Markets and economy

Markets & economy

As bottom-up stock pickers we are less concerned about the market and economy than factors that make individual shares attractive. However, we acknowledge that we need to bear in mind the context in which we must invest. Here we share our long-term views on the market and economy.   

Articles in "Markets & economy"

Markets and economy

Zimbabwe in transition

By Nick Ndiritu on 06 Jul 2018

reading time: 6 mins

Zimbabwe’s election on 30 July 2018 heralds a new beginning after the abrupt end to President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign in November 2017. We are not...

Markets and economy

Approaching a tipping point

By Sandy McGregor on 30 Jun 2018

reading time: 11 mins

After a strong start to the year, global investors have been spooked by a diverse combination of developments, including a slowdown in global economic...

Markets and economy

Business confidence improves in South Africa

By Sandy McGregor on 13 Apr 2018

reading time: 2 mins

After 18 months of accelerating growth, the momentum of the expansion of the global economy slowed in the first quarter of 2018.  It is noteworthy that an...

Markets and economy

Demystifying Africa’s debt markets

By Nick Ndiritu on 15 Feb 2018

reading time: 4 mins

Investors seeking diversification outside of South Africa can easily overlook the investment opportunities in other African markets. It is tempting to start ...

Markets and economy

Fixing the South African economy

By Sandy McGregor on 24 Jan 2018

reading time: 10 mins

If we can make necessary changes domestically, favourable global business conditions will support a rapid economic turnaround. Now that the ANC conference is...

Markets and economy

What can be done to address SA’s fiscal crisis?

By Sandy McGregor on 12 Jan 2018

reading time: 2 mins

Global economic activity continued to gain momentum in the last quarter of 2017. Global purchasing manager’s indices, which are a good barometer of current a...

Markets and economy

Facing a fiscal crisis

By Sandy McGregor on 13 Oct 2017

reading time: 2 mins

The synchronised global economic expansion continues to gain momentum. World trade is growing and increasing demand is putting upward pressure on commodity...

Markets and economy

Is now the time to invest?

By Todd Buchholz and Andrew Lapping on 12 Oct 2017

reading time: 1 min

Is it time to put your money under the mattress or is it time to invest? Watch this 7-min clip with Andrew Lapping, our chief investment officer, and Todd...

Markets and economy

Invest in stocks with dividends, but put stop losses in place

By Todd Buchholz on 01 Sep 2017

reading time: 3 mins

It is always a good time to invest, the question is where...

Markets and economy

Value investing in Nigeria

By Nick Ndiritu on 16 Aug 2017

reading time: 5 mins

Active managers in Africa and frontier markets have to counter the perceived higher-risk of investing in volatile markets prone to political and economic...

Markets and economy

The economics of taxation

By Sandy McGregor on 20 Jul 2017

reading time: 11 mins

An efficient tax system is a necessary feature of a modern state. Taxes have always been a focus of political concern, even when, by modern standards...

Markets and economy

SA economy in the doldrums as the rest of the world picks up

By Sandy McGregor on 14 Jul 2017

reading time: 2 mins

Since January, domestic demand in South Africa has been very weak, the clearest evidence of which has been poor retail sales. The consumer is no longer in a...

Markets and economy

Valuation of Nigerian and Zimbabwean holdings in the Allan Gray Africa ex-SA Equity Fund

By Nick Ndiritu on 12 May 2017

reading time: 4 mins

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has established a new foreign exchange (FX) platform for investors and exporters, effective 24 April 2017. The exchange...

Markets and economy

South Africa’s economic outlook deteriorates

By on 18 Apr 2017

reading time: 3 mins

Since the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2016, there has been a worldwide economic upturn. This is the first period of synchronous global growth since the...

Markets and economy

Should you have bonds in your portfolio?

By Mark Dunley-Owen on 31 Mar 2017

reading time: 9 mins

Bonds are boring, or so the saying goes. A better interpretation is that bond returns are less volatile than equity returns, most of the time...

Markets and economy

Nigeria: Finding opportunities where others fear to tread

By Andrew Lapping on 31 Mar 2017

reading time: 11 mins

Wow, that valuation changed quickly! A few years ago investors were very excited about investing in Africa outside of South Africa. People spoke of Africa...

