Kenya: Latest News
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:00 am AFKI Original
Short-term volatility and uncertainty in the African growth story create opportunities for hedge funds. Hedge funds generally operate flexibly than private equity, and they have the creativity to generate bond-like returns that outpace inflation. Critics say hedge funds have limited liquidity in an opaque world. The riskiest play — but with big returns — is in agriculture and land. Where land is for sale in Africa, investors are making a play for a limited resource, especially when it’s arable, ripe for production or ideal for commercial and residential construction.
Staff, 3:59 pm
Wind and solar power in Africa are short-term solutions that cannot fix serious, immediate problems. They do not equal real economic development or really improved living standards. African cities need abundant, reliable electricity, and they need it now. Wind and solar do not equal real economic development or really improved living standards. African governments are not doing enough to build the energy, transportation and communication systems we desperately need. They are not standing up to Europeans, global banks or environmentalists who oppose big power plants in Africa.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:36 am
The World Bank Group has committed to supporting the growth of Africa’s digital economy with the launch of XL Africa, a business acceleration initiative that will provide a raft of benefits for the 20 most promising startups in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next five months. African digital entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to be mentored by various global specialists, increase their visibility on the continent and receive access to corporate partners and investors.
Dana Sanchez, 4:53 pm
An IPO today on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange introduced a new option for investors who want to add African exposure to their portfolios. The AMI Big 50 ex-SA ETF offers 50 African blue-chip companies outside South Africa. The IPO is a world first – an ETF offering exposure to a pan-African index that excludes South Africa. “A lot of people do worry about the liquidity risk, but being an ETF means that there is a secondary market on the JSE which allows investors in smaller quantities to trade exposure in and out of Africa,” a stakeholder said. The ETF is managed by Cloud Atlas, which plans to launch two more Africa-focused ETFs by July.
Staff, 12:01 am
The fall in African private equity investment in 2016 could be a short-term blip. Among the losers was US-based Carlyle, one of the world’s winningest investment firms. Carlyle invested $147m in Nigeria’s Diamond Bank in 2014. The bank’s market cap fell by 90% over the subsequent two years. Bob Geldof’s PE firm 8 Miles just invested in Blue Skies, a British fruit firm that operates in Africa. Utilities including telecoms were the most popular target for private equity investment in 2016. West Africa was the most active region.
Opinion: Getting Africa’s Energy Transformation Right Will Involve Policies, Investments That Boost DiversityBy Staff, 1:00 am
Africa has an opportunity to pioneer the next investment frontier. Rather than treating new climate-related risks as hurdles to overcome, African policymakers should view them as opportunities for investment and innovation. To accelerate a market shift on the scale that Africa needs will require increased financing from export credit agencies, development banks, commercial financial institutions, and other cross-border sources.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:54 am AFKI Original
As commodity prices have fallen, African manufacturing has increased leverage — and the attention of investors — to garner more foreign investment. Tanzania is probably one of the easier bets if you are following the crowd. Success stories include Kenya-based Catalyst Principal Partners, an East Africa-focused private equity firm which invested in Zenufa Laboratories, a leading Tanzanian pharmaceuticals manufacturer. Catalyst also invested in Chemi Cotex, which makes toothpaste, skin and hair products. Both involve non-food and beverage consumer goods that are manufactured locally. Both have taken market share due to quality products and competitive pricing.
Reuters, 9:48 am
The pool of potential buyers is shrinking that Barclays’ can sell shares to in its African business. Some institutional investors, including pension funds, do not allow them to hold an asset that’s sliding on credit ratings. Barclays is struggling to find one strategic buyer that will satisfy South African regulators and is looking to sell its remaining 50% stake in chunks. More than 80% of its revenue is in South Africa. “Banks are paying the price for political uncertainty that we’ve seen in the country over the past two weeks,” a fund manager said.
Staff, 12:32 pm
There’s a huge unmet demand for small business financing in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa-based bitcoin startup BitPesa and Germany-based Bitbond have partnered to help change that. Bitbond’s role includes checking the creditworthiness of applicants and determining an interest rate. About 10% of Bitbond’s users are from sub-Sahara. The partnership means a small business owner can receive a loan from investors from all over the world within 20 minutes, a stakeholder said — “an unprecedented level of innovation and convenience in the entire online lending space.”
Dana Sanchez, 10:10 pm
Luanda is still the world’s second most expensive city for expats after Hong Kong, but rent for office space fell almost 50 percent in the past two years. Demand has virtually ground to a halt in the region’s top oil-producing country. Rent has has also fallen for office space and luxury homes in Nairobi, where there’s an oversupply. Kenya became a hotspot for oil and gas exploration in 2012. With the price of crude down more than 50 percent since mid-2014, Nigeria, the region’s second-largest oil producer, is in recession. One bright spot: industrial space rent is rising in Kenya.
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