Is SA Inc investable?
Has the dire past decade made SA Inc uninvestable? For foreigners, it’s a hard sell, especially since $100 invested in the JSE five years ago would now be worth $82, whereas that $100 would be worth $152 on the global S&P 500. But is now the time to buy local since Cyril Ramaphosa, armed with victory at the polls, is expected to provide fertile ground for the private sector to create growth and jobs?
Is it time to back SA Inc? While the question alone might be the cynic’s ultimate contrarian "buy" signal, the answer might be as simple as "confidence" — whether there is any belief that the next 10 years will be a vast improvement on the past decade. For months, the smart money has said "wait until after the election". But now that the ink is dry on the ANC’s 57% victory, what do the tea leaves tell us? The FM surveyed a broad range of SA’s business leaders to find just how "investable" the country is after Cyril Ramaphosa’s victory. Even if they mostly said the right things, the picture was far from convincing. Take Brian Joffe, one of SA’s most canny investors. He turned Bidvest into a sprawling, multibillion-rand global services business and is now building a new company, Long4Life, aimed at "lifestyle investments". Last week, as Joffe began Long4Life’s annual results presentation, he prefaced it with a plea to his fellow South Africans. "Each one of us needs to contribute to t...