April 30, 2012 (New York Times By CONRAD DE AENLLE) -- The difficulty with investing in the next big thing is that it is often not recognized as that until after it has become a current or former big thing. Before its arrival, it tends to be seen only as a crazy, risky thing or nothing at all.
Emerging-market portfolio managers specialize in finding the next big thing. But after the transformation of many economies in Asia and Latin America in the past two decades and the strong returns and mainstream popularity of their markets, what’s left to be found?
How about stock markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asian countries like Vietnam,Bangladesh and Sri Lanka? Investment advisers who focus on the developing world contend that many of these so-called frontier markets, especially in Africa, offer similar opportunities to the fledgling markets of earlier generations.
“Africa is going to be the next big growth story that’s largely undiscovered,” said Larry Seruma, manager of the Nile Pan Africa Fund, a U.S. mutual fund that holds shares in companies that are based in the region or that do substantial business there. “It can supplant Brazil, China and Russia if its potential is realized,” he said.