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New South African stock exchange ZAR X to start 3 October

Trading is to start on South Africa’s new ZAR X securities exchange on 3 October. It gained a licence on 2 September and the first listings will be Senwes and  Senwes Beleggings, with up to 5 listings planned for first week October.

Another exchange is also being readied, 4AX also called 4 Africa Exchange (see story below).

South Africa’s regulator, the Financial Services Board, announced on 2 September that it had granted licences to ZAR X and 4 Africa Exchange Licences. It said: “The Registrar of Securities Services.. received and considered applications for exchange licences from ZARX (Pty) Ltd (“ZAR X”) and 4 Africa Exchange (Pty) Ltd (“4AX”) and has, in terms of section 9(1) of the Act, granted ZAR X and 4AX exchange licences with conditions after careful consideration of objections received as a result of a notice referred to in section 7(4).”

Initially FSB gave ZARX a conditional licence but in August a court ruled in favour of an application by the JSE, which had argued there was no provision for conditional licensing. JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King said at the time there were concerns about the complexity and the potential for systemic risk that multiple exchanges could bring.

ZAR X has a different level of risk as it requires to be pre-funded, which means that participants must lodge scrip and cash before they trade and settlement is then the same day (T+0). In July the JSE and other market participants moved their market from T+5 settlement to T+3 without any problems. Most institutional investors prefer transferring stocks or money after they have traded, when they know the exact amounts to transfer.

Etienne Nel, CEO of ZAR X, said: “We need to create a level of co-operation within the market space to make it as simple as possible for all participants to coexist”.

Speaking to Business Day TV, he said: “..we are very happy, obviously, delighted since it’s been a long time coming. To give you some context around the conditions, it’s obviously what we applied for. We initially said we were not going to be offering derivatives to the market and obviously as a result one of the conditions is we may not offer derivative trades on our market. Similarly, we cannot offer shares already listed on another exchange, but that was never in our application so we are obviously delighted with the licence that we finally got.”

Nel said in September they were busy getting brokers on board and putting investors through necessary screening and checks of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (38 of 2001 “FICA”)

Nel says ZAR X has less onerous rules on admitting companies for trading (listing requirements): “In our approach to listings.. we will have a conversation with the issuer and we are taking what is called a principles-based approach to listing rather than rules-based. Now what that achieves is if we get the slightest inclination that something is awry within a company we would actually rather walk away rather than doing the listing.. A rules-based environment .. becomes a tick-box exercise and in that environment you would end up with a situation where people end up finding loopholes, which a principles-based approach does not allow for”.

It breaks over 100 years of monopoly Africa by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as the JSE was founded in 1887 but there were several stock exchanges around during the first South African gold rush. Speaking after the licence was issued, 4AX CEO Fay Mukaddam said in a press release: “We are delighted to have secured our licence. South Africa is a vibrant, growing market with enormous potential and we are confident that there’s a strong appetite for an additional licensed exchange to further develop and deepen the capital markets in the country.. 4AX can stand as a vehicle for diversity, which in turn, will drive real economic inclusion”. It will be an “empowered exchange” and will aim at retail investors but also attract institutional trading.

Both ZARX and 4AX will use Strate as their central securities depository (CSD).

 

Etienne Nel, CEO of ZAR X (credit timeslive.co.za)

Etienne Nel, CEO of ZAR X (credit timeslive.co.za)

Private Equity Africa award winners 2016

What a night – the gala dinner of the Private Equity Africa 2016 awards. It is the 5th year of these awards and all the “great and good” of Africa’s private equity fund managers (general partners/GPs), investors (limited partners/LPs) and service providers gathered at The Langham hotel in London to celebrate how their industry is growing in size and sophistication. A full day conference (I was honoured to be MC) charted the changes with sessions on new structures for private equity funds, the rise of stock exchange IPOs as exits, specialized agriculture, healthcare and other funds, the changing valuation premium on Africa’s businesses post the currency crises.. and many more topics for 2016.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Private Equity Africa Awards. The final award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and recommendations from the London Business School Institute of Private Equity nomination team.

OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP AWARD
Honourable Okey Enelamah, founder of African Capital Alliance and now Minister for Industry, Trade & Investment, Government of Nigeria. The award was presented by Right Honourable Baroness Lynda Chalker of Wallasey who also made a speech. It is awarded based on voting by leading industry investors.

Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Trade & Investment (photo: Guardian Nigeria)

Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Trade & Investment (photo: Guardian Nigeria)

HOUSE AWARDS
HOUSE OF THE YEAR
Sub-Saharan Africa House of the Year: Helios Investment Partners
North Africa House of the Year: Abraaj
Francophone Africa House of the Year: Adenia
West Africa House of the Year: Synergy Capital Managers

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: HOUSES
The event also recognised investors that had delivered exceptional transactions during 2014 that do not fall into the main award categories.
Credit Investor: Investec Asset Management
Mid Cap Investor: Development Partners International (DPI)
SSA Fund of the Year, awarded in partnership with Financial Services Promotion Agency (FSPA): Helios Investment Partners for Helios III
Pan-Africa Exits: Actis
Outstanding First-Time GP: Verod Capital

DEAL AWARDS
EXIT OF THE YEAR
Large Cap Exit of the Year: Helios Investment Partners for Equity Bank
Mid Cap Exit of the Year: AfricInvest for UAP Holdings
Small Cap Exit of the Year: Adenia for Newpack

DEAL OF THE YEAR
Mid Cap Deal of the Year: Amethis for Novamed
Small Cap Deal of the Year: Databank for Norish

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: DEALS
The event also recognised deals that had delivered exceptional transactions during 2015 that do not fall into the main award categories, are had not comparable contenders.

Debt Deal: XSML for Médecins de nuit
Infrastructure Deal: African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) for Azura Power
Large Cap Deal: Abraaj for North Africa Hospital Holdings Group
Frontier Deal – Morocco: TPG-Satya for Ecoles Yassamine
Frontier Deal – Côte d’Ivoire: Duet for SAPLED
Frontier Deal – Uganda: 8 Miles for Orient Bank

PORTFOLIO AWARDS
PORTFOLIO COMPANY OF THE YEAR
Development Impact: Emerging Capital Partners for CIPREL
Social Impact: Fanisi for Haltons
Innovation: Adenia for Syrse
Improvement: Mediterrania Capital Partners for CashPlus

ADVISOR AWARDS
ADVISORS OF THE YEAR
Overall Legal Advisor (Deals & Funds): Clifford Chance
Funds Legal Advisor: King & Wood Mallesons
Deals Legal Advisor: Webber Wentzel
Single Deal Advisor of the Year: Linklaters for NSIA
Single Fund Advisor of the Year: O’Melveny & Myers for Helios III

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: ADVISORS
Advisor of the Year – Fund Administration: Trident Fund Services

SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS: ADVISORS
The event also recognised advisors that had delivered exceptional transactions during 2015 that do not fall into the main award categories.
Mid-Cap Advisor: Dentons
Local Legal Advisor: Anjarwalla & Khanna
Regional Legal Advisor: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Corporate Finance Advisor: Intercontinental Trust

The hard-working awards judges were:
Vivina Berla, Co-Managing Partner, Sarona Asset Management
Daniel Broby, Director CeFRI, University of Strathclyde
Matthew Craig-Greene, Founder, Craig-Greene & Co
Arnaud de Cremiers, Partner, Adams Street Partners
Mark Flanagan, Assoc. Partner, Aon Hewitt
Mark Florman, ex-CEO, British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
Jean-Luc Koffi Vovor, Founder, Kusuntu
Peter Maila, Investment Director, CDC
Tom Minney, CEO, African Growth
Rory Ord, Executive, RisCura
Charles Rose, Chairman, Hainsford Renewable Energy
Daniel Schoneveld, Principal, Hamilton Lane
Hervé Schricke, President, AFIC Africa
Dushy Sivanithy, Portfolio Director, CDC
Arjette van den Berg, Independent Private Equity Advisor
Erika van der Merwe, CEO, SAVCA
Gail Mwamba, Editor, Private Equity Africa (Awards Chair)

The advisors were Adeola Dosunmu, Head of Research, Private Equity Africa (Awards Director); Mark Artivor, Independent Private Equity Advisor; Alfonso Campo, Reporter, Private Equity Africa and Joe Walsh, Reporter, Private Equity Africa.

