Thanks in large part to rising precious metals prices, the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (NYSEArca: EZA) is up more than 21% good for one of the best performances among all single-country emerging markets exchange traded funds.
EZA has been accruing that impressive year-to-date showing in the face of lingering concerns that one or more of the major credit ratings agencies would downgrade South Africa’s sovereign debt rating to junk status. Concerns about South Africa’s sovereign credit rating are once again in focus.
Earlier this year, Standard & Poor’s reiterated a BBB- rating, the lowest investment-grade rating, on South African sovereign debt. In May, Moody’s Investors Service surprised global investors by actually upgrading its rating on South Africa to two levels above junk territory.
EZA, the largest South Africa ETF, is off more than 2% over the past week and resides just 3.5% above its 200-day moving average.