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News Blog

A collection of longer form stories, submitted, sourced, or written by our team, that would not make sense to cover in a traditional broadcast news format, but which we wanted to share with you anyway.

(please note that views and opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of Radiowave).

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Iono - Behind the Bulletins

Deciding on the best investment

When it comes to investing money rather than just saving many people shy away because they are not sure they know what they are doing but with the right advice investing your money need not be a daunting task. Here is a very informative article by Diederik Kruger, Bank Windhoek's Head: Funding and Liquidity Management that we decided to share wth you:
A new year brings new possibilities. It is the time of the year when people are well rested and have the time to do some forward planning. It is therefore the perfect time to evaluate your savings and investment plans.
Term of the investment
It is important to consider the recommended investment period for an investment. Many of the market linked investments recommend a three to five year investment horizon because market fluctuations in the short term can affect the return on your investment. Similarly, when we look at term deposits, short term deposits will not give you the same return as long term deposits. In a market with high uncertainty on the direction of interest rate movements, the difference between short term one month deposits and 12 month fixed deposits will favour the long term investor. An investor can decide to wait for future rate increases by keeping their money in short duration deposits or they can choose to earn a higher return from day one and potentially outperform their peers. Some investors will favour the second option to have a guarantee of their income for the period.
Return and taxability
When comparing investment returns, market linked portfolios’ past performance is no guarantee for future performance. Past performance against a benchmark is amongst others, a testimony of the fund manager’s ability to outperform the benchmark in a volatile market. When considering returns, the impact of tax or withholding tax on your return must be taken into account and this is important when you are dependent on your income for living expenses.
When choosing an investment, ask your bank or advisor about the after tax rate to make sure that you compare like for like and make an informed decision.
Risk and volatility
This is certainly an important part of every investment decision. Investors have varied risk appetites and therefore it is important to gauge your own appetite before you make an investment decision. Market risk is the impact of adverse market movements on the return on your investment and your capital invested. During uncertain times, clients may choose to convert some of their investments to low risk guaranteed return products to offset some of the market risks in their portfolio. Investors who rely on the portfolio income for their monthly living expenses may find that fluctuating performance can deteriorate their capital base when market returns are low or negative. This may only be a short term situation, but the impact on their capital base may have longer lasting negative effects on their income.
Why invest in fixed deposits?
There is a host of investment vehicles for individuals these days and investors are often overwhelmed by the complexity and fine print of these investments. Investors want to know that they can trust the organisation that offer the best investment and have some guarantee of the income that they will earn on the investment. It is therefore not surprising that the time tested benefits of a fixed deposit, is still the same today. A fixed deposit offers short to long term investment options that is low risk with a guaranteed return. A fixed deposit with a bank is easy to open through your local bank branch and with this personal contact you can ask questions to help you make the correct investment decision.

Part-time painter puts Christuskirche on canvas

We found this really nice story by Anna Salkeus and Tina Haulyondjamba that we felt was worth sharing with you:

Driving past the Christ Church and around the traffic circle it is situated on is not unusual, but driving past a man with a huge canvas on the pavement of the church is a surprise.
Leonard Abrahams decided to dedicate his 2016 festive season to putting one of Windhoek’s tourist attractions and landmarks on canvas, but his methodology is what entices the curiosity.
Most artists prefer to paint in the privacy of their homes or studios where no audience can disturb or judge their creativity until the product is completed.

“I prefer to work from the sites because some things are better seen with the eyes in real life,” says Abrahams.

The ambitious 57-year-old artist is working on an exhibition he intends to showcase early this year. Dabbing his brush into the pallet of browns, reds and greys, Abrahams explains that because of his preference to work on site, the weather determines how long it takes for him to complete an oil painting. “I have been working on this painting for a week now and might be working on it for another week before it is completed, depending on the weather.” 

He is a perfectionist and at times may take long to complete paintings, he says while looking at the detailed lines and strokes on the half-finished artwork.

He uses oil pant as well as pen and pencil with no measuring instrument; using only his eyes to measure objects he plans to paint. “I mostly do wildlife, political and social satire, mixed architecture (historic and commercial) and portraits.”

Asked about the painting of the 107-year-old Christuskirche situated in the middle of Robert Mugabe Avenue, a witty Abrahams says the blue sky above all and dry lawn below the Independence Memorial Museum in the background might not be included in the final product.