Kenya pledges lower domestic rates after $8.8bn bids for its $2bn Eurobonds

Nairobi National Park (credit: Kenya Tourism Board, www.magicalkenya.com)

Nairobi National Park (credit: Kenya Tourism Board, www.magicalkenya.com)

Global investors offered a record $8.8 billion in bids for Kenya’s 5- and 10-year Eurobonds this month. The country issued $0.5bn in the 5-year bond at 5.875% and $1.5bn in the 10-year at 6.875%. The resounding success is likely to encourage more African governments to speed up plans to come to international markets for credit while cheap global rates continue and appetite is high for frontier markets debt.

This is Africa’s biggest Eurobond issue to date. According to the BBC, investors from the US took about 67% of the issue and UK investors about 25%. Bond rates on Kenya’s 10-year debt in issue came down since the new issue was first announced on 16 June to 6.41% which is 381 basis points over the similarly dated US treasuries, according to Bloomberg.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was reported on Reuters telling a news conference: “By accessing these external funds, we will reduce government borrowing from the domestic markets, thereby helping drive down interest rates which should boost investment, spur economic growth, provide more employment opportunities to our people.” He described the sale as “a vote of confidence”. At a state of the economy address on 25 June he said the funds would be used prudently to fund infrastructure including transport and energy and to fund agriculture.

Cabinet secretary for the National Treasury (equivalent to Finance Minister) Henry Rotich said: “Investors were impressed with the management of our economy and perceived it to be very strong.” He said it would diversify government’s financing for development programmes. He also said the Government would come back to the markets in the next fiscal year (starting 1 July) but may consider a sukuk bond (see here for UK’s £200 million sukuk bond success) or a diaspora bond. The sovereign is also set to be a benchmark for Kenyan firms issuing corporate bonds on international markets, similar to the success of Nigeria’s sovereign issue.

Rotich said that from 8 July the Central Bank of Kenya would start setting a new reference rate for banks, the Kenya Banks Reference Rate. Banks would have to use this, although they would still be able to add risk premiums according to the creditworthiness of borrowers. This is also expected to lower interest costs and the rate would be set according to the average of the CBK’s main lending rate and the average yield on benchmark 91-day Treasury Bills every 6 months.

The Government announced its 2014/15 budget this month and forecast a budget deficit of 7.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) and local borrowing of KES190.8bn ($2.18bn) or 4.1% of GDP, according to Reuters. Macro-economist Rotich was a colleague when Kenyatta was Finance Minister and the two are working together to speed up Kenya’s economic growth to over 10%. According to a story in the Financial Times blog Beyond Brics, Rotich says Kenya will grow at 5.8% this year and 6.4% next year, however the World Bank has just cut its forecast from an earlier 5.3% forecast for this year and forecasts 4.7% for both years.

The blog cites the World Bank report: “The new projections reflect the effects of the drought, the deteriorating security situation, the low level of budget execution, and tighter global credit as the US Federal Reserve winds down its expansive monetary policy.”

The World Bank says drought has cost Kenya $12bn over the last 10 years and that foreign direct investment (FDI) is only 1% of GDP. The blog reports: “The World Bank is also increasingly preoccupied by the impact of inequality on growth and stability.” The World Bank is optimistic and is backing Kenya with a $4bn programme, double the Eurobond.

Kenya plans $43bn of infrastructure by 2017, but there are questions as to whether they get value for money in a $3.7bn deal with Chinese for new rail and rolling stock. Kenya is likely to become a middle-income country by September after re-basing because of statistical revisions.

China’s premier opens new chapter in China-Africa relations?

