Archive for the 'Banks' Category

Warning about “less orthodox” private equity debts

Private equity fund managers (general partners or GPs) are using money promised by investors (limited partners or LPs) as security to borrow from banks. The Economist magazine says, in a recent article on the Abraaj crisis, says investors are becoming “warier of private-equity firms’ less orthodox tactics”.

The magazine says that GPs use these “subscription lines” to make investments without drawing down investors’ funds. This can then improve the returns they can offer investors – and by implication their performance fees. The article estimates about $400bn of this debt is used worldwide.

 It says that after Abraaj defaulted on several facilities, the banks called on the LPs to pay up. It quotes Kelly DePonte of Probitas Partners, which advises firms on raising capital: “They were not best pleased.”

The Economist claims the industry is getting more restrictive as LPs step up the amount of paperwork required, including reporting. This could mean that small and innovative firms – including some investing in Africa – may not be able to cope with the requirements as “side letters”—documents from each LP specifying the paperwork it requires from fund managers—now reach 100 pages, 10x what they used to be.

Africa issuers raised $341m in 6 months, down 28%

Enterprises based in Africa raised $341 million through equity issues in the first half of 2019, down 28% on the $472m raised in the first half of 2018. Law firm Baker McKenzie has published its Cross-Border IPO Index for H1 2019, using data sourced from Refinitiv, and says this was mainly because only $85m was raised from 4 initial public offers (IPOs) on African exchanges, down 80% from $419m from 4 IPOs in the first half of 2018.

The numbers exclude mega issues by Africa-focused issuers based outside Africa. These include $750m raised on 28 June by the IPO for UK-headquartered Airtel Africa (read about the slow first day) which operates in 14 countries; and $196m raised by pan-Africa e-commerce Jumia Group (headquartered in Germany) on the New York Stock Exchange in April, see our article about the share price performance since then. Jumia sells in 13 African countries and is top e-commerce website with over 15m monthly visitors in Nigeria.

Wildu du Plessis, Head of Capital Markets at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, says in a press release: “The drop in African IPO values in H1 2019 was mostly because of political and economic uncertainty on the continent. Investors wanting to raise capital in Africa are thinking twice and waiting for political and economic stability to return before going ahead. Also eroding investor confidence in Africa are the escalating global trade tensions, which have culminated in, for example, the so-called United States (US) China trade wars and the possibility of a “no deal Brexit” – both have the potential to impact African economies significantly.”

Egypt buzzing

Listing bell and trading floor of the Egyptian Exchange

Baker McKenzie says Egypt is generating buzz around its pipeline of IPOs with some speculating this could be the busiest year for listings in Cairo since the uprising in 2011. Growing confidence in economic policies introduced since the currency float has boosted the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) and is prompting companies to consider share sales.

In April Khalid Abel Rahman, Assistant Minister of Finance for Capital Market Affairs, said the Government was embarking on an IPO programme is to raise EGP100bn ($5.8bn). Mohamed Farid, Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange, said that three private companies expect to launch initial public offerings (IPOs) before the end of 2019,

Baker McKenzie says a large IPO is Carbon Holdings Ltd, expected to raise $250m by selling a 30% stake and listing in London and Egypt. The company has missed the Q2 timetable mentioned by Karim Helal, Managing Director of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations, in this article last September. EFG Hermes is acting as advisor and global coordinator for the IPO, Baker & McKenzie is local legal counsel, and White & Case is international counsel.

Another large IPO is expected from Banque du Caire SAE, owned by Egypt’s second-largest state-owned bank Banque Misr. The bank has announced it will offer a 20%-30% of its shares for sale through private placement and public offering. The offer is expected to raise $300m-$400m and is forecast to happen in Q3 or Q4.

Hard work in South Africa

Du Plessis warns that governance concerns held back capital raising in South Africa: “Capital raising has decreased substantially in recent years, also due to economic and political uncertainty. Political stability will hopefully begin to return now that country’s elections are over, but there is still a lot of work to do to stabilise the economy. The World Bank recently downgraded South Africa’s growth rates and I think there is at least another year of hard work before the economy starts to recuperate and capital markets in South Africa recover,” Du Plessis says.

