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Globally the rand is regarded as one of the most volatile currencies. In 2017 analysts were predicting that with the deteriorating political climate the rand would drop down to R20 to the US dollar. That clearly hasn’t happened. Instead with Ramaphosa now leading the ANC and a new board at Eskom being announced – indicating the start of a large-scale fight against corruption – the rand is trading stronger than ever. This is good news for all South Africans – both in the country and abroad.

Time to move money to your new home country

For South Africans living abroad, now would be the ideal time to transfer funds to their new home country. The rand is currently on a 30-month high due to public optimism that Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as leader of the ANC will lead to policies promoting growth and investment. If you are living abroad and have financially emigrated, you may transfer offshore:

  • The proceeds of your retirement annuity, even before age 55
  • South African source inheritance
  • The proceeds of assets declared in your emigration application
  • Passive income, i.e. rent, dividends, director’s fees, salary for services rendered in South Africa and income from discretionary or vesting trusts
  • Proceeds from a third party life policy

Financial emigration does not necessarily need to happen when you leave your home country – it is also a process that you can choose to undertake when you are settled abroad. Financial emigration is the process where a South African resident changes their status with the Reserve Bank (SARB) from resident to non-resident. It does not affect your citizenship or your right to retain your South African passport.

Countries where you will see the biggest returns

If you are living in one of these countries, you can definitely get more bang for your buck, when you bring rands into the country. Here are the top 20 countries where R1 is worth more, locally, as of 18 January 2018:

Country Currency Exchange (1 ZAR buys you)
Mexico Peso 1.53
Argentina Peso 1.55
Czech Krouna 1.70
Taiwan New Dollar 2.41
Thailand Baht 2.61
Mauritius Rupee 2.70
Philippines Peso 4.16
Russia Ruble 4.64
India Rupee 5.24
Iceland Krona 8.41
Nepal Rupee 8.42
Japan Yen 9.08
Pakistan Rupee 9.09
Sri Lanka Rupee 12.63
Hungary Forint 20.68
Kazakhstan Tenge 25.67
Chile Peso 49.68
South Korea Won 87.52
Colombia Peso 233.33
Indonesia Rupiah 1093.20

Ensure you get the best exchange rate

Even with a strong rand, it’s essential you get the best exchange rate if you are moving money abroad. All foreign exchange transactions in South Africa are subject to exchange control regulations, which are governed by the South African Reserve Bank.

As a foreign exchange intermediary approved by the South African Reserve Bank, FinGlobal is able to offer you a totally compliant solution that provides you with excellent exchange rates, low fees, unrivalled personal service, free exchange control advice, signature-ready documentation and secure processing.

For more information about foreign exchange, financial emigration and other financial aspects relating to living abroad including transferring retirement annuities and tax refunds, contact us today.