Li Keqiang and his wife Prof Cheng Hong arrive in Africa 4 May (photo: China News Service)

Li Keqiang and his wife Prof Cheng Hong arrive in Africa 4 May (photo: China News Service)


An impressive expo of Chinese high-tech rail with 3 Chinese locomotives, a high-speed train and 10 aircraft models launched Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s triumphant 4-nation tour of Africa. The premier, due to address the World Economic Forum in Abuja today (8 May), says he expects China’s trade to Africa will double from $200billion in 2013 to $400bn by 2020 and he also expects Chinese direct investment to climb four times to $100bn.
Can observers listening to his words find a shift in China’s emphasis in the continent they call “the land of hope”? Will there be less focus on natural resources and more on helping Africa’s industrialization, productive agriculture, and other steps to drive growth and jobs?
The tour began in Ethiopia on Monday, moved to Nigeria on 6 May, and continues to Angola (today and 9 May) and Kenya (9-11 May) are next. Li is China’s number 2, an economist and the leading figure behind China’s economic policy, which is trending towards increased domestic consumption and handling urbanization, both key trends in Africa. His first key foreign speech in 2010 saw him talking at the World Economic Forum about sustainable development and green energy in China.
Yesterday he met African presidents including Tanzania, Benin and Togo and the Prime Minister of Mali. The African Union headquarters in Addis Abeba, recently built by Chinese, hosted the expo.
Some 60 deals will be signed during the tour. China aims to be even more “actively involved” with key industries mentioned including textiles, home electronics and manufacturing. Li said: “The collaboration must not be limited to energy and infrastructure but expanded to industrialisation, urbanisation, the modernisation of agriculture, with more attention given to green, low-carbon development and environmental protection,” (quoted in South China Morning Post). He has also highlighted joint-venture airlines with Chinese partners and planes, high-speed rail linking African capitals, deeper partnerships in telecommunications and research and development.
Chinese firms have invested heavily in Ethiopia recently and official figures say the total is over $1bn by this year. The 16 deals signed in Ethiopia by ministers and company executives accompanying Li include loans and cooperation agreements to build roads and industrial zones, power grids and telecoms. China Railway Engineering Corporation is pushing ahead on the $475m Addis Abeba light railway transit, due to start carrying passengers on a trial basis next year. Railway plans for Ethiopia have been costed at $6bn and work is going fast, with India also competing for projects and to provide funding. On Monday (4 May) Li and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn inaugurated an 80-kilometre expressway to Addis Abeba to Adama (Nazreth), the first in the country. See this informative article on the $612m road, built by Chinese Communications Construction Company with $350m soft loan funding from the Export Import (Exim) Bank of China and remaining funds from the Ethiopian Government, and capable of carrying 15,000 vehicles a day, to ease congestion as the existing route carries 20,000.
China already dominates telecoms supply and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp are rolling out 4G broadband network in Addis Ababa and 3G throughout the country. According to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) statistics, the number of mobile lines grew from 6.9 million in 2010 to 14.1m in 2011 and 20.5m in 2012, although service can still be sporadic. The 2 firms have also signed an $80m deal to lay optical ground cables to form the national network.
Contrast with the welcome to John Kerry, US Secretary of State, who made a tour to Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola a couple of days earlier. The State Department says it will promote democracy and human rights and Ethiopia upped the ante by arresting and jailing 9 journalists and bloggers, forcing Kerry to bring it up with PM Hailemariam on 1 May, reported by Reuters. The US has recently launched the $7bn Power Africa programme, a good move to help the crippling power deficit although cynical observers might say its also a bid to ensure the US is not left completely out of the continent’s economic development.
News agency Xinhua has reported that 2,500 Chinese firms already operate in Africa and China overtook the US as Africa’s main trading partner in 2009.

Chinese media write on China’s development impact
A report in China Daily interviews Ethiopian businesspeople hoping their country will gain. 41-year-old Assefa Michael said the infrastructure could change life and the industrial landscape: “Roads are the roots for the creation of real wealth for a nation.” He said the roads would promote health and make it easier for pregnant women to reach clinics, as well as for farmers to get their produce to market in nearby towns.
A Xinhua report cites He Wenping, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who said China’s had great success in poverty reduction and massive investment in infrastructure was a key factor. She added the Chinese see clearly the importance and necessity of improving infrastructure in Africa as well as the great business opportunities behind it.
According to SCMP, Li said: “The Chinese government proposes to establish joint venture airlines between Chinese companies and Africa and providing civilian aircrafts to develop the regional aviation industry. We will also set up a high-speed railway research and development centre.” Before he departed for his visit, on 3 May the premier addressed fears that Beijing was becoming a neocolonial power in Africa: “China will never pursue a colonial path like some countries did or allow colonialism, which belonged to the past, to reappear in Africa.”
Some Chinese companies have been accused of shoddy construction and failing to respect employment laws. SCMP reports Shu Yunguo, a professor at Shanghai Normal University’s Centre of African Studies, said: “Products in China have quality issues as well, and many companies fail to recognise the importance of environmental protection.”
The challenge for African leaders is to balance the power interests of East and West, to gain the most from competition from both while still ensuring the long-term interests of Africans come first.