He says his talent was identified during high school when he started drawing.

But being able to draw and paint is not easily identified as a bread-winning career. Abrahams says he is not able to paint all the time because of family commitments as a husband and father. A permanent job as a truck driver at the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) is what pays the bills and sustains his hobby that has also produced a painting of the corporation’s building, but not exactly as it appears.

“The painting of the Meatco building was painted in a futuristic kind of way. Painting is not just about what you actually see but what one can imagine as well.” Abrahams says he painted the Meatco building because the company has helped him in many ways over his 11 years of employment there.

He also plans to work on a painting of the Namibia Breweries building.

Schlettwein had no other option but to yield the axe says Kavari

Namibian analyst Suta Kavari may have moved to Beirut, Lebanon but he clearly still has his eyes firmly focused on Namibia as evidenced by this opinion piece which he emailed to us regarding Minister of Finance Calle Schelttwein's mid-year budget review: 

I will admit when the Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein, quoted William Feather’s “A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it”, I was ready to jeer and take to twitter to rue yet another a missed opportunity to significant reduce expenditure.

But Calle being Calle Schlettwein, that was just the precursor of what was to come.

Schlettwein then proceeded to make a compelling case in mapping Namibia's deteriorating fiscal space, and the accompanying cuts to expenditure and the tax increases would have to be endured.

When Schlettwein presented the budget in February, I was one amongst a host of many who criticized the Minister’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, noting at the time that it “didn’t go far enough in addressing the realities of our fiscal position.”

The Fitch outlook revision, which showed a significant widening of our budget deficit due to lower-than-expected revenue collection, was the straw that broke the camel’s back and jolted the Fiscus into action.

What we saw from Schlettwein’s Mid-Year Budget Review last week, was government’s strongest indication yet, that they intend on reining in spending at a time of falling revenue.

Namibia finds itself in the most precarious of positions, a position alluded to by the Minister in great detail in his speech. It is also a position exacerbated by downside risks to both the global and regional growth outlook.

Reflecting the enormity of the downsides that our economy faces, the revenue forecast for the current MTEF was slashed by N$9.3 billion, from N$63.9 billion to N$54.6 billion.

The cuts to expenditure went further than anyone had anticipated and they were, plainly put, brutal.

Schlettwein announced intention to “undertake cumulative expenditure reduction of about 6% of budgeted GDP” and to cut “reduce expenditure-to-GDP ratio from 40% of GDP to below 35% of GDP”, phased in over the MTEF.

The indicative expenditure ceiling was also reduced by N$10 billion for the 2017/18 fiscal year, from N$69.9 billion to N$59.9 billion.

That ceiling is expected to reach N$64.4 billion at the end of the MTEF, a significant reduction to the N$74.4 billion that was envisaged in February.

For the current fiscal year, revenue shortfalls amounted to N$6.2 billion and given the very limited scope for debt, Schlettwein was forced into cutting expenditure by N$5.5 billion

Of the N$5.50 billion, N$2.82 billion was sourced from the operational budget. This is significant, because it marks the first time that we’ve seen any cuts to the operational side of the budget.

The wage bill, which accounts for close to 40% of the total expenditure and the hardest part of expenditure to cut, was cut by N$633.39 million. A welcome move.

The development budget also felt the might of the axe, with N$2.7 billion worth of cuts. The cuts, as the Minister noted, would be “concentrated on the construction of office building with a more bias towards administrative sector”.

Surely now talk of constructing vanity projects, like the Parliamentary and the PM’s ivory towers would be put to bed! Surely?

But whether the cuts to expenditure would be enough to starve off a credit rating downgrade, remains to be seen.

The budget review did show that the economy is on the brink and with these cuts it is hard to imagine the economy not slipping into recession. The alternative, however, is too ghastly to even ponder.

However, what we saw last week is a government aware of the realities of the day, and addressing those realities. We saw a Fiscus capable of self-correcting and seriously intend on cutting the excess fat.

For a government that has injected a litany of policy uncertainties that have constrained growth, the mid-year budget review was a welcomed refresher.

Calle Schlettwein’s task was an incredulous one, but absolutely necessary to ensure our long-term macroeconomic sustainability. We all owe him a vote of gratitude.