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China-Africa debt: US will invest $60 billion overseas to beat China at development — Quartz Africa. OPIC is dead. Long live OPIC. In the last few years of US president Obama’s administration, there were increasingly loud calls for the government to get rid of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the development agency which encourages investment by US companies in Africa. The problem, as the critics saw it, was the four-decades old agency had become “institutionally ill-suited to its mission and harms poor people around the world,” said a 2015 paper from CEI, a libertarian Washington DC think tank, which also claimed OPIC projects end up “enriching the politically connected.” With US president Trump’s “America first” mantra it was completely unsurprising when the administration’s first budget in 2017 proposed essentially killing off OPIC.

But at the same time, development analysts and DC lobbyists have been pushing the US Congress to reform and improve the country’s approach to development finance. In an unexpected turn of events, the reformists won. One word: China. US fund opens Nairobi office in hunt for mega deals. Sign Up. US private equity firm Carlyle betting on growth of African middle class. A restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya US-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group is seeking to capitalise on expected consumer spending growth in sub-Saharan Africa. “In terms of businesses that we look at, I think the growth in the African middle class is a key investment theme for our fund.

We like businesses that touch the consumer,” says Bruce Steen, senior associate at Carlyle advising on pan-African buyout opportunities. He was speaking during a panel discussion at the recent EY Strategic Growth Forum Africa in Johannesburg. “We are looking for businesses which are going to benefit from higher GDP per capita, increasing levels of urbanisation, and ultimately this demographic dividend which will occur when the young population matures and ultimately moves into the workforce and becomes consumers.”

Carlyle is one of the world’s largest alternative asset managers with US$188bn under management, employing more than 1,700 people in 35 offices across six continents. Backing entrepreneurs. Why Hungarian-American Billionaire George Soros Is Investing In Africa. George Soros, AP If billionaire George Soros is getting involved in Africa, it is because he knows that he can profit from it, according to investment newsletter ProfitConfidential. With a net worth of $26 billion, Hungarian-American Soros is one of the 30 richest people in the world, according to Forbes.

He has a presence in many countries, earning a reputation as a specialist in making a profit. Soros, 85, is also skilled at combining business with philanthropy — a formula that’s working well for him in Africa, ProfitConfidential reports. The first thing you see when you go to Soros‘s website is this quote, attributed, seemingly to him: “A full and fair discussion is essential to democracy.”

“He’s not really a bleeding heart liberal humanitarian,” says industry analyst Alessandro Bruno. “He has often speculated on currencies, achieving great profits for himself and leaving turmoil behind…If Soros is getting involved in Africa, it is because he knows that he can profit from it.” BusinessGhana - Ghana, Business Advice, Jobs, News, Business Directory, Real Estate, Finance, Forms, Auto. Bloomberg and the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM) Launch Trading System for Ghanaian Government...

News Date: 23rd September 2015 Bloomberg and the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM) announce the launch of the Bloomberg E-Bond trading and market surveillance system, a new electronic trading system for Ghanaian government bonds which Bloomberg began operating in Ghana last month. GFIM, an organization operating under the Ghana Stock Exchange, acts as the sponsor of the Bloomberg E-Bond system. GFIM's governing committee is comprised of representatives of the Bank of Ghana, the Ghana Stock Exchange, the Central Securities Depository Ltd, the Association of Banks in Ghana, ACI Ghana and Licensed Dealing Members of the Ghana Stock Exchange.

The Bloomberg E-Bond system provides electronic trading and market surveillance tools for participants in Ghana's USD 7.7 billion (GHS 28.9 billion) fixed income market. How the US Fed may affect African currencies. Old Mutual rises 20% thanks to growth in African markets  By City Correspondent For The Daily Mail Published: 21:20 GMT, 6 August 2015 | Updated: 21:39 GMT, 6 August 2015 Old Mutual reported a 20 per cent rise in profits as the firm harnessed growth in African markets. The financial services, banking and insurance group posted a 14 per cent increase in profits in South Africa, and a 31 per cent jump in the rest of the continent. Overall the group generated profits of £904million in the first six months of the year. But South Africa’s biggest insurer, which is listed in London, said its performance in the second half would be hit by the decline in South Africa’s currency, the rand – down by more than 4 per cent against the pound since the end of June.

Shares rose 10.6p to 229.1p. U.S. fund managers tapping into African beer market. New York Pension Fund to Invest Billions in Africa. MasterCard passe le cap des 100 millions de cartes en Afrique et Moyen-Orient. Mastercard plans Sh1bn lab in Nairobi, braces for war against Visa - Business. Mastercard plans to set up its Sh1bn African research lab in Nairobi later this year, showing its rising interest in the regions payments market. The New York based firm has signed deals with Guaranty Trust Bank Kenya (GTBank) and Eco Bank. Last year it sealed deals with Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank, a move that is seen as a warm up ahead of its Sh1 billion research lab. The target is to circulate over 10 million cards in east Africa by 2018. Visa’s currently boasts of over 7.5 million Visa-branded cards in circulation in Kenya With the leadership of Mr James Wainaina MasterCard’s vice-president and business head for East Africa, the target is to unseat Visa off its position in the market.

“MasterCard has been at the forefront of the fight against fraud for nearly 50 years, and electronic payments remain the safest way to pay. As technology and payments methods evolve, we are focused on being at the forefront of the market,” said Mr Wainaina in a statement. Citigroup Sees Window for African Borrowers Before Fed Rate Rise. A window has opened for African countries from Senegal to South Africa to lock in low borrowing costs by selling Eurobonds before the U.S. raises interest rates, according to Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Citigroup Inc. Sub-Saharan African nations sold a record $9.2 billion of Eurobonds last year, up from $6.7 billion in 2013, as issuers including Ivory Coast and Kenya tapped the market before funding conditions worsened in the second half as crude oil prices plunged, weighing on economies such as Nigeria and Ghana.

