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European investors grow hungry for Africa
18 September 2013
The largest European institutional investors are becoming increasingly eager to invest in Africa. Anthony Lane investigates what is causing all of the excitement
When Sweden’s highly-regarded finance minister Anders Borg returned from a tour of Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa in May, he immediately summoned together business leaders and fund managers.
Not known for a love of financial risk-taking – he is a stickler for balanced government budgets – Borg urged pension funds to invest more in Africa and change their perceptions of the continent’s economies, twelve of which are predicted by the IMF to be among the world’s 20 fastest growing countries over the next five years.
A few months after Borg waxed lyrical about Nigeria’s favourable demographics and repeated predictions that the sub-Saharan region will see “spectacular growth” of around 8-9% over the next few years, the Swedish broadsheet Svenska Dagbladet recently reported that “no self-respecting fund manager is failing to make a pilgrimage to Africa”.
“A lot of mutual fund companies are looking into the possibility to start...
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