Life returns in Nigeria

Du Plessis adds: “There are also signs of life returning to Nigeria’s capital markets. Political instability was also to blame for a big collapse in capital raising in Nigeria in recent years, but the country looks to be recovering”. Baker McKenzie’s recent Global Transactions Forecast predicts more IPOs in Nigeria in the next 3 years. “Hopefully this is the start of a long upswing in capital raising activity in the country,” says Du Plessis.

Not specifically mentioned was the $5.1bn listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (see article), which is expected to be followed by a public offering of shares soon.

By sector (details from Baker McKenzie, Enko Capital and other sources)

Energy and power: South African company Renergen Ltd, which produces natural gas and helium, in an IPO in Australia offered 12.5m shares at AUD0.80 to raise AUD10m ($7m) for its Virginia Gas Project in South Africa. Financial: Banking group Oragroup listed on the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) in April after a successful IPO in Oct-Nov 2018, selling 20% of the shares to raise XOF56.92bn ($101.2m) in the largest share offer on the BRVM.
Technology: It was reported by Enko that telco Mascom could do an IPO in Botswana later this year and Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa says it will be in October and will be the biggest listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange, according to this report. Namibia’s MTC (Mobile Telecommunications Corporation) has announced plans for an IPO in Mar-June 2020.
Real estate: ICON Properties PLC’s IPO last December in Malawi raised $19.3m, and the shares were listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange in January.
Industrial: Skyway Aviation Handling Co (SAHCOL) in Nigeria launched an IPO in November 2018 but only raised NGN1.2bn ($3.4m) compared to a target of NGN1.9bn ($5.2m) despite extending the offer until January. It listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on 24 April.
Healthcare: Speed Medical SAE raised EGP21.5m ($1.3m), less than half its target in a domestic IPO before listing on the Egyptian Exchange in April. Consumer: Eastern Tobacco, listed on the EGX, announced in March that it had raised EGP1.7bn ($104m) through offering 4.5% of its shares in public and private offers.

Global Outlook

The Africa picture mirrors a global 37% fall in capital raised through IPOs in global markets, compared to the first 6 months of 2018. According to Baker McKenzie, a total of $69.8bn was raised across 514 IPOs, which is the lowest for value and volume since 2016. The US Federal government shutdown, continuing trade tensions between the US and Beijing, the ongoing Brexit saga and the decline of mega IPOs all contributed to a slower market performance. “With fewer IPOs in the market, competition amongst exchanges is growing, as some listing locations make strategic changes to entice public offerings. The introduction of China’s Science and Technology Innovation Board looks set to shake up the market and challenge New York and Hong Kong for tech listings. “

Koen Vanhaerents, Baker McKenzie’s Head of Global Capital Markets, says: “.. significant political issues stifled activity, along with a change in investor sentiment towards risk – particularly among pre-revenue companies.” The decline “is perhaps skewed slightly when compared to the stellar performance seen in the same period in 2018. With a strong pipeline, H2 2019 looks set to deliver a much more prosperous performance overall.”

EMEA outlook

The EMEA IPO market struggled during the first 6 months of 2019 due to uncertainties surrounding the UK’s exit from the European Union. Overall capital raised fell by 67% compared to the same period in 2018 to $9.2bn while the number of IPOs fell by 61% to 47. Cross-border activity was even more profoundly impacted with only three listings in EMEA and only one of those on the London Stock Exchange. Domestic activity levels helped the London Stock Exchange to retain the top spot for overall capital raising at $2.7bn from 12 listings. Seven of these listings were from the financials sector and raised almost $2bn, the largest of which was Network International’s $1.4bn IPO.

Second to London was Borsa Italiana with $2.3bn from 7 listings, boosted by the $2.2bn Nexi SpA listing. SIX Swiss exchange pulled in $1.9bn from 2 IPOs, with Stadler Rail’s debut accounting for $1.3bn of that.

Despite its sluggish performance, EMEA is proving to be the region of choice for FinTech listings, particularly in the payments field, as the age of digitization and cashless transactions continues to explode, fueling the need for innovation and technological growth. FinTech listings accounted for more than a third of capital raised and the largest listing was Nexi SpA’s IPO.

Africa’s DFIs proud at banking awards gala

Two leading African development finance institutions led the pack at this week’s African Banker Awards. Bank of the Year 2019 goes to Afreximbank, making giant steps in growing profitable operations in financing and promoting trade within and from African and launching many key new products in the past 18 months.

