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Water Type "REIPPP" programme - why not think bigger?

Mark van Wyk, Head of Unlisted Investments, calls for a water-type REIPPPP so that both public and private sectors can pull together to address challenges in water infrastructure in South Africa.

June 29, 2017

2017 Infrastructure Report (Financial Mail)

Mark van Wyk, Head of Unlisted Investments, writes on the "democratization of capital" for the annual FM infrastructure report

June 29, 2017

Blue Label secures investors (Business Day)

Blue Label Telecoms has secured new buyers to acquire shares in the business for R2bn after Netl UEPS Technologies decided to reverse an earlier decision to purchase a 15% interest for the same amount. Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa, said that the management changes at Netl could have resulted in a new strategic focus for the company. He added that it is also possible that some shareholders on both sides of the transaction are not comfortable with the proposed association given recent developments.

June 2, 2017

Big four worry about Capitec taking clients (Business Day)

Bank shareholders have been approaching the four largest banks about upstart Capitec's customer numbers, worried that it is eating into their customer base and stealing market share. "Capitec's ability to further grow unsecured loans and advances is constrained by their large market share, so the growth driver for Capitec has become growth in transactional revenue," says Bradley Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Mangers.

May 26, 2017

Tsogo Sun set to expand in KZN (Business Report)

South African hotel, gaming and entertainment group, Tsogo Sun, said yesterday that it was going to spend an additional R1.3 billion to expand the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in KwaZulu-Natal. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an investment analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said Tsogo Sun had delivered a good set of results. "However, the casino industry is facing severe headwinds, due to low consumer confidence, and this leads to less spending and hotel occupancies are also under pressure. She continued that "to see some growth, although low, is commendable and is a testament to management efforts."

May 25, 2017

Roll out of new systems affects Datatec profits (Business Report)

Information and communication technology group Datatec has said the implementation of business process outsourcing (BPO), as well as systems, applications and products (SAP), at its Westcon-Comster division have reached the final stages, but at a high cost to the company. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said the results were in line with the trading update provided on May 11, but were weaker than expected.

May 23, 2017

MTN Rwanda in $8.5m penalty (Business Day)

MTN said it had been fined $8.5m by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority for contravening the regulatory directives prohibiting the inclusion of MTN Rwanda in the MTN South and East Africa information and technology (IT) hub based in Uganda. Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa said the fine was not that material in the context of the group, but did not reflect well on the reputation of the group.

May 18, 2017

Vodacom makes huge call for big stake in Kenya's Safaricom (Daily Dispatch)

In what is the largest transaction Vodacom has done to date, the mobile telecoms group will buy most of its parent Vodafone's interest in Kenya's Safaricom in a share-swap deal valued at R35-billion. Portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers Peter Takaendesa said Safaricom had a solid business model and could still deliver better growth than Vodacom over the medium term. He says: "it will also give Vodacom better diversification as it will lift earnings from outside to more that 30%."

May 17, 2017

Founder's sudden move hits EOH (Business Day)

EOH's share price fell almost 7% to close at R125 on Monday, after the company said founder and CEO Asher Bohbot would step down at the end of June after almost 20 years at the helm. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said the market would always be cautious when the founder of a business steps down, but thinks that Asher has prepared the business well to continue to grow sustainably under the remaining executive team and board.

May 16, 2017

Market cautious over listing of Curro's tertiary unit (Business Day)

JSE-listed private education business Curro announced its intention to unbundle the tertiary education division, called Stadia, into a separately listed company in February. Mergence Investment Managers equity analyst Nolwandle Mthombeni said the tertiary division was a small contributor and the larger schools division still informed market sentiment. Nolwandle said that management had indicated it would deploy similar growth strategies to those of Curro schools, and "through the unbundling, they will list a brand-new separate entity and then scale up and grow the division."

May 15, 2017

Analyse this...Peta Chennells (Financial Mail)

An interview with Peta Chennells, Senior Investment Analyst at Mergence Investment Managers.

May 11, 2017

Mergence acquires major stake in Riparian (The New Age)

Mergence has acquired a majority stake in Riparian, the largest independent trade commodity finance firm in the country, now rebranded as Mergence Commodity Finance. Masimo Magerman, co-founder and managing director, said the acquisition was in line with the Mergence vision of becoming a world-class diversified financial services group.

May 10, 2017

MTN deal to grow Iran presence (Business Day)

MTN has reached a nonbinding preliminary agreement to invest R540m in Iranian Net to widen the telecommunication group's reach in that country even as it faces the risk of not being able to repatriate funds from it. "The cash-repatriation problems have eased significantly after the easing of sanctions on Iran," said Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers. He said that there is always a risk of geographical events affecting Iran again, so MTN needs to balance that risk with the significant growth in the Iranian market."

May 9, 2017

Careers (Sunday Times)

Mergence Investment Managers has appointed Semoli Mokhanoi as Alternative Investments Strategist, and Blanche Mnywabe as Fund Accountant.

May 7, 2017

Bouncy oil price prompts falling Sasol to hedge (Sunday Times)

Oil price volatility continues to weigh on Sasol, whose share price is almost 40% off its record high. Oil prices fell more than 15% this year, erasing most of the gains made since the 12 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed in November to curb production in an effort to boost prices. On oil prospects for the rest of the year, investment analyst Izak van Niekerk of Mergence Investment Managers said that if Opec extends its cuts and the US onshore production reaches a level where it cannot add much more, "market balance could start becoming restored from the second half of the year".

May 7, 2017

Gold is no longer all that glisters (Sunday Times)

The past few weeks have been a headache for gold miners, with bullion taking one knock after another. Is it losing its safe haven status despite increasing uncertainty globally? Izak van Niekerk, investment analyst at Mergence Investment Mangers, said although geographical tensions did influence the gold price, it might benefit in the short term, if, for example, the outcome of the French election was viewed as negative for the European Union's future.

May 7, 2017

MTN's share price falls 2.5% after sharp dip in subscribers (Daily Dispatch)

MTN's share price fell 2.51% yesterday to close at R123.62 after the group reported a drop in subscriber numbers for the first quarter of 2017. The group said its total subscriber base shrank 1.5% to 237 million because of the restatement to subscriber numbers in Ghana, Rwanda as well as in Zambia. But revenue rose 7.1% in line with expectations of an acceleration to high single digits, compared with low single digits during last year's matching period, Mergence Investment Managers' portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa said. "There was no material impact on revenue growth, so the subscriber 'restatements' must have been mostly low revenue customers," he said.

May 5, 2017

Froneman risking his reputation on Stillwater (Sunday Times)

Froneman has led Sibanye since its unbundling from Gold Fields in 2012, and Sibanye's deal to buy Stillwater Mining is the first time investors and shareholders have stopped to think twice about CEO Neal Froneman's strategy for the company since its listing in 2013. Mergence Investment Managers analyst Thobela Bixa said in reference to the Stillwater deal: "I'd say there's definitely question marks about capital allocation. Prior deals [by Sibanye] were pretty much straightforward, bought cheaply at the bottom of the cycle, huge potential cost cuts via synergies, and pretty much anyone would've been able to value out of them."

April 30, 2017

Mergence adds Mokhanoi as Alternative Investments Strategist (Africa Global Funds)

Mergence Investment Managers has appointed Semoli Mokhanoi as Alternative Investments Strategist. Semoli is a skilled strategist in the alternative investments industry with a strong track record of market penetration into several African countries. In this new role, he will be seeking and carrying out institutional investment opportunities within the SADC region related to infrastructure using a unique Implemented Private Equity model that he has developed over the past seven years.

April 26, 2017

Dressed for scales success (Financial Mail)

The global operation of fashion brand Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) may be squeezed by online businesses Zara, Asos and others, but locally the Swedish giant is eating into the profits of competitors' chains. Mergence portfolio manager, Peter Takaendesa, says while foreign players such as H&M add to the level of competition, they account for a very small percentage of the sector and their sales numbers come off a low base. He says H&M and other multinationals have done well locally because of effective marketing and possibly a "better-positioned product offering".

April 6, 2017

George Biomass Power plant gets green light (George Herald)

The construction of a R300-million George Biomass Power plant producing between 5MW/h and 7MW/h (megawatt per hour) could begin as soon as May this year. The financing of the project through IDC and Mergence will take place in accordance with the Small Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPP).

April 6, 2017

H&M sales rise in SA bad news for local retailers (Business Day)

Swedish retailer H&M has continued on its winning streak in SA, dodging the malaise to which domestic retail players have succumbed. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers said that he estimates that their [H&M] revenue market share in the South African market is only about 1% now and believe they will continue to gain market share off the low base.

March 31, 2017

EOH Holdings: A model that works and grows (Financial Mail)

Technology group EOH has been on a decade-long winning streak, and while expansion is expected to continue, it may be at a slower rate than before. According to Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takeandesa, EOH remains well-positioned in SA and is well managed; however, risks could lie in its international expansion or a sudden change of top management.

March 30, 2017

Analyse this...Nolwandle Mthombeni (Financial Mail)

An interview with Nolwandle Mthombeni, Equity Analyst at Mergence Investment Managers.

March 30, 2017

Curro's tertiary plan just the job (Sunday Times)

Curro Holdings, which has abandoned ambitions to buy rival Advtech, has bold plans to tackle the tertiary market by offering qualifications aimed at enabling graduates to find jobs. The rationale for expanding into the tertiary market beyond educating teachers for Curro's pipeline of schools was to assist the government in providing quality tertiary education, given the capacity and funding constraints at South Africa's public universities. Nolwandle Mthombeni, equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said there was high demand in the tertiary segment and it could accommodate both Advtech and Curro.

March 26, 2017

ADvTECH plans 30% revenue increase (Cape Times)

Private education group ADvTECH has set itself a challenge of increasing its revenue generated out of South Africa to 30 percent by the year 2020. The company said it would improve the revenue from the current 6 percent it generated from outside South Africa. Mergence Investment Managers equity analyst Nolwandle Mthombeni said ADvTECH needed to inject more capital into the rest of its African operations in order to increase revenue streams. Mthombeni said as the company funded its acquisitions with cash from operations and debt, it may require additional funding to fund the expansion plans.

