstanding shares is down about 38%.

Apple shares outstanding Apple shares outstanding

Meta (Nasdaq code: META) has also been buying back, but they also issue shares at such a pace that over the last decade shares outstanding is basically flat.

Meta shares outstanding Meta shares outstanding

Charts from Koyfin 15% discount for first 2 years

Simon Shares
  • US October CPI was 3.2%, down from 3.7% in September (after peaking at 9.1% in June 2022) and markets absolutely loved the data. Expectations for Fed rates is now no more raising and cuts starting maybe as soon as the 19-20 March or 30 April - 1 May meeting.
  • Shoprite* (JSE code: SHP) trading update shows they still knocking it out of the park and taking market share.
  • Woolies* (JSE code: WHL) trading update had more excuses tha a five-year old caught eating all the picnic ice cream.
  • Decent Stor-Age* (JSE code: SSS) results with ±10% yield and discount to NAV of ±25%. The yield is nice, but you can get the same in cash right now. But when rates start coming down the yield is more impressive and lower rates could see higher valuations.
  • A global luxury ETF

Simon Brown

Nov 9, 2023

The problem with telcos

I have long said that telcos such as MTN (JSE code: MTN) and Vodacom (JSE code: VOD) is that they are essentially utilities and should be priced as such.

But actually that statement is wrong.

Sure voice (who still calls using voice?) and data are utilities like water and electricity.

BUT the telcos have a problem, capex.
Yes we're using more and more data but prices keep coming down, I recently bought an effective 80 GB for little over R400. And all that while capex is increasing. They're busy rolling out 5G but as soon as that's done it'll be tine for 6G. It's a never ending tread mill.

Simon Shares

  • Brent oil is weak and telling us a story about global growth

  • Clicks (JSE code: CLS) vs. Dis-Chem (JSE code: DCP) results contrats.

Simon Brown

Nov 1, 2023

Updating minister Gordhan's portfolio

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has declared his holdings, we reviewed his portfolio last time in April and there are some interesting changes, he is fairly active in buying and selling. Most notable is the total value is up almost R2million?

Simon Shares

  • Purple Group* (JSE code: PPE) have introduce a platform fee. Certain behaviours will see the fee waived and I speak to Charles Savage on my MoneywebNOW show Thursday morning.
  • Renergen* (JSE code: REN) results show a loss, LNG output for phase 1 ±40% and helium on stream by year end. Phase 2 has been split into two parts and the conditions of the $750million is not a Nasdaq listing but rather a capital raise with a listing for part two of phase 2.
  • MTBPS was bleak as expected and we could see some tax hikes in February.
  • Gold almost had its highest ever monthly close for October.

* I hold ungeared positions.

Oct 25, 2023

Living small, an update

Back in 2017 Simon and his wife down scaled into a small (relative) apartment and also got rid of one of their cars again. As they now move again Simon updates in their experience of living small.

Simon Shares

  • Famous Brands (JSE code: FBR) results. Revenue up and HEPS lower.
  • TigerBrands (JSE code: TBS) loses their CEO and posts a decent trading update.
  • Jamie Dimon said central banks’ forecasts have been “100% dead wrong”.
  • Sasol (JSE code: SOL) trading update, lots of movingp arts, but the market not trusting management? That said stock is cheap and we're seeing some upward movement on price.
Oct 18, 2023


Renergen* (JSE code: REN), now what?

Late September the price started breaking down and end September a Tweeter started posting about them.

I'm not going to defend every point raised, that's the job of the company and after an initial poor response, Monday saw a more detailed SENS.

Paid research.

Ultimately all research is paid for. Sometimes it is paid for by the company and here the issue is disclosure.

I think the bigger issue is a complete lack of disclosure in our industry. By FinTwit or the fancy analysts, albeit assume the latter is always talking their book, which is fair.

Perhaps the biggest point from this last few weeks is;

  • Know your stock. Like really know it. When I buy a new holding I put together a lis of 3-5 things I like and 3-5 risks. I may be wrong on any of them, but it makes me do the digging and at least have a decent view of both sides of the story.
  • Careful of "new" news. It may be accurate (or it may not), but it also often lacks detail which maters. This was mostly the case with the Twitter news on the stock.

Now what for Renergen

  • Results next Friday.
  • LNG is flowing.
  • Helium is not, but company has said they expect the leak repaired this month.
  • In short they are in the same place as they were before all this started. BUT.
  • They need to do a US capital raise and list in the Nasdaq. A low share price makes this much more dilutive. How this will play out I have no idea.

I hold and continue to hold Renergen*. It was never going to be smooth sailing and the risks are real. Yes they have the gas and helium in the ground, phase one is half working but phase two is large, complex and expensive with real risks.

Simon Shares

* I hold ungeared positions.

Oct 11, 2023

There are bold traders. here are old traders. There are no bold and old traders.Bold traders

What is a bold trader and why do they die out?

  • Wild swings for the fence
    No position size management
    Stop loss for losers
    Enter outside of system and process

Simon Shares

  • Famous Brands (JSE code: FBR) trading update, Spur (JSE code: SUR) really has taken the mantel of best QSR/restaurant business on the JSE.

  • Very strong US jobs and upward revisions from previous month. But wage inflation only 0.2%. So market was confused but ended happy. Tuesday also saw US 10-year yields moving lower which excited everybody. But I am sceptical, this is only one data point and I think the FOMC hikes at their 31 Oct/01 Nov FOMC meeting.

  • Water crisis. This is going to hurt and it not going away any tine soon. Which businesses get hurt most?

  • We found a US government bond ETF paying monthly.

Sep 27, 2023

US 10-year yields highest since 2007

Bad news all round (unless you buying).

