Nelson Mandela passes away

|By:, SA News Editor

South African markets are calm following the passing of Nelson Mandela, who was instrumental in the country's peaceful transition away from apartheid.

One of Mandela's biggest achievements was enacting policies that paved the way for GDP to grow for 15 years, the longest period of expansion in South Africa's history. These policies included embracing the free market, cutting costs and attracting foreign investment.

The question is now that Mandela has passed on, whether South Africa will feel more free to abandon the policies and conciliation that he espoused. For example, the ANC's youth wing wants to nationalize banks and mines, policies that Mandela ditched in 1994.

There are also fears that Mandela's death could leave South Africa open to renewed racial and social tensions, such as those seen in the mine strikes over the past year or so.

The economy is already not in a good way: unemployment is 24.7% and there is a large inequality in earnings between blacks and whites.

The FTSE/JSE Top 40 is +0.3%, the South African 10-year bond yield is -2.5 bps at 8.16%, and the USD-ZAR is +0.2% at 10.4732 rand.

Tickers: HMY, AGPPY, AGPPF, AAUKY, AAUKF, SSL, GFI, ABX, AU, SBGGF.

ETF: EZA