African Investments Worth a Look

African Investments Worth a LookWe've blogged before about whether you should consider investing in Africa. It might sound crazy, but some of American business's toughest competitors are already there in force, there are a lot of undervalued assets , and ethical investment can sometimes be the most effective form of humanitarian aid.

This week, Forbes acknowledges all the continent's difficulties but still thinks African stocks are worth a look. Why?

For the same reason many are already rushing to tap into Brazil, Russia, India and China: It's growing, and it's undervalued.
Africa's stock markets outperformed world averages in 2006, the stocks trade at half the levels of their Western counterparts, and increasing foreign direct investment from countries like the Netherlands, Russia, India and "new best friend" China mean African companies are finding it easier to raise money.
Sub-Saharan African countries, currently the most promising, grew by 6% in 2006 for the third year in a row, riding largely on the strength of commodity prices. If you don't count the boom in India and China, the sub-Sahara is growing faster than most of Asia.
Forbes takes an in-depth look at what types of investment carry the lowest risk and also profiles some institutional investors who are getting in on the action. The magazine also offers its top 10 stock picks including:
  1. MTN Group -- South African cellular phone company provides phone services to more than 40 million subscribers in Africa and the Middle East
  2. First Quantum Minerals -- First Quantum is a copper company with operations primarily in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  3. Guaranty Trust Bank -- A Nigerian financial institution for which Fitch Ratings upgraded its outlook to "positive" from "stable" in August
Check out the article for the rest of the picks.

(Image of market in Madagascar by World Resources Institute Staff, CC 2.0)