African Banker of the Year is Admassu Tadesse, President of Trade and Development Bank and from Ethiopia. The bank – formerly PTA Bank –  has been expanding its operations in East and Southern Africa and launched many new products.

Olukayode Pitan of Bank of Industry (left) awards African Banker of the Year 2019 to Admassu Tadesse of Trade and Development Bank

The African Banker Awards spotlight and celebrate excellence in banking and finance in Africa. The 2019 winners were announced at a prestigious gala dinner in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on the fringe of the annual meeting of the African Development Bank.

“I am very honoured to be a judge. It’s exciting to read the submissions about many top-quality African institutions and excellent leaders. Its very hard to choose winners from many inspiring entries, including giant investments and transactions that are transformational for African economies.” Tom

South African banks dominated in tightly-contested investment banking and in the deals of the year. Absa won investment bank of the year; Standard Bank and RMB won the equity deal of the year with the VIVO Energy’s £548m ($742m)  IPO in London (see our story); debt deal of the year went to Rothschild & Co for Senegal’s dual-currency Eurobond ($1bn and €1bn); and infrastructure deal of the year went to Credit Agricole and TDB which financed a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform in Mozambique. 

In other categories: Ecobank won retail bank of the year; Kenya’s KCB won the prize for innovation; Equity Bank for its CSR activities; and Nigeria’s Bank of Industry won the prize for financial inclusion.

Overall there were excellent winners from most African regions in 2019. Organizers and the 2 main sponsors of the awards, the African Guarantee Fund and the Bank of Industry, called to make banking more inclusive, both in gender representation among senior managers and through lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  

The 2019 lifetime achievement award went to South African Sizwe Nxasana, former CEO of First Rand group, which grew at a compound annual growth rate of 20% under his leadership. In his speech, Nxasana called for even greater investment in human capital to accelerate growth in Africa. The African Banker Icon award was for Mitchell Elegbe, founder of Interswitch, the payments service provider another Africa-led “unicorn”, a tech start-up business whose value is likely to exceed $1bn (see our story).

Tarek Amer, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, won Central Bank Governor of the Year for his work in restoring faith in Egypt’s markets, helping make it one of the best-performing emerging markets. Benin’s Romuald Wadagni won Finance Minister of the Year, after big improvements to macro-economic indicators and structural transformation reforms.

Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker magazine, said: “2018 was another strong year for banks. Undoubtedly fintech was the most buoyant sector in terms of tech investments and we are yet to truly see the transformative impact it can have. Despite the positive stories from the banking sector, the words of the winner of our Banker of the Year still resonate when he said last year at the Africa Investment Forum: we need to speed up, scale up and synergize. ”


THE 2019 AFRICAN BANKER AWARD WINNERS
 
African Banker of the Year
Admassu Tadesse, TDB

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sizwe Nxasana, former CEO, First Rand Group 

African Banker Icon
Mitchell Elegbe, Founder, Interswitch Group

African Bank of the Year
Afreximbank

Minister of Finance of the Year 
Romuald Wadagni, République du Benin

Central Bank Governor of the Year 
Tarek Amer, Central Bank Governor, Egypt
 
Best Retail Bank in Africa
Ecobank
 
Investment Bank of the Year
Absa Capital
 
Award for Financial Inclusion
Bank of Industry, Nigeria

Special Commendation for their contribution to the development and financing of the Rural Sector: Banco Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (BANGE)
 
Socially Responsible Bank of the Year 
Equity Bank, Kenya
 
Innovation in Banking 
KCB, Kenya

Special Commendation: JUMO, South Africa

Deal of the Year – Equity
Vivo IPO
Standard Bank & Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)
 
Deal of the Year – Debt
$2.2bn Senegal Eurobond
Rothschild 

Infrastructure Deal of the Year 
Mozambique Floating LNG
TDB & Credit Agricole

Regional Bank of the Year
East Africa – KCB, Kenya
West Africa – Orabank
North Africa – Banque de l’Habitat (Tunisia)
Southern Africa – Mauritius Commercial Bank
Central Africa – BGFI, Gabon

African Banker Awards coming up 11 June 2019

The African Banker Awards 2019 are coming up next week during the African Development Bank annual meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Dynamic banks are competing for awards including:

  • African bank of the year
  • African banker of the year
  • Investment bank of the year
  • Best retail bank
  • Innovation in banking and 5 other categories

For a full list of entries, including the African megadeals competing for debt and equity deals of the year, see the awards website.

