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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ethiopia, Nigeria.. among top African countries for Fund managers



By Kaleyesus Bekele

Emerging market fund managers who had gathered last Friday at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for Africa Investors' Annual Business Summit selected Nigeria as their top African investment destination. They also mentioned Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya as some of the other emerging African economies they would consider for investments.

The summit held annually on the trading floor of the NYSE attracted a large number of global institutional investors, stock market executives and regulators from the US, Africa, Europe and Asia. It was opened with a keynote address from former secretary of the US Treasury Robert Rubin who was also the former chairman of Citibank, one of the world’s largest financial institutions.

Rubin remarked that the US should be more focused on Africa not only as the source of natural resources but also for the full range of opportunities that exist and America’s investment in Africa should be as great if not greater than that of China.

One of the main panel discussions was on Private Equity and Bond Market in Africa, which was chaired by Zemedeneh Negatu, the managing partner and head of Transaction Advisory for Ernst & Young Eastern Africa. His speech highlighted the significant investment opportunities throughout Africa in various sectors, including infrastructure, natural resources and agro industry. He encouraged US investors to take note of the billions of dollars of investments being made in Africa by the newly-emerging economic powerhouses such as China, India and the oil-rich Middle East countries.

The summit also had panel discussions for the CEOs of some of Africa’s most important and active stock exchanges who discussed regulation and investing in African capital markets.

Another highlight of the summit was discussions about investing in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including various ways to create sustainable development through business initiatives. CEOs from Africa’s banking community also held a panel discussion emphasizing that opportunities exist in Africa’s under-banked markets.

At the conclusion of the summit an awards ceremony was held on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which featured a video message from former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who emphasized the need for increased development partnerships across the continent. Award winners included some of Africa’s leading stock markets, regulators, listed companies, fund managers, stockbrokers and analysts.

EthiopianReporter

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