It seems the smart capital is hedging its bets on Africa being the next golden goose.
A new survey carried out for Economist’s Intelligence Unit quizzed 156 institutional investors from around the world (who between them control at least $7 trillion in assets) on which frontier markets they saw as offering the biggest opportunity over the next five years.
A thumping 66% chose the Dark Continent.
Furthermore, 46% expected the energy and resources sector to offer the best prospects for investment returns.
The report in the units findings, ‘Into Africa: Institutional investor intentions to 2016’, found that asset allocations in African markets are set to escalate over the coming five years and are moving towards longer-term investment strategies, rather than more speculative, short-term bets.
In its conclusion, the report said: “Many global institutional investors are now seriously intending to take a significant step into Africa. This is obviously good news, as it shows that large pools of capital are available to sustain the current high single-digit growth needed to absorb a growing and youthful population into the workforce.”
It also points out that Ghana’s 16.3% GDP makes it the fastest-growing economy in the world for 2011.
However, the biggest risks in Africa are seen as bribery and corruption (41%), concerns about weak institutions (40%) and illiquidity in capital markets (36%).
The report said: “This reflects the steady political and economic stabilisation of many key markets over the past decade.”
It seems investors now worry more about technical concerns than about macroeconomic and political risks, at least in key markets.