iShares MSCI South Africa ETF(EZA)- NYSEARCA
  • Mon, Aug. 29, 5:19 AM
    • Political shock waves roiling South Africa's economy are continuing to reverberate, with news that a controversial business family linked to President Zuma would sell all its assets in the country and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would be charged for graft.
    • The latest developments could add to pressure on South African assets and aggravate the perilous state of the economy, which is hovering close to recession. The country's sovereign debt is just one notch above junk status.
    • ETFs: EZA
    | Mon, Aug. 29, 5:19 AM
  • Tue, Apr. 5, 4:59 AM
    • President Jacob Zuma will face another bid for his ouster today when parties debate a call for him to be removed from office following his "constitutional breach" of failing to repay some of the $16M of public money spent on his private residence.
    • The scandal is arguably the biggest yet to hit Zuma, who has fended off accusations of corruption, influence peddling and even rape since before he took office in 2009.
    • ETFs: EZA
    | Tue, Apr. 5, 4:59 AM
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 3:49 AM
    • Just a few years ago, the so-called BRICS were taking the world by storm with surging economic growth, although it now looks like they risk capsizing it.
    • China was growing at an average rate of more than 10% a year, peaking at over 14% in 2007. India averaged 8%; Russia 5%; and Brazil and South Africa around 4%. To put that in perspective, the G-7 economies expanded at an average rate of less than 1.4% over the same time frame.
    • What happened? The commodity- and export-dependent emerging economies have long been prone to booms and busts, as their fate depends largely on the tide of global demand. They also face deep debt problems, political turmoil and major demographic challenges.
    • ETFs: EWZ, RSX, EPI, RUSL, INDY, SCIF, RUSS, BRF, INDL, PIN, INDA, ERUS, RSXJ, EZA, INP, IIF, INXX, BRZU, INCO, EWZS, SCIN, RBL, SMIN, BRAQ, BZQ, BRAZ, BRAF, UBR, DBBR, FBZ
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 3:49 AM | 8 Comments
  • Dec. 14, 2015, 5:29 AM
    • South Africa's rand jumped as much as 6.4% on Monday, the most since October 2008, after President Jacob Zuma named the country’s second finance minister in four days.
    • The move puts Pravin Gordhan - who held the post from 2009 to 2014 - back into the top job.
    • Gordhan successfully steered South Africa's economy through its first recession in 17 years and was able to fend off pressure from labor unions to boost spending.
    • ETFs: EZA
    | Dec. 14, 2015, 5:29 AM
  • Sep. 18, 2015, 10:41 AM
    • The iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia Capped ETF (KSA) is the first ETF with significant exposure to that country - an impossibility until June when Saudi Arabia opened up (limited) direct foreign investment in its stock market.
    • The ETF will track the MSCI Saudi Arabia IMI 25/50 Index which holds about 50 large-, mid-, and small-cap stocks. Interestingly, the index has 30% allocated to both financials and materials, but just 1.4% to energy stocks - it makes sense considering the country's oil production is state-owned and not publicly traded.
    • The next step for Saudi Arabia could be inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index - a possibility as soon as June 2017, according to the WSJ.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • MENA ETFs: AFK, EZA, EGPT, EIS, GULF, NGE, GAF, MES, ISRA, ISL, UAE, QAT
    | Sep. 18, 2015, 10:41 AM | 2 Comments
  • Jul. 20, 2015, 4:52 AM
    • Entangled in the Greek debt crisis, few European policymakers had little time or interest to pay attention to the recent summit talks between the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, collectively known as the BRICS.
    • The hotly discussed New Development Bank was reported to have just held its first board meeting and will soon be lending internationally. The BRICS Bank will start off with a capital of $50B which will be hiked to $100B in two years.
    • Meanwhile, the combined economic output of the BRICS last year almost matched America's GDP. Back in 2007, the U.S. economy was double that of the five nations.
    • ETFs: EWZ, RSX, EPI, INDY, RUSL, PIN, EZA, INP, INDL, RSXJ, ERUS, RUSS, DSUM, CHIX, INXX, INDA, RBL, BRZU, BZQ, UBR, BRZS, DBBR, CHLC, FBZ, RUDR
    | Jul. 20, 2015, 4:52 AM | 4 Comments
  • May 4, 2015, 3:28 AM
    | May 4, 2015, 3:28 AM | 5 Comments
  • Dec. 31, 2014, 11:34 AM
    | Dec. 31, 2014, 11:34 AM
  • Oct. 13, 2014, 3:15 PM
    | Oct. 13, 2014, 3:15 PM
  • Aug. 5, 2014, 7:11 AM
    • President Obama is expected to announce a $14B commitment by U.S. companies to invest in construction, clean energy, banking, and information technology projects across Africa.