March 23, 2017

Tycoon's $2.4bn surprise raises stakes for Anglo (Sunday Times)

The surprise move by Indian mining tycoon Anil Agarwal to acquire the second-biggest shareholding in Anglo American has again raised questions over the future of the 100-year-old group. The billionaire's move may open the way for a possible Vedanta tie-up. Izak van Niekerk, investment analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said it was not clear yet what Agarwal's plans were, but they depended on what Anglo did with Kumba Iron Ore and its coal assets.

March 19, 2017

MTN gains as more details of loss emerge (Daily Dispatch)

MTN's share price closed 0.90% stronger at R119.75, as the group disclosed further details of its first full-year loss. The losses were largely attributed to the Nigerian regulatory fine, which had a negative effect of 455c on the group's performance. Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa said the market was waiting to see if MTN "honours its dividend guidance and how the turnaround programmes are progressing".

March 1, 2017

Curro to list tertiary division (Business Report)

Independent schools operator Curro Holdings will list its tertiary education division as a separate entity this year. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said the company had become a dominant player in the private-schooling market, and thus it was only natural for it to expand growth into tertiary education.

March 1, 2017

MTN eyes Middle East for growth (The New Age)

MTN's investment in Iranian e-commerce business, the Iran Internet Group, has been hailed by analysts as strategically sound but they believe it comes with high risks related to the new e-commerce industry as well as cash repatriation challenges in case of geographical problems. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers provides his insight.

March 1, 2017

Acquisitions bolster revenue at Steinhoff (Business Day)

Having bedded down a number of deals in 2016, Steinhoff is already reaping the financial benefits from its acquisitions, which contributed €13bn to the company's coffers. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers said the group's core operations in household goods and general merchandise retail continued to grow ahead of expectations.

March 1, 2017

Massmart is braced to fulfil its African promise (Sunday Times)

Walmart-owned general merchandise retailer Massmart will look to deepen its presence over the next two years in Africa, where it plans to increase trading space by about 26%. This includes opening 11 new stores on the continent beyond South Africa in the next two years. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, provides his insight.

February 26, 2017

Keep a close watch on Liberty, analysts warn investors (Sunday Times)

Liberty failed to ease concerns about the future of the 50-year-old insurer founded by business doyen Donald Gordon at its results presentation on Friday. Bradley Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Managers comments that the South African economy was not particularly great for insurers at the moment, but Liberty's problems went beyond the macroeconomic background it operated in. "A lot of their funds have been performing at the bottom of the league tables," he said.

February 26, 2017

Collective Insight, by Bradley Preston (Finweek)

An article by Bradley Preston, Chief Investment Officer at Mergence Investment Managers, on the "Age of automation". Recent Advances in machine learning and the emergence of 'big data' present challenges and opportunities for fund managers and their clients.

February 16, 2017

Light at the end of the tunnel (Financial Mail)

Despite a slew of setbacks, MTN seems ripe for a comeback, with some market punters already in its corner. The key value driver over the medium term will be improving operating efficiencies in the core mobile operations, while also investing in long-term adjacent opportunities such as mobile-based financial services and e-commerce, says Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa.

February 16, 2017

Cell C dealt harsh blow by S&B's global ratings (Business Report)

Cell C, South Africa's third largest network operator, suffered a major setback yesterday when Standard & Poor's (S&P) Global Ratings downgraded the company to "D" after it missed an interest payment. A "D" rating is given to a company that is in default or in breach of an imputed promise, and it is the worst credit rating that S&P issues. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said the downgrade further weakened the position of current Cell C stakeholders when it came to raising new capital required to recapitalise the business.

February 8, 2017

Curro looks forward to a 57% improvement in results (Business Report)

Private school operator Curro Holdings expects its year end results to improve by at least 57 percent for the year to end December. The company attributed the expected improvement in earnings to a successful $1 billion rights issue it took in May last year. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said there was no surprise in the trading update from the company. "The trading update is in line with the market expectations. Curro is currently trading at very lofty multiples, which means the market is pricing in very high growth over the coming years", said Mthombeni.

February 3, 2017

Vodacom makes right call (Daily Dispatch)

Vodacom has maintained its market share in South Africa with promotional packages and continued investment in its network with growth expected to remain steady in the medium-term. Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa said revenue growth had consistently slowed at Vodacom over the past for quarters - from 9% reported in the December 2015 quarter to 1.2% for the three months to December 2016. Takaendesa said South African operations had remained steady, growing service revenue in mid-single digits over the same period, but the rest-of-Africa operations were disappointing due to regulation and tougher competition.

February 3, 2017

MTN grows IHS stake in Nigeria tower deal (Business Day)

MTN has swapped its 51% stake in Nigeria Tower InterCo for additional shares in tower management company IHS Holdings, in a deal that will simplify its tower investments and reduce exposure to currency volatility. Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa said shifting its shareholding to the IHS group "appears quite sound for MTN as it diversifies their investment and makes it much easier to sell the stake to existing partners or third parties should MTN decide to do so in the future".

February 2, 2017

Vodacom says spectrum may be re-farmed for use (The New Age)

Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, comments on concerns raised by Vodacom about the unavailability of spectrum, which was further delayed by the publication of the White Paper in October. "The best way to get spectrum in the near term is re-farming allocated spectrum bands and entering into roaming agreements with those who have capacity as it is very unlikely that new spectrum allocations will materialise in the near future".

February 2, 2017

Will rival clip Clicks' wings? (Business Day)

Growth of high-flying retailer and expansion by new listing Dis-Chem may saturate lucrative market. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said Clicks was expensive when compared with other stocks.

February 1, 2017

ADvTECH acquires a 51% stake in Zambia's University of Africa (Business Report)

Africa's largest private education provider, ADvTECH yesterday announced that it has acquired a 51 percent stake in the University of Africa (UoA) for an undisclosed amount, marking the group's first tertiary partnership outside of South Africa. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said ADvTECH had spent the past three years focussing on growing its footprint mainly in schools.

January 31, 2017

ABSIP honours role models (Money Marketing)

The Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) recently conferred awards on those it regards as business leaders and role models. Two of Mergence's own won in their respective categories, namely, Mark van Wyk (Best Alternative Asset Manager) and Logan Neels (Research Analyst of the Year).

January 31, 2017

Kumba shares rise more than 9% (Business Report)

The Kumba Iron Ore share price on the JSE yesterday jumped more than 9 percent after the company released a trading update that was pleasing to the market. Izak van Niekerk, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, provides his thoughts, and said that the trading update had beaten the market's expectations by a big margin.

January 26, 2017

Retail sector jumps (a little) on positive sentiment (Moneyweb)

The JSE's retail sector gained 4% on healthy trade, following what analysts were describing as several sets of 'reasonable' results, all things considering. Over the last six months the retail sector was heavily over-sold, with the likes of Mr Price falling from R239 to R138 in November, Truworths from R110 in April to R62 in November, and Woolworths falling from R94 in August to R64 in December. "Combine this selloff with the fact that analysts are seeing an improving sales trend and people are buying back into the market," says Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers. "The big question is, is it sustainable?"

January 17, 2017

Platinum group stocks see little gain from rise in metals prices (Sunday Times)

It was not long ago that some chrome and platinum-group-metal miners were laying off workers and putting mines on care and maintenance due to low chrome and PGM prices. But in 2017, although some analysts predict chrome prices will start dropping, platinum sister metals such as palladium and rhodium are expected to keep rallying. Izak van Niekerk, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, provides his insight.

January 15, 2017

Absa rides wave from Bankorp probe leak (Sunday Times)

Shares in Barclays Africa Group closed unscathed on Friday after reports that the public protector was investigating whether the bank had received undue state support in the apartheid era when it bought Bankorp and whether it should repay the money. Brad Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence, said the claims in the report may have political implications, but it was unlikely that they would have a material effect on Absa's performance.

January 15, 2017

TFG's retail array puts it ahead of peers (Sunday Times)

TFG, with its diversified consumer portfolio, trumped its local peers to be the only listed apparel retailer to record gains in a difficult year. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said this week that unlike its competitors, TFG had executed a better strategy.

January 15, 2017

Technology and Telecoms Stocks (Financial Mail)

Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, provides his comments on MTN.

January 12, 2017

Car makers to drive up palladium use (Business Day)

Palladium is set to continue its upward trajectory on 2017 and could even overshadow the gains it made in 2016. Since the start of the year, the metal has shot up by almost 10% to reach $746/oz by the close on Friday. Mergence Investment Managers analyst Thobela Bixa says the prospects for palladium in 2017 are looking good, helped by optimism about global economic growth.

January 9, 2017

Life Healthcare in R10.7bn rights issue (Business Report)

Private hospital group Life Healthcare announced that it has undertaken a fully underwritten, renounceable rights offer up to R10.7 billion in order to fund its UK Alliance Medical Group acquisition and reduce its debt. Izak van Niekerk, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said it was important for Life Healthcare to take up the rights offer. He said the rights offer was not optional as the Life Healthcare net debt position would be above their targeted levels if they bought Alliance with only debt funding.

December 21, 2016

European banks help MTN repatriate funds (Daily Dispatch)

MTN Group, which has been trying to repatriate $1 billion (R13.7 billion) to SA from Iran, has extracted several hundred million dollars from that country with the help of European banks, according to people familiar with the matter. Iran is one of MTN's most important markets, but friction with the US could resurface at any time, particularly with the possibility of policy changes when Donald Trump becomes US president. Trump's election "puts an unknown into the mix" said Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers. "It would be good for shareholders if MTN could get the money out sooner rather than later."

December 15, 2016

Now the Shoprite Steinhoff wedding - but shares take a dip (Business Report)

Steinhoff International Holdings and Shoprite Holdings' share prices slid more than 7 percent on the JSE yesterday after the companies said they were in merger talks to combine their African operations. The companies failed to disclose the value of the deal. "This deal has been rumoured for a while though and the speculation has always been that Christo Wiese wants to move the majority of his wealth to a Eurpoean entry point," Bradley Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Managers, said. Investors gave the planned union a cool reception.

December 15, 2016

Old Mutual's plan to split gathers pace (Business Report)

The strategic review announced by Old Mutual's chief executive, Bruce Hemphill, last year is gaining momentum. Thr group said that it would sell 13million ordinary shares in its Old Mutual Asset Management (Omam) arm through a public offering. The split was set in motion when Old Mutual announced in August the sale of Old Mutual Wealth Italy by entering into a shor tperiod of negotiations with Cinven, the owner of Ergo Italia. Brad Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Managers, said in explaining the Old Mutual Wealth Italy sale, the past activities were part of the overall break up of the business.

