Finweek English Edition - - COMPANIES & INVESTMENTS -

but it also means that it is some­thing of a one-trick pony. In­vestors need to make a call as to whether or not this par­tic­u­lar cir­cus has left town. Sure, trans­ac­tion in­come has grown nicely due to the fact that it now has more than 5m cus­tomers. Capitec is ag­gres­sive on costs and doesn’t waste money on fril ls. For ex­am­ple, ex­ec­u­tives drive from branch to branch in a Toy­ota as they do their an­nual vis­its. Branches are about as invit­ing as a For­mula 1 Ho­tel to a bri­dal cou­ple on their wed­ding night, but it ’s the no-f ril l s ap­proach that has made the group into the mas­sive suc­cess story which in­vestors have cel­e­brated over more than a decade.

The re­al­ity is that the mi­crolend­ing story in SA has been rid­den hard, and big lenders have ag­gres­sively cut back on their lend­ing over the past 12 to 18 months. Per­sonal fi­nance web­site Just­ says that it has seen a 23% in­crease in the num­ber of un­se­cured per­sonal loan ap­pli­ca­tions over the past year, and that the de­mand for con­sumer credit is up year on

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