Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Readers might recall a cover story last year on the wide discounts placed on empowerment investment companies. After writing that story I watched as the discounts widened further with an increasingly audible argument that the listed BEE vehicles are locked into structures that are not conducive to capital raising (because of the share price discount) or unlocking value through asset sales (because of empowerment ownership restrictions). I decided this year to take positions in all five empowerment investment counters: African Rainbow Capital (ARC) Investments, Brimstone, African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI), Grand Parade Investments (GPI) and Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI). Aside from recently listed ARC, I have followed all these since their listings. I have seen them all (again, with the exception of ARC) at their most vulnerable: HCI struggling to turn e.tv to profits; AEEI reeling from the LeisureNet collapse; GPI fending off the Cape Empowerment Trust and a brui...

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