December 14, 2016

Bosses' bonuses grow when shares tank (Sunday Times)

The issue of executive bonuses has been highlighted again by the enormous payout being made at Richemont: three of its directors are in the top 20 of the biggest bonuses of 2015-16. Former Richemont joint CEOs Bernard Fornas and Richard Lepeu received R43.5 million and R34.9 million respectively. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, provides her insight, and said that many of the dual-listed executives in the UK and South Africa were paid in pounds, so when converting the currency in rand terms, the bonus appeared huge.

December 11, 2016

Better deals from sun and wind (Financial Mail)

The cost of early renewable power contracts, which Eskom argues is too expensive, is starting to come down. The department of energy is taking steps to reduce its most expensive renewable energy tariffs to share in the financial benefits as developers of early-round projects are starting to renegotiate debt, says Mark van Wyk, head of unlisted investments at Mergence Investment Managers.

December 8, 2016

Mr Price execs get shares (Business Report)

Fashion value retailer Mr Price yesterday announced performance shares awards for its top bosses that would vest in five years, were subject to growth in headline earnings targets and were part of the group's strategy. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said his concern was that Mr Price had not clearly specified the target of headline earnings per share for the executive incentives or how that translated into returns to shareholders.

December 7, 2016

Exxaro in an Eskom hole over BEE gap (Sunday Times)

Exxaro may be safe from being dropped as an Eskom col supplier due to existing contracts, but the future of the relationship is uncertain, especially after the reduction of its BEE shareholding. Izak van Niekerk, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said the issues for Exxaro were whether it would build a new mine in the future and whether Eskom would want to sign new coal contracts with it. "Then there might be uncertainty whether Eskom will accept Exxaro coal, being 30% empowered, so it's not something that affects them now, it's more in the future," he said.

December 4, 2016

Become an investor with only R1000 (Sunday Times)

When you begin investing, it can be difficult to decide where to put your money. If you don't have much to invest, the problem is exacerbated. Nolwandle Mthombeni, equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers provides her recommendations for first time investors.

December 4, 2016

MTN's planned Nigeria listing under threat (Business Report)

MTN's pplan to sell shares in its Nigerian unit on the local stock exchange next year are at risk following allegations by legislators that the wireless carrier illegally moved $14billion (R198bn) out of the country, according to sources familiar with the matter. "The threat of the unresolved allegations makes it hard to place a proper valuation on the company and makes a listing challenging," said Peter Takaendea, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers.

December 2, 2016

Massmart wins ConCourt bun fight over leases that limit trade (Sunday Times, Business Times)

Massmart's plan to sell fresh food in its Game stores gained impetus when the company won an appeal at the Constitutional Court against a 2014 interdict preventing it from doing so. Pick n Pay had argued that its lease agreement with Hyprop Investments, which owns Cape Gate shopping centre in Brackenfell, Cape Town, prevented Game from operating as a general food supermarket. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said Massmart could devote less space to electrical goods, but whether that would be much more profitable was questionable.

November 27, 2016

Hotel room revenue boosts Tsogo Sun's income growth (Business Report)

Africa's biggest hotels and gambling operator, Tsogo Sun, reported 8 percent growth in total income yesterday to R6.29 billion for the six months to September. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said the income growth was above expectations, however warned that the growth needed to translate into higher earnings for it to be relevant.

November 24, 2016

Telkom: A more positive ring (Financial Mail)

Following the completion of its turnaround programme, the group is poised for growth into new avenues. Telkom, the Telecoms player that for the better part of three years has been in a turnaround phase, has seemingly weathered the storm. Mergence portfolio manager, Peter Takaendesa says the only thing that could dampen the momentum at Telkom over the medium term is if the company fails to retain the management team that is driving its turnaround strategy.

November 24, 2016

Reunert exceeds market expectations (Business Report)

Electronics group Reunert's annual results beat market expectations with the group again achieving double digit growth. Reunert for the year to end September reported a 17 percent increase in normalised headline earnings per share to 662 cents per share from the previous corresponding date. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence, provides his thoughts, saying that "it's a strong result relative to market expectations, its peers and also in the context of weaker economic growth in South Africa."

November 23, 2016

'Hard' Brexit could chase away Investec clientele (Business Times)

A hard Brexit, which would prompt firms to move their offices to cities in the EU, could take Investec's target market - well-paid executives and managers at large international organisations - with it. Bradley Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence, sees a scenario where many high-income-earning professionals, who deal with institutions related to banks such as law and accounting firms, will have to leave the UK.

November 20, 2016

Investors overdose on Dis-Chem's JSE debut (Business Times)

Dis-Chem, South Africa's second-largest pharmaceutical retailer after Clicks, made its debut on the JSE on Friday, gaining as much as 27% to R23.45 as private investors dived into the stock. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said that when there was a new listing of a stock that was closely related to another one in the same sector, they were seen as alternatives to each other.

November 20, 2016

Invicta shares jump on profit surge (Business Report)

Invicta Holdings shares shot to a 16-month high on the JSE yesterday after the group lifted its operating profit by 6 percent to R485 million - up from the R457m reported last year. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said Invicta published a trading update on November 4, and that headline earnings per share would be up between 30 and 35 percent, so the results which are up 32 percent, are in line with that guidance.

November 15, 2016

'Data will fall with more spectrum' (The New Age)

Data prices in South Africa will go down once the telcos are granted more access to spectrum, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said yesterday. South Africa has among the most expensive data in the world and demands for access are growing. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers concurred that if spectrum was freed up, prices would drop, but cautioned telcos had to consider sharing infrastructure as an option to reduce costs.

November 15, 2016

Aussie ops put the skids on Woolworths (Business Times)

Woolworths shares fell sharply on Friday morning as investors fretted over the retailer's health after it released a disappointing trading update. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said part of the reason for the group's poor result was Woolworths' Australian operations.

November 13, 2016

Rand holds Vodacom back on data battlefield (Business Times)

Amid data price wars, a volatile rand and increasing competition in the rest of the continent, analysts are expecting a mixed set of figures from Vodacom when it presents its results tomorrow for the six months ended in September. "The higher earnings growth compared to revenue growth will be driven by cost control as well as the non-recurrence of some one-off charges included in headline earnings last year," said Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers.

November 13, 2016

Smart strategy, executed well, spells success (Sunday Times, Top 100 Companies)

Technology firm EOH has become a major force in the local information and technology sector. The company has built a good reputation in the market and has been an outstanding performer over the past five years. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence, provides his comments.

November 13, 2016

Bank boss cashes in shares worth R68m (Financial Mail)

Capitec chairman Riaan Stassen offloaded R68m worth of shares in the bank last week, ostensibly so he could put money into a new investment venture. Despite this, Capitec spokesman Charl Nel says there is little to be worried about as the number of shares sold by the directors is small in relation to their total holding. Brad Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence, provides his comments.

November 10, 2016

ADvTECH acquires Glenwood House (Business Report)

Private education group ADvTECH announced yesterday that it had acquired Glenwood House School in George for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its footprint in the Western Cape. Glenwood House School includes a Pre-Preparatory, Preparatory and College offering grade 000 to 12 with just more than 800 students. Nolwandle Mthombeni, and equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said the strategy that ADvTECH management had embarked on over the last two years was beginning to bear fruit, and was inline with the company's growth strategy.

November 8, 2016

Telcos banking on diversification (Sunday Times, Business Times)

For South Africa's telecoms companies, financial services and banking look likely to plug the hole left by falling prices. And that could be the reason why MTN Group has hired banking and financial services executives. However, Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence, said that was not necessarily the main purpose.

November 6, 2016

Miners wary over enticements of gold bull market (Sunday Times, Business Times)

With the commodity cycle slowly turning, gold miners are entering a structural bull market and are searching for acquisitions. Careful capital allocation is critical so that they don't end up overpaying for poor assets or pouring more capital into assets yielding low or no returns. Mergence analyst, Thobela Bixa, comments that capital allocation was always a problem and a bull period - which is where gold equities were heading - was a rush of blood to the head for miners. But it should be a priority to return capital to shareholders, paying back debt and increasing dividends.

November 6, 2016

Small IPP Programme opens the industry to SMEs (Business Day)

One more goal of the REIPPP programme was the promotion of small businesses in the energy mix. The IPP Office says it is aimed at giving the South African power generation equipment manufacturers, who may not have international certification, the opportunity to supply equipment for the projects. Senior Investment Analyst at Mergence, Peta Chennells, says that: "It's a very good initiative that runs parallel to the main process."

October 31, 2016

Flat retail lending slows Barclay's revenue growth (Business Report)

Barclays Africa's loan growth slowed slightly in the third quarter from the first half due to a flat retail lending environment in South Africa. Brad Preston, the chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Managers, said the update contained few surprises and that while revenue growth is slowing it is expected to still exceed cost growth.

October 28, 2016

Bats makes $47bn offer for Reynolds (Business Report)

British American Tabacco (Bats) announced on Friday a $47 billion (R656bn) offer to acquire the remaining 57.8 percent of Reynolds American that it did not already own, it a move to cement the two cigarette giants and create the world's largest listed tobacco company by revenue and market value. Dirk Steyn, portfolio manage at Mergence Investment Managers provides his insights.

October 24, 2016

FirstRand appetite for Indian fare wanes (Business Times)

Regulatory pressures and stiff competition have forced FirstRand to scale down its retail operations in India after the company failed to grow its footprint despite the country's large population. A critical assessment of where it had competitive advantage and was able to compete for market share was important for the bank, said Bradley Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Managers. "While there is a large unbanked market in India, the same is true for Africa."

October 23, 2016

Latest purchase broadens Famous Brands' horizon (Business Report)

Famous Brands announced yesterday that it had acquired a 49.9 percent stake in the multi-awarded commercial catering company, By Word of Mouth, for an undisclosed amount. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said although the By Word of Mouth acquisition would probably be small, it would give Famous Brands access to a different segment of the market.

October 4, 2016

ARC to acquire stake in Alex Forbes (Business Report)

African Rainbow Capital (ARC) has announced that it was going to acquire a 10 percent stake in financial services company Alexander Forbes Limited (AFL) for a cash consideration of R753.45 million. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an equity analyst at Mergence, said the substance of this transaction was that the group had found an empowerment partner who will invest in Alexander Forbes' African ventures through an underlying subsidiary that would house its African operations.