Omar Ben Yedder, the Group Publisher and Managing Director of IC Publications Group, which publishes African Banker Magazine, said:
“We have received a record amount of entries this year. The banking industry is being disrupted by technology and one could sense that the sector is embracing this technology to develop solutions that will truly benefit the real economy. Financial inclusion lies at the heart of formalising our industries and fintech is playing a role in bringing finance to the masses. ” 

The awards are held under the patronage of the African Development Bank and are sponsored by The African Guarantee Fund and The Bank of Industry. The Gala Dinner and Awards presentation will take place at the Gaviota, by the Sofitel Sipopo, Malabo. 

Work starts on African exchanges linkage project

Africa’s stock exchanges, regulators, central banks, stockbrokers and clearing systems are working together on the African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP), set to create trading and information links between the 7 leading securities exchanges.

Participating exchanges at the first capital markets stakeholders’ roundtable were the West African regional exchange Bourse Regionale Valeures Mobilieres (BRVM), Casablanca Stock Exchange, The Egyptian Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Nairobi Securities Exchange, The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.

The linkage project is a joint initiative by African Development Bank and African Securities Exchanges Association. It aims to facilitate cross-border trading and settlement of securities, unlock pan-African investment flows, promote innovations and diverse investments, and address lack of depth and liquidity in Africa’s financial markets. For more background, see our recent article.

The project is backed by $980,000 grant through the African Development Bank Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund (KOAFEC).

Karim Hajji, ASEA President and chief executive of the Casablanca Stock Exchange, said according to the press release: “Regional integration is a high-priority continental agenda. By organically linking 7 exchanges in Africa which collectively have a market capitalization of over US$1.4 trillion, the AELP will stimulate intra-African flows and provide opportunities for investors and trading participants in over fourteen African countries.

“With the expected outcome of boosting liquidity in African capital markets, the AELP will unlock the powerful potential of African markets to access and redistribute domestic capital for economic development.”

Pierre Guislain, African Development Bank’s Vice-President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, said: “The partnership between us and ASEA complements the Bank’s interventions towards deep and resilient capital markets in Africa. The African Exchanges Linkage Project will contribute to a wider financing pool for African corporates and SMEs and help close Africa’s infrastructure deficit, estimated at US$67–107 billion annually. Indeed, the continent needs deep, liquid and linked capital markets that will enable accelerated mobilization of domestic resources and incentivize private financing of infrastructure”.

Participating partners at the workshop on 24 April at African Development Bank’s headquarters included:
• Regulators Le Conseil Régional de l’Epargne Publique et des Marchés Financiers, Autorité Marocaine du Marché des Capitaux, Securities and Exchanges Commission of Nigeria, and the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya.
• Central bank – Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest,
• Stockbrokers and exchanges associations – Association Professionnelle des Sociétés de Bourse, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, Kenya Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Bankers
• Clearing systems – Association Professionnelle des Banques Teneurs de Compte Conservateurs, Maroclear, Central Securities Clearing System – Nigeria, Central Depository and Settlement Corporation Ltd. – Kenya
• Investment banking – Afrinvest West Africa.

Pierre Guislain of African Development Bank and Karim Hajji of African Securities Exchanges Association and Casablanca Stock Exchange

IPO report 2 – African companies raised $2.2bn in 2018

Africa-focused companies raised $2.17 billion via 18 share offers (IPO) and listings in 2018, but the number is down 25% from $2.89bn raised in 2017 with 26 share offers and listings. According to asset manager Enko Capital, the slowdown was driven by “unfavourable market conditions”.

The Egyptian Exchange had 4 IPOs in 2018, and Ghana, Morocco and South Africa had 2 IPOs each and Botswana and Uganda one each. Six Africa-focused companies also offer shares through IPO on foreign exchanges in London and Australia. The offers included 2 IPOs linked to exits by private equity firms, continuing a trend to develop this as an exit route for private equity growth investors in African enterprises.

