In July 2018, I published an article entitled, “Now might be the time to invest in African agtech”. It’s a good feeling to see my own optimism reflected in the market. At the time of writing, there was a surge in agtech (agriculture technology) ventures in Africa, which still tallied at a humble 82 start-ups. Funding in agtech had also increased 121% in the period between 2016 and 2017 (these figures were taken from a 2018 Disrupt Africa Report).
Innovation is a life force, catalyzing economies and accelerating humanity. However, the single most important challenge facing humanity today is how one understands and harnesses this disruptive innovation.
To avert catastrophic food insecurity and other major climate change impacts, the African continent must work towards reaching the United Nation's Sustainability Development Goals. However, this is currently a challenge for emerging markets. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), there is a $2.5trn funding gap across the developing world to reach the goals.
Agriculture is known to be a large contributor to the African economy, employing half of its population. That is why it is one of the key focus areas of the African Development Bank. Agriculture also ignites the imagination of financial institutions around the world. Very importantly, in this neo-SFDR world, farmers also have “green fingers”, and to twist this analogy, much of the industry falls into the remit of impact investing and/or green financing.
While many investors may associate multi-asset funds with the higher-risk balanced funds, which can hold up to 75% in equities, there are also multi-asset funds with more moderate risk profiles and a lower allocation to equities. These funds offer a dynamic solution to changing market conditions, while remaining aligned to the stated fund objective.
Africa has long been known for its youthful population, and while the continent will continue to have the largest youth cohort in the world, they’ll live longer than their forebearers, according to the latest Bright Africa pensions research from RisCura, a global investment firm.
Like many other industries around the world, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on our asset management industry, accelerating some of the existing trends already in motion and introducing new challenges to business models and technological capabilities, as well as very interesting opportunities. Among these have been: the rapid implementation of advanced technologies; provision of enhanced communications and client services in a virtual environment; greater globalisation leading to more competition; and the increasing importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Although many local managers like Prudential have navigated the crisis very successfully, it has shown us that going forward we will need to be more adaptable than ever. This, while also maintaining a stable company culture and operational base, and delivering consistently excellent client services and investment returns.
Well-known for its unique fauna and tropical climate, Madagascar is an enchanting travel destination for any visitor. Most would agree there is nowhere else on the planet with the sheer wealth of natural resources like one will find in Madagascar.
Over the last two decades, many companies have delisted from the JSE. In its 1988 peak, it had 754 companies listed, which was down to 274 at the end of 2020, with no slowdown in sight.
From 2000 to 2015, Africa saw $836bn leave its shores through transfers. This capital flight is a tragic outcome, particularly given the extraordinary need for capital investment across the continent, and I contend, the compelling investment opportunity that Africa in many ways represents. During this period, Africa went from the hopeless to the hopeful continent, and back again, hamstringing long-term investment commitments.
OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I is the first global emerging markets impact fund in Finland. The fund targets significant positive impacts on, for instance, climate change, food security, gender equality and the availability of financing. As someone who has been keeping a close eye on the global impact investment market, I foresee substantial growth in impact investing in the coming years..
The largely untapped and unrealized potential that Africa is blessed with has been a magnet that has attracted and continues to attract mining investors to the continent.
Until circular 1/2021 was released on January 4 this year, it was largely prohibited for South Africans to invest in offshore structures that owned South African assets or lent money to South Africans.
The multi-year outperformance of growth over value stocks is well documented and has been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, cheap (value) stocks have underperformed by the biggest margin seen in over a century. Hence, it should not come as a surprise to find that the investing public has given up on value stocks and value funds. The effect of this capitulation out of cheap and unloved stocks has been profound. It has given rise to some of the widest discrepancies in relative valuations and some of the highest levels of crowding in growth (particularly technology) stocks on record.