September 30, 2016

MTN denies illegally moving funds (Business Report)

MTN Group said it "strongly refutes" an accusation by Nigerian lawmakers that the wireless carrier illegally moved almost $14 billion (R190bn) out of the country, as the company tries to quell the latest controversy in its largest market. "We cannot blame the market for reacting to a story like this," Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers in Cape Town, said. "The amounts are quite material and the company needs to give the market more concrete information."

September 29, 2016

Suspended Visual back in business (Business Report)

Listed property development firm Visual International Holdings, whose share trading on the JSE remains suspended, claims the company is no longer experiencing severe cash flow constraints, following the recent inflow of funds. In an update on its disposals, Visual International said the transfer of 7 831 square metres of land that comprised the first phase of the Stellendale Lifestyle Estate in Cape Town to Mergence Africa Property Fund had been completed and the proceeds of the disposal were received this week.

September 19, 2016

State gives Vodacom R5bn contract in bid to cut costs (Business Day)

Vodacom has won as estimated R5bn government contract, its biggest deal with the public sector to date. The contract is for the supply of data and voice services to as many as 1.3 million government employees for four years. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, provides his insights.

September 16, 2016

Higher selling price helps lift AVI's operating profit results (Business Report)

Branded consumer products company, AVI, said yesterday that it had achieved a 12.4 percent increase in operating profit to R2.15 billion for the year to end June, up from R1.92bn, boosted by a higher selling price that lifted the group's margins. AVI's extensive brand portfolio includes more than 50 brands, including Five Roses, Bakers, I&J, Yardley and Spitz. Brad Preston, the chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Managers, said the results were solid, if marginally below consensus.

September 13, 2016

Competition has Mr Price on the rack (Sunday Times, Business Times)

Shares in one-time home-town hero crash as, battered by market newcomers, it unveils dismal trading update. For the past 12 months, Mr Price has performed worse than its peers, falling more than 18% compared to an 8% decline in the JSE retailers index. "The guidance was much worse than what was expected - and the rating was already high, expecting them to execute well," said Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers.

September 4, 2016

Gold miners get their glitter back (Sunday Times, Business Times)

The shine is back for South Africa's gold mining companies, which are paying dividends and seeking possible acquisitions thanks to the strong gold price and weak rand. Izak van Niekerk, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, provides his comments.

August 21, 2016

Learner numbers boost Curro (Cape Times, Business Report)

South Africa's largest private schools operator; Curro Holdings, reported a 59 percent growth in profits to R81 million for the six months to June helped by an increase of 16 percent in learner numbers and said demand for schools was far greater than the supply. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, provides her insight, and says that the business model was largely a fixed-cost, which meant that Curro built schools and filled up the capacity in schools with learners.

August 17, 2016

KAP's strategy scores 19% increase in profit (Business Report)

KAP Industrial Holdings reported a surge of 19 percent in operating profit to R2 billion for the year to June. The company, which has Steinhoff as it's biggest investor, said it increased its dividend 20 percent, to 18c a share. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said: "KAP results came out ahead of expectations largely driven by better margin improvement as a result of strong cost containment."

August 16, 2016

Putting your money into green power (City Press)

Globally, there is a move towards increased investment in renewable energy projects and South African investment houses are also looking at these projects as attractive, viable investments. Mergence Investment Managers, a majority black-owned and managed investment house, has carved a niche for itself in terms of impact investing.

August 14, 2016

Yebo Yethu lists, hoping BEE investors will stay put (Sunday Times, Business Times)

Vodacom's BEE share scheme, Yebo Yethu, has become the third such scheme to be listed under the black empowerment sector of the JSE main board. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence, said the listing presented opportunities for investors to increase their earnings. "On the back of Vodacom's operational strength, Yebo Yethu's shareholders can anticipate great returns."

August 14, 2016

Asset Manager Review - Willis Towers Watson (Business Report)

Fabian de Beer, Director of Investments, and Brad Preston, Chief Investment Officer at Mergence Investment Managers, provide their insights on what makes an effective Trustee Board.

August 11, 2016

BAT lifts revenue, grows volumes (Cape Times, Business Report)

British American Tobacco (BAT) yesterday reported a 7.8 percent revenue increase to £21 billion (R394.65bn) fuelled by a strong volume performance and good pricing. BAT's primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing on the JSE. Dirk Steyn, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said: "It was a good set of results from BAT and they did not disappoint the market's high expectations."

July 29, 2016

Shoprite's upbeat update lifts shares (Business Report)

Africa's biggest food retailer Shoprite traded much higher in almost four years, gaining as much as 11.35 percent on the JSE yesterday to close as R194.98 a share after the group released a positive operational update. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said: "On a comparative 52-week basis, turnover growth was 11.6 percent compared to market expectations of 9 percent, so Shoprite delivered a decent growth rate ahead of market expectations".

July 21, 2016

Sasfin sells logistics unit stake to Imperial (Business Report)

Banking and financial services group announced it was selling 70 per cent of its logistics business, Sasfin Premier Logistics Proprietary, to Imperial Holdings for an undisclosed amount. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, provides his insight.

July 13, 2016

Renewable energy investments (Invest SA)

Renewable energy projects are the latest trend in the world of responsible investing. This article discusses who is investing where, including Mergence Investment Managers.

July 1, 2016

Making a difference (Invest SA)

One of the leaders in the impact investments space is Mergence Investment Managers. This article highlights some of the projects Mergence is involved in, namely Sustainable Heating, Project Isizwe and Communicare.

July 1, 2016

Investors find safe haven in bullion as JSE fall continues (Business Day)

The fall in the JSE pushes investors to the gold market - thanks to a higher gold price and a weaker rand. As investors fled the plunging stock markets, they found sanctuary in gold and other safe-haven assets. Mergence Investment Managers equity analyst Izak van Niekerk said the higher dollar-dominated gold price and a weaker rand would improve gold miners' revenue and cash flows.

June 28, 2016

Telkom earnings increase by 15% (IOL Business Report)

Telkom yesterday announced a 15.5 percent rise in normalised headline earnings for the year to March 31, marking the conclusion of a successful three-year turnaround strategy implemented in 2013. Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers said: “The management team has demonstrated solid execution in the first phase of the turnaround strategy and we believe Telkom is now in a much stronger position to compete for growth in the (information and communications technology) market.

June 7, 2016

MTN: a fine mess (Financial Mail)

Since beginning of the year, stock has fallen by almost 6%, ended last year nearly 40% down. MTN's share price continues to decline as the uncertainty over its US$3.9bn fine in Nigeria persists. Peter Takaendesa, portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, says there are a number of unknowns with MTN at the moment "and, as you know, the market behaves that way in the short term whenever there is uncertainty".

June 3, 2016

Naspers: Company's value tops R1 trillion (Mercury, Business Report)

Commentary from Peter Takaendesa, Portfolio Manager, at Mergence Investment Managers.

June 1, 2016

Tsogo Sun rallies on increased tourism (Cape Times, Business Report)

Tsogo Sun's shares leapt 5.75 percent to R26.50 yesterday after the hotels and gambling operator said its annual profit rose 12 percent on increased tourism to South Africa. Nolwandle Mthombeni, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said the results displayed the resilience of the company, as well as the strength of its hotel portfolio, which had historically been overlooked by the market due to its smaller contribution earnings.

May 26, 2016

Ascendis's new 'make or break' acquisitions hailed as transformative (Business Day)

Acquisitive healthcare conglomerate Ascendis is gunning for two large offshore acquisitions with a collective value of up to R7.3bn - a development that could prompt a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange. Izak van Niekerk, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers provides his insight with regards to these deals.

May 25, 2016

Negative-yielding bonds a sign of things to come (Cape Times, Business Report)

An article by Fabian de Beer, Director of Investments at Mergence Investment Managers on economic deflation.

May 18, 2016

Coronation profits decline in 'highly volatile environment' (Cape Times, Business Report)

Nolwandle Mthombeni, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, provides her insight into JSE-listed Coronation Fund Managers 7 percent decline in profit during the six months to March, compared during the corresponding period last year.

May 18, 2016

Feature Article: Trialogue Sustainability Review (Financial Mail)

Mergence Investment Managers features in this article, which showcases Impact Investing in South Africa.

May 1, 2016

Standard Bank fears SA downgrade to junk status (Cape Times, Business Report)

Standard Bank has warned that the current slump in the country's economic growth and looking downgrades by international rating agencies could harm its growth prospects in South Africa. Brad Preston, chief investment officer at Mergence Investment Managers, said Standard Bank's results were influenced by a number of factors and the large rise in headline earnings a share was driven by the reduction in their stake in their London Standard Bank business.

March 4, 2016

Barclays shares take a knock after exit talk (Star, Business Report)

Brad Preston, Chief Investment Officer for Listed Investments at Mergence, said: "If true, the divestment will not be a view on (Barclays Africa) itself. Barclays has divested in other emerging markets such as Asia. This is part of its broad reform. A lot of businesses are now cautious of the Africa growth story."

March 1, 2016

Joffe to retire as boss of Bidvest (Cape Times, Business Report)

Bidvest founder and chief executive Brian Joffe would step down after the unbundling and listing of the company's food service business on the JSE, Joffe said yesterday. Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa said that the restructuring was done in order to facilitate the unbundling of the Foodservice business.Now you will have strong specialised divisional leadership that the market knows and it goes a long way in reducing key man risk," he said.

March 1, 2016

Shoprite hangs in as Nigeria feels pinch (Sunday Times, Business Times)

SA retailer plans more stores even as oil price hits economy. But even Shoprite, for all its success, has had to rethink its plans in Nigeria. Chito Siame, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said: "Shoprite had high ambitions for the country a few years ago, expecting to open hundreds of stores. They've tapered these ambitions... because the middle class most consultants talked about is smaller than was initially thought."

February 28, 2016

Super Group hits top gear as share price accelerates (Sunday Times, Business Times)

Shares in transport and logistics company Super Group rallied past the R40 mark for the first time in eight years this week as investors broadly cheered its first-half financial performance performance. "Good capital allocation, diversifying the group to other geographies and repairing the balance sheet have been exceptional," said Peter Takaendesa, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers.

