Africa not as compelling as Asia-Pacific - Ford CFO

Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:47pm EDT

* Ford CFO sees better opportunities in Asia, not Africa

* Says per capita GDP still quite stressed

PRETORIA, June 28 (Reuters) - Africa may be growing quickly, but it still offers less opportunities than more robust emerging markets such as China and India, the CFO of U.S. car maker Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Tuesday.

With an an average economic growth rate of 4 percent, Africa is seen as an increasingly attractive investment target for major multi-nationals.

U.S. retailer Wal-Mart (WMT.N) recently paid $2.4 billion for a controlling stake in South Africa's Massmart (MSMJ.J), citing room for growth on the continent, where disposable incomes are rising quickly.

But Ford's chief financial officer, Lewis Booth, who is currently on a visit to South Africa, said the African growth story may need some time.

"We are saying in Africa ... GDP per capita is still quite stressed. We are not expecting dramatic industry growth," Booth told reporters on a visit to Ford's plant in Pretoria.

Ford, which is working to increase sales by 50 percent by the 2015, is betting more on Asian countries such as China and India for growth, he said.

"In this decade the growth will be dominated by Asia-Pacific countries and perhaps Russia and Brazil. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by David Dolan)

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