5 Reasons to Watch South Africa's ETFs

Includes: EZA, SZR
by: Tom Lydon

Emerging markets around the world are stepping up economic growth, and South Africa’s economy and its exchange traded fund (ETF) are no exceptions to this trend.

  • The country’s purchasing managers’ index rose the most in 17 months, reports Nasreen Seria of Bloomberg. The seasonally adjusted index increased to 48 last month from 39.3 in August. This is huge for South Africa, because manufacturing production accounts for 14% of its economy.
  • The sub-index, which measures business activity, jumped to 49.4 last month from a 38.3 in August.
  • New sales orders rose to 50.7 from 39.5 and manufacturers are starting to increase their inventories.
  • The pace of job cuts may have also eased with the unemployment sub-index rising to 42.7 from 37.5 in August.
  • The nation’s currency has been gaining ground on the dollar, surging 39% since March. The WisdomTree Dreyfus South African Rand (NYSEArca: SZR) is up 33.8% year-to-date.

South African state-owned companies may increase bond sales to finance more than $78.5 billion for infrastructure expansion over the next five years as government revenues were hit hard in the recession, reports Garth Theunissen of Bloomberg.

To grab direct exposure to South Africa, take a look at the iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund (NYSEArca: EZA), which is up 43.4% year-to-date. (For more ways to get exposure to Africa, go here).