Foreign inflows soar on Zimbabwe Stock Exchange

Foreign inflows on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange rose by close to 40% in 2013, with more coming in the second half. According to an article in the Zimbabwe Herald newspaper, over the year foreign investors bought $291.0m worth of shares and sold $194.7m, compared to $211.6m of purchases and $152.8m of sales in 2012.

The government-owned newspaper reports that August 2013, immediately after the 31 July elections, saw an inflow of $33.3m. The main driver of foreign investment is the dollarization introduced by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa in early 2009.

According to data from the ZSE, a total of $485.8m worth of shares were traded in 2013 (more in the second half), up 8.4% on 2012 and also more than 2011 and 2010. However, the number of trades slipped back, from 21,426 to 19,002 as the value of the average trade climbed. The report says foreign investors accounted for 65% of total trades.

However the total capital raised by companies listed on the ZSE plunged lower in 2013 compared to 2012, due to the liquidity crunch pervading the economy. According to another report in the Herald, ZSE-listed firms only completed rights issues for $17m in 2013 – NMBZ ($14m) and Interfresh ($3m). Capital-raisings worth $60.1m were approved in the second half and are due in 2014: Aico shareholders approved a rights issue for $15.1m and Seedco shareholders $40m. As mentioned below, top performer Afdis (African Distillers) will seek $5m to fund local production and repay shareholder loans.

A total of $124m was raised by firms listed on the ZSE listed in 2012.
(Note all $ figures refer to USD).

Stock Photography: Zim River 01 Picture. Image: 132442
© Photographer: Martin Muller | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Wishing all readers a prosperous, successful and very happy 2014

New Year greetings 2014
Thanks for all the support and interest from our loyal readers. Together we hope to support and promote 2014 as a GREAT YEAR for Africa and for its capital markets and securities exchanges.
May you all have an efficient, liquid, safe and joyous New Year’s eve tonight and best wishes for prosperity, booming markets and much happiness and peace in 2014.
The Editor

Africa private equity – $2bn raised in 9 months to Sept

Africa’s private equity funds have reported closing funds with $2bn in investments, according to the industry news source Private Equity Africa, citing data from Preqin data.
At the start of the year Ethos announced it had closed an $800m fund. The first fund by Vital Capital contributed $350m and Phatisa did not meet its original target on its first fund but announced a final close at $243m.
The total raised in full year 2012 was $1.8bn but the record, according to Preqin, was private equity’s boom year 2007 when $5bn was raised for Africa. The best year since the global financial crisis was 2011, with $2.9bn raised.
PEA reports that managers report that investors, or Limited Partners (LPs) are still slow to sign off on commitments. Actual investments are still lagging sentiment, earlier this year a survey of LPs by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) for the first time placed sub-Saharan Africa above the BRIC nations. The websites says that fund managers are starting to “feel the effect of change in strategy from the development finance community, which has traditionally been the industry’s fundraising saviour. Long-term industry anchors such as the CDC Group are now allocating more capital to direct investing and debt funds, meaning managers have to squabble for a shrinking private equity pool”.

