Foreigners dump SA stocks at fastest pace in two years

Foreigners dump SA stocks at fastest pace in two years

JOHANNESBURG - Foreigners offloaded South African stocks at the fastest pace in two years last week, as worries about the state of the global economy helped spur an exit from riskier assets.

Offshore investors were net sellers of R10.7 billion ($711 million) of the country’s equities in the five days ending Oct. 4, based on figures from Johannesburg stock exchange operator JSE Ltd. That’s the heaviest week of outflows since September 2017.

Appetite for South African equities has been hurt by concerns about global growth, the prolonged trade war and a moribund local economy. A forthcoming credit-rating review by Moody’s Investors Service has added to caution among non-resident investors.

South African stocks fell 5.8 percent in the three months to the end of September, their worst third-quarter performance since 2011. And it’s not just stocks that foreigners are selling: Their ownership of South African government debt dropped to 37 percent of the total at the end of August, from as high as 43 percent in March 2018, National Treasury data show.