Since December, yields have dropped as oil prices stabilized and central banks in Europe and Japan extended stimulus, providing an opportunity to resume borrowing before the Federal Reserve tightens policy. The average premium investors demand to hold African dollar-denominated bonds rather than Treasuries has dropped 63 basis points to 365 since climbing to a three-year high in December. Debt Demand Young Population ‘Low Base’ MasterCard launches initiative for poorer East Africans - By Andrei Skvarsky. MasterCard has launched a lab to develop cost-effective digital financial services for poorer population strata in East Africa.

The project is part of MasterCard Labs for Financial Inclusion, an initiative launched by the card payment services company in a bid to develop cost-effective financial tools for more than 100 million people globally. “Trapped in a cash economy,” millions of people in East Africa “lack the financial services to guard against risk, invest in their future and build better lives”, MasterCard said in a statement.

The East African project will be funded with a three-year $11m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The lab “will generate new ideas with local entrepreneurs, governments and other stakeholders across East Africa, and rapidly move from concept to reality”, MasterCard said. There are still 2.5bn adults around the world who are excluded from formal financial services and forced to rely on cash, the company said. Kenya: Bill Gates Offers MasterCard $11m To Grow Financial Inclusion In Kenya. Nairobi-(HAN) December 5, 2014. Public diplomacy and National Investment news.

More Kenyans are set to enjoy greater access to financial services as a new $11 million grant secured by MasterCard’s Labs is expected to boost financial inclusion in Nairobi. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is offering the endowment to support the new MasterCard banking program aimed at providing credit in East Africa. Through the grant over three years, the lab will generate new ideas with local entrepreneurs, governments and other stakeholders across East Africa, and rapidly move from concept to reality.

“Too many people lack access to the most basic financial services, leaving them trapped in a cash economy that imposes greater risks and costs on those least able to afford them,” said Ajay Banga, president and CEO at MasterCard. MasterCard says the grant from the Gates Foundation will fund new markets entry, which may have been commercially too expensive. Comments comments. More American investors backing African startups. An increasing number of US-based high tech firms and venture capital investors are investing in African startups, TechCrunch reported. Investors are clearly thinking of Africa based on recent developments, including the 16 Botswana-based mobile apps that Jim Goetz spoke of when he gave his view on the WhatsApp purchase by Facebook and the alliance Microsoft has forged with three African incubators.

This is also signified by the setting up of new innovation centers in Lagos and Casablanca by IBM and the summit sponsored by the African Development Bank which tackled ways to effectively engage the private sector, the report said. CrunchBase data showed that last year was the busiest in the African continent in terms of technology investments. The number of entrepreneurs in Africa is also increasing. IBM Researcher and Vice President of Science and Technology Solomon Assefa told TechCrunch, "In the last decade we've seen a lot of transformation [in Africa]. U.S. Proposes Major Debt Relief for Ebola-Hit Countries. By Carey L. Biron Washington — The United States proposed Tuesday that the international community write off 100 million dollars in debt owed by West African countries hit hardest by the current Ebola outbreak. The money would be re-invested in health and other public programming. U.S. "The plan is for that money to be re-invested in social infrastructure, including hospitals and schools ... to deal with the short-term problem of Ebola but also the long-term failure of the health systems that allowed for this outbreak.

" -- Jubilee USA's executive director Eric LeCompte "The International Monetary Fund has already played a critical role as a first responder, providing economic support to countries hardest hit by Ebola," Lew said in a statement to IPS. "Today we are asking the IMF to expand that support by providing debt relief for Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. These three countries together owe the IMF some 370 million dollars, according to the U.S. Ebola's "natural disaster" MasterCard and Visa look to woo Africa’s unbanked. Western Union, Angola Post Office Join to Expand in Africa - September 22, 2014. World’s leading money transfer company Western Union Co. (WU - Analyst Report) announced that it has tied up with the Angola Post Office, which provides postal and financial services in South Africa.

Angola post will act as an agent for Western Union, which intends to provide its money transfer services in the country. Western Union has tied up with the post office since the latter will provide a ready customer base. Moreover, banking is becoming a habit in Angola with financial services gaining popularity. Western Union also has presence in other African countries of Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, Nigeria, Namibia. The bank also provides remittance service in the region through banks and the Internet.

Its services can also be availed on mobile phones. In Africa, Western Union has been operating for over past 15 years through a vast network. Another company, Moneygram International Inc. Western Union carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Visa pushing for electronic payments in sub-Saharan Africa. In most of sub-Saharan Africa cash dominates the payment system and only a small percentage of the population enjoy the convenience of online, card-based, and mobile payments. In Kenya, for instance, it is common for consumers to withdraw money from an ATM or mobile money agent, then walk into a supermarket to make payment in cash.

Jabu Basopo Jabu Basopo, general manager for Southern and East Africa at payments technology company Visa Inc, says there is a need to create awareness among consumers and merchants on the benefits of electronic payments. “It is important to educate everyone, especially shop owners who have the responsibility of taking cards. In Europe when you go to a cashier the first payment option they offer you is card. Here what we have is the reverse – cash. Visa has rolled out mobile payment options in Rwanda, Kenya and Botswana. Although banks in the region have developed their own mobile banking platforms these products are not inter-operable. Carlyle Collects $698 Million for First Sub-Saