South Africa ETF Could Face Challenges in 2018

The iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (NYSEArca: EZA) is on a torrid pace to end 2017. The largest exchange traded fund dedicated to South African equities is up more than 8% over the past week, bringing its year-to-date gain to over 30%.

Even with the recent bullishness in South African equities, some market observers believe challenges remain for one of Africa’s largest economies.

“Political uncertainty will persist in South Africa following the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as leader of the African National Congress,” Fitch Ratings says. “The closeness of the result, and the likely challenges in agreeing and implementing changes to existing economic and fiscal settings, suggest that the policy paralysis prior to this week’s national conference may not be quickly resolved.”

Last week, EZA and South African markets surged as investors were optimistic that pro-reform candidate Cyril Ramaphosa secured victory in the ruling ANC’s leadership vote.

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected leader of the African National Congress Monday in a tight vote, vowing to fight rampant corruption in a scandal-plagued party and to revitalize the economy, report Alexander Winning and Nqobile Dludia for Reuters.