Welcome to Abidjan – 17th African Securities Exchanges Association conference

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Photos: Tom Minney
Wishing all group members who are here in Abidjan an excellent gathering for the 17th African Securities Exchanges Association meeting. The agenda looks excellent and it exciting to see many people gathering with determination to bring improvements and developments in our capital markets.
Congrats to the Bourse régionale des valeurs mobilières (BRVM) and to ASEA on again organizing an excellent and well constructed conference. The agenda and the speakers look excellent!
As I arrived, I have been very much enjoying looking around at Abidjan, my first visit. The city is beautiful, constructed on bridges lacing across the lagoon and sweeping the traffic around green islets. All the Ivoirians I have spoken to so far (hotel staff) are very proud of their city and excited to see it regain its former glory. It looks spectacular, and calm and organized for a city of 6 million, with giant boulevards and much greenery.
The scale of business here is impressive, with a truly regional stock exchange which joins 8 African countries, the African Development Bank is also racing to get back into its headquarters and in the haze a giant port through which lots of cocoa reaches the eager world. Long bridges link the city and plans are alive to build a third bridge to the east of the hotel, and even tramways.
Abidjan – reawakening economic giant.
West Africa is blessed with a chain of great economic and cultural cities, linked by highways and other ties and complementing each other towards unified African growth.
For more on the conference look here.
For details on the BRVM look here.

ASEA Conference – top African securities exchanges event – coming Dec

The big African securities exchanges event of the year is drawing close. The 17th General Assembly and annual conference of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) will be 1-4 December in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. As usual, expect top leaders from nearly all the African securities exchanges plus a host of international capital-markets experts, policy-makers, Central Bank governors, African and international financiers, key investment and journalists.

West Africa’s regional Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM), an innovative exchange which covers 8 countries, will host the gathering, which will be held under the patronage of His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara, The theme will be: “Africa: From promises to achievements, the key role of capital markets”.

The conference action starts on 3 December, with a welcome from Gabriel Fal, chairman of the BRVM, opening remarks by Sunil Benimadhu, President of ASEA and a key figure in the development of Africa’s markets, a keynote address by Tiémoko Meyliet Kone, Governor of the BCEAO, on “The financing of the West African Monetary Union economies: new challenges” and an official opening address by HE Alassane Ouattara.

The main action for the public are the panels on 3-4 Dec. Your editor has the privilege to moderate a top-quality Panel 7 on my favourite topic, innovation, infrastructure, technology and the development of the African markets.

The day before, 2 Dec, will be used for the ASEA Executive Committee and ASEA General Assembly meetings and a welcoming cocktail for all. The conference will be held at Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, as listed on our conferences page. For bookings, go to the excellent ASEA2013 conference website.

Top speakers, excellent panels
This is the programme according to the ASEA2013 website today (1 Nov).

Dec 3
Panel 1: Frontier markets: why now and why African frontier markets?
• Moderator: Yvonne Ike (Chief Executive of RENCAP Nigeria)
• Susan Payne (Executive Chair of EmVest Agricultural Corp, Africa)
• Colin Bell (Head of Global Capital Markets at stockbroker Auerbach Grayson)
• Matthieu Pigasse (CEO Lazard and Chairman Lazard Africa)
• David Finch (Chief Economist, Exane, BNP Paribas)

Focus guest speaker: Thierry Tanoh, CEO Ecobank Transnational International “The investment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa”

Panel 2: Frontier markets: telling the story right
• Moderator: Anne Guimard (CEO, FINEO Investor Relations Advisors)
• Adam Malik (Associate Director, Investis)
• Paul Clark (Portfolio Manager, Ashburton Investments)
• Fidelis Madavo (Head of resources, the Public Investment Corporation, South Africa)
• Ashley Bendell (frontier markets specialist)

Panel 3: Why is it important to support the growth of vibrant capital markets in Africa?
• Moderator: Nader Mousavizadeh (Macro Advisory Partners)
• Andy Gboka (Equity Research Analyst, Exotix London)
• Ibrahima Kobar (Chief Investment Officer Fixed Income, Natixis Asset Management)
• Abdoulaye Bio Tchane (President of Alindaou Consulting International and Chairman of Africa Guarantee Fund)
• Christian de Boissieu (Professor of economics and member of AMF)

Panel 4: African mining resources and infrastructure financing through capital markets
• Moderator: Geoff Rothschild (Johannesburg Stock Exchange)
• Jean-Louis EKRA (President, AfriEximbank)
• Gabriel FAL (Chairman BRVM and DC/BR)
• Marc Antoine Audet (CEO Sama Resources)
• Ungad Chadda (Toronto Stock Exchange)

