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We are pleased to present our 2021 Africa Private Equity Confidence Survey (PECS). This publication is centred around valuable insights into how fellow private equity (PE) practitioners view the African PE landscape, specifically their future expectations over the next 12 months.
Exports could hold the key to South Africa’s economic recovery and growth. South Africa is experiencing a record trade surplus in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with our exports far outpacing imports. Recent data released by the South African Revenue Service showed that South Africa recorded a trade surplus of R51.4 billion in April 2021, surpassing market expectations of R31 billion.
After months of managing the COVID-19 crisis, people and businesses are depending on the public sector to guide them through the next several months and possibly years of uncertainty. It’s time to capitalise on what’s been achieved via the new policies and service delivery models that were developed in response to the crisis.
Many people around the world are turning to the gig economy and side hustles to make ends meet, especially as the economy continues to take further knocks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Cash strapped South African consumers are taking strain from debt collectors with limited options to manoeuvre their existing budgets but very few have spotted the opportunity or potential of the gig economy.
South Africa’s economic recovery relies to a large extent on creating a more enabling business environment and putting the right structural economic reforms in place. The country needs to prioritise those reforms that will deliver results both in the short and long term and put the ruling party’s tendency to revert to ideological thinking aside in the interests of rescuing the economy.
The GDP print for the fourth quarter of 2020 has come in better than expected, seeing markets respond positively in terms of rand strength and bond yields. Year-on-year GDP fell by 4.1% compared to the expected 4.6% decline, while on a quarter-on-quarter, annualised basis we saw a very strong 6.3% versus an expected 5.6%.
Global equities can continue to perform well in 2021, but tech may have to share the limelight with some unloved areas. Meanwhile, a number of mega-trends will continue to gather pace. Global equities are by no means cheap, but they are reasonably valued.
Will investment fundamentals return in 2021 or will the great disconnect of 2020 continue? As we enter 2021, the market’s recent bout of festive cheer will have left many investors feeling upbeat. However, do not allow yourself to be carried away by the market’s high spirits. While there are many reasons to feel positive about the year ahead, it is equally important to note what markets seem to have forgotten – namely that the pandemic and its consequences are not yet behind us.
2020 challenged all of us. The most severe economic contraction in decades triggered vast monetary accommodation and fiscal support packages that altered the investment landscape. Now, as we approach 2021, the promise of COVID-19 vaccines is game changing. It encourages us to anticipate a return to pre-pandemic activities.
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