Markets and economy

Tough times for African equities

By Andrew Lapping on 03 Feb 2017

reading time: 4 mins

Most African equity markets had a difficult 2016, generating negative dollar returns. The worst performers were Egypt and Nigeria, which fell 47% and 41%...

Markets and economy

LISTEN : What is the sweet spot for the oil price?

By Rory Kutisker-Jacobson on 25 Jan 2017

listening time: 20 mins

In the face of an OPEC oil production cut, shale producer activity and US President Donald Trump proposing various far-reaching changes what can we expect fr...

Markets and economy

The winds of change

By Sandy McGregor on 06 Jan 2017

reading time: 2 mins

While the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States was not expected by investors, it does not seem to have been unwelcome:  both t...

Markets and economy

A changing world

By Sandy McGregor on 31 Dec 2016

reading time: 13 mins

The political shocks of 2016 are a manifestation of rising public discontent about prevailing economic and social conditions. Sandy McGregor provides some...

Markets and economy

Investing in Africa’s debt markets

By Nick Ndiritu on 30 Sep 2016

reading time: 8 mins

Patient capital dedicated to Africa’s capital markets is scarce, especially during economic or political downturns. Nick Ndiritu explains how long-term...

Markets and economy

WATCH : How to think about the rand when making investment decisions

By Andrew Lapping on 18 Jul 2016

viewing time: 1 min

Over the last few years we have been concerned about the strength of the rand and our portfolios have been positioned for currency weakness. One of our...

Markets and economy

How to think about risk in Nigeria

By Nick Ndiritu on 11 Jul 2016

reading time: 4 mins

Our investment approach does not change even during periods of extreme market volatility. As always, we carefully consider investment opportunities where ris...

Markets and economy

The economic consequences of political decisions

By Sandy McGregor on 06 Jul 2016

reading time: 2 mins

The vote by the British electorate in support of leaving the European Union (EU) took markets by surprise. The immediate impact was a strengthening of the US...

Markets and economy

Gold: A history of its price

By Sandy McGregor on 30 Jun 2016

reading time: 11 mins

Inventories play a significant role in the pricing of commodities: when they are low prices tend to rise, while excessive inventories depress prices. However...

Markets and economy

Managing portfolios in times of uncertainty

By Duncan Artus on 24 Jun 2016

reading time: 4 mins

My inbox is filling up with commentary about the impact of Brexit. Some of the commentary is of debatable long-term value and with news of this nature it tak...

Markets and economy

Uncertainty persists

By Gary Elston on 20 Apr 2016

reading time: 3 mins

The increased uncertainty that arose in December of last year has persisted throughout the first quarter of 2016. The current political climate and the threa...

Markets and economy

The triumph of the bureaucrats

By Sandy McGregor on 31 Dec 2015

reading time: 8 mins

There is a widespread lament that economic growth is disappointing. While demographics and structural problems are largely to blame, the increasing cost of...

Markets and economy

Consumption trends in emerging markets: Opportunities and pitfalls

By Duncan Artus and Tamryn Lamb on 23 Nov 2015

reading time: 4 mins

Looking to capitalise on the rise of the emerging market consumer? Beware of the potential pitfalls .

Markets and economy

Investing in Africa defies a simple narrative

By Nick Ndiritu on 30 Sep 2015

reading time: 10 mins

Our Equity, Balanced and Stable Funds are allowed to invest up to 5% in Africa outside of South Africa. Some investors may choose to invest directly into...

Markets and economy

Secular stagnation: The new normal?

By Sandy McGregor on 30 Jun 2015

reading time: 11 mins

Economists are engaged in an interesting debate about economic growth and what has been described as 'secular stagnation'. The issue has received widespread...

Markets and economy

What do low global bond yields mean for South African investors?

By Ian Liddle on 28 Jan 2015

reading time: 5 mins

Adapted from the Chief Investment Officer’s comments, which will appear in the Allan Gray Unit Trust Annual Report, 2014. More than half of global government...

Markets and economy

The collapse of the oil price and its consequences

By Sandy McGregor on 31 Dec 2014

reading time: 7 mins

The dramatic collapse of oil prices at the end of last year caught most market participants by surprise. For three and a half years, between February 2011 an...

Markets and economy

What's wrong with the South African economy

By Sandy McGregor on 30 Sep 2014

reading time: 8 mins

After growing strongly for 10 years, since 2012 the South African economy has been stagnating, which prompts the question: What has gone wrong and how can th...

