The brilliant thing about working in Africa is the continent’s ability to change - and adapt - almost instantly. While at first glance this is often interpreted as a challenge or a risk, the importance of adopting a glass-half-full approach has never been more essential than in Africa’s current real estate environment.
It is almost impossible to ignore robo-advice creeping in to the financial services space and financial services providers (FSPs) should be looking to ways to keep up with the changing times, particularly to stay in consideration and current for millennial investors.
Investors and gamblers are both driven by the thrill of taking chances in order to make their money work for them. While the two disciplines may at first seem quite different, there are actually plenty of similarities between investing and betting.
The current muted growth environment in Africa presents a unique opportunity for private equity (PE) managers to demonstrate their expertise and generate value-add without the momentum of a commodity upswing, or a booming Chinese, investment-driven growth trend. Tough economic times call for cost cutting and in the investment sector, bigger cuts are usually required. Africa’s PE managers are proving how resourceful they truly are by doing just that and, in some instances, generating growth above market rate.
How can the country return to form in smoothing the path for foreign investors seeking opportunities in Egypt, and also competing on a global scale? And what do the new Investment laws entail in practical terms?
The African continent has more agricultural land than any other, so it is no surprise that agriculture is the focus for much of Atria Africa’s work, whether through our Trade Finance Fund, Franchise Fund or financial advisory business.
An uptick in Africa’s economic growth seems well underway. This will most likely prompt forecasters like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to upgrade their growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018. The laggards are likely to be those commodity exporters that are not allowing their economies to adjust to a low commodity price environment. These countries have been consistently employing a whole host of measures to restrict imports and, perhaps inadvertently, capital flows. These measures have included FX rationing and market segmentation.
Seeking societal outcomes to investment is a growing theme to watch as more wealth is directed towards making a difference.
With the macroeconomic picture characterised by green shoots on oil revenue, FX liquidity and structural reform and with equity and fixed income valuations largely reflecting well understood concerns, the case for investment of fresh foreign capital merits a revisit.
Sir Bob Geldof said “Aid isn’t the answer. Africa must be allowed to trade its way out of poverty.”
What a difference a century makes. If we stepped back in time to a hundred years ago we'd find a primitive China; a Middle East that had yet to discover the riches of oil and most of Southeast Asia consisted of countries that were barely distinguishable from medieval societies. It was an entirely different world.
Share buy-backs have become a very common mechanism for exiting an investment in a South African company since the introduction of dividends tax in April 2012.
Investing for impact in Africa has long been the preserve of development finance institutions (DFIs), foundations and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. If the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be achieved, it is crucial that additional sources of capital be brought to bear, and providing mechanisms through which all categories of investors are able to invest for impact is key to unlocking private capital.