Vodacom’s dividend yield is at approximately 5.5%, but its share price has improved from R91.13 to a current price of approximately R122 – and a record high of R129.83 (4 January) over the past year.
The group’s share price has more than doubled over the past five years, from a low of R55.11.
Similarly, MTN has a dividend yield of 4.1%, and has seen its shares rise to approximately R176 from R135.41 over the past year. MTN achieved a record best price of R181.77 on 9 January.
Both companies have also committed to an enticing dividend payout policy in recent years, of between 70%-90%.
“The numbers are attractive to offshore investors in the US and UK who are saying we need more emerging market exposure,” said Kaplan, who added that rival telecom operators in developed markets are struggling in comparison due to saturated markets and the state of the global economy.
When questioned if both Vodacom and MTN can continue the upside trend in 2013, Kaplan said: “I don’t think they have shot the upside. I think both companies will carry on with the trend.”
He said that investors, both locally and abroad, see a compelling case for the liquidity of both MTN and Vodacom.
“There is still above average growth for mobile in Africa,” the analyst said, noting the continued adoption of smartphones on the continent.
MTN is Africa’s leading telecommunications provider, operating in 21 countries across the region, while Vodacom, with subsidiary companies in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho.
Vodacm has recently expressed a desire to revisit the African market more aggressively in 2013 and beyond.