Archive for the 'Public-private partnership (PPP)' Category

Pension funds power Africa’s infrastructure

Here is my article on a critical area for Africa to develop, creating the right atmosphere for productive investments by Africa’s growing pension funds. It is published in African Banker magazine and you can access it on the africanbusinessmagazine.com website here:

The power of pension funds for African infrastructure
By Tom Minney
“Opening the elegant new six-lane toll bridge stretching cross Dar es Salaam’s Kigamboni Creek in April, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli called it “liberation” for citizens.
It represents a $135m investment by Tanzania’s National Social Security Fund, the state-run pension fund, and government. China Railway Construction Engineering Group built the 680-metre bridge with China Railway Major Bridge Group and say it is the longest cable-stayed bridge in East Africa.
It is also Tanzania’s first toll road – which residents say is worth paying for as it makes their lives easier. The development will lead to new residential housing and is hoped to boost tourism in the country.
The World Bank estimates Africa should spend $93bn – 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) – each year on infrastructure and the African Development Bank (AfDB) notes a $50bn financing gap to reach this. Local and international pension funds can help fill the gap.
The Bright Africa report by consultancy firm RisCura says that at the end of 2014 assets under management by pension funds across 16 major African markets amounted to $334bn. Some 90% of assets were concentrated in four countries: South Africa (with $258bn) Nigeria, Namibia and Botswana. Assets had grown more than 20% a year in East Africa and 25%–30% a year in Nigeria over the previous half decade.

Potential to drive growth
Pension funds mostly invest in local fixed-income bonds, with regulation a key driver of asset allocation. But as RisCura argues, pension funds are ideal to drive inclusive growth and social stability, including through investing in longer-term projects such as infrastructure: “Local institutional investors lend credibility and a measure of validation, and often serve as a catalyst for greater external interest. Local investors also allow global peers to leverage local knowledge and networks.
With longer investment horizons, pension funds can serve as anchor investors for infrastructure and social development projects,” says the report. South African pension funds lead the way, partly spurred by rules that allow them to invest 10% of assets through private equity.

Africa’s $111bn pension fund
The Government Employees’ Pension Fund (GEPF) with R1.6 trillion ($111bn) assets under management in March 2015 reported it had committed R62bn towards “unlisted and developmental assets” in the previous 12 months, including Touwsriver and Bokpoort solar power projects in South Africa; MainOne data and broadband telecommunications in West Africa; pan-African power generation through Aldwych Power; N3TC which operates and maintains 420km of South Africa’s N3 highway; and two hospitals.
Other investments listed include $21.6m into private airport concession TAV Tunisia through the Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF) managed by Harith General Partners. GEPF invested $2.6bn into the first PAIDF fund by March 2015 and pledged up to R4.2bn for the second by 2020. Five other pension funds also invested in the $630m PAIDF I fund, which will last 15 years and invested into more than 70 African projects. PAIDF 2 recently announced first close after raising $435m, again with pension funds as key investors.
South Africa’s Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) in 2014 invested $30m into infrastructure projects through private-equity house Abraaj, based in Dubai, as well as mobile-phone infrastructure through London’s Helios. EPPF chief executive Sbu Luthuli says “We have to diversify” and wants to put more than $100m into infrastructure projects – 1.2% of its total R120bn assets (as of June 2015). GEPF said that it had invested 1% of its assets into African equities outside South Africa at March 2015, compared to a target of 5% (R80bn).

New funds being created
Financial institutions and multilateral lenders are looking to speed up the process. For instance, the AfDB created the Africa50 fund with target capitalisation up to $10bn and says it has secured $500m. For the second round to $1bn it is targeting institutional investors, including African and global pension funds. Kenya’s government and parastatals such as Kengen are leading the way in selling local-currency bonds to finance infrastructure.
The network is growing. Harith works with Asset and Resource Management Company in Nigeria to invest in West African infrastructure and is setting up a $1bn COMESA Infrastructure Fund with PTA Bank for eastern and southern Africa.
In June Harith and its Aldwych arm announced links with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to create a $3.3bn power portfolio, supplying 30m people across 10 countries. Andrew Alli, president and chief executive of AFC, says: “By working together we can deliver tangible benefit for Africans, switching their lights on and stimulating positive economic growth on the continent.”

