STEPHEN CRANSTON: African bond funds a less stressful alternative to volatile equities
There is $500m of daily trade and the sovereign and quasi-government bond universe is about $100bn
Even though regulation 28 allows pension funds to invest up to 10% in the rest of Africa, few have taken advantage of this. My own pension fund has less than 2% invested directly into the continent, for example. Most people’s largest Africa exposure will be through their MTN shares, which at least one of their fund managers will own.
Commercially, African funds have been a flop. Ashburton closed its African Frontiers fund in August. Not even the prestige of fund manager Paul Clark, the Lionel Messi of his sector, was enough to let the fund grow any further than €20m (R327m).