Short-term volatility and uncertainty in the African growth story create opportunities for hedge funds. Hedge funds generally operate more 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.
Real Estate: Latest News
Global Risk Insights, 4:15 pm
Investors continue buying Nigerian bonds despite economic recession for the first time in 25 years, and urgent calls for reform. In March, high-profile investors competed on the London Stock Exchange for Nigerian debt, a 15-year $1B eurobond issued while President Buhari was being treated in London for an undisclosed illness. S&P affirmed a stable economic outlook. If Buhari leaves office abruptly, the administration’s gains in the fight against Boko Haram could be reversed, an analyst said. The president’s mystery illness is generating uncertainty.
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.
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:33 pm AFKI Original
Investors are strategically betting on the upside in Francophone Africa due to strong economic growth rates and a stable CFA franc. Lusophone Africa also presents opportunity. Low assets prices have replaced the exorbitant numbers of the oil-and-gas heyday, particularly in Angola and Mozambique. Debt restructuring can restore some confidence in Mozambique’s economic system. Private investors are finding a government more willing to deal on better terms, and companies that are pricing assets at fairly digestible prices.
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:08 am AFKI Original
The economic downturn did little to stifle demand for African real estate. Some of the biggest returns and opportunities exist in rental properties, from beachfront getaways to hidden villas. Affordable housing is a major challenge for governments. Private investment is seen as a solution. Developers, private investors, and ordinary people can play a role in addressing the construction gap in the real estate sector and make a good return while doing so.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Companies expanding in Africa are helping drive the need for more warehouse space. There is a dire shortage of warehouse facilities, says global real estate consultancy Knight Frank. Scarcity of quality warehouses in Nairobi presents opportunities for investors and developers, and the largest development bank in the world is taking notice. U.S.-based IFC and the U.K.’s CDC finance group are investing up to $35 million in Nairobi warehouse development. Logistics is an often overlooked part of economic development, the CDC said.
Mongabay, 9:25 am
There’s a mistaken belief that Africa is a continent of empty, freely available land open for development. Companies investing in land in Africa feel they can cut a deal with the government, raze the land, and create vast plantations. “No land is unclaimed,” a stakeholder said. “Uprooting communities without their consent from their lands and traditional livelihoods creates conflicts and social unrest.” Most disputes involving private investments in Africa – 63 percent – relate to local people being displaced off their land. These disputes affect sugarcane and palm oil production, mining for gold, diamonds and coal, and green energy to harvest wind and solar power.
Staff, 5:31 pm
In KwaZulu-Natal the strongest activity is along the North Coast from Durban to Ballito — popular among investors. Residential development in upscale areas such as uMhlanga and Sibaya is enormous, prompting converns of oversupply, but home prices are expected to increase. Durban’s North and South Beach areas, including The Point, have increased as popular residential areas, thanks in part to the general upgrade to the Promenade.
Staff, 12:17 pm
Nigeria should be witnessing major investment into its commercial property industry, given its large economy relative to the rest of the continent, its population, which is more than 184 million people and its general development potential. Yet its reliance on oil and its volatile currency had hindered investment. South African investment groups invested in Eastern Europe at the expense of opportunities closer to home, to the tune of around $1.5 billion in 2016. This was more than the total investment volumes recorded in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana for the past five years or so.
Dana Sanchez, 2:22 pm AFKI Original
Shopping is changing in Africa. Formal retail developers are learning from the failures of malls in developed markets like the U.S., and applying new models to old ideas. African micro enterprises and small businesses will have a greater demand for shared space and flexible office space in the future. New or existing African office developments will need to apply design principles used in innovation labs, incubation centers and flexible work spaces, a stakeholder said.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:57 am AFKI Original
In cities from Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria to Maputo, Mozambique, gym memberships can be above $100 per month. Africans are paying higher fees than in more mature markets. Zumba classes are abundant, yoga is everywhere, and biking and running are an ever-growing trend in Africa. Putting cash into the facilities for these types of activities is lucrative. Scalability is still a concern but branding across borders and within regions is necessary for growth.
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