Just a Moment News - 2023-10-18


Good morning, and welcome to Just a Moment News. I’m Erika, and today is October 18, 2023. Let’s get started with today’s headlines.

First up, we have news from Pick n Pay. The South African retailer has experienced a significant growth in online sales, with a 76.3% year-on-year increase. This growth can be attributed to their on-demand platforms, asap! and Takealot’s Mr D app. Pick n Pay has made improvements in delivery and order preparation times, which have contributed to their success in the online segment. However, the company is facing challenges in its core supermarket business, leading to a 97.5% decline in trading profit. Factors such as restructuring costs, increased competition, and high expenses for diesel generators during load shedding periods have impacted their performance. In an effort to turn things around, Pick n Pay has recently appointed a new CEO and revamped its Smart Shopper loyalty program.

Moving on, Hyprop, a retail-focused real estate investment trust, has acquired Table Bay Mall in Cape Town for R1.62 billion. The mall, developed by Zenprop and opened in 2017, spans over 64,000 square meters. As part of the acquisition, Hyprop has also invested an additional R23.3 million in a new solar plant at the mall. The purchase was funded through borrowing facilities amounting to R2.3 billion. Hyprop aims to expand its presence in favorable areas and sees this acquisition as strategically aligned with its growth plans. The company’s long-term issuer ratings have recently been upgraded, reflecting post-pandemic recovery and sound financial management.

Next, we have news from X, formerly known as Twitter. The platform is implementing a $1 per year subscription fee for new users joining via the web in New Zealand and the Philippines. This fee is part of X’s “Not A Bot” program, which aims to combat spam and bot activity. New users will also be required to verify their accounts with a phone number. While the initiative aims to deter bot activity, it is important to note that only a small percentage of X’s users are paying subscribers. There are some discrepancies between the terms and conditions and the main post regarding the availability of this new program.

In sports news, the South African cricket team, Proteas, suffered a 38-run loss to the Netherlands in their third Cricket World Cup match. The game, held in Dharamshala, India, was shortened to 43 overs per side due to a rain delay. The Netherlands set a target of 245 runs for eight wickets, with their captain Scott Edwards leading the way with 78 runs off 69 balls. Unfortunately, South Africa’s top-order batsmen struggled, and they fell short of the target. This loss marks the Proteas’ first defeat in the tournament but their second loss to the Netherlands in World Cup matches within the past year. South Africa will now prepare for their next game against England.

In a tragic development, Palestinian authorities have accused Israeli airstrikes of killing at least 500 people in a hospital in Gaza. Israel, however, denies these allegations and claims that the explosion was caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the hospital was housing both patients and those displaced by Israeli airstrikes. Hamas has condemned the attack as a “genocide,” and the president of the Palestinian Authority has declared three days of mourning. The Israel Defense Forces initially stated that they would investigate the incident but later concluded that the explosion occurred when an enemy rocket barrage passed near the hospital.

Lastly, Netflix is venturing into live sports broadcasting with its first live sports event, The Netflix Cup. The event is a golf tournament featuring athletes from Netflix’s shows, Full Swing and Formula 1: Drive to Survive. The tournament will take place on November 14th at the Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas. Formula 1 drivers will be paired with PGA Tour golfers in four groups to compete in an eight-hole match. This move by Netflix has sparked speculation about the company’s potential expansion into live sports broadcasting, following in the footsteps of competitors like HBO Max, Disney/ESPN, YouTube, Apple TV Plus, and Amazon’s Prime Video.

And that’s all for today’s news. Thank you for tuning in to Just a Moment News. I’m Erika, and I’ll see you next time.

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