Report: Africa Paying More Attention To Zimbabwe Investment

Report: Africa Paying More Attention To Zimbabwe Investment

South African money is a major player on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, and other African countries are starting to pay attention, a Zimbabwe investment expert said in an All Africa report.

Botswana Stock Exchange-listed retail group Choppies Enterprises last week announced the acquisition of 49 percent of an unnamed Zimbabwean supermarket chain comprising 10 stores.

Traditionally, Asian and European countries have been known to invest in Zimbabwe, said Tino Kambasha, executive director of institutional funds manager Imara Zimbabwe. Large African capital firms are now showing interest in the country.

“We have recently seen Choppies Enterprises from Botswana come into Zimbabwe and from what I can see, we are going to see a whole lot more companies following suit whether it is by setting up shop, finding strategic partners or outright acquisitions,” he said.

Equity fund managers are eager to explore opportunities for strong capital growth and high equity yields, he said. Zimbabwe and its large consumer base can no longer be ignored.

Kenyan private equity firm Fanisi Capital said recently it will launch its second $100 million fund to be invested in new markets across Southern Africa before the end of 2014. Fanisi’s new fund seeks to invest in non-East African markets where the fund is focused.

“We may look at the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and all the way down to Zimbabwe and Zambia,” said Fanisi managing partner Ayisi Makatiani.

Kenyan market performance year to date was around 32 percent while in Zimbabwe it stood at 31 percent, Kambasha said.

“Mind you, this is after the market had dropped about 24 percent in the wake of uncertainty in August. As it stands in Q3 we are down 5 percent and Kenya is up 11 percent and we have since started crawling back.

“It only makes sense for those invested in the Kenyan market to take some profits and invest in countries like Zimbabwe before prices regain momentum.”

The cost of Choppies’ acquisition is less than 5 percent of the company’s market capitalisation of $21.2 million.