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Alternative Market Briefing

Tower Capital’s long/short equity hedge funds profit from South African retailers’ northward expansion

Monday, September 23, 2013

James Faircliff
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

South Africa’s big retail chains such as Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Woolworths are expanding in sub-Saharan Africa to counteract a sluggish home market, reports this week’s Economist. Zambia is one of the countries they expanded in, which is a good bet, says the paper as its economy is one of the fastest growing at the moment thanks to high demand for copper. "Of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies in the past decade, six were African," the paper adds. Shoprites for example, saw its sales outside of South Africa grow by 28% in the year to June, compared to 9.8% at home, and it is planning 47 new stores mostly in Nigeria and Angola. Western retailers such as Walmart, Carrefour, and Tesco are dipping their toes in the market through joint ventures, or lie in wait.

Investing in the expansion Some locally based people are taking advantage of this great spreading out.

Tower Capital Management runs South African long/short public equity hedge funds with a focus on South African listed companies, with a bias towards African consumer-orientated growth strategies.

The Tower Fund (ZAR) was launched in August 2009; it is up 18.4% YTD (to end August), having annualised 20.8% since inception. Th......................

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