February 21, 2016

New performance gauges key in cutting pay gap (Business Day)

SA has one of the biggest pay gaps in the world. A recent report by Mergence Investment Managers found that CEOs of JSE-listed companies earn, on average, 140 times more than the average worker.

February 17, 2016

China's slowdown weighs on Naspers (Cape Times, Business Report)

Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers said: "People are reducing risk appetite and are selling those (technology) stocks. Naspers is not the only company that has experienced this."

February 16, 2016

Edcon sharpens the axe... once again (Star, Business Report)

Chito Siame, an equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, said: "The plan to cut jobs at Edcon head office are obviously part of an effort to improve profitability and provide some relief for the debt-laden company."

February 8, 2016

Steam-producing boiler room reduces electricity consumption (Engineering News)

Sustainable Heating founder Paul Gorremans says the plant operates on woodchips as opposed to fuel or paraffin and that Paarl Media Cape will see around 218 000 t of carbon reduction over 15 years. Sustainable Heating is funded by industrial projects financier the Industrial Development Corporation and specialist fund manager Mergence.

January 22, 2016

Don’t ignore the risk of a confidence crisis (Moneyweb)

A loss of confidence in central bank credibility would be a major risk for global markets. An article by Fabian de Beer, Director of Investments at Mergence.

December 2, 2015

Being black is not enough (Saturday Citizen, Business)

According to the latest annual BEE.conomics survey undertaken by 27Four Investment Managers, of the estimated R6.97 trillion in assets held in the South African savings and investment industry, only 4.4% is managed by black firms. The transformation of the industry has not taken place to any meaningful degree. “It's difficult to earn the trust of investors without a significant track record through various market cycles,” says Shanay Narsi, business development consultant at Mergence Investment Managers.

November 28, 2015

Yielding happy returns (Financial Mail, A Special Report)

The investment strategy of the Mineworkers Provident Fund (MWPF) is guided by three strategic pillars as encapsulated in the acronym GEMS, which stands for governance, efficiency, member-centricity and sustainability. Only the highest standards of ethics and governance are adhered to at the fund...31% (R8bn) of the fund's assets are managed by previously disadvantaged managers, which includes Mergence (5%).

November 26, 2015

Tsogo Sun turnover soars despite tough trading environment (SA Commercial Property - News)

Tsogo Sun continued to outperform expectations with turnover up 7% at more than R5.9 billion, but warned business was under pressure due to a subdued economy. Bradley Preston, an analyst with Mergence Investment Managers, said Tsogo’s numbers were solid in a tough trading environment.

November 30, 2015

SA beer bosses bag big barrels of bucks (Mail & Guardian)

The potential benefits for top management once again raise issues of pay inequality across the corporate world. According to Brad Preston, portfolio manager at Mergence, the wage gap at SABMiller has increased to a ratio of about 290:1 in 2015.

October 23, 2015

Energy is a 'game changer' (Cape Argus)

Cape's capacity to generate alternative power set to be major revenue and job creator. The projects will be financed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and local black-owned company Mergence Investment Managers.

October 13, 2015

Van Riebeeck as scapegoat lets black sheep escape (Business Day)

This thing of entirely blaming the arrival of the Vereenigde Oostindische Companie (VOC) in SA and other settlers for the lack of economic transformation must come to an end. This excuse is not sustainable. You can't entirely blame apartheid for all the poor economic transformation and social ills.

September 15, 2015

Green power boost as another Eastern Cape wind farm enters commercial operation (The Energy Blog)

The Kouga Wind Farm investor base comprises STANLIB Asset Management on behalf of STANLIB Infrastructure Private Equity Fund 1, Evolution One Fund, a specialised clean energy investor managed by Inspired Evolution, Red Cap Investments, Eurocape Renewables, Afri-Coast Engineers and a local community trust financed by the Industrial Development Corporation. These investors secured long-term debt funding of approximately R1.6 billion for the construction and operation of the project from commercial lenders including Standard Bank, Nedbank, Liberty, Mergence and the Industrial Development Corporation.

September 12, 2015

Ascendis casts net wide as it pursues offshore turnover (Business Day)

Ascendis, the acquisitive health brands conglomerate, is not ready to stop shopping despite yesterday reporting a 60% gain in normalised earnings to R245m in the year to end-June. Bradley Preston from Mergence Investment Managers provides his insight, in this article by Marc Hasenfuss.

September 10, 2015

Eastern Cape's Kouga wind farm officially opened (Concrete)

The R2billion Kouga wind farm, located at Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape, was officially opened by Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo. The power plant, which entered commercial operations earlier this year, incorporates 32 Nordex turbines and is expected to produce 300 GWh of electricity annually. The Kouga Wind Farm Community Development Trust holds a 26% shareholding. The investors secured longterm debt funding of about R1.6billion for the project from Standard Bank, Nedbank, Liberty, Mergence and the IDC.

September 7, 2015

BEE growth asset management (Invest SA)

In this article by Marc Hasenfuss, Mergence is mentioned as one of the top 10 black asset managers.

September 1, 2015

Mark van Wyk on CNBC Africa

CNBC Africa's Lindsay Williams talks to Mark Van Wyk from Mergence Investment Managers on the performance of the firm's SRI fund. They take a closer look at the funds top holdings, sector allocation and investment strategy. To view, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.cnbcafrica.com/video/?bctid=4397053447001

August 4, 2015

OFM Podcast: Mark van Wyk interviewed by Thandi Xaba

To listen to this podcast, please copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.ofm.co.za/article/Business-News/169290/Institutional-investors-should-allocate-more-towards-developmental-initiatives

August 3, 2015

Call for retirement savings to boost SA (Business Day)

Asset management company Mergence Investment Managers has called for institutional investors to allocate more of workers' retirement savings towards developmental initiatives. The call comes as the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng is looking at ways to increase the power of workers in directing how their pensions are invested in a bid to transform the economy.

August 3, 2015

Portfolio watch: What top managers have been buying and selling (The Investor)

As South Africa's unit trust industry deepens, a number of smaller managers are making their mark. Funds run by a number of lesser-known houses are consistently featuring in performance tables and attracting investor interest. In the year to date, three equity managers who have done particularly well are Mazi Capital, 36ONE and Mergence.

August 1, 2015

The alternative landscape (Financial Mail Investors Monthly)

Mark van Wyk, Portfolio Manager and Head of Impact & Infastructure Investing at Mergence Investment Managers, contributes to an article on alternative asset classes in the latest Financial Mail Investors Monthly. Mark argues inter alia the case for infrastructure investing in the current macro-economic climate.

July 30, 2015

Mergence grows business development team (FAnews)

Shanay Narsi has joined the business development team at Mergence Investment Managers, as the blackowned specialist fund manager gears up to grow assets under management, particularly in infrastructure investments. Mr Narsi joins Mergence from Nedgroup where he was Senior Institutional Investment Consultant responsible for marketing a range of local and offshore portfolios to retirement funds and other institutional clients.

July 15, 2015

Time for black asset managers to shake things up (Business Day)

Has insurer MMI opened a can of worms in the asset management space? Will portfolio managers in asset management companies linked to insurers have the guts to toyi-toyi to management and demand that they should be given ownership of such money management businesses?

July 14, 2015

Without real inclusivity, there can be no growth (Business Day)

This article by Bekezela Phakathi discusses the widening gap between rich and poor in South Africa. The author quotes the wage gap research published by Mergence Investment Managers last year.

June 29, 2015

Bradley Preston on CNBC Africa

CNBC Africa's Lindsay Williams talks to Bradley Preston from Mergence Investment Managers to discuss the performance of the firm's Equity Fund, analysing the top holdings, key sectors targeted and the investment strategy going forward. To view, copy and past the following link into your browser: http://www.cnbcafrica.com/video/?bctid=4274605972001

June 4, 2015

Condescending view of black business ignores facts (Business Day)

One of the most condescending views that appear in the comment sections of online publications is that black people, especially since 1994, cannot and have not started businesses in SA, and rely on the state and black economic empowerment (BEE) deals that require a transfer of equity to do business. If you research diversified investment company Mergence Africa Holdings, a black-controlled company founded by Masimo-a-badimo Magerman and Izak Petersen, you will come across a story inspiring for many young people in townships. Of course, it is a disappointing narrative for the online chauvinists.

February 24, 2015

Funding boost for Tshwane's Wi-Fi plan (Sowetan)

The cash injection to non-profit service provider Project Isizwe was provided by Mergence Investment Managers, and will take the form of a social impact bond - a form of funding that gives service providers access to upfront resources to tackle social problems by tapping into private funding.

June 3, 2015

Fund manager invests in free Wi-Fi project (TechCentral)

Mergence Investment Managers has invested an undisclosed sum to expand Project Isizwe's roll-out of free Wi-Fi in greater Pretoria in a move the parties believe could "set the pattern for social impact bonds" in South Africa.

June 1, 2015

Vodacom takes R2bn hit on rate cut (Business Day)

Telecoms firm banks on Neotel deal to help it grow data services. Including comments by Peter Takaendesa, Equity Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers.

May 19, 2015

Appointment of Kasief Isaacs (Sunday Times, Business Times Careers)

Mergence Investment Managers has appointed Kasief Isaacs portfolio manager responsible for infrastructure equity investments. Isaacs’s career spans more than 20 years, with a specific focus on the energy industry. He joins Mergence from PwC, where he was a director in its advisory services business and developed and led PwC’s South African renewable energy practice.

March 29, 2015

ESG. Benefits. (IRFinity)

An investment manager’s role is to help provide for the future welfare of investors by striving to maximise the returns on their savings and retirement investments. But how do we invest responsibly and still generate good financial returns?

March 1, 2015

Deflation. Inflation. (IRFinity)

At the start of 2014, most investors were forecasting stronger global demand and rising bond yields. A number of market participants even anticipated that inflation would surprise on the upside. Instead, bond yields have fallen and the threat of sustained low inflation, if not deflation, has emerged.

March 1, 2015

Overview of the month: Dollar hammers currencies, commodities (Financial Mail)

By Andries Mahlangu - Emerging market assets suffered a setback in March as investors braced themselves for a potential first rise in US interest rates in years. Including comments by Bradley Preston, Portfolio Manager, Mergence Investment Managers.