Enko Capital adds that the African exchanges enjoyed another 16 new listings in 2018, of which 7 were listing by introduction (down from 8 in 2017), 6 were cross listings (5 in 2017) and 3 were spin-offs as a company separated a part (4 in 2017).

The total number of listings for Africa-focused firms was 34 in 2018 (43 in 2017).

Botswana’s December bank listing

On 13 December 2018, African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited (BankABC) successfully listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange following an IPO which raised BWP361.05 million ($33.90m). It is Botswana’s fifth largest bank in Botswana by assets and has over 60,000 customers and 330 employees. The IPO featured 180,525,000 shares or 24.9% of its share capital at BWP2.00 each.

Bank ABC is a subsidiary of Atlas Mara through ABC Holdings Limited, also incorporated in Botswana, which is the parent company of a number of sub-Saharan Africa banks operating under the BancABC brand in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe and a group services office in South Africa. The group was formed through mergers and acquisitions and offers personal, business and corporate banking as well as asset management, stockbroking and treasury services.

Egyptian education provider listed Sept

The Egyptian listings included an IPO of some 14.5m shares of Egypt’s Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development company (CIRA) which was 18.9 times oversubscribed in September 2018. There was also a private offer for 192.5m shares which was 10.6 times oversubscribed, according to this story from African Markets website. The total offer was 207m shares at EGP6.00 each for a total of EGP1.2bn ($70.7m). CIRA is a private education provider in Egypt, targeting both the K-12 and the higher-education segments in six governorates, the main selling shareholder was the Social Impact Capital Ltd, according to Egypt Today.

African Banker award 2018 – here is the shortlist

The organizers of the African Banker Awards have announced the shortlisted nominees in the different categories. The African bank excellence awards are hotly contested and will be made on 22 May, during the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Busan, South Korea. The awards are organized by African Banker magazine, published by IC Publications Group.

Chair of the Awards Committee, Omar Ben Yedder, the Group Publisher and Managing Director of IC Publications Group, says he is again impressed by the quality and breadth of entries: “We saw McKinsey earlier in the year releasing a very positive report analysing the banking landscape in Africa. The entries reaffirm their findings when they say Africa’s banking market are amongst the most exciting in the world.

“The categories that caught my eye were innovation in banking – and this year’s entries reflect the transformative role of fintech and also blockchain technology – as well as deal of the year, which is every year a very competitive category. Equity markets were a little slower in 2017, but we saw some interesting deals on the debt side and also transformative infrastructure financing structures. The quality of the entries, and sophistication of the solutions being presented, reflect a buoyant sector in continuous evolution.”
reflects another strong year in African banking, driven by innovation and resilient markets

The shortlist reflects another strong year for banks from Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya. Banks which have a large footprint across Africa, such as Ecobank, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered, also feature across several categories.

The African Development Bank is the patron and the awards are sponsored by The African Guarantee Fund, Banco Nacional de Investimento (BNI), Groupe Crédit Agricole du Maroc and The Bank of Industry. Ecobank will be the hosts of the African Banker Awards cocktail reception prior the awards. The Gala Dinner and Awards presentation will take place at the Paradise Hotel, Busan.

Shortlisted entries are:

African Banker of the Year:

  • Mohamed El Kettani – Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco
  • James Mwangi – Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya
  • Joshua Oigara – KCB, Kenya
  • Segun Agbaje – Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria

African Bank of the Year:

  • Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco
  • Equity Group Holdings, Kenya
  • Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria
  • The Mauritius Commercial Bank, Mauritius
  • Standard Chartered

Best Retail Bank in Africa:

  • Barclays, Zambia
  • Ecobank
  • KCB, Kenya
  • Millennium BIM, Mozambique
  • SBM Holdings, Mauritius

Investment Bank of the Year:

  • Barclays Africa Group
  • Exotix
  • FNBQuest Merchant Bank, Nigeria
  • Standard Bank
  • Standard Chartered

Award for Financial Inclusion:

  • Fourth Generation Capital Limited, Kenya
  • Groupe Crédit Agricole du Maroc, Morocco
  • Baobab Group, France
  • Equity Group, Kenya
  • JUMO World, South Africa

Award for Innovation in Banking:

  • Agricultural Finance Corporation, Kenya
  • Ubuntu Coin
  • Banque Nationale pour le Développement Economique, Senegal
  • Ecobank
  • SBM Holdings, Mauritius