Politics and mistrust
But it’s not always that straight-forward. In February, Nigeria’s minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, called on the country’s pension funds, which manage some N5.8 trillion ($18.4bn), to invest more in infrastructure and other development projects. However, later in the year, newspapers reported that no infrastructure projects had been put forward that met the legal requirements of the 2015 regulations on investment of pension fund assets, including a minimum value of N5bn for individual projects and award through competitive bidding to a concessionaire with a good track record.
The Nigerian Labour Congress expressed members’ fears: “The thought of using our pension fund for investment in public-sector infrastructure development is highly frightening given the well-known penchant for mismanagement inherent in public-sector institutions in Nigeria … It is therefore immoral and careless to subject such fund which is the life-blood of workers to the itchy fingers of politicians, no matter how well intentioned.”
Despite the worries, confidence in governance is growing and attention is switching to building the supply of projects. As RisCura’s report notes: “In many countries, assets are growing much faster than products are being brought to market, limiting investment opportunities.”

Projects and stages
Projects typically go through several stages, starting with feasibility studies to create a “bankable” project; then building or developing the project; and finally operating it once it is established, for instance collecting the tolls on a highway and fixing holes. The last stage is usually the least risky and most suited for pension-fund investors.
The Africa50 fund follows other initiatives in funding early-stage projects in order to boost the supply and mobilise more financing for later stages. Kigamboni bridge took more than two decades. Africa’s fast-growing pension funds need a faster pipeline of investible and well-run projects.

Kigamboni Bridge, Dar es Salaam. Photo Daniel Hayduk, from Nairobi Wire

Africa’s leading bond and debt summit

ADCM 2013

ADCM 2013

ADCM 2013

ADCM 2013

Top speakers including Government leaders, policy-makers, bankers, investors and experts will be debating the future of Africa’s debt capital markets on Monday 30 June at the London Stock Exchange. The African Debt Capital Markets ADCM 2014 conference is organized by African Banker magazine. I am honoured to be moderating some sessions.

Among the conference highlights are debates on whether African governments have been using bond proceeds wisely, the future for African bond issuances, local currency markets and the challenges of deepening the debt capital markets. There will be calls for policy-makers to make changes to support securitization and other steps to boost finance for development, jobs and growth, following successes in Asia and the world.

Speakers include the Hon Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, Ghana’s deputy Minister of Finance, and Dr Abraham Nwankwo, Director-General of the Nigeria Debt Management Office and Jaloul Ayed, a former Minister of Finance from Tunisia. There will also be Mary Eduk from the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria, Uche Orji of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, and Stephen Opata from Bank of Ghana.

Stock exchange leaders include Sunil Benimadhu, dynamic head of the African Securities Exchanges Association and CEO of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, Moremi Marwa CEO of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and Innocent Dankaine from the Uganda Securities Exchange.

Banks, fund managers and stockbrokers include HSBC, Renaissance Capital, Investec, Ecobank and Exotix and there will be many leading legal and other experts including rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch.

There will be a special focus on the Nigerian Debt Capital Markets. Other panels will cover infrastructure, public-private partnerships, sovereign Eurobonds and local currency markets, shadow banking, Islamic finance, new institutional investor trends, and Africa’s standing among global markets.

For more information, look at the website here.

Top legal conference focuses on Africa infrastructure and natural resources deals

[Sponsored] Benefit from a high-level focus on innovative project financing, private equity financing and M&A structuring for resource investment at the IFLR Africa Forum. It will focus on the laws, regulations and transactions surrounding Africa’s natural resources and provide strategies for managing governmental nationalism, raising finance for projects, infrastructure opportunities and M&A/PE transactions. It will also cover legal issues from discovery of the resources and extraction to transport and corporate acquisitions.

The International Financial Law Review conference is on 20 May at The Waldorf in central London. The 2012 and 2013 events each attracted over 250 participants and very positive feedback. Meet senior in-house counsel, heads of emerging markets and senior partners to maintain a strategic focus on African deals and new financial regulations. Attendees will include top banks, regulators and corporates from UK, Europe and Africa.

Benefits of attending:
• Learn how to structure international debt for African borrowers and make African project finance bankable
• Stabilize agreements with governments for the length of a concession and protect from renegotiation and new laws
• Compliance with international anti-corruption regimes
• Practical tips for mitigating risks in African infrastructure (includes rail, road and airports)
• Focus on oil and gas, including contracts, balancing government interests and profits, and update on the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill
• Debate private equity and M&A opportunities in Africa
• Hear about local capital markets providing domestic options
• Learn the importance of negotiating well on free carry, royalties and taxes
• 6 CPD/CLE points.

Confirmed speakers include Tim Odell (Citigroup), David Turley (Bank of New York Mellon), Ian Cogswell (Natixis), Daniel Whitehead (Citigroup), Amol Prabhu (Barclays), Brian Marcus (Standard Chartered Bank), Barthelemy Faye (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton), Calvin Walker (Baker & McKenzie), Gavin Davies (Herbert Smith Freehills), Mouhamed Kebe (Geni & Khebe), Faizal Jusob (Couto, Graca & Associados), and David Ofosu-Dorte (AB & David).

