Share of Voice vs. Share of Opportunity

While developed markets and certain 'mainstream' emerging markets receive the most attention, investors seeking outsized returns in the decade ahead need to look beyond the usual suspects

Investors seeking outsized returns in the decade ahead need to look beyond the most-talked-about markets globally to those that will offer the greatest returns, a top private equity leader told a global industry gathering today.

“There’s a disconnect between markets that are taking up the lion’s share of the world’s attention and those with the most attractive investment opportunities,” said Stephen Murphy, Managing Director at Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa with US$ 8.7 billion in investments under control in 15 industries spanning 14 countries. “Simply put, developed markets are winning far too much attention proportional to the opportunities there.

“By comparison, we see that emerging markets are home to outstanding private equity firms and very attractive investment opportunities, nowhere more so than in the frontier markets of Africa and the Middle East,” Murphy said in a keynote address to the Super Return Emerging Markets conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We face limited competition from other PE firms or stock markets. We operate in growing economies benefiting from dramatic increases in working age populations — indeed, Africa will be home to the world’s largest working age population by 2040. Moreover, we are benefiting in most instances from improved economic and political governance, and the businesses in which we invest usually enjoy some sort of natural competitive advantage.”

While recent unrest across the region will have an impact, Murphy noted, “it will not be long-lived. In the short-term, we expect to see impairment of the fundraising environment for a number of MENA economies, an increase in distressed investment opportunities and a slowdown in general economic growth,” said Mr. Murphy. “Democracy is generally good for business. We are hopeful that the political and economic reforms taking root in Egypt and Tunisia today will spread over the coming years to other important regional economies.”

Citadel Capital is sponsor of SuperReturn Emerging Markets.


Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa. Citadel Capital focuses on building regional platforms in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity-Specific Funds. The firm’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.7 billion in 14 countries spanning 15 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, Citadel Capital has generated more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash returns to its co-investors and shareholders (on investments of US$ 650 million), more than any other private equity firm in the region. Citadel Capital is the largest private equity firm in Africa by PE assets under management (2006-2011 as ranked by Private Equity International). For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.) (click to reveal this email)

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