Dec 4
Panel 5: Why should private equity funds use African stock exchanges to exit?
• Moderator: Hubert Danso (CEO of Africa investor)
• Cyrille Nkontchou (President, ENKO Capital)
• Amelia Beattie (Chief Investment Officer, Stanlib)
• Luke Kinoti (Chief Executive, Fusion Group, Kenya)
• Frederic Hottinger (Chairman Bank Hottinger)
• Tim Turner (Director of private sector operations, AfDB)

Panel 6: African capital markets success stories: investors’ and issuers’ perspectives
• Moderator: Sunil Benimadhu (CEO, Stock Exchange of Mauritius)
• David Grayson (CEO Auerbach Grayson)
• Ashley Bendell (frontier markets specialist)
• Paul Harry Aithnard (Group Head, Securities and Asset Management, ETI)
• Mohamed Khalil (Chairman of Dari Couspate)

Panel 7: Innovation in capital markets infrastructure : relevance to African securities exchanges
• Moderator: Tom Minney, African Capital Markets News
• Sandy Frucher (Vice Chairman, Nasdaq OMX Group)
• Tony Weeresinghe (CEO of Millennium IT and Director of Global Development at London Stock Exchange Group)
• Hannes Takacs (CAPMEX Institute)
• Naseer A. Akhtar (President and CEO, Infotech Group)

Panel 8: Cross-border fund-raising and capital-markets integration in Africa
• Moderator: Oscar Onyema (President West African Capital Markets Council)
• Peter Mwangi (CEO, Nairobi Stock Exchange)
• Mohamed Bennani (President, Bank of Africa Group)
• Ekow Afedzie (Deputy Managing Director, Ghana Stock Exchange)
• Saïd Ibrahimi (CEO, Casablanca Finance City)
• General Secretary of Conseil Régional de l’Epargne Publique et des Marchés Financiers (CREPMF) of West African Monetary Union

How to win big returns in African private equity

Africa’s private equity firms have been finding great ways to realize value, fuelling and profiting from the continent’s soaring growth, but also helping as Africa’s markets become more pan-regional. Investors are also scoring successes by working closely with management teams to create value in investee companies.
A study of 62 private equity exits (sales or realizations of investments) over 2007-2012 found that private equity has generally outperformed public markets. “PE’s strategic and operational improvements are generating returns almost double the Johannesburg Stock Exchange ALSI” (All-Share Index).
These are key findings from a study “Harvesting growth: How do private equity investors create value?” published recently by EY (Ernst & Young, www.ey.com) and the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (www.avca-africa.org), with backing from the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (www.empea.org). They studied 118 realizations by African private equity fund managers between 2007 and 2012, but only had returns information on 62 deals.
Africa’s private equity industry is “in a phase of relative infancy”. It is hampered by stock markets across the continent which are still very small and relatively illiquid, except South Africa’s JSE Ltd. (www.jse.co.za). Intermediary networks are also sporadic in Africa.
PE fund managers have often chosen a partnership approach where they work with local managers has worked well considering that 80% of the sample had been only minority stakes by the PE firms. “A large part of value creation is implementing new procedures and processes to improve governance, but we have also found much evidence of PE houses using their networks to full effect to bring in the right expertise and to support portfolio companies in their growth plans,” write the study authors.
PE in Africa has largely focused on growth strategies, particularly growth in organic revenues, and this has driven two-thirds of growth in the key earnings figure, EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization). “They are employing strategies familiar to other markets, such as building the right platform for growth and identifying product improvements”.
To work well, a PE firm operating in Africa needs a wide range of contacts, the study describes this as “a vital attribute in such a young market”. The most significant exit is via a strategic sale.
Some PE firms are working with their portfolio companies to expand in other African countries. Since 2009 there has also been an increasing trend for PE firms to sell or realize with expanding African regional firms. As the study explains, the strategy is to build local companies “with a compelling strategic logic to regional buyers looking to gain a foothold in Africa’s fast-growth markets.”