QUARTERLY UPDATE AFRICAN MULTI-ALPHA FUND
As the fund’s investment strategy has been redefined in December 2018 and is now focusing on investment opportunities across the African continent. The portfolio has been gradually rebalanced during the first quarter of 2019.
The portfolio’s current highest allocation is in Egypt with 25.2% followed by Nigeria at 17.6% exposure.
The outlook for African markets and risk assets in general is positive for the rest of 2019 especially after the significant shift in global monetary policies which are supporting additional investors’ flows and interest. Additionally we have seen an increase in infrastructure investments, urbanization, foreign direct investments and increasing political stability combined with economic reforms which will be supportive to equity Markets.
General elections have concluded in Nigeria with the incumbent Buhari emerging as the winner. With elections and political uncertainty behind, the focus can now shift to the economy. Most likely there will be a continuity on both the monetary and fiscal front. The current central bank governor’s term ends in June and most in the investment community are expecting a continuity in the macroeconomic policy. Listing of MTN Nigeria in Q2 would also be closely followed by investors.
In South Africa general elections will be held in May which will shift the focus on local politics. The economic outlook is not very positive for the country with growth expected at only 0.7% in 2019. The planned introduction of new taxes is likely to weigh on domestic consumption, however, the government is willing to address the structural issues of the country’s public enterprises. South African stocks with a large presence outside the country are expected to do well.
Early indicators suggest that the Kenyan economy maintained in Q4 2018 the 6% average GDP growth achieved in 2018, despite the private sector credit growth falling back to 2.4% YoY in December. The announcement by the High Court of a possible removal of the interest rate cap is very positive for markets however we await further details on what the new framework will be.