Corporate financialization in South Africa : From investment strike to housing bubble
This article reveals the processes of financialization in the South African economy by tracing the sources and destinations of non-financial corporations’ liquidity. The paper argues that rather than the volume of non-financial corporations’ financial investment, the composition of financial assets is crucial to assess corporate financialization in the country. Non-financial businesses in South Africa fundamentally transformed their investment behaviour during the 1990s, shifting from more productive uses such as trade credit towards highly liquid and potentially innovative (and therefore risky) financial investment. Following the direction of financial flows the article shows that companies’ financial operations – fuelled by foreign capital inflows – are linked to the price inflation in South African property markets.