March 1, 2015

Mergence eyes black-owned hospital group (Business Day)

Financial services company Mergence wants to launch a large black-owned hospital group and is arranging funding to build a 200-400 bed private hospital in the next 18 months. The move forms part of its ambitions to take on established, large players such as Mediclinic, Netcare and Life Healthcare.

February 19, 2015

Investing for good - and reaping returns (City Press)

When African Bank collapsed, South Africa’s microlending sector was collectively tarred and feathered. But Cape Town’s Mergence Investment Managers believes microlending is the key to high-impact investing – and reaping returns with a clean conscience. That’s why the black-owned and managed firm has a R1.1 billion debt fund to finance innovative solutions to social problems.

February 15, 2015

SMEs will boost energy supply (Business Report)

Programme to secure 200MW with green methods - Small and medium enterprises (SME's) using renewable technologies will soon be boosting energy supply by a total of 200 megawatts. Specialist black-owned fund manager Mergence Investment Managers and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have committed R600 million in debt funding to support 10 SMEs in the first phase for small independent power producers.

February 9, 2015

Mergence plans to expand 'impact' investments to R2bn (Business Day)

By Gillian Jones - Mergence Investment Managers plans to double the size of assets it has under management in "impact" investments to R2bn this year. The 100% black-owned financial services group, Mergence Africa, has R1.1bn invested in impact investments, out of its total assets under management of R21bn. Impact investing combines a social purpose, such as addressing environmental, social or governance concerns, while making competitive returns. "This year we would like to double the size of our assets under management to R2bn," Mergence Investment impact funds portfolio manager Mark van Wyk said.

January 26, 2015

Infrastructure investing for a better society (IRFinity ebook)

The world over, countries are exploring ways to finance the funding gap for infrastructure development. Southern Africa is no exception and the structural challenges are significant, ranging from education, housing, unemployment to energy shortages. By Mergence Investment Managers.

December 1, 2014

Investing Responsibly (IRFinity ebook)

An investment manager's role is to help provide for the future welfare of investors by striving to maximise the returns on their savings and retirement investments. But how does one invest responsibly and still generate good financial returns? An article by Brad Preston, Portfolio Manager, Mergence Investment Managers.

December 1, 2014

The changing nature of the JSE (Moneyweb)

SA economic growth's become a less important driver of the JSE's fortunes. The FTSE-JSE All-Share Index (ALSI) has reached all-time highs over recent years despite negative news, ratings downgrades and a weakening rand. Business and consumer confidence have largely remained weak and the recent labour strikes have been particularly lengthy and damaging to the economy with the result that growth prospects have been revised downwards by many economists, as well as leading global financial institutions. An article by Fabian de Beer, Chief Investment Officer, Mergence Investment Managers.

November 17, 2014

Funds for green power bidders (Business Day)

Renewables - The Industrial Development Corporation and Mergence Investment Managers say they will provide R600m in debt funding, for 10 small and medium enterprises bidding under the Department of Energy's first round to supply 50MW of renewable power from small projects ranging from 1MW-5MW, the two organisations said yesterday.

November 12, 2014

''Smalls'' renewable energy first bid close-out goes unnoticed (itinews)

SMEs using new technologies will boost energy security by 200 MW As the country dealt with power outages in the wake of a collapsed Eskom coal silo last week, a piece of good news passed unnoticed with the closing date on 3 November for bids in the first phase of a “small projects” renewable energy programme that will support two national aims - enhanced energy security and small business development. The Small Projects Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (SIPPPP) forms part of the government’s overall target of 10 000 megawatts for renewable energy. The Minister of Energy has determined that 3 200MW from renewable energy is required for an uninterrupted electricity supply over the next 15 years. Two hundred megawatts will be secured from small projects under the SPIPPPP, each with a maximum contracted capacity of 5 MW, allocated over four bid submission phases/windows. Specialist black-owned fund manager Mergence Investment Managers and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have committed R600-million in debt funding to support 10 small and medium enterprises bidders in the first phase of the SPIPPPP.

November 11, 2014

SMEs using new technologies will boost energy security by 200 MW (itinews)

'Smalls' renewable energy first bid close-out goes unnoticed - As the country dealt with power outages in the wake of a collapsed Eskom coal silo last week, a piece of good news passed unnoticed with the closing date on 3 November for bids in the first phase of a "small projects" renewable energy programme that will support two national aims - enhanced energy security and small business development.

November 11, 2014

Models simply moving targets (Financial Mail)

By Samuel Mungadze - Competition is driving telecoms revenues down and business models will have to keep changing. Including comments by Peter Takaendesa, Equity Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers.

November 1, 2014

Mixed views (Financial Mail)

Nedbank is confident that its acquisition of a 20% stake in the pan-African banking group Ecobank Transnational for R5,5bn makes strategic sense.

October 9, 2014

Capitec surprises market surprises (Business Day)

Capitec’s half-year results, released on Monday, revealed a better quality loan book than market watchers were expecting. Including comments by Brad Preston, Portfolio Manager, Mergence Investment Managers.

October 2, 2014

Miserable wages, much angst (Forbes Africa)

Investment Guide - Mining Thoughts by Julie Bain: South Africa's mining companies are struggling to appease stakeholders, shareholders, government and employees.

October 1, 2014

Whitey kry meer as R50 m. (Sake 24 (Beeld))

Whitey Basson, uitvoerende hoof van Shoprite, het in die boekjaar tot einde Junie 'n salaris van R49 656 000 verdien. Met ander voordele inglesluit, was sy totale vergoeding R50 001 000.

September 30, 2014

11th Annual ABSIP Financial Services Sector Conference and Awards (ABSIP Special Edition Newsletter)

Mark van Wyk, Portfolio Manager : Impact and Infrastructure Funds, Mergence Investment Managers, is awarded the “Asset Management - Alternative Asset / Fund Manager 2014” by the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP).

September 29, 2014

Africa AM Power 50 (Africa AM Asset Management)

By Anna Lyudvig - The Africa AM Power 50 is our annual guide to the most influential, innovative and powerful figures in the industry. This year we have placed a greater emphasis than ever before on the portfolio managers who are directly responsible for a fund’s performance. Over recent weeks we have received a tremendous amount of entries from institutional investors and asset managers. There were also a greater amount of nominations for private equity firms – a testament to the importance of this asset class in Africa. Masimo Magerman is co-founder and managing director of Mergence Investment Managers, a black-owned specialist fund manager founded in 2004. As a fund manager and leader of the Mergence team of 23 people, Magerman has led initiatives that make a direct impact on various industries, including renewable energy. The company’s innovative use of debt funding is an example of how the private sector can help to finance infrastructure development in South Africa and build a sustainable economy.

August 31, 2014

Business Connexion can pay dividend before deal (Business Day)

Business Connexion shareholders, who vote on Monday on Telkom's R6.60 per share offer to buy the group, yesterday approved amendments to the agreement. The amendments allow Business Connexion to pay a dividend up to 20c before the takeover is completed and extend the deadline for competition authority approval. Including comments by Peter Takaendesa, Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers.

August 6, 2014

Investment barriers (IRFinity)

Investment barriers - Of South Africa's R4 trillion asset management industry, investment mandates for socially responsible investments (SRI) are a mere 1 percent. This is a sobering statistic if SRI is seen as a proxy for responsible investing and given the need for sustainable growth in our economy. An article by Masimo Magerman, Managing Director, Mergence Investment Managers

August 1, 2014

Why is SRI not rooted in mainstream fiscal society? (Business Report)

Responsible Investment - Of South Africa's R4 trillion asset management industry, investment mandates for socially responsible investments (SRI) are a mere 1 percent. This is a sobering statistic if SRI is seen as a proxy for responsible investing and given the need for sustainable growth in our economy. We all know the challenges by now which range from energy security and infrastructure development to health, housing and education. An article by Masimo Magerman, Managing Director, Mergence Investment Managers

July 30, 2014

BCX takes Telkom offer to shareholders (Business Day)

Business Connexion (BCX) sent its shareholders a firm offer from Telkom to buy out the group at R6.60 per share‚ valuing the information technology group at about R2.7bn.

July 14, 2014

Accepting responsibility (Financial Mail - On My Mind)

Accepting Responsibility - The absence of tools to assess the performance of sustainable investing is a barrier to its adoption. A think piece by Masimo Magerman, Managing Director, Mergence Investment Managers

July 10, 2014

Investors put R82bn into wind and solar renewable energy plants (Business Day)

Black-owned specialist fund manager Mergence Investment Managers said on Thursday total investment in wind and solar renewable energy plants was R82bn, with the banking sector, insurance companies, pension funds and international investors as major funders.

June 2, 2014

Pay gap yawns widest at Shoprite (Business Times)

Retail giant Shoprite shows the widest gap of all listed South African companies between the salary paid to its CEO and average pay for its staff, according to research by Mergence Investment Managers.

June 1, 2014

Shoprite's Basson has built great value (Business Day)

Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson is used to being questioned on the size of his pay packet, which totalled about R50m last year. So it was no surprise when this week's Mergence pay gap report put his remuneration at a whopping 725 times that of his average employee, beating second-placed AVI (375 times) and Aquarius Platinum (311 times) for the dubious honour.

May 30, 2014

Bosses' bonuses 'too easy' - survey (Citizen)

Wage gap: CEOs happy to take on slack performance benchmarks - Chief executives' performance targets may not be challenging enough because it seems easy for them to get their bonuses, a new survey says.

May 30, 2014

Levels of pay for CEOs on the rise (The New Age)

Multinational company heads earned as much as R60m in 2013 - The highest earners on the JSE are dominated by CEOs of multinational companies, with seven CEOs receiving total compensation of more than R60m each during 2013, says a report by boutique asset managers Mergence.

May 30, 2014

Renewable energy tariffs cheaper than Eskom (The Green Business Guide)

It is more attractive for the government to procure new energy from renewable energy sources given the current trend of Eskom electricity generation costs and the competitiveness within the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer (REIPP) procurement programme. Speaking at a media presentation in Johannesburg Mark van Wyk, head of impact investing at Mergence Investment Managers, said that the tariffs at which renewable energy independent power producers are supplying energy into the grid has decreased significantly over the three successive bidding rounds of the REIPP.

May 30, 2014

SA has among widest pay gaps: report (Business Day)

By Evan Pickworth - Each of the seven highest-paid CEO's in JSE-listed companies earned more than 300 times what the average South African did last year, according to a report by impact investing specialist Mergence Investment Managers.

