How one poll transformed South Africa’s bond market fortunes

(Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

(Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

It took one influential opinion poll to ease anxiety among South African bond investors over the outcome of this month’s election.

A 26 April Ipsos poll marked a turning point for investors fretting over the risk that the vote could lead to an unpredictable coalition government. Citigroup strategists are among those to turn positive, moving to an overweight on the debt.

South African local currency bonds trailed emerging markets for much of the first four months of 2024. But the debt has rallied to outperform all developing nations tracked by Bloomberg — bar Argentina — since the poll. Investors have enjoyed returns of 5.5% in dollar terms, against an average of 0.8% in that period.

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