UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Financialisation of non-financial corporations in South Africa

08 December 2021, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm

Graphic for financialisation research seminar

Join us to hear Dr. Sophie van Huellen talk about her paper on the 'Financialisation of non-financial corporations in South Africa: Variations across sectors and value chain positions'. This talk will be chaired by IIPP’s Antonio Andreoni with a discussion from Bill Lazonick (SOAS). Followed by questions from the audience.

This event is free.

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This seminar explores how financialisation ​develops and impacts middle-income economies differently from high-income industrialised economies at the micro and meso level by focusing on financialisation of non-financial corporations in South Africa. 

With the development of a stock market with the second-highest level of capitalization over gross domestic product (GDP) in the world and symptoms of​premature deindustrialisation and a stagnant economy, South Africa makes a particularly interesting case study. The seminar will explore the argument that financialisation has shaped the ways in which middle-income economies integrate into global ​value chains and the global financial system and the nature of their integration has shaped the ways in which they themselves engage with financialisation. The nature of integration and the ways in which non-financial corporations engage with financialisation further varies with the sector in which they operate, the position they fill along the ​value chain and the opportunities for rents capture and value extraction that arise ​from endogenous power asymmetries and market concentration. This discussion will explore these differences and their implications, focusing on a sample of listed companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) which operate in different sectors and in different positions of the ​value chain.

Background material linked to this seminar

Andreoni, Antonio and Robb, Nishal and van Huellen, Sophie (2021) 'Profitability without investment: how financialization undermines structural transformation in South Africa'. In: Andreoni, Antonio and Mondliwa, Pamela and Roberts, Simon and Tregenna, Fiona, (eds.), Structural Transformation in South Africa: The Challenges of Inclusive Industrial Development in a Middle-Income Country. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Read more about the IIPP seminar series 2021-2022

About the Speaker

Dr. Sophie van Huellen

Lecturer in Development Economics at Global Development Institute (GDI) - The University of Manchester

Dr Sophie van Huellen
Sophie is a Lecturer in Development Economics with the Global Development Institute (GDI) at The University of Manchester. She obtained a BA in Economics, Politics and Philosophy from the University of Erfurt, Germany. She was further trained in economics (MSc and PhD) at SOAS University of London. She held a lectureship with the Economics Department at SOAS before joining GDI in 2021.