Some interesting quotes in Monday’s Financial Times (“The lure of Africa’s long term story”) from Dr. Ayo Salami (right), head of the Duet Victoire Africa Index fund–which tracks a market cap-weighted index measuring the composite performance of large companies listed on stock exchanges in sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa–as well as of the newly launched Africa Opportunities fund (formerly New Star’s Heart of Africa fund), a long-only vehicle that also focuses on the sub-Saharan region.
While Dr. Salami’s index was down 40% last year, for instance, few investors have jumped ship. Moreover, he is not having any trouble securing new capital, at least from the Scandinavian and Benelux countries, [where] “the risk appetite is much higher than among Anglo-Saxon investors,” and from high net-worth individuals (as opposed to institutions) who may especially value extra alpha. To this extent, “there are some investors who get the long-term nature of [Africa’s] story.” And, he notes, companies in the index grew their earnings per share by 32%.
Dr. Salami predicts continuing growth in consumer demand as the underpinning for the continent’s imminent rise. “Africa has not seen demand destruction like in the developed world. For this reason, I like companies like brewers, cement [and] food companies.” Finally, he mentions that Duet may seek to add a private equity fund in the near future.