Emerging Markets

APAC's Investment Advisors Overlooking Africa - Survey

Chrissy Coleman Asia Correspondent 16 April 2013

APAC's Investment Advisors Overlooking Africa - Survey

Asia Pacific’s professional investment advisors lag behind the rest of the world in their appreciation of Africa’s huge investment growth potential, a survey has found.

The research by Alquity Investment Management - a firm specialising in Africa investments - finds that 75 per cent of independent financial advisors from outside Asia Pacific are either “likely or somewhat likely” either to invest or recommend investing in African opportunities. However, only 56 per cent of their Asia Pacific counterparts share that position.

The survey also finds that while a global average 62 per cent of financial intermediaries already have client money in investment funds for Africa, Asia Pacific again lags at 50 per cent. Both globally and in Asia Pacific, close to 70 per cent of those invested in Africa are using the Alquity Africa Fund.

The findings follow the recent meeting in Durban, South Africa, of heads of state and government from the five BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which among other issues focused international attention on China’s deepening interests in Africa, according to a statement released yesterday by Alquity.

“Against that backdrop, and given the enthusiastic approach of Asia Pacific investors to attractive growth opportunities, it comes as a surprise that those same investors remain wary of Africa’s investment potential”, said the firm's chief executive, Paul Robinson.

Asked about investment destinations outside Africa, an overwhelming 97 per cent of Asia Pacific investors said they prefer to invest in China and Asia Pacific, with Latin America as the second-favourite target for their funds.

According to previous research by Alquity, Africa is now home to 15 of the world’s 29 fastest growing economies, and Africa as a whole, with booming populations exceeding 1 billion, is today positioned where BRICS nations were a decade ago. Investment guru George Soros is among an increasing number of professional investors now expressing enthusiasm for Africa’s huge growth potential.

The Alquity Africa Fund was set up in June 2010 to target long-term growth, and invests in companies that are either listed on 11 of Africa’s stock exchanges or derive most of their income or profit from within Africa.  

In the year to December 2012, its US dollar I share class grew 15.1 per cent.The fund is authorised in Hong Kong by the Securities and Futures Commission, and is available to investors through locally-based IFAs and platforms such as Convoy, Friends Provident and iFast, among others.

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