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Vol 39 No 19

Published 25th September 1998


Crisis? What crisis?

Most of Africa’s 18 stock markets are well insulated from successive financial crises in East Asia, Russia and now, Brazil. Africa’s biggest worries are in its most open and most liquid market - South Africa. Targeted by speculators, the rand has fallen 34 per cent over the past year and between January and August this year, some R18 billion (US$2.9 bn.) went out of the money markets. In local terms, South Africa’s stock market is still booming: in January 1996, it was the fourth biggest emerging market in the world, with a market capitalisation of $308.36 bn. (R1.12 trillion). By July 1998, the dollar value of its capitalisation had fallen by 30 per cent to $215.64 bn.; in local currency, the capitalisation rose 18 per cent to R1.32 tn.

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