As human beings, we are continually evolving and modifying the societal norms that we live under. What would have been considered normal in the last century or even a decade ago can be quite different today. How business is done, from how companies are run to how investors invest in them and engage with them is also evolving and driven by the changes we see in societal norms. We could consider it a maturing of our society. Where we live also has a bearing on that, which is probably why when investing I have always considered some sort of responsible investing, even if the what it is called and how its defined has evolved with time.
Debt capital markets across Africa’s sub-regions have remained robust despite the macroeconomic and political challenges presented, “indicating their growing maturity and depth - along with their ability to develop solutions in the face of volatility and change,” says Zoya Sisulu, Head, Debt Capital Markets South Africa, at Standard Bank.
The King (IV) Report on Corporate Governance for SA, 2016 (King IV) refers to certain “paradigm shifts in the corporate world”, including a shift from short-term capital markets to long-term, sustainable capital markets. The report also notes that the King Committee was requested by many entities outside the private sector to draft the King IV Report in such a way as to make it more easily applicable to all organisations: public and private, large and small, for- profit and not-for-profit. As a result, in order to make it easier for all organisations to use the King IV Report as a guide for good governance, King IV introduces “sector supplements” for the first time. Part 6.4 of the report is entitled “Supplement For Retirement Funds”, and it is applicable to all retirement funds, including pension funds, provident funds, preservation funds and retirement annuity funds, so that for the first time retirement fund governance is directly addressed by the King Committee.
The inaugural AGF Africa Service Providers Awards 2016 were held on October 27 at the gracious Rotunda in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Built in 1904, the iconic Rotunda ties The Bay Hotel to its Victorian roots. Once, the site of early-20th century high society gatherings, the historic venue accommodated Africa Global Funds’ guests for a Gala dinner and Awards ceremony.
Today the role of the custodian in Africa has evolved. This is especially evident in the way custodians are focusing on meeting both business and client needs to initiate and enable development of the continent’s capital markets.
Langelihle Mnyandu, Associate, (left) and Francisco Khoza, Partner and head of Banking & Finance, Bowmans, analyze the impact of the Solvency Assessment and Management (SAM) framework on private investment funds
AGF catches up with Phatisa’s East African Partner, Yida Kemoli, to discuss the African Agriculture Fund and how PE can drive African GDP through enhancing farm yields and input
As global economic changes give rise to new investment risks and opportunities, having the flexibility to allocate assets into new markets may be a more effective way to capture opportunities. The underlying structural weakness of the US and developed economies will result in an increasingly dominant role for emerging economies with strong financial balance sheets.
In August, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) announced it had closed a deal with Helios Towers Africa (HTA). Three elements of the closure gave me particular pleasure. First, it’s the fifth time EAIF has helped HTA grow its business and bring its entrepreneurial drive and commercial acumen to offering better and more competitive telecommunications products to its markets. Secondly, it was the first deal to be closed by Investec Asset Management since it won the mandate to manage EAIF earlier this year. Thirdly, and by far the most important reason is that the investment will help transform lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where HTA has acquired some 950 towers that it will upgrade to improve reach and capacity.
Ghana has often been a bit ahead of its time, once known as the Gold Coast and the first country in Africa to gain independence from colonial rule in 1957. According to the World Bank, Ghana leads in Africa consistently ranking in the top three for freedom of press and freedom of speech. Politics in Ghana after years of single party states and military dictators has for the past couple of decades been characterised by two main parties. The main opposition was once in power and is large enough and popular enough to be a serious contender at any elections. In fact, the two parties are neck and neck in popularity. The current governing party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the last two elections with 50.2% of the vote in 2008, in an election that went to a second round and 50.7%% in 2012. But the 47% the New Patriotic Party (NPP) won makes them a real contender to be in power again as they were when they won the 2004 election with 52% of the vote. And these results are for the Presidential election at Parliamentary level the NDC and NPP are neck and neck with neither over 50%.
Fund managers face numerous challenges in today’s increasingly complex investing and operating environment. Operational issues, specifically when properly understood and managed, help efficiency. As managers consider the stakes for sustained growth, outsourced shadow-accounting as an extension of in-house operations provides access to an array of capabilities that are increasingly seen as critical to mid-sized and large hedge fund operations.
Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) signed a preliminary agreement on a $12bn 3-year loan facility on August 11. If approved, the loan will support government reforms, which are required to support the Egyptian economy. The reduction of the public deficit that is above 12%, adjustment of the Egyptian market and foreign reserves’ increase, which have reached a critical level - are short term milestones.
AGF speaks with Nonnie Wanjihia, Executive Director at EAVCA (The East Africa Venture Capital Association) about the private equity environment in East Africa and the role of EAVCA
Hitherto, the bulk of funding deployed to finance Africa’s economic development has not been Sharia-compliant due to the requirement to pay interest to lenders. Periodically, the inability of governments to repay interest has eventually resulted in debt forgiveness by foreign banks. While Islam is a major religion on the continent, its communities have historically been underserved by banking systems and capital markets. Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050 to 1.9 billion, particularly in those countries with sizeable Islamic communities. This demographic growth should imply, therefore, a considerable increase in the demand for financial products satisfying Sharia principles.