International Financial Legal Review is the market-leading financial law publication for lawyers specializing in international finance and was first published in 1982.

In-house counsel, bank counsel, fund managers and academics attend for FREE. Private practice, consultants and service providers who are readers of AfricanCapitalMarketsNews save £200 for a special rate of £795 + VAT – QUOTE ACM20. To register your interest, contact Alicia Sprott on alicia.sprott@legalmediagroup.com or call +44 20 7779 8334.

Uganda’s power distributor Umeme says it plans Nairobi and Uganda IPOs this year

Uganda’s only power distributor, Umeme, said it plans to raise capital to invest in Uganda’s electricity sector through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Ugandan and Nairobi securities exchanges later in 2012. Umeme is a distribution company and is 100% owned by private equity firm Actis, according to this report on Reuters.
The news came on 6 July at the switching of 5 turbines to add 50MW to the power grid as part of the $860 million Bujagali 250MW hydropower project, one of Africa’s largest power schemes. Umeme has a 20-year electricity distribution concession. Managing director Charles Chapman says the company has opted for the IPO as electricity is now available – Uganda had been suffering power cuts before Bujagali capacity was added – and there was agreement on regulatory targets.
The company would not say how much it hopes to raise and has not finalized plans for the IPO, but Reuters suggests it could be 20% of the shares. The report quotes Chapman: “The initial public offering (IPO) will support Umeme’s capital raising initiatives to finance the continued development of the electricity distribution network, including projects such as prepayment metering and energy loss reduction. We believe that Umeme will be stronger, more transparent and accountable with the input of our customers and employees as shareholders.”
He adds that customers are up to about 460,000 in 2011 from 354,839 in 2009. After power sector unbundling, power in Uganda is generated by the Uganda Electricity Generation Company and transmitted to Umeme by the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company.
According to this blog story, Umeme has already put in its application to the Capital Markets Authority in Uganda and has appointed Stanbic Bank (Uganda) as Transaction Advisor and African Alliance (Uganda) as Sponsoring Broker. Writer Angelo Izama comments: “The company is a safe investment given its monopoly and demand from customers. Many who worry about the risks it faces will look to political risk something to which we will return. Suffice to say that a great degree of the risk will likely be offset when the company lists given the divesting of its ownership to locals.”

IFC mobilizes $1bn into private infrastructure in Africa

The International Finance Corporation (www.ifc.org, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank group) will invest and mobilize more than $1 billion into private infrastructure in Africa during 2012, up from $200 million 5 years ago. But it still does not close the infrastructure finance gap, with an estimated $93bn a year needed.
Private sector infrastructure includes roads, ports, and power stations across Africa, and the pace of investment is both driven by the huge demand from the continent’s people and its growing economies and by the beneficial effects of continued reform programmes.

According to an IFC website, infrastructure and services development is hampered by lack of know-how to develop and guide infrastructure projects so that African governments can benefit from private-sector expertise, management and finance. This is an even more serious hurdle than shortage of funding. Developing deals requires time, effort, experience, and the ability get the right balance between private and public interests.

IFC focuses on the building blocks of any modern economy: ports, railways, telecoms, and power, including renewable energy. But it is also leading the way in advisory services and has successfully advised African governments, including local municipalities, on ways to engage the private sector in essential public services, and on how to restructure state-owned enterprises.

$4bn in public-private partnerships (PPPs)

IFC’s support to private-public partnership (PPP) arrangements between fiscal years 2008 and 2011 is expected to facilitate more than $4bn in private financing for infrastructure and health, providing improved services to approximately 19m people.

Recent highlights include:

• Senegal: IFC was the global coordinator of financing for a €230m ($302m) toll road project, which, when complete in 2013, will run 25 km from Diamniadio to Dakar, cutting travel time to and from the capital city from 2 hours to less than 30 minutes. France’s Eiffage won the project’s 30-year concession, which is supported by the World Bank and for which IFC provided €22.5m ($30m) in long-term debt alongside €40m ($52.3m) from the African Development Bank, the West African Development Bank, and local bank CBAO.

• Cameroon: IFC advised the Government in 2001 on privatizing its power sector. Since then, new owner-operator AES Sonel has invested more than $1bn and has connected nearly 340,000 people to its system. The most recent transaction was the 2011 financing for the company’s 216 MW Kribi project, the first commercial use of Cameroon’s substantial offshore natural gas reserves. In addition to providing €60m ($86m) in direct financing to the €263m ($360m) project, IFC coordinated a larger loan package from partner institutions, and worked with the World Bank on an IDA (International Development Association, part of the World Bank group) partial risk guarantee to facilitate Cameroon’s first long-term, local-currency loan for infrastructure.