Some market observers believe South Africa’s central bank will be forced to raise interest rates by as much as 50 basis points, which is more than expected, when it meets later this month. Actions by various ratings agencies suggest South Africa’s grasp on an investment-grade credit rating are tenuous at best.

In December, Fitch Ratings pared its rating on South African debt to just one level above junk while S&P reduced its outlook on the country’s bonds to negative from stable.

“Investors have increased bets the central bank will raise the repurchase rate by more than 25 basis points on Jan. 28 to protect the credibility of its 3 percent to 6 percent inflation target band. Consumer prices rose 4.8 percent in November from a year ago,” according to Bloomberg.

iShares MSCI South Africa ETF