Almost 40% of US government debt expires in the next four years and will be re-issued at markedly higher rates, 9x higher in some cases.

Money flowing into US bonds for yield.

  • This sees less money entering the stock market
  • Sees a stronger US$ (check DXY strength, all currncies weaker against US$)

Hits valuations lower as higher rates makes cash worth less in the future, but so far the market has ignored this fact.

Simon Shares

  • The Top40 closed negative for the year on Tuesday. This after being almost +12% in late January and trading at all-time highs.
  • Top40 close 26 September 2023, negative YTD Top40 close 26 September 2023, negative YTD

    Fed and SARB hold rates steady - but very hawkish.

  • StatsSA "South African hotels recorded an occupancy rate of 47.3% in July 2023, up from 45.8% in June and 45.5% in May.". But still below the ±50% pre-pandemic occupancy levels.
Sep 6, 2023

Simon Shares

  • Shoprite* (JSE code: SHP) results "2023 was extraordinary".

Chart by Koyfin 15% discount for first 2 years

  • Richemont (JSE code: CFR) getting interesting, let's see if support holds.
  • [caption id="attachment_40005" align="aligncenter" width="849"]Richemont weekly ~ 07Sep23 Richemont weekly ~ 07Sep23[/caption]Nampak (JSE code: NPK) nil paid letters are trading, code NPKN. Remember either sell them or take up the rights.
  • Calgro M3* (JSE code: CGR) trading statement, HEPS +20% for the first six months ending August.
  • The latest PMIs out of Europe all quite weak, not only declining from the previous month, but lower than the preliminary numbers from the middle of last month
  • Profit from the Longevity Boom with Healthcare ETFs
  • The tax ABCs of buying a property

Simon Brown

* I hold ungeared positions.


Aug 30, 2023

Simon Shares

  • Bidcorp - excellent
  • AvdTech* - really good, stock at all-time highs
  • Stadio - good student growth
  • Motus - poor HEPS, good dividend
  • Woolies* - not bad, but wow only got R1.1billion for David Jones
  • Sasol - impairments galore
  • Adcock Ingram - capacity utilisation is weak
  • Aspen - good second half
  • KAP - tough out there
  • Super Group - strong numbers

* I hold ungeared positions.

Aug 23, 2023


Spur and Calgro M3, two stocks I have been watching and both have seen their prices break higher.

  • Calgro M3 (JSE code: CGR) builds lower income housing and after a few troube years os back on track.
    • Latest results were for year ending February 2023.
    • PE ±2.5%
    • Cash on hand ±R172million, market cap is ±R440million
    • NAV 951c (including unused land valued at ±30% of NAV) while share price 365c

  • Spur (JSE code: SUR) sells fast casual food and the pandemc hurt. Latest results have some base effect as they are for six months ending June 2023.
    • Forward PE ±5x
    • Dividend yield ±14%
    • Spur remains their key brand.

Simon Shares

  • Thungela (JSE code: TGA) results saw HEPS down 67% which is the same as the price of coal over the last year.
  • UBS cuts China's GDP growth forecast for 2023 from 5.2% to 4.8%
  • CoreShares ETFs name change to 10X.
  • Local inflation for July was 4.7%, a really strong number and better then the market expected, this even as administrative prices kicked in during July. Transport was negative for the period.

Charts by Koyfin 15% discount for first 2 years

Aug 16, 2023


China in trouble as economic data keeps on disappointing?

Chinese data keeps disappointing, every since the -7.5% export data from April. Expected was a strong rebound after they lifted zero-covid restrictions. But not happening.

Just this week;

  • Among 70 Chinese cities, 49 saw a fall in new home prices month-on-month in July from 38 cities the previous month.
  • China suspends youth unemployment data after record high.
  • Over the last decade they’ve halved the number of indicators they publish.
  • Retail sales lower
  • Industrial production lower
  • fixed asset investments lower

Simon Shares

  •  MTN (JSE code: MTN) results had an interesting update on their fintech business. reports were they would list it, but for now Mastercard has taken a stake valuing the business at ±R100billion while MTN market cap is ±R250billion.
  • Satrix is shutting down three of the ETFs they got from Absa. They are the Volatility Managed ETFs. They two small and not core to teh Satrix startegy. If you hold them on close 29 September you'll be paid out the NAV. The three are;
    • STXMEQ
    • STXDEQ
    • STXGEQ
  • Buying the Nasdaq local or offshore? Which is better?
  • Every time is actually different
  • How to double your retirement fund

Koyfin 15% discount for first 2 years

Aug 2, 2023


Aspen looking cheap?

Aspen (JSE code: APN) announces a acquisition in Latin America for US$290m on a price/sales of ±3x and PE of ±5x. This is a classic Stephen Saad sort of deal. Strong cash generation to pay down the debt.

After having gone quiet when the balance sheet case under serious pressure (with debt of ±R50billion) Aspen is back?

Chart looking good for a break higher.

Forward PE of ±12x is below 1 standard deviation over last twenty years and looking cheap.

Charts by KoyFin, click here for 15% off a two year subscription.

Simon Shares

  • FOMC raised 0.25% as expected last week. In the press conference Powell suggested no recession coming and with inflation for June at 3% has the fed successfully threaded the inflation needle without any serious repercussions (so far)?
  • MTN (JSE code: MTN) trading update, 169c cost for 'currency moves' likely the Nigerian Naira devaluation.
  • Prosus (JSE code: PRX) agrees to sell part of PayU to Rapyd for $610m. They’ll keep the Indian market part of the business.
  • How is your crypto taxed?
  • Nominal vs effective interest rate, know the difference.
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