Traded it in the past. Don't like it much. Hugely capital intensive. Runaway utility bills. Overwhelmingly labour-intensive= vast numbers of potential rioters and capital extortionists. Single commodity risk et al. Mining licence captive to the state. If we were to move into a commodity boom - it would follow though. Although it looks more like we are about to go the other way at this point.
The only company that offers anything compelling is SYG. They have a couple of low cost products, robo advisers and good management. ARA I wouldn't touch. I don't like their management. Prescient & Stellar I'm not sure off. Stellar biggest mover and shaker, but investments in Cadiz & Torre raises questions. These companies can't offer anything to shareholders if the markets don't play along, and for the last 2,5 years the SA market has been pretty flat.
ARA - I think the management of all of these companies is pretty much "cut from the same cloth." So this is a fairly ubiquitous risk in this "small manager" arena. ARA has genuine quality assets at a substantial discount. The difference is that the management fee is perceived to be a cost whereas the other plays are a step further back ie. they manage funds for a fee which is reflected as income. This model could well be appended to ARA just as the other companies manage a certain level of "own funds." The risk with ARA is more about their portfolio having been assembled at too high a price, I think.
ARA is invested in mainly big well known companies at high prices. They have no edge, and that's the reason why they announced that very unpopular incentive scheme, on top of performance & management fees. They are serious bull*****ters. Not interested in management like that.
BSR might be the "bidder-in-the-wings" for MUR's and perhaps even AEG's SAfrican construction businesses. As I understand it - she would get an immediate 20% kicker on contract extension pricing by virtue of becoming a black construction company. Diving in for 200 to 400 shares starting at these levels. Just hold my nose and take the plunge.