Rand looks to become an ‘unlikely hero’ over the next three months

South Africa’s rand may have been the world’s most volatile major currency over the last year, but traders think that’s going to change as price swings surge in Mexico, Russia and Turkey.

The rand’s implied, or expected, volatility over the following three months is below that of the peso, ruble and lira for the first time since at least 2005, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

It’s a turnaround from just two weeks ago, when investors priced the rand’s future volatility higher than any of its peers.

South Africa is becoming something of a haven because many investors are optimistic about economic reforms under new President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Meanwhile, they’re fretting about high inflation and loose monetary policy in Turkey, U.S. sanctions against Russia, and Mexico’s elections in early July.

Bearish rand bets are fading along with expectations of volatility.

The premium of contracts to sell the rand over those to buy it in the next three months, known as the 25-Delta risk reversal, has dropped more than 100 basis points in the past two months to around the lowest level in four years. The premium is now also below that of the peso, ruble and lira, which has only happened on a few occasions previously.

The rand was trading at the following levels against the major currencies at 13:00 on Thursday (12 April):

  • R11.98/dollar
  • R17.01/pound
  • R14.78/euro


Read: SA’s longest downward phase since the 90s appears to be coming to an end: economists

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Rand looks to become an ‘unlikely hero’ over the next three months