The rand is always at the centre of the storm when it comes to jitters over emerging markets because of its liquidity. So when the wind blows against this grouping of nations, the rand, through no fault of its own, weakens. Depending on the length of the sell-off, an inflationary dragon is awakened. Given that our petrol prices are already at record levels, I think we can take it for granted that at the very least the beast is rather irritated. It was some four years ago now that global investors began their closer inspections of the major emerging-market nations, looking at the fundamentals of the more than 20 nations that fall into this basket. Before then, and in the aftermath of the last global recession, the higher yields that we offered and the much better growth prospects - given that Europe was going through its own debt crisis - meant it was pretty smooth sailing for the most part. Our retailers, such as Mr Price and Woolworths, were universally loved and represented the gr...

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