Morgan Stanley, Abraaj among those seeing big Africa returns

A businessman passes a sign at the entrance to the Johannesburg stock exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Nadine Hutton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Investing in Africa has been a winning bet for many money managers focused on otherwise troubled emerging markets.

While the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is down 1.44 percent this year, the MSCI Emerging Frontier Markets Africa ex-South Africa Index is up 10.28 percent year-to-date.

"It's been a particularly good year," Gordon McLaughlin, a partner at $92 million long-biased Africa-focused investment firm Development Capital Partners, said Friday at an African capital markets conference in Manhattan.