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Navigating Africa’s disparate markets

Illiquid markets, limited exchanges and sometimes vague institutional information make Africa’s securities landscape difficult to navigate. Firms such as Imara are in a good place to act as guides.


Imagine you’re an international investor that wants to build up assets and securities across sub-Saharan Africa. Speak to any finance professional covering the region, and they’ll tell you that you’re one of a growing band of fund managers or high-net-worth individuals looking to seize on Africa’s moment of promise.

If only you could invest in a single, unified entity called ‘sub-Saharan Africa’. But you can’t. Instead what you’re faced with is a collection of countries with different regulations and securities markets that are all at different stages of development. There is a bewildering array of custodians, brokers, taxes and commissions, often with small firms you’ve had no previous relationship with.

Presented with such challenges, you might decide to give up. To encourage you not to, brokers and fund managers in the region are trying to come up with solutions to ease the investment process; firms such as Exotix, Renaissance Capital and Investec all touting their wares.

Another is Imara. Listed in Botswana, Imara has offices there, as well as in Angola and South Africa, associate offices in Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe and working relationships with businesses in Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Dubai.

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