Private equity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Brief: Top gold deposits possible at Congo project, Vodacom office opened in Ethiopia, and more…

Top gold deposits possible at Congo project

Billionaire Dan Gertler’s Moku-Beverendi gold project in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo may contain as much as 5-million ounces of the metal, his Fleurette Group said. Kibali may eventually produce 550,000oz a year, according to Randgold’s website. The project has 11-million ounces of reserves and 2l-million in resources, Jersey-based Randgold said. Congo officially exported 78,351oz of gold last year, according to mines ministry statistics. Production is set to rise this year after Kibali Gold began output in September and with Toronto-based Banro Corp’s Twan-giza project targeting more than 100,000oz.

For the full story, read Top gold deposits possible at Congo project by Michael Kavanagh published by Business Day on 05/12/2013

Vodacom office opened in Ehthiopia

Vodacom opened its first office in Ethiopia on Tuesday, eyeing a foothold in the last remaining large market on the continent to maintain a state monopoly in telecommunications. State-run Ethio Telecom signed a deal in July and August with China’s Huawei and ZTE to expand cellular infrastructure, but the government has ruled out liberalising its telecoms sector. Romeo Kumalo, the Vodacom International chief executive, said the firm would apply for a license to provide value-added services – excluding standard voice calls – in the country “More importantly we want to position ourselves for when… the government does decide to grant licenses in the consumer sector,” he said. “We would invest here tomorrow. Ethiopia is probably the most fantastic telecoms market on the continent.”

For the full story read, Vodacom office opened in Ehthiopia by Reuters, published by The Star, Business Report on 05/12/2013

RMB aims high with Nigeria office development

Investment group Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) yesterday committed to fund jointly a major $182m A-grade office development in Lagos, Nigeria.

This is one of the few A-grade office developments in the country. RMB Nigeria CE Michael Larbie said that with the launch of RMB’s Nigerian arm, it expected to structure and fund more projects in real estate and across other sectors of the Nigerian economy. Jay Padayatchi, director at Meago Asset Managers, said RMB had done its homework. “I am certain that this won’t be their last foray into office development in Nigeria. Whilst Nigeria may be fraught with complexities such as weak infrastructure and bureaucracy, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks in this case,” he said.

For the full story, read RMB aims high with Nigeria office development by Alistair Anderson, published by Business Day on 05/12/2013

African bourses gear up for more listings next year

African bourses from Cote d’lvoire to Kenya are forecasting an increase in share sales next year as a rally in stock markets ends a drought in initial public offerings (IPOs). The Stock Exchange of Mauritius may see 15 offerings, while the Nairobi Securities Exchange is predicting five. The main indices of Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana are among the world’s 10 best performers this year, with investors seeking higher returns as the US Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus programme pushed buyers into emerging markets, seen as riskier. African markets need “to have big, high-profile listings to really get this thing going,” African Alliance Securities head of research Randolph Oosthuizen said.

To get a large number of IPOs, the African exchanges “might well be successful in getting smaller companies to list”, he said.

For the full story read African bourses gear up for more listings next year by Olivier Monnier published by Business Day on 05/12/2013.

Old Mutual determined to build Africa empire

Old Mutual is likely to spend its remaining R4bn-plus expansion budget on acquiring a short-term insurance business in East Africa and an asset management operation in West Africa. Old Mutual has ambitions to be an African financial services champion. This year it set aside R5bn for expansion and has already spent about R700m acquiring insurance companies in Ghana, Nigeria, and a deposit taking micro-financier in Kenya. Old Mutual Investment Group CEO Diane Radley said it made sense to build a business aligned with the Old Mutual Life operations in West Africa.

“What we are more likely to do is to follow an inorganic strategy. We would look to acquire an existing business,” Ms Radley said, adding that it was difficult to start an asset management business in Nigeria organically. Old Mutual has life assurance and asset management businesses in Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, Swaziland, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

For the full story, read Old Mutual determined to build Africa empire by Phakamiza Ndzamela, published by Business day on 06/12/2013

Ghana’s Express Life acquired

Prudential has bought a majority stake in Ghana’s Express Life, marking the UK company’s entry into the African life insurance market. The UK’s biggest insurer by market value had bought a majority stake from LeapFrog Investments for an undisclosed sum, LeapFrog said yesterday A Prudential spokesman confirmed the acquisition. Private equity fund LeapFrog invested in Express Life in 2012, which was then the largest foreign direct Investment in Ghana’s insurance industry Express Life has branches in several provinces and 306 employees.

Excerpt from “Ghana’s Express Life” acquired by Bloomberg, published by The Star, Business Report on 06/12/2013



David Okwara

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