Tag Archives: Africa

Trading the Globe: Sub-Saharan Stocks

With an M&A run rate of $54 billion from Marakesh to Johannesburg, African companies are having a great year. We discuss the opportunities on CNBC’s Trading the Globe this morning.

If you are looking for double-digit earnings growth at single-digit valuations, Africa is one of the last remaining places on Earth that you will be able to find it. Local companies benefit from strong consumer demand and investors benefit from high dividend yields.

In fact, African mutual funds and ETFs have seen investors pump a record $610 million into their portfolios so far this year.

But those flows can conceal a relative lack of variety in the individual African stocks that U.S. investors can buy.

There are only 88 ADRs to cover the entire African continent — one from Zambia, three from Egypt and the rest from South Africa.

South Africa is of course a very exciting economy, contributing 17% of all of Africa’s total GDP, but getting exposure to the other 83% of the continent is difficult.

You can simply buy into the Africa ETF AFK (quote), which is up 17.8% so far this year.

However, even AFK has trouble investing its entire portfolio on the continent itself. About 30% of the fund’s assets are in South Africa — companies like AngloGold (AU, quote) and Old Mutual (ODMTY, quote) — and another 19% are in Egypt, largely in ORSTF (quote) and ORSDF (quote).

Another 30% comes from Nigeria, Morocco and Kenya, where retail exposure is very hard to come by.

But the remaining 21% represents “offshore” exposure to African markets — global companies that do business on the continent, but are not actually African stocks!

ETFs Frontier Markets Markets Trading the Globe Video

Millicom gains ground in Africa, LatAm

Global cell phone giant Millicom posted a satisfying quarter — roughly in line with consensus — as its business in Africa and Latin America continued to expand.

The Luxembourg-based company earned a profit of $436 million in the second quarter, up 17% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts had expected a marginally smaller number.

Likewise, Millicom (MICC, quote) slightly beat the Street on revenue, which expanded 14% to $929 million thanks to increased subscriber share in Africa and South America.

MICC is a somewhat unique company because it provides investors with exposure to a wide range of emerging and frontier markets that are otherwise hard to play. The company has roughly a 30% share of African cell phone usage and 53% of the Central American market.

Emerging Markets Insight Stocks

Cellular: How to Play the Consumer in South Africa

Global telecom operator Millicom International Cellular (MICC) gives you great exposure to Africa and and Central America.

This is a company who is increasing margins by pushing through more value added services to a growing customer base. Revenue breakdown is 40 percent in Central America, 30 percent in South America and 22 percent in Africa.

The stock has been under intense pressure and this may be a good entrance point. Management is strong and the company has solid position in some of the smaller markets in which it operates.

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