Opportunities for growth in Africa: Population growth rates are high. More than 2 billion people are expected to be living in Africa by 2050. Looking at the current population pyramid, the median age in Africa is only half the median age in Europe. By 2035, Africa’s labor force will be larger than the rest of the world's working-age population. As long as sound reforms continue to be successfully pursued, structural drivers such as demographics, urbanization, infrastructure, industrialization, trade, the rapid penetration of financial services, the growing use of IT and communications technologies and the China factor should help the continent sustain its above-average economic growth and produce double-digit upside potential for its stock markets.
African growth drivers
Nowhere in the world is urbanization advancing faster than in the Sub-Sahara, so fast, in fact, that public infrastructure cannot keep up with it: only 45-50% of all Africans have access to electricity and less than 10% of the continent's hydropower potential has been tapped.
Only 20-30% of all adult Africans have a bank account. This compares to the global average of 69%. The financial sector has tremendous catch-up potential in Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. Broader Internet access enables a multitude of services in areas ranging from education and healthcare to agriculture and it is changing the lives of millions of Africans for the better.
With its Belt and Road initiative, China is building a modern silk road to connect Asia with Africa (and Europe). In 2018 the Chinese government announced major projects that will promote industrialization, infrastructure connectivity, trade, sustainable development, public health, regional peace and security.
Our team has close personal ties with Africa. They visit the continent on a regular basis and maintain close contact with local officials, business leaders and local brokers and they put this knowledge advantage to good use. Our highly experienced portfolio managers have African roots, they speak the local languages and they are familiar with the respective cultural, economic and political nuances. This gives them a profound understanding of the African investment theme and that is imperative to comprehend the complex interplay of the many factors involved.
Team Frontier Markets
Dr. Malek Bou-Diab, Lead Portfolio Manager
- Since 2009 with Bellevue Asset Management as lead portfolio manager of the BB African Opportunities (LUX) Fund
- 2007 - 2009 Julius Baer Asset Management, portfolio manager of JB Northern Africa and Nikko Africa Funds
- 2003 - 2007 Deutsche Bank, London, quant risk analyst
- PhD in Theoretical Physics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich
Andy Gboka, Portfolio Manager
- Since 2015 with Bellevue Asset Management as Analyst / Portfolio Manager of the BB African Opportunities Fund
- 2011–2014 Exotix LLP, Senior analyst covering the brewers and cement companies listed in Africa
- 2008–2011 Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking, Equity analyst in the European utilities team covering the regulated sector
- Msc specialised in Finance, Bordeaux Business School, now Kedge Business School since the merger with Euromed Marseille in July 2013
Jean-Pierre Gerber, Product Specialist
- Since 2009 with Bellevue Asset Management as senior product specialist
- 1999 - 2009 Julius Baer Asset Management, head fund research, equity product specialist
- 1996 - 1999 Ernst&Young, business audit and consulting
- Master's degree in Business Economics following studies at the University of Berne and University of Warwick, UK
Our investment solution
The BB African Opportunities Fund was launched in 2009 as a vehicle for investing in Africa’s emerging markets. It is managed by investment specialists who call the region home and it is one of the few frontier market investment products that focuses on reform-minded countries in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa and that underweights South Africa and the commodity sector. The fund is also suitable as a complement to an international portfolio given its low correlation to developed markets.
BB African Opportunities (Lux)
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Markets & Opinions / 23.04.2020
Recording of the update call with portfolio manager Andy Gboka on April 23, 2020.
Markets & Opinions / 15.10.2019
Read the latest issue of Africa RisingStars on the infrastructure development in Africa.
Markets & Opinions / 03.04.2019
Report of the portfolio managers from the third MENA investor's conference.
Markets & Opinions / 11.12.2018
Read the latest issue of the Africa RisingStars on the reform and restructuring of the Egyptian financial sector.
Markets & Opinions / 07.03.2018
Malek Bou-Diab about the development of the egyptian company ElSewedy.