Socially Responsible Bank of the Year:

  • Barclays Bank, Zambia
  • BMCE Bank of Africa, Morocco
  • Equity Group, Kenya
  • First Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria
  • KCB Group, Kenya
  • Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, Kenya

Deal of the Year – Equity:

  • ADES IPO – EFG Hermes, Egypt
  • First Rand Acquisition of Aldermore PLC – Rand Merchant Bank, South Africa
  • GAPCO sale to Total – Standard Chartered, South Africa
  • Long4Life IPO – Standard Bank, South Africa
  • Steinhoff Africa Retail Listing – Rand Merchant Bank, South Africa
  • Vodacom Tanzania IPO – National Bank of Commerce and Absa CIB, Tanzania

Deal of the Year – Debt:

  • $300m Diaspora Bond – Standard Bank/FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Nigeria
  • $540 First Rand Asia Focused syndication – Standard Chartered, UK
  • Cape Town Green Bond – RMB, South Africa
  • Dufil Prima Foods – Standard Bank, South Africa
  • Nokeng Fluorspar – Fieldstone, South Africa
  • Viathan – Renaissance Capital, Nigeria

Infrastructure Deal of the Year:

  • Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund – Chapel Hill Denham, Nigeria
  • Nacala Railway and Port Corridor – Standard Bank SA / RMB, South Africa
  • FIRST – Rand Merchant Bank, South Africa
  • AEE Power Project – RMB, Namibia

Individual recognition will also be given in the categories for the Regional Bank winners, Central Bank Governor of the Year, Finance Minister of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement.

Sub-Saharan Africa investment banking deals in Q1

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in sub-Saharan Africa in Q1 of 2018 at $4.7 billion were 63% down on a year earlier, according to investment banking analysis for sub-Saharan Africa by Thomson Reuters, but there were $2.7bn in equity follow-on issues and $13bn in debt issues. Rand Merchant Bank topped the ranking of investment banking earnings, gaining $10.3 million, 9.3% of the total $117.6m earned during the quarter.

Completed M&A generated 20% and equity capital markets 37% of the total fee pool. Thomson Reuters says equity and related issuance was at its highest since 2007.

Fees from completed M&A totaled $23.4m, a 57% decrease year-on-year, while equity capital markets underwriting reached $43.1m, the best start since 2007. Domestic and inter-SSA M&A totaled $483m, down 81% year-on-year and the lowest annual start since 2006. Inbound M&A is down 73%, driven by the lowest number of deals since 2004, while outbound M&A is on a six-year high, up 91% to $1.6bn. Most (93%) of the outbound M&A was by South African companies, while acquisitions by companies headquartered in Mauritius accounted for 6% and in Seychelles for 1% respectively. Citi topped the financial advisor table for Q1 2018 for announced M&A with “any sub-Saharan Africa involvement” with 7% market share.

The biggest deal of Q1, according to Thomson Reuters, was Milost Global Inc’s US$1.1bn leveraged buyout transaction to acquire the entire share capital of Primewaterview Holdings Nigeria through its African subsidiary Isilo Capital Partners, announced on 10 January.

All the equity capital markets activity in the region was follow-on offerings, with 14 transactions. It is the first time there were no primary equity issues since 2012. The biggest was a follow-on offering by PSG Group, followed by offers from Sanlam and Lafarge Africa. Standard Bank Group tops the SSA equity capital markets league table in Q1 2018 with a 26% share of the market, followed by Investec at 12% and PSG Capital Ltd at 11%.

Sneha Shah, Managing Director for Africa at Thomson Reuters, said: “The most active Sub-Saharan Africa equity capital markets sectors for Q1 2018 were financials followed by materials, real estate, industrials, retail, and consumer staples.”

The most active debt issuer nation was Côte d’Ivoire with US$4.6bn in bond proceeds, 36% of market activity, followed by Nigeria and Senegal. Citi took the top spot in the SSA bond ranking for Q1 2018 with 24% market share. Syndicated lending fees declined, falling to $12.7m down 66% from Q1 2017. ING ranked first for syndicated loans.

