North Africa

Via his blog, here are Mark Mobius’ interesting thoughts on North Africa’s investment potential:

“…most international sanctions against the country [Libya] were lifted in 2004, and in 2006, the U.S. removed Libya from its state-sponsored terrorism list on which Libya had stayed for 27 years. Since then, Libya has attracted a wave of interest from international companies operating mainly in energy and construction. Our hotel was full of business people, particularly oil company executives and oil field employees working on the country’s extensive oil and gas deposits – Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa.

More importantly for us as investors, the government is moving to privatize state enterprises and develop a capital market. We visited the nascent stock exchange and were impressed by the good systems in place. Only a handful of stocks are listed now, but with many more state-owned companies in areas such as infrastructure, power and telecoms destined to be privatized and listed, we expect that the opportunities to invest in this market will expand. Since 2003, more than 100 government-owned companies have been privatized in the oil refining, tourism and real estate areas.

This development was in contrast to my next destination – Algeria. The government stated that it does not intend to privatize state-owned enterprises and seems to be moving in the opposite direction, to make private companies public or state-owned. Of course, with the country’s substantial oil and gas revenues, the government has the money to do that. Nevertheless, when we visited companies to explore possibilities for investment, I got the feeling that the country holds a lot of opportunity for private enterprise – the people seem to embody a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

We expect to return soon to this region and begin investing once conditions are optimal. Optimal conditions would include having a custodian bank established in Libya to safeguard securities purchased there, as well as seeing improvements in the privatization system in Algeria.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 10:11 am and is filed under Algeria, Libya.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.