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Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in SA rose to a record in 2021 on Prosus’s acquisition of about 45% of Naspers, central bank data shows.

The annual flow of FDI was R604.3bn, the highest since 1956, the SA Reserve Bank said in an emailed response to questions after the release of its Quarterly Bulletin for the three months through December. The previous highest recorded annual inflow was R80.1bn in 2013.

The exchange deal, in which Amsterdam-based Prosus acquired the shares from existing shareholders of Cape Town-based Naspers, contributed to both the direct- and portfolio-investment liabilities and portfolio-investment assets categories in 2021, the central bank said.

Prosus and Naspers initiated the share swap to help the latter reduce its overweight position on the JSE and narrow the valuation gap with Tencent.

The central bank last week raised its economic growth forecast for 2022 to 2% from 1.7%. However, it lowered projections for 2023 and 2024 and now sees expansion in both those years below 2%, constrained by rotational power cuts and policy uncertainty.

While the Quarterly Bulletin shows the SA economy’s business cycle entered the 100th month of a downward phase in March, the negative phase may have already ended, the Bank said in an emailed response to questions on Tuesday.

“We are currently busy with the analytical work to determine whether a lower turning point has already been reached,” the central bank said.  

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com


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