Fees from underwriting in debt capital markets were $38.4m, the top value since Thomson Reuters started keeping these records in 2000, and up from $19.4m during Q1 2017.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development explores Africa expansion

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a top backer of capital markets development, is debating new expansion into sub-Saharan Africa and new parts of the Middle East and raising its lending by as much as a third from some EUR9.5 billion euros ($11.7 bn) at present. According to this story on Reuters.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the EBRD since 2012, said in an interview: “The debate is starting with our shareholders: ‘Would you like us, gradually, incrementally to go to a few more places maybe in sub-Saharan Africa in particular?’” He stressed that it was only the start of a discussion and no decision would be made soon.

The Bank is owned mainly by Western governments and was set up in 1991 to invest in the ex-communist economies of eastern Europe but has expanded rapidly since 2008 and operates in more than 30 countries from Morocco to Mongolia. If shareholders approve at a meeting in May in Jordan, he said analysis could take a year and a final green light could be given at its 2020 annual meeting.

New countries of operation would have to be democracies or at least committed to becoming a democracy, and they must also aim for the kind of market-based economies that the development bank has always focused its efforts on.

The plan to move deeper into Africa meanwhile could dovetail with going into more countries in the north of the continent such as Algeria, or in the Middle East such as Iraq or Libya.

One motivation for expansion is to reduce concentration risks, with much of EBRD investment currently going into 5 countries, led by Turkey, Egypt and Ukraine, all of which have economic and political challenges. According to the interview, even in EBRD “traditional heartlands like Hungary and Poland attitudes are shifting away from its principles”.

IPO for I&M Bank Rwanda extended to 10 March


The extended deadline for the initial public offer (IPO) of I&M bank Rwanda is 10 March. The Government is selling its 19.8% stake in the bank in an offer launched on 14 Feb and originally set to close on 3 March. On offer are 99 million shares at RWF90 ($0.11) each, with a minimum purchase of 1,000 shares.
The offer could contribute nearly RWF8.9bn towards Government plans to raise RWF11.5bn ($13.9m) to build a second airport near Kigali, according to a report in KenyanWallStreet.com. As part of the offer, 5m new shares were created for an employee share offer programme (ESOP).

Prospectus delays
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said it had received enthusiastic investor interest across the region. According to a statement: “This is to ensure that prospectuses and application forms reach investors across the country and the East African region in good time, and in response to requests from retail and institutional investors given the early start to the year, it has been decided to avail additional time to enable investors participate.”
New Times newspaper quotes Shehzad Noordally, the Chairman, Rwanda Association of Stockbrokers and Market Intermediaries: “There has been a slight delay in publishing prospectuses, which is an administrative issue that has been resolved. This has, therefore, resulted in the prospectuses not being distributed on time to the general public”.
I&M Bank, the Capital Market Authority, and the Rwanda Stock Exchange have approved the extension. The shares will be listed on the RSE.
The Government is committed to the development of capital markets as a means to building a strong foundation for long-term financing for both private and public sector, according to Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete.
Previously Government has sold shares in 2 enterprises leading to listings – Bralirwa (Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda, the largest brewer and beverages company) and Bank of Kigali. The other local listing is Crystal Telecom, subsidiary of Crystal Ventures Ltd, which represents a chance to trade the shares of MTN Rwanda. Crystal Ventures was profiled in the latest issue of The Economist magazine.
I&M Bank Rwanda was established in 1963 and was called Banque Commerciale du Rwanda Limited (BCR) before becoming the Rwanda subsidiary of I&M Bank Group Limited, headquartered in Nairobi, with operations in four countries.

Reasons for privatization

According to an earlier CMA press release, this is the Government of Rwanda’s strategy behind the listings:
“It is the GoR’s objective to encourage investment of shares of successful companies amongst the citizens of Rwanda, and to promote the development of the country’s capital markets. The GoR is pursuing a divesture program of state-owned enterprises, which kicked off in earnest in 1997 with a total of 72 institutions earmarked for privatization/divesture.
The specific objectives of GoR’s privatization /divestiture program entail:
• Reducing the shares held by Government in public companies and thus alleviating the financial burden on its resources (through the elimination of subsidies and state investments) and reducing its administrative obligations in the enterprises
• Ensuring better management and financial discipline in privatized companies
• Attracting foreign investment in Rwanda and the accompanying transfer of technology and knowhow
• Developing and promoting Rwanda’s capital markets and
• To give to the wider public the opportunity to participate in the shareholding of a well-run company”.