May 29, 2014

Grootbase kry 145 keer soveel soos jy (Sake 24 (Beeld))

Johannesburg - Die gemiddelde uitvoerende hoof se vergoeding is byna 145 keer soveel soos die gemiddelde Suid-Afrikaanse loon.

May 29, 2014

Is CEO pay excessive? (Moneyweb)

Johannesburg – Are chief executives of locally listed companies receiving variable pay for meeting sufficiently challenging targets? An analysis of pay practices at Top100 JSE-listed companies by boutique fund manager Mergence Investment Managers, suggests that, on an aggregate level, performance targets may not always be challenging enough as it seems relatively easy for executives to receive a considerable variable pay package.

May 29, 2014

Wage gap should be disclosed in annual reports, says asset manager (Business Day)

By Evan Pickworth - The highest earners on the JSE are dominated by CEOs of multinational companies, with seven CEOs receiving total compensation of more than R60m each during 2013, a report by boutique asset managers Mergence showed on Wednesday.

May 28, 2014

Executive remuneration in South Africa

A report by Brad Preston, Portfolio Manager, Mergence Investment Managers

May 28, 2014

Sovereign funds not a quick fix for SA (Business Day)

The model is coming under review after huge leaks of money – Many countries have set up government-owned sovereign wealth funds to accelerate their investment potential, but such a move is unlikely to be a silver bullet for SA's own growth ills. These funds are state investment vehicles that hold and manage or administer large pools of public funds. But for such funds to be effective, money must come from somewhere, and SA does not stand out as a powerful candidate due to its trade and fiscal deficits, lack of privatisation and slow resource exports.

May 26, 2014

Kensington buyers on Investec short list (Business Day)

Investec has short-listed potential buyers for Kensington, one of the largest specialist mortgage businesses in the UK, which it acquired for £283m just before the subprime crisis in 2007. Including comments by Brad Preston, Portfolio Manager, Mergence Investment Managers.

May 23, 2014

Telkom’s Business Connexion bid a move to expand beyond fixed-line (Business Day)

In a bid to boost its fortunes and revenue — flagging because mobile technology has seen a great migration away from fixed-line services — Telkom launched a second bid for information technology group Business Connexion (BCX) on Thursday. Including comments by Peter Takaendesa, Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers.

May 23, 2014

How long before an impact is made (Collective Insight)

Pension fund trustees and members are likely to start hearing more about "impact investing" as this long-term investment trend gains traction around the world. Whereas traditional investing seeks to make a financial return, the primary focus of impact investing is the mobilisation of capital into businesses that strive to make a positive impact in key areas presenting social or infrastructural challenges.

April 24, 2014

Meeting Peter Takaendesa, Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers (Money Marketing)

Peter Takaendesa, Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers is profiled and addresses the following questions: Q: How did you get involved in financial services – was it always something you wanted to do? Q: What makes a good analyst - how much knowledge is specific and how much general? Q: Good consistent decisions - in the fast moving world of finance how are these achieved? Q: What differences do you find between the academic and business world? Q: What was the first investment you made and do you still have it? Q: Are you looking forward to the upcoming elections?

April 15, 2014

Space in the Portfolio (Engineering News)

Pension funds 'ideal' for long-term infrastructure investment - Using pension funds for long-term investments in infrastructure is an increasing trend worldwide, with the 2008 global financial crisis having resulted in several challenges for pension funds. This is according to specialist fund manager Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Mark van Wyk, who tells Engineering News that a significant drop in asset prices has created a funding gap for some pension plans.

March 14, 2014

Where are equity markets headed? (Business Report)

By Fabian De Beer - Equity markets have been bullish for almost five years – despite the negative news, fears and uncertainty that have prevailed during this period. Last year, which started with uncertainty, ended as a good year for stock markets overall. The Dow Jones industrial average, for example, had its best annual performance since 1995 (up 27 percent) and the rise in optimism pushed major stock markets to fresh highs at year-end.

March 11, 2014

Biotherm Energy Official Commercial Operation Date "COD" Ceremony (etv)

On Tuesday, the 18th February, BioTherm Energy, one of South Africa’s first Independent Power Producers, held their Official Commercial Operation Date "COD” Ceremony of the Klipheuwel-Dassiefontein Wind Energy Facility at the site in Caledon to commemorate the connection of the 27 megawatt windfarm to the energy grid. The etv newsclip can be accessed via the following link: http://www.enca.com/media/video/windfarm-new-wind-farm-tough-eskom%E2%80%99s-pocket

February 19, 2014

Pension funds ideal for long-term investment into infrastructure (FA News)

Attention is being drawn to the pension fund and insurance sectors as a way of mobilising funds for long-term investment into infrastructure. Mark van Wyk, head of impact investing at institutional fund manager Mergence Investment Managers, said: "There is a place for fund managers in the wider infrastructure story. Projects can no longer be funded by traditional sources of bank funding alone because of stricter regulations and liquidity constraints post financial crisis.

February 18, 2014

New funders needed for infrastructure (Business Day)

Banks' limited ability to finance long-term projects opens up opportunities for other types of funders to make returns and help South Africa implement its R3.4-trillion infrastructure programme. As infrastructure development is critically important for economic growth, it cannot be left for governments and the banks to "go it alone", Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Mark van Wyk said last week.

October 9, 2013

Mergence bolsters investment team (Africa AM Asset Management)

Mergence Investment Managers, a R14bn ($1.26m) South African specialist asset manager, has hired Peter Takaendesa as an equity investment analyst. Takaendesa joins Mergence from RMB Morgan Stanley, where he worked as an equity analyst for four years, during which he achieved strong industry ratings by investors, both local and international.

February 11, 2014

Five years on - where do we stand? (Moneyweb)

In the aftermath of the "Great Recession" triggered by the sub-prime financial crisis, markets have generally been bullish since early 2009, with the equity market bullish for five years now. Over this period, the financial market landscape has been punctuated by the debt problems of many major developed countries. Indeed, debt is the one common factor colouring this landscape, whether it be over-indebtedness of the private sector or the increasing debt load taken on by governments to reflate economies and avoid a major economic disaster. "Inflate or die," as one market sage has put it.

February 10, 2014

Powering up - SA solar plant to connect to the grid next month (Engineering News)

The largest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) plant in South Africa is expected to connect 50% of its 44 MW capacity to the national electricity grid next month.

January 24, 2014

Going up (destinyman.com)

Black-owned fund management companies control less than 7% of the total assets under fund management in SA. But black-owned firm Mergence Africa Holdings is claiming its stake of the multi-billion-rand pie. When Masimo Magerman and his business partner Izak Petersen formed the Cape Town-based Mergence Africa Holdings nine years ago, they had one goal in mind: to be “recognised players” in the investment and property management and derivatives broking environment.

November 27, 2013

Concentrated solar plant to deliver 22MW (iol.co.za Business Report)

Johannesburg – South Africa’s largest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar plant will be connected to the grid next month, supplying 22 megawatt-peak (MWp) electricity to Eskom, enough to power approximately 5 000 homes. The 44MWp CPV plant developed by French company Soitec in Touws River, Western Cape, will be the largest in the Western world, overtaking Colorado’s Alamosa solar generating facility, which opened in May last year and generates 37MWp.

November 25, 2013

Meeting Peta Kobrin, Credit Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers (Money Marketing)

Peta Kobrin, Credit Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers is profiled and addresses the following questions: Q: How did you get involved in financial services – was it always something you wanted to do? Q: What are the differences between responsible investing, sustainable investing and impact investing? Q: Too many South Africans see a trade-off between returns and sustainable and impact investing. Is this changing and how do we successfully measure the complete consequences and returns of impact investing? Q: Unlisted investments – what are the three important things an investor must look at before investing? Q: What was the first investment you bought and do you still have it? Q: What is your wish for SA for the year ahead?

November 13, 2013

Carbon disclosure: cleaning up their corporate act (Financial Mail Green Supplement)

Top companies are now taking firm steps towards cutting down emissions. Firmly established as global leaders in disclosing their carbon emissions, SA’s top 100 listed companies are now showing considerable progress in reducing them. Analysis of company data supplied to the international Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) shows that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity levels have reduced by 16% over the past four years.

October 9, 2013

Future investment themes: Some thought provoking questions for trustees (Pensions World South Africa)

What themes are likely to drive the world economy over the next 25 years? Fabian de Beer, Chief Investment Officer, Mergence Investment Managers comments on areas such as alternative energy sources and energy efficiency, continued growth of developing economies, changing demographics, transport, food supply, water, ESG consciousness etc.

October 1, 2013

Mergence boosts impact investment team (fanews)

Mergence Investment Managers has boosted its impact investment team with the appointment of Peta Kobrin as a credit analyst.

September 30, 2013

Investing in a low-yield environment (Money Marketing)

The current market environment poses a challenge to investors given the high valuation levels across many asset classes. The liquidity support provided by central banks throughout the world has reduced real yields on bonds and many equity markets are looking far from cheap. There certainly are cheaply valued investments available globally but to a large extent these are exposed to high levels of uncertainty either in cyclical industries or in Europe. Investors seeking low-risk assets are faced with very few attractively priced assets. In this environment investors should look broader than the traditional asset classes of cash, bonds and equities to find attractive investment opportunities.

September 30, 2013

Impact funds (Financial Mail)

Questions for Mark van Wyk - Mergence High Impact Debt Fund Manager; An interview with Stafford Thomas.

September 11, 2013

Infrastructure Funding (Africa AM Asset Management)

The financing of infrastructure development is becoming a major challenge in a post-financial crisis world. Stricter regulations and liquidity constraints on banks, the main source of debt funding to projects, mean that infrastructure projects can no longer be funded by traditional debt alone.

September 1, 2013

SRI benefits pensions (Witness Weekend - Durban)

Impact fund investment addresses social challenges. Pension fund trustees can increase returns for members and reduce risks through diversification by including impact investments in their portfolios, and addressing the social challenges facing South Africa.

August 24, 2013

JSE rallies to new peak as gold price rebounds (Business Day)

The JSE rallied to a record yesterday, with a broad-based surge in the resources sector and a rally in the gold price setting the market tone following fresh Chinese and US data.

