Kurt Davis Jr.
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:08 am AFKI Original
As the second half of 2017 comes into focus, entrepreneurs and private equity managers alike want the narrative in investor circles to change regarding sub-Saharan Africa and fundraising opportunities. Investor sentiments remain that sub-Saharan Africa is still rebounding from the economic challenges of 2015 and 2016, but the focus for entrepreneurs and private equity managers should be on the oil importers and emerging Francophone Africa.
Kurt Davis Jr., 1:32 pm AFKI Original
It is surprising how many business people assume Africa is behind the times in technology. Infrastructure may be a problem…but technology is a different story, and in fact, innovation and active appreciation for the wonders of technology are present throughout the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa, in many instances, can make a Western business person feel like they underuse their mobile phone…or simply feel behind the times when they do not know how to use M-Pesa.
Kurt Davis Jr., 12:06 pm AFKI Original
The African continent will continue to experience major urban development in the coming decades. Such urban development requires improved mass transport and freight-moving systems to support the population growth. Some urban planners even argue that mass transport networks are central to cities’ ability to control the expansion and better manage property development, while reducing travel times and boosting land values.
Kurt Davis Jr., 6:44 am AFKI Original
The African consumer goods and retail investment space is looking up for the second half of 2017, with opportunities available across a number of countries on the continent. While the usual suspects such as Nigeria and South Africa remain likely targets for international retail investment, there are a number of wildcards on the continent which may surprise analysts and attract investment due to their established links to regional markets.
Kurt Davis Jr., 12:01 am AFKI Original
African bond investors are laying the rules for 2017 after a tumultuous 2015 and 2016. Senegal’s $1.1 billion Eurobond launch earlier this month establishes the parameters. The offering – more than eight times oversubscribed – demonstrates investors will reward African countries for growth and political stability. But what many African sovereign bond issuers will have to consider is how big yields could become. In some corners of the continent, bankers may start to ask if there will be a penalty for those holding significant undisclosed debts.
Kurt Davis Jr., 10:55 am AFKI Original
Many African economies could use an infusion of cash into their agricultural markets at the exchange entry point. Liquidity is vital to further stimulate market activity in Africa, especially in the agriculture sector, where 70 percent of Africans make a living. Many African countries do not have agricultural commodity exchanges (or any active trading market) and effectively lack the liquidity and incentive to spur more cash inflow and investors into the sector.
Kurt Davis Jr., 5:03 pm AFKI Original
The story line in 2017 is buy undervalued assets, especially those with massive upside — no surprise. The surprise, however, may be looking for that opportunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kabila is still in power despite his term of office ending. Mineral prices have been low and hurt local mining companies. Budget cuts are a big topic in local politics. The DRC, like one or two other countries on this list, is worrisome on the surface. But there are opportunities in the government’s desire to strengthen private-sector investment.
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:00 am AFKI Original
Short-term volatility and uncertainty in the African growth story create opportunities for hedge funds. Hedge funds generally operate more flexibly than private equity, and they have the creativity to generate bond-like returns that outpace inflation. Critics say hedge funds have limited liquidity in an opaque world. The riskiest play — but with big returns — is in agriculture and land. Where land is for sale in Africa, investors are making a play for a limited resource, especially when it’s arable, ripe for production or ideal for commercial and residential construction.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:54 am AFKI Original
As commodity prices have fallen, African manufacturing has increased leverage — and the attention of investors — to garner more foreign investment. Tanzania is probably one of the easier bets if you are following the crowd. Success stories include Kenya-based Catalyst Principal Partners, an East Africa-focused private equity firm which invested in Zenufa Laboratories, a leading Tanzanian pharmaceuticals manufacturer. Catalyst also invested in Chemi Cotex, which makes toothpaste, skin and hair products. Both involve non-food and beverage consumer goods that are manufactured locally. Both have taken market share due to quality products and competitive pricing.
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:33 pm AFKI Original
Investors are strategically betting on the upside in Francophone Africa due to strong economic growth rates and a stable CFA franc. Lusophone Africa also presents opportunity. Low assets prices have replaced the exorbitant numbers of the oil-and-gas heyday, particularly in Angola and Mozambique. Debt restructuring can restore some confidence in Mozambique’s economic system. Private investors are finding a government more willing to deal on better terms, and companies that are pricing assets at fairly digestible prices.