ON THE MONEY
STUART THEOBALD: Positive momentum has already more than compensated for effect of downgrades
We are heading for a far stronger economy — call it the Ramaphosa effect
It’s not hard to know what investors think of SA. Market prices reveal all. Have a look at the graph below. The red line is the yield on the benchmark R186 bond. This is the amount investors will accept in returns to hold one of the government’s main bonds. On Friday, it was 8.11%. That line shows the yield has now reached levels last seen before former president Jacob Zuma shocked the world by firing Nhlanhla Nene and replacing him with Des van Rooyen as finance minister. The earthquake on that seismic weekend in December 2015 is clear. Yields catapulted from 8.8% to 10.4%. Despite the panicked replacement of Van Rooyen by Pravin Gordhan, international investors did not fully get over the shock. The yield stayed high for the rest of Zuma’s tenure.But have a look at what’s happened since the ANC elective conference in December when Cyril Ramaphosa was elected party leader and national president-in-waiting. There has been a strong rally in bonds. Since his election, the R186 yield ha...