August 13, 2013

Investing in a low-yield environment (Moneyweb)

The current market environment poses a challenge to investors given the high valuation levels across many asset classes. The liquidity support provided by central banks throughout the world has reduced real yields on bonds and many equity markets are looking far from cheap. There certainly are cheaply valued investments available globally but to a large extent these are exposed to high levels of uncertainty either in cyclical industries or in Europe. Investors seeking low-risk assets are faced with very few attractively priced assets. In this environment investors should look broader than the traditional asset classes of cash, bonds and equities to find attractive investment opportunities.

August 11, 2013

Mergence High Impact Debt Fund Rated by GIIRS (CSRwire)

The Mergence High Impact Debt Fund, run by Mark van Wyk of Mergence Investment Managers in South Africa, has been successfully rated by the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS). The fund is classified as one of 53 global pioneer funds globally. It is one of only two funds in South Africa to have been rated by GIIRS and one of five on the African continent.

August 9, 2013

Broad outlook could reap rewards (Business Day)

South Africans have an unfortunate tendency towards putting their money into funds that did well six months ago; responding to the fund performance numbers but often with little regard for the fact their returns will be determined by future and not past performance.

July 31, 2013

Impact investing (CNBC, Wealth Quest)

“Investing is about long-term viable returns. Academic literature has documented the process needed to achieve this through what can be called sustainable strategies. New questions are being asked - how does one promote environmental, social and governance criteria at the same time? This is particularly important for South Africa and more broadly Sub-Saharan Africa with great social challenges.” Click on the link below to have a look at Mark van Wyk being interviewed about Impact Investing and the Mergence High Impact Debt Fund by Cobie Legrange on Wealth Quest: http://archive.abndigital.com/page/multimedia/video/wealth-quest/1631832-Impact-investing . Missed any of the WEALTH QUEST shows? Visit the WEALTH QUEST FORUM at http://www.abndigital.com/page/blogs/wealth-quest/index.

July 22, 2013

Convoluted bid process hinders SA projects (Business Day)

Energy investors are looking at opportunities in renewable energy and alternative power generation in the rest of Africa, due to a convoluted local process which has led to numerous delays in project completion.

July 16, 2013

Who coughs up (Financial Mail)

Eight listed companies could pay more than 90% of SA's potential carbon tax bill, research by specialist asset management house Mergence Investment Managers shows.

July 4, 2013

Keep an eye on equity-only options (Financial Mail - Investor's Notebook)

Investor's Notebook - Stephen Cranston: Even though I am a firm believer in balanced funds, it is important to keep an eye on the equity-only options available to pension funds.

July 4, 2013

Impact funds to help growth (Daily Dispatch - East London)

Impact investing is becoming one of the hottest tickets in the markets as socially responsible investment factors start playing an increasingly important role in fund managers’ and the government’s investment strategies.

July 3, 2013

New in-thing: social responsibility (Business Day)

Impact investing is becoming one of the hottest tickets in the markets as socially responsible investment factors start playing an increasingly important role in fund managers’ and the government’s investment strategies.

July 2, 2013

Proxy voting and disclosure (Pensions World)

Both the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI) and the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA) call for investment managers to disclose how they vote at shareholder meetings.

June 28, 2013

Impact investing meets developmental needs (itinews)

Impact investing is an emerging investment trend ideally suited to South Africa's growth and developmental needs.

June 25, 2013

Responsible investing: how to make it a reality that will result in strong returns for all investors (Cover)

An investment manager’s role is to help provide for the future welfare of investors by striving to maximise the returns on their savings and retirement investments. It is important to remember that those savings will be enjoyed by investors within a broader environment. If a member’s retirement fund is invested in companies that have a long-term negative environmental or social impact on the broader society, this could reduce the value of their retirement savings as any such negative impact needs to be seen as an indirect tax on society as a whole.

June 21, 2013

QE and other remedies – where are we headed?

A growing number of economists and analysts foresee central banks and governments having increasingly less room to further stimulate growth, both in the practical sense and in as much as further stimuli are becoming less effective, and even threatening to work counterproductively.

June 1, 2013

Mobilising capital for social impact (Today's Trustee)

SA is buckling under such structural issues as housing, education, income disparity, job losses and energy shortages. Sometimes the problems seem so large that people don’t know where or how to start in making a difference.

June 1, 2013

Creating shared value (Leadership)

The legitimacy of the global financial system is under threat particularly as many businesses are perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader society. And so worldwide, a paradigm shift is taking place. Issues like “sustainability”, “green”, “responsible investing” and “environmental, social and governance” (ESG) and “shareholder activism” are gaining currency. You can add to that list “impact investing” which channels capital towards business models that address socio-economic and environmental needs such as transport, housing, education jobs and renewable energy. Mergence Investment Managers, a fast-growing and innovative boutique investment house, has pioneered impact investing in South Africa, making Mergence a “fund manager for the times”.

June 1, 2013

Pension funds put R1bn into green energy (Witness, Business)

The Metal Industries Benefit Administrators (Mibfa) announced yesterday that it would invest up to R1 billion in the renewable energy sector.

April 25, 2013

Responsible investing: More than just returns (The Financial Planner)

Contrary to popular belief, responsible investing may yield more impressive returns and lead to a lower cost of capital. Conceived as investment into companies that embed environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their business operations, responsible investing will succeed in South Africa only if investment managers can demonstrate to end investors that socially responsible investing (SRI) funds can outperform their benchmarks and traditional investment funds.

March 1, 2013

Talent for Finance (Financial Mail)

Profile of Masimo Magerman who has a talent for finance. After returning to South Africa in 2000, the desire to start his own business took hold and in 2004, he and a few partners founded Mergence. Making a profit while addressing social needs is the ethos Magerman lives by.

February 15, 2013

Towers Watson: Asset Manager Review (Business Report, Pretoria News)

What makes a good portfolio manager? In the recent past it has become harder for local investment managers to beat their benchmarks, particularly in some product classes such as Global Balanced mandates, South African equity portfolios, and foreign portfolios managed by South African firms This raises questions about how skilful the local managers really are...

February 14, 2013

Asset managers still mum on their voting (Business Report, Star)

The vast majority of institutional investors and asset managers are still not disclosing how they voted at shareholder meetings despite being signatories of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and supporting the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa, which both call for disclosure.

January 24, 2013

Responsible investing: How to make it a reality that will result in strong returns for all investors (Pensions World)

An investment manager's role is to help provide for the future welfare of investors, by striving to maximise investment returns on their savings and retirement investments. It is important to remember that those savings will be enjoyed by investors within the broader environment.

January 1, 2013

Should investors expect a Santa Claus rally? (Moneyweb, Wealth Building)

If the statistics are anything to go by we can expect equity markets to perform strongly over December.

December 9, 2012

A rising tide (Financial Mail Special Report: FM Fund Managers)

Asset managers are struggling to build sustainable business models.

December 7, 2012

Findings of the 27Four BEE Survey (CNBC, Wealth Quest)

Transformation has been a business imperative across South Africa for a while now. The Wealth Quest team looked at 27Four’s latest BEE survey for South African fund managers and interviewed Masimo Magerman, MD of Mergence Investment Managers, for his comments. This interview can be seen by following the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgpY4zZpsh0. Missed any of the WEALTH QUEST shows? Visit the WEALTH QUEST FORUM at http://www.abndigital.com/page/blogs/wealth-quest/index.

October 8, 2012

Fund Focus: Mergence Renewable Energy Debt Fund (CNBC, Wealth Quest)

Wealth Quest interviews Masimo Magerman in an effort to focus on the Mergence Renewable Energy Debt Fund. Follow the following link to see the interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCiTHlxQFeE.

October 8, 2012

Mergence Appoints ex-CIOs to boost team (HedgeNews Africa)

Mergence Investment Managers, the investment subsidiary of Mergence Africa Holdings Group started by Masimo-a-badimo Magerman with assets under management of R8 billion, has strengthened its absolute-return team with the appointment of Patric Ho, previously CIO of Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, and Imtiaz Ahmed, former CIO for Investment Solutions.

October 1, 2012

Mergence sets up R5bn renewable energy debt fund (Business Day)

Asset management company Mergence Investment Managers has set up a R5bn renewable energy debt fund to provide project finance for local renewable energy projects...

August 30, 2012

The CRISA Code, Responsible Investing & ESG (IRF Workshop)

Brandon Furstenburg took part in the IRF workshops being held in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London during March/April 2012. His presentation covered the CRISA code, responsible investing & ESG factors...

April 1, 2012

AfricaSIF.org ESG Masterclass 2012 Cape Town Grows Capacity for Institutional Investment in Sustainability (Insurance Gateway)

Africa’s institutional investors and sustainable investment experts emphasized the opportunities – and the needs – for sustainable investment in Africa, and the huge role retirement funds can play. Lecturers included the largest pension fund in Africa, the most significant investor in private equity in sub-Saharan Africa and leading providers of ESG research and indexes....

September 5, 2012

Living Annuities (Today's Trustee)

Inevitable trade-offs. Such are the choices on retirement, and the potential pitfalls in making them, that trustees must at least ensure their fund members are properly advised. Brandon Furstenburg shows why...

March 1, 2012

Words of Warning (Today's Trustee)

Changing asset managers can cost fund members dearly, and unnecessarily. Brandon Furstenburg, Chief Operating Officer of Mergence Investment Managers, relates some all-too-common experiences....

March 1, 2011

Merging with success (Black Business Quarterly)

Masimo-a-badimo Magerman on the economy and carbon emissions

October 9, 2009

Mergence argues for Greater Carbon Disclosure in SA (Business Report)

Mergence Africa Investments tried to rally fellow South African signatories to the UN's principles for responsible investment (PRI) last year to back a campaign that would press companies to disclose their environmental footprints...

May 7, 2009

The emergence of Mergence (Automated Trader Magazine)

The Buyside Profile: Mergence, Cape Town, South Africa

October 1, 2008

Masimo Magerman swims from Robben Island to Blouberg (Sunday Times)

Swimming in the Face of Racial Stereotypes

July 27, 2008

One of the genuine boutiques (Financial Mail)

FM Fund Management Featured Company

July 13, 2008

Three-dimensional analysis for a broader perspective (South African Hedge)

The team at Mergence pride themselves on strong analytical skills, which have paid off for their R450m multi-strategy hedge fund, achieving a net 35.8% since inception without leverage...

July 1, 2007
Investment Managers