Polish retail property company EPP (formerly Echo Polska Properties) got off to a rocky start when it made its debut on the JSE two years ago. In the first six months the stock slumped 25% from its listing price. Back then, SA investors were clearly not yet buying into the Polish growth story. But there appears to have been a marked turnaround in investor sentiment since early this year. Though the counter is still trading slightly below its listing price of R23.50, it has notched up share-price growth of a hefty 45% from February 5, when it hit a two-year low of R14.40. That places EPP as the JSE’s top-performing property stock year to date. In addition, it now counts among the sector’s top 10 largest companies, with a market cap of close to R18bn. Last week, management under CEO Hadley Dean posted an equally impressive set of results, with dividend growth up 12% in euro for the six months to the end of June — against the average 4%-6% dividend growth (in rands) that investors now ...

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