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There are many concerns swirling around South African investors at the moment, making it a particularly tricky time to establish a level of strategy conviction. Major geopolitical events could have any number of outcomes and in South Africa (SA), pervasive uncertainty seems to be the watchword as we inch towards elections in May.
It’s that time of year again where more than 3,000 of the world’s top leaders including heads of state, central bankers and representatives from many of the world’s top companies converge on the little town of Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF).
Few currencies matched the rand’s turbulence in 2017, with factors such as Trumpenomics, the firing of finance minister Pravin Gordhan and the appointment of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president, contributing to the R2.04 price swing during the year.
Political uncertainty globally will have ripple effects on Africa, primarily through impacts on commodity prices and global economic sentiment. While the early months of 2017 have seen improved prices for the commodities on which many southern African economies rely, longer term economic sentiment is more mixed. Meanwhile, governance improvements and the embedding of democratic practices and norms will be tested by pockets of instability as succession battles take place across the region.