Think of investing in Africa and what comes to mind? Based on the news reports, mining companies and oil explorers, perhaps; maybe political risk, cocoa and coffee.
Think again: Turns out the largest holdings in the Mackenzie Universal Africa & Middle East Class fund are banks and financial services companies based in Nigeria and Botswana: Access Bank, Zenith Bank, First City Monument and Letshego Holdings. The fund also holds Nigeria's Benue Cement and South African household goods maker and retailer Steinhoff International Holdings. And then, there is Egypt...
What else don't you know about investing in Africa? Is your portfolio missing out on an opportunity for diversification and growth? (The Mackenzie fund was up 30 per cent on the year, as of March 31.) Which sectors offer the most potential? And why not mining and resources?
Roelof Horne, who runs the Mackenzie fund, joined us for an online reader discussion on Monday, May 10th, part of the Globe and Mail's special edition on Africa. You can replay the discussion by clicking on the live blog box below.
Mr. Horne is the portfolio manager on the Investec Africa strategy and is responsible for the investment-related work in their Botswana and Namibia offices. He was also head of life products at Investec Asset Management from 2002 to 2007. He joined Investec Asset Management in February 1996 and was involved in equity analysis and portfolio management before becoming head of research and the financial services sector. Prior to Investec Asset Management, he was chief financial officer of First Derivatives. He began his career at Deloitte & Touche, where he specialised in financial institutions, and was made partner in 1993. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1987 and was placed in the top 10 in the final qualification exam.