Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

A cover story on the discounts attached to empowerment investment counters, published last year by the FM’s specialist publication Investors Monthly, was referenced at last week’s AGM of African Empowerment Equity Investments (AEEI). A comparison was made by activist shareholder Chris Logan that (academically speaking) investment counter Remgro could sell its stake in private hospitals group Mediclinic unencumbered, while AEEI could not easily sell its stake in Premier Fishing & Brands because of the BEE status being risked or compromised. The overriding question was: are BEE regulations not overdue for an overhaul, to ensure a better dispensation that would allow empowerment investment companies to sell assets or investments? The deep discount on empowerment investment companies — including AEEI and countermates like Grand Parade Investments, Hosken Consolidated Investments, ARC Investments and Brimstone* — might still be viewed as attractive and low-risk dividend-paying opportunit...

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