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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Bloomberg by Filipe Pacheco, Justin Carrigan and Dana El Baltaji.]

There’s one emerging market country that Michael Bolliger can’t get bullish about at the moment: South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma is fighting to stay out of court before the African National Congress votes for a new leader in December. He’s pushing for his ex-wife to succeed him, but most analysts in a Bloomberg survey think the nation’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will probably be the one who does so. It’s more noise for a market that has already paid a price for political wrangling when it lost two of its investment ratings in April.

“Political decisions typically don’t play a major role in our investment decisions, but in South Africa’s case, it’s an exception due to the very binary nature of the outcome,” Bolliger, who oversees more than $2 trillion for clients as the head of emerging-market asset allocation at UBS Wealth Management, said in an interview in Bloomberg’s office in Dubai.

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.0% y/y in January 2019 (CPI) & +4.1 y/y in January 2019 (PPI)
1.4% q/q (4th quarter of 2018)
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