Graham Stock, Insparo

Bharti Airtel-Qatar Investment Group deal highlights continuing African growth potential

Graham Stock (pictured), chief strategist at Insparo Asset Management comments on Bharti Airtel decision to sell a stake to Qatar investment group…

Bharti Airtel’s desire to raise fresh capital to finance further investment in its African operations highlights the continuing potential for growth on the continent. The roll-out of next generation data services in particularly will be an important driver of growth, as voice services trend to maturity. For example in Kenya where Airtel is the second largest operator, the number of internet subscribers rose 75% in 2012 alone, with mobile subscriptions accounting for 99% of the market. Mobile penetration, on the other hand, nudged up only marginally from 77% to 78% over the course of the year.
 
We are also continually looking for investment opportunities in sectors that service the continent’s domestic demand, such as basic consumer goods, cement and banking. These opportunities exist in the main regional blocs such as West Africa (led by Nigeria) and East Africa (led by Kenya), but also in countries as diverse as Morocco, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Angola. As today’s news testifies Africa’s growth take-off is clearly a sustainable trend, and it is a trend that is generating significant investment opportunities.

 

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