Saturday, March 23, 2019 UTC

AGF Magazine - March 2019 issue

  • We focus on fixed income opportunities in both public and private markets. Read on to find in which fixed income instruments and in which African markets to invest on pp. 10-11. In addition, Ashley Benatar of Ashburton Investments shares his views on benefits and risks of investing in mezzanine debt on p.22.
  • We speak with Jérémie Ceyrac, Head of Equity, Responsible Investments at Proparco to learn more about the French development institution, financial products on offer, recent investments in Africa and African impact investment scene (pp. 13-15).
  • This month’s market feature focuses on Nigeria. Sven Richter, Fund Manager, Drakens Capital, writes about his recent trip to the West African country and his observations. “While Nigeria is attractive as an investment destination, the GDP growth is a disappointment for a county that we expect to be one of the leaders in Africa,” he says (pp. 16-17).
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News > Asset Servicing

EFG Hermes to acquire Primera Africa

Anna Lyudvig
July 19, 2018, 12:36 p.m.

Word count: 592

EFG Hermes, a financial services corporation in frontier and emerging markets, has agreed to acquire 100% of Primera Africa, a brokerage house in Nigeria.

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EFG Hermes, a financial services corporation in frontier and emerging markets, has agreed to acquire 100% of Primera Africa, a brokerage house in Nigeria.

EFG Hermes expects to complete the acquisition of Primera Africa by August 31, 2018, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent.

“Nigeria is our fourth direct entry as we continue our strategy of expanding our geographic footprint in high-potential, frontier emerging markets,” said EFG Hermes Holding Group CEO Karim Awad. 

“At the close of this transaction, we will have a direct presence in 12 jurisdictions on four continents to serve our global institutional investors, regional high-net-worth individuals, and local retail investors,” he said.
 
EFG Hermes will utilize its presence in Nigeria to serve both global and domestic investor appetite for opportunities in Africa’s largest economy. 

Nigeria will also serve as a hub for expansion into West Africa, as EFG Hermes’ office in Kenya now does for the other side of the continent.
 
Primera Africa already offers a comprehensive suite of brokerage and research services to domestic and international investors from its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. 

Upon completion of the acquisition, Primera Africa will operate under EFG Hermes’ brand name.

Over the past 12 months, EFG Hermes has directly entered Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh in addition to receiving recent regulatory approval from the FCA to operate in the United Kingdom out of its London office.
 
Most recently, the Firm also concluded its advisory to international microfinance lender ASA International (ASAI), an entity with significant African presence, on its £125m initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
 
 The Nigerian economy is now emerging from recession, having seen economic growth of only 0.8% in 2017 according to the International Monetary Fund. 

The IMF has forecast 2.1% economic growth for this year amid an uptick of oil prices and a continued reform drive.

“Nigeria is Africa’s largest consumer market and is consistently among the three largest economies on the continent alongside Egypt and South Africa. On the capital markets’ front, it accounted for the largest share of our brokerage executions, and revenue among all frontier markets in which we indirectly executed during 2017,” said Mohamed Ebeid, Co-CEO of the Investment Bank at EFG Hermes.
 
“We are entering a market that has a compelling story to tell investors. It is not just one of the largest and most economically diverse frontier markets globally; it is a growth story that has years to run after a series of structural reforms and a devaluation of the national currency. With oil prices now recovering, with significant portfolio inflows, and with the demonstrated ability to tap global debt markets, Nigeria will benefit from broad currency stability, we expect, remaining attractive in valuation terms at the same time,” said Ali Khalpey, the London-based CEO of EFG Hermes Frontier.
 
Khalpey added: “We remain bullish on the long-term growth prospects of the consumer sector where we find certain valuations quite compelling. Similarly, the oil and gas sector continues to recover, which will yield significant investment opportunities over the long term. Overall, the capital market is quite attractive with the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s main-board index returning 43.6% in 2017.”
 
“Given that we expect a ramp up in equity market transactions to drive global interest in Nigeria over the upcoming 12 to 18 months, EFG Hermes is well positioned to utilize its global network of clients to capture local market opportunities, capitalizing on our award-winning team’s experience in exploring frontier emerging market opportunities,” he said.

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