Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stamp Investment Tip: South Africa 1936 JIPEX Souvenir Sheets (Scott #72-73)

In 1936 South Africa issued a pair of souvenir sheets for the Johannesburg International Philatelic Exhibition (Scott #72-73). Only 5,000 sets were issued, and Scott '10 prices the set at $ 11.75 ($ 25.00 for NH).

I feel that the set is undervalued, given its appeal to collectors of British Commonwealth and South Africa.

South Africa is a country of vast potential but many problems. As a a middle-income country of about 49 million, it has an abundant supply of resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors, a stock exchange that ranks among the top twenty in the world, and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the entire region. South Africa is ranked 25th in the world in terms of GDP. Annual GDP growth has averaged about 4% over the past 5 years.

However, the country has a two-tiered economy- one rivaling other developed countries and the other with only the most basic infrastructure, similar to a Third World nation. Unemployment is extremely high and income inequality is approximately equal to Brazil. Also, there is an 18% HIV infection rate among South African adults, among the highest in the world.

Nevertheless, I believe that the sheets represent a low-risk speculation, and given their current inexpensiveness and low printing quantity, the downside is virtually non-existent.


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Alex said...

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