ANALYSIS-S.Africa, not just another BRIC in the wall

Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:32pm GMT

* South Africa's economy doesn't stack up to BRIC states

* Politics at play in its listing

* BRIC inventor says "no" to BRIC+SA

By Jon Herskovitz

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 29 (Reuters) - South Africa's ascension to the BRIC group of major emerging economies was more about politics than economics and reflects expectations it will be the gateway for investment in the fast-growing continent.

South Africa, with a $285 billion economy, a much smaller population and tepid growth of about 3 percent, pales in comparison to BRIC states Brazil, Russia, India and China.

"It's not a natural fit," said Razia Khan, Africa head of research at Standard Chartered.

South Africa's economy is less than a quarter of the size of Russia's, which is the smallest in the original grouping. While it may be the largest in Africa, it is only a bit bigger than China's sixth-richest province.   Continued...

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