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Market Commentary | The week that was

Greylisting strategies: Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says strengthening the country’s security cluster is key to removing South-Africa from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s grey list. He said the security cluster is accountable for most of the country's greylisting-related issues. Investigations and prosecutions associated with money laundering need to be improved, according to Godongwana. Meanwhile, National Treasury has confirmed that South Africa must remedy eight ‘strategic deficiencies’ by January 2025.

Cabinet set to discuss ICC arrest warrant for President Putin: Russian President Vladimir Putin has been invited to attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit to be held in South Africa in August. Meanwhile, Cabinet is expected to discuss legal advice on Putin’s planned visit to the country. A warrant for Putin’s arrest has been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged war crimes in Ukraine. South Africa was in a comparable situation in 2009, when then-Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir travelled to SA. After the visit, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that government should have cooperated with an ICC arrest warrant. The court ruling was challenged by government, but lost.

Markets: On Friday, the S&P 500 was up by 0.6% and the Nasdaq 100 by 0.3%. Locally, the JSE All-share was down by 1.18% on Friday. On Monday (27 March), the rand was trading at R18.17/$, R19.56/€, and R22.24/£. Brent crude was trading at $74.99 a barrel.

Looking at the week ahead: On Thursday SA’s focus will be on the announcement of the latest repo rate by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)’s of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). A rate hike of 25bp is expected. In the US the non-farm payrolls date will be released on Tuesday, and US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data will be released on Thursday.

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