    • "These investments will deepen U.S. economic engagement in Africa, fueling growth that will support broader African prosperity and emerging markets for US businesses, which will support jobs in both the United States and Africa," says a White House official.
    • The announcement will occur at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum today, part of a three-day Africa summit in Washington.
    • ETFs: AFK, EZA
    | Aug. 5, 2014, 7:11 AM
  • Jul. 17, 2014, 3:27 AM
    • The IMF praised the formation of the New Development Bank and reserves fund launched by BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) yesterday, and announced that it would like to work together with the monumental project.
    • So far the new fund has pooled together $100B in reserves from the five countries with the intention of reshaping the Western-dominated international financial system.
    • ETFs: EWZ, RSX, EPI, INDY, RUSL, PIN, EZA, INP, INDL, RSXJ, ERUS, RUSS, DSUM, CHIX, INXX, INDA, RBL, BRZU, BZQ, UBR, BRZS, DBBR, CHLC, FBZ, RUDR
    | Jul. 17, 2014, 3:27 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 16, 2014, 3:58 AM
    • The long-awaited New Development Bank has been launched after BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders put their finishing touches on the $100B bank and currency reserve pool aimed at reshaping the Western-dominated international financial system centered around the IMF and World Bank.
    • The launch marks the first big accomplishment by BRICS countries, which account for almost half the world's population.
    • The bank is scheduled to start lending in 2016. Membership is open to other countries but the capital share of the BRICS cannot fall under 55%.
    • ETFs: EWZ, RSX, EPI, INDY, RUSL, PIN, EZA, INP, INDL, RSXJ, ERUS, RUSS, DSUM, CHIX, INXX, INDA, RBL, BRZU, BZQ, UBR, BRZS, DBBR, CHLC, FBZ, RUDR
    | Jul. 16, 2014, 3:58 AM | 4 Comments
  • Feb. 3, 2014, 8:43 AM
    | Feb. 3, 2014, 8:43 AM
  • Jan. 30, 2014, 1:17 PM
    | Jan. 30, 2014, 1:17 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 29, 2014, 10:54 AM
    • Who could have thought raising interest rates 425 basis points would be bearish? A curious rally following Turkey's defense of the lira - it jacked rates to 12% from 7.75% - has completely reversed. One feels a 1992-like vibe where the Bank of England hiked like crazy to defend the pound, but then ultimately had to let it go (also creating a bottom in stocks).
    • In Europe, the Stoxx 50 (FEZ) is off 1.3%, with Turkey (TUR) now down 2.3%.
    • South Africa joins the party, unexpectedly hiking its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.5%. EZA -2.8%.
    • A check of Brazil (EWZ -1.3%) and India (EPI -1.1%) - where monetary policy has also been tightened this week - finds them lower as well.
    • The money is flowing into U.S. Treasurys which continue a big 2014 rally. The 10-year yield is off five basis points to 2.71%. TLT +0.3%, TBT -0.5%.
    • Europe ETFs: ETFs: FXE, VGK, EUO, FEZ, ERO, EU, DFE, IEV, EPV, EZU, HEDJ, DRR, GXF, FEU, GUR, FDD, EUFX, ESR, UPV, ULE, FEP, ADRU, URR, FEEU, EURZ, DBEU, EURL, FIEU
    • Treasury ETFs: TBT, TLT, TMV, TBF, EDV, TTT, TMF, ZROZ, SBND, TLH, DLBS, VGLT, UBT, TLO, LBND, TENZ, TYBS, DLBL
    | Jan. 29, 2014, 10:54 AM | 8 Comments
  • Jan. 29, 2014, 8:48 AM
    • The South African Reserve Bank has unexpectedly raised interest rates by 50 bps, with the key repurchase rate rising to 5.5% and the prime lending rate to 9%.
    • The consensus was that the bank wouldn't increase rates, but the weakness of the rand has prompted it to act.
    • The bank's move follows similar action of varying degrees from peers in other emerging markets, most notably Turkey yesterday, India and Brazil.
    • "The bunch of rate hikes from other emerging-market economies has put pressure on (Governor Gill) Marcus to hike rates because there's a fear she's going to be left behind if she doesn't move and foreign money will then invest in other emerging market economies," says trader Sijadu Mzozoyana. (PR)
    • However, the bank's move seems to be having no effect on the rand, with the USD-ZAR +2.5 to 11.2988 rand. The FTSE/JSE Top 40 is +0.4%.
    • ETF: EZA
    | Jan. 29, 2014, 8:48 AM
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