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Ratings downgrade keeps the auction industry busy

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A greater range and scope of assets are becoming available on auctions

South Africa’s auctioneering market is poised for a shift as auctions grow in popularity against a backdrop of credit ratings downgrades, says Fanie Bielderman, a senior executive at Aucor.

“While there is a lag effect in the impact of the country’s downgraded status by international agencies, South Africans can expect the maturing auction sector to expand as an accelerated sales platform option.

“Economists are predicting greater pressure for consumers in the immediate future. Although interest rates have marginally dropped, the cost of living has increased, owing to other factors affecting the economy. Aucor is starting to see a surge in assets available for disposal.”

Bielderman says a greater range and scope of assets are becoming available on auctions as companies and individuals adapt to changing market conditions.

“In addition, we are seeing a surge in the number of people attending vehicle auctions looking for value purchases- a trend we predict will translate into greater numbers of qualified and cash buyers at auctions.”

During cash-scarce times, the speed and finality of auctioneering is a draw-card for corporates.

“Auctions offer a market platform with a number of potential buyers bidding for assets at a single point in time. Once the hammer falls, settlement takes place within specified periods and there is no room for any further negotiation by buyers. This much-needed certainty, coupled with greater agility, is an attractive benefit.”

For buyers, auctions offer the opportunity to purchase assets at fair value, he says. “Auctioneering is the apex between supply and demand, so buyers often find bargains.”

South Africa’s auction industry has proved to be robust in both economic booms and downturns, Bielderman says.

“This is because corporate asset disposals are initiated for a variety of reasons, including when assets become redundant or surplus assets are held. In such cases, the role of experienced auctioneers and valuers is pivotal to realising greater value for corporate assets through a simple, transparent and auditable process.”

Online auctions are also growing in popularity because of the convenience of bidding from any remote location, he says.

“The only proviso when bidding on an online platform is to ensure it is done with a reputable auction house with market credibility. Aucor has a national footprint and representation in a number of African territories, and our website attracts more than 150000 hits a month.”

Bielderman warns, however, that consumers should do their homework in terms of checking the credibility of auctioneers.

“Potential bidders should verify whether auctioneers are CPA compliant, affiliated to professional bodies (the Estate Agents Affairs Board and SA Institute of Auctioneers), and whether potential buyers are easily able to view the goods that are to be auctioned at a bricks-and-mortar facility,” he advises. “With a commitment to transparency and corporate governance, an auction through credible auctioneers is a high value/low risk proposition.”

For more information see www.aucor.com.

Weekend Argus Auctions

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