ANALYSIS-Soccer-World-Soccer pulls investors into African orbit

Wed Jul 7, 2010 1:05pm GMT

* World Cup sparks business, fund interest in Africa

* Foreigners pile into South African stocks during Cup

* Shifting perceptions point to long-term gains

By Ed Cropley, African Investment Correspondent

JOHANNESBURG, July 7 (Reuters) - To greed and fear, you can now add soccer.

The buzz from Africa's first soccer World Cup is being heard in investment houses across the globe, drawing new business and even capital to a continent that has evolved in the last decade from international basket-case to fast-growing frontier market.

"There's definitely been a pick-up in flows from Europe. There's no doubt about that," said John Mackie, head of African investments at Johannesburg-based Stanlib, which manages $300 million in sub-Saharan Africa's frontier markets.

His comments, supported by several other fund managers, are the first signs of South Africa accruing some of the "intangible" benefits needed to recoup the 40 billion rand ($5.2 billion) it spent on new stadia and upgrading roads and railways for the month-long soccer spectacular.   Continued...

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