Ron Rowland
January 6, 2011

Happy New Year! Something very, very important happened in the closing days of 2010, and very few people noticed. The “BRIC” club is expanding to include South Africa. Today I’ll discuss this development and tell you what it means to your investment portfolio.

BRIC is the combination of Brazil, Russia, India and China — the top emerging market nations. The term was coined in 2001 by Goldman Sachs strategist Jim O’Neill to describe the four nations he thinks will collectively rival the U.S. for world economic leadership by the year 2020.

Enter South Africa

Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa, had been openly asking to join the BRIC club for a long time. He made official visits to all the members since taking office last year and has told anyone who would listen how Africa in general, and South Africa in particular, was ready to take a bigger place in the world economy.

Apparently his persistence paid off …

On December 23, Chinese president Hu Jintao wrote a letter to Mr. Zuma informing him of the current BRIC members’ decision to invite South Africa into their group.

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