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New Pan African property fund lists on JSE

Anna Lyudvig
Feb. 12, 2018, 7:42 p.m.
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Cloud Atlas Investing, a Johannesburg based Pan African Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) issuer, has opened the Initial Public Offer of the AMI Real Estate Fund (AMIRE), running from February 7 to March 2, 2018. 

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Cloud Atlas Investing, a Johannesburg based Pan African Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) issuer, has opened the Initial Public Offer of the AMI Real Estate Fund (AMIRE), running from February 7 to March 2, 2018. 

The AMIRE ETF invests in the property sector across the African continent allowing investors to own a share of property portfolios on the rest of the African continent.
 
“At Cloud Atlas we develop African solutions to African problems; with this listing we are further personifying Cloud Atlas as a Pan African investment house. Property is a staple in any investor’s portfolio and hence we have listed this product to make it easier for people to own African property,” said Maurice Madiba, CEO of Cloud Atlas Investing.
 
“Investing is a longer term game for long term gain, and this is the kind of investor we want to attract with this IPO. Generally savings and investment is poor on the continent but the desire for property ownership is much better, so anyone who wants Africa property exposure is invited to participate in investing in this product,” he added.
 
 Madiba said that one ETF unit will sell for R50. 

“Like the AMI Big50, the AMI Real Estate Fund is classified as Inward listed by the Reserve Bank, so even though there are restrictions on how much an individual can invest offshore, an investor can invest as much as they want in the AMIRE without facing these restrictions,” he explained.
 
The selection of companies in the fund comes from six different countries and each of them offering a unique property opportunity. 

“Being able to communicate the vast potential of this investment may be our biggest challenge,” said Madiba.
 
“The tag line ‘Own your own’ really speaks to our ability to make property ownership a reality for ordinary Africans. There is a boom happening in the property sector on the African continent as more and more people are moving into urban areas,” he added.
 
The population growth forecast for African countries is rising at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world and this creates increased urbanisation, which is a plus for the property sector. 

According to a 2017 report by Knight Frank, “a growing volume of capital is targeted at Africa real estate investment and development.” 

A number of companies have launched African property funds to take advantage of this phenomenon, notably: Actis, Momentum and Eris Group, RMB Wesport, and Old Mutual. 

The AMIRE however will be the first African Property fund to be listed as an ETF, bearing in mind that ETFs are more accessible to the general public.
 
“It’s really about ownership,” Madiba emphasised, “in a safe and well regulated environment.” 

Cloud Atlas Investing is a registered Collective Investment Scheme and is the first to offer access to Pan African ex-SA investment opportunities through ETFs.
 
By being invested in property an investor receives yield that is made up of: i) dividends paid out from rental and other income and ii) property price appreciation. 
 
The ETF market in South Africa has grown rapidly, with 2016 recording 14 new ETFs listed on the JSE. 

Cloud Atlas debuted on the JSE in April 2016 with the AMI Big 50, a Pan African equity fund, which tracks the biggest 50 companies on the African continent.

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