Portfolios are ignoring the dangers to the upside in SA

On Tuesday, Statistics SA introduced that the nation’s GDP had fallen by 51% within the second quarter of this 12 months. This was barely under expectations and for a lot of would have confirmed the consensus view that traders should be extremely conscious of, and insure their portfolios towards, important native dangers.

Greg Hopkins, CIO at PSG Asset Administration, identified that usually that’s taking place in 3 ways in the meanwhile.

‘Persons are shopping for lots of native money,’ he stated. ‘We have now seen a big transfer from dangerous property into native money.

‘Offshore expertise is one other instance. Individuals suppose that there are higher development prospects there and try to hedge towards the rand. And gold is one other one which has made its manner into many portfolios.’

This exhibits that the dangers that traders are clearly specializing in are poor authorities execution on a restoration technique, the low-growth surroundings, and rand weak point.

Dangers being ignored

‘Nonetheless, what’s fascinating to us,’ stated Hopkins, ‘is that there are dangers that the market isn’t making an attempt to insure towards. These are that there’s some likelihood that the federal government would possibly execute on a few of its insurance policies, that the South African economic system would possibly get well, or that the rand is likely to be somewhat stronger than the consensus view is.’

That is mirrored in traders crowding into native rand hedges, and the beaten-up nature of SA Inc counters.

‘The way in which that native shares are at the moment priced, the market is giving an nearly zero change that the federal government will execute on its insurance policies sooner or later,’ stated Hopkins. ‘After we take a step again, we don’t know what the chances are of presidency execution, we don’t know whether or not they are going to or they gained’t and over what timeframe, however we don’t suppose the chances are zero.

‘And what’s fascinating right here is there’s a group of SA Inc shares which would supply very low cost insurance coverage towards this taking place.’


At the moment 39% of the PSG Fairness fund is held in SA Inc shares. Important holdings embody AECI, Discovery, the JSE, Shoprite and Remgro. As Hopkins identified, these are high quality firms with historic return-on-equity properly above the market common.

This, he argued, makes them low cost insurance coverage towards dangers to the upside in South Africa. And there are causes to imagine that these shouldn’t be discounted.

‘Rates of interest are at the moment at 55-year lows,’ stated Hopkins. ‘That is one thing that generally the market misses. Up to now, at this level in a disaster, our central financial institution would usually be elevating charges as a result of they’d be defending the rand and future inflation. These low charges, we expect, might set the inspiration for future development within the economic system.

‘The yield curve on authorities bonds can also be very steep.

Typically, if you see a steep yield curve it precedes financial development.

Now, we don’t know what the exact odds are of financial development in South Africa enhancing sooner or later, however we definitely don’t suppose it’s zero.’

Commodity costs have additionally been enhancing, which implies that South Africa’s phrases of commerce have benefitted.

‘This might additionally present the foundations for rand power sooner or later,’ stated Hopkins. ‘We don’t know what the chances are with any precision for what the rand will do sooner or later, however the probabilities of it strengthening are definitely not zero.’


Corporations have additionally had the chance within the Covid-19 disaster to right-size and restructure their property and operations. This restructuring creates the chance for future earnings development.

‘We don’t know with any precision, as soon as once more, what the chances are of great earnings development sooner or later,’ stated Hopkins. ‘However the chance is definitely not zero.’

Lastly, there’s the potential of funding returning to rising markets.

‘Capital outflows from rising markets within the first quarter of this 12 months have been the best we’ve seen on report,’ stated Hopkins.

‘There’s a likelihood that the herd might come again,’ he added.

‘The weak point within the greenback and up to date power in rising market currencies could possibly be a harbinger of a few of this cash returning.

‘If it does, it typically lifts native asset costs and improves the foreign money. As soon as once more, we don’t know what the chances are with any precision, however we don’t suppose that they’re zero.’

This informs PSG Asset Administration’s view that there’s worth in insuring towards the potential of the South African economic system, the rand, and native firm earnings stunning to the upside.

‘There’s a very sturdy consensus view within the nation that we needs to be sitting anyplace aside from SA Inc,’ stated Hopkins. ‘And there could possibly be lots of ache if South Africa is rather less dangerous than we count on, and if authorities simply executes somewhat on its insurance policies.

“And, proper now, you may get low cost insurance coverage towards that final result.’

Patrick Cairns is South Africa editor at Citywire, which gives perception and knowledge for skilled traders globally.

This text was first printed on Citywire South Africa here, and republished with permission.