Investec bolsters credit team on African opportunity

14 September 2010 Investec

Recognising that Africa represents the next frontier for corporate credit, Investec Asset Management today announced the appointment of Steven Loubser to the 11-strong credit team. He will be responsible for spearheading Investec Asset Management’s Africa credit strategy.

“This senior appointment further entrenches our position as a leading credit fixed income manager. South Africa’s leveraged and high-yield credit markets have developed significantly in the last five years, offering both excellent risk-adjusted returns to investors and access to capital for companies. Africa is the next frontier and presents several exciting investment opportunities,” said Simon Howie, co-head of credit at Investec Asset Management.

“With Steven’s appointment we are positioning Investec Asset Management for the growth we expect in the credit space in Africa. Investors perceive the continent as high risk, but as an investment destination it is already ahead of these perceptions. Not only is Africa expected to grow faster than developed markets, but its fundamentals continue to improve – Africa’s politics are increasingly democratic, its fiscal discipline and sovereign governance are improving, conflict zones are declining and free market principles are increasingly being implemented.

“Against this backdrop, we are finding companies whose credit fundamentals transcend even the countries and regions in which they operate. In addition, the lack of supply of funding capital provides an excellent opportunity to generate good returns,” Howie added.

Loubser will leverage off Investec Asset Management’s frontier and emerging market debt teams and draw on their extensive bottom-up and macroeconomic coverage and analysis of the continent.

He joins Investec Asset Management from Standard Bank, where he spent nine years in high-yield and leveraged finance credit, becoming Head of High Yield in 2007.

Commenting on his appointment, Loubser said: “Africa, with a more stable political climate and growing economies, offers good investment opportunities across all asset classes, especially credit. Given their specialist credit knowledge and Africa investment expertise, Investec Asset Management is ideally placed to take advantage of this opportunity. I am excited to be joining this successful team and providing both domestic and global clients access to this market.”

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