Some have described last Thursday’s events, when President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet and removed Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, as South Africa’s Brexit or Trump moment. Of course there are huge differences between Zuma’s actions and events in the UK and the US – the latter two were the results of direct choices by the electorate, while the former was the executive decision of a president – but there are still useful parallels to be drawn and lessons to be learned from an investor perspective. In this piece I will draw points from the events of June (the UK referendum) and November (the US election) last year, while taking into account previous events in South Africa and other emerging markets. Given that it’s an unfolding issue, with new possibilities emerging every day, I will stick to general themes. Expect the unexpected! This has become a bit of a cliché, but the saying’s validity has been demonstrated by these three events. As investors, we cannot predict the futu...

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