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Are you overly exposed to China?
By Duncan Artus
As South African investors we are very tuned into the local political and economic risks that we face. But what about the less obvious risks? We speak a lot about the need to maintain a well-diversified portfolio. Aside from simply picking different companies, industries or countries, investors need to get a good sense of where underlying returns are coming from, and what impacts those returns. They must also make sure that their investments are not all highly correlated.
Peeling away the layers of the average South African investor’s portfolio reveals that one of the biggest risks we face is exposure to China. It may be hard to imagine that the portfolios of residents on the most southern tip of Africa are highly dependent on the economy, policy decisions and consumption behaviour of Asia’s largest country, but exposure comes in different shapes and forms, from Chinese demand for mining-related material, and of course via Naspers.