Markets and economy

Understanding the risk of loss in Africa ex-SA

By Andrew Lapping on 30 Jun 2014

reading time: 9 mins

A small percentage of the foreign component of our Balanced and Stable Funds is invested in Africa and investors looking for greater exposure to the region c...

Markets and economy

Time to review your equity exposure?

By Ian Liddle on 27 Jan 2014

reading time: 7 mins

Adapted from the Chief Investment Officer’s comments, which will appear in the Allan Gray Unit Trust Annual Report, 2013. We aim to grow our clients’ wealth...

Markets and economy

A simple checklist for domestic asset allocation

By Duncan Artus on 07 Aug 2013

reading time: 5 mins

I recently read the fascinating book ‘The Success Equation: Untangling luck in Business, Sports and Investing’1, which explores, how much of one’s success or...

Markets and economy

The Allan Gray Africa Equity Fund celebrates 15 years

By Andrew Lapping and Nick Ndiritu on 30 Jun 2013

reading time: 9 mins

When the Allan Gray Africa Equity Fund (the Fund) was launched on 1 July 1998 it was the first unitised product in which Allan Gray Proprietary Limited was...

Markets and economy

Not the time to relax risk appetite

By Ian Liddle on 28 Jan 2013

reading time: 5 mins

In his 1988 annual letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett wrote: ‘We have no idea how long the excesses will last, nor do we know what will change the...

Markets and economy

The trend is your friend till it bends at the end

By Duncan Artus on 24 May 2012

reading time: 4 mins

For some time we have been concerned about the sustainability and unbalanced nature of consumption growth in South Africa. I don’t believe you can consume,...

Markets and economy

Looking back at 2011 and preparing for the years ahead

By Ian Liddle on 20 Jan 2012

reading time: 6 mins

South Africa has thus far been spared the crushing austerity measures affecting Europe. Three important factors have been in our favour so far: a decade of...

Markets and economy

An era of high global earnings

By Simon Raubenheimer on 30 Sep 2011

reading time: 8 mins

Company profits are currently at historic highs, but we do not know with any certainty where they are headed. Although it is entirely possible for global and...

Markets and economy

What we know for sure

By Delphine Govender on 01 Sep 2011

reading time: 6 mins

At Allan Gray we prefer not to opine over reasons for short-term movements in stock markets and share prices and we shy away from predicting changes in the...

Markets and economy

Can the level of interest rates be used to reliably predict investment returns?

By Duncan Artus on 13 Jul 2011

reading time: 4 mins

Local and global short-term interest rates are at low levels. This has led to questions about the rationale for holding cash both locally and offshore. We ha...

Markets and economy

China's Malthusian challenge

By Sandy McGregor on 31 Mar 2011

reading time: 9 mins

Two years since the global financial crisis and commodity prices are back at the record levels of June 2008. This growth has been about five years quicker th...

Markets and economy

The long-term outlook for the South African bond market

By Andrew Lapping on 31 Mar 2011

reading time: 9 mins

As a bond investor you need to ask yourself two questions: are your inflation expectations reasonable, and will the potential real return be sufficient? Andr...

Markets and economy

Africa's investable universe

By Nick Ndiritu on 31 Dec 2010

reading time: 7 mins

We expect a change in prudential investment regulations to allow pension fund investors to invest up to 5% of their assets in Africa, in addition to other...

Markets and economy

Deflation

By Sandy McGregor on 30 Sep 2010

reading time: 8 mins

It seems the world may divide into two distinct camps: the mature economies gripped by deflation and stagnation, and the emerging markets, which continue to...

Markets and economy

Welcoming the world to South Africa (but are they here to stay...?)

By Ian Liddle on 30 Jun 2010

reading time: 6 mins

For most of the time since our first democratic election in 1994, foreign investors have been net buyers of companies listed on the JSE. They are now...

Markets and economy

Another view

By Duncan Artus on 31 Dec 2009

reading time: 7 mins

Governments around the world are engaged in significant fiscal and monetary stimulus. But there is some doubt about whether their efforts will improve the re...

Markets and economy

The triumph of the markets

By Sandy McGregor on 31 Dec 2009

reading time: 8 mins

It is the nature of markets to reward success and eliminate what is unsustainable. During the past year we have seen a dramatic manifestation of this process...

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