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Steep cut in interest rates announced
South Africa - Fin24
he SA Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee cut the repo rate by 100 basis points, or one percentage point, from 6.25% to 5.25% on Thursday.

Most economists were expecting a cut of 50 basis points.

The Reserve Bank is under pressure to help arrest the economy’s downward spiral. South Africa is already in recession, and the fall-out from business disruption due to the coronavirus crisis will be significant.

At least one analyst expects that the economy could shrink by more than 2% this year.

A rate cut could hurt the rand – lower interest dents its investment appeal – but SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago said the steep cuts in interest rate cuts in other economies have created space for the bank to address the rapidly deteriorating state of the South African economy.

The knock-on effect of Covid-19 on property
South Africa - Property360
As President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster on Sunday night and announced, among others, sturdy travel bans, the property industry - already in a tough corner - gulped hard.

Ramaphosa’s measures came swiftly and almost unexpectedly to many South Africans who were only starting to catch on to the impact of the coronavirus which has already taken 6 000 lives in its wake overseas.

The property industry lauded the president’s swift action to halt the fast spread of the virus but there was a stark realisation the actions would not be without a dramatic and potentially lasting impact on the already ailing economy which would, in turn, have a knock-on effect on property.

One of the areas the property market would be hit would be in the R10 million-plus market as “many foreign buyers or investors will be staying away until they understand how their finances are going to be affected”, says Bill Rawson, chairman of the Rawson Property Group.

Residential Property Indices
South Africa - Lightstone
Market Review

National house price inflation peaked at 6.35% per annum in 2014 during the market's recovery following the 2007-2008 crash and has been slowly decreasing thereafter closing at a five-year low of 1.7% in 2019. This reflects the low market activity as buyers find it expensive to buy property and current homeowners refuse to sell for less than they bought in the presently sluggish economy.

In January 2020 the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced a reduction in the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%, and that is positive news for the consumers’ budget. However, it is not enough to offset the rise in fuel costs, electricity and other basic utility rates, and further stimulate market activity. We therefore expect the market to remain in consolidation with a good chance of lesser growth and activity in 2020.

How to build brand equity (and get noticed by the right clients)
Australia - Lawyersweekly
There’s a progressive paradigm shift in the boutique legal sector with the profession increasingly investing in building their firms’ reputation as a company, rather than a group of individual entities, writes Anthony Hersch. The foundation of a business’ reputation is its brand equity: the “value premium” associated with the brand. Contrary to popular belief, brand equity isn’t just a fancy logo, or some great visuals on a website. It’s far more complex, encompassing all the points of interaction a client has with your company that impact conscious or subconscious bias.

Sounds airy? It is to an extent, as conceptually, brand equity is quite esoteric and famously hard to measure. Though its impact shouldn’t be underestimated. The reason brand equity is important is that it affects clients’ perceptions, engagement, and choices. In real terms this means which type of clients you attract, and how qualified they are (i.e. whether they’re aligned with your speciality, and what expectations they have throughout the engagement [whether that be billing, communications, and so forth]).

Accordingly, sending the right cues through a curated brand equity is the ideal way to appeal to the right client profile for your practice with aligned expectations, which in turn can positively impact the overall experience for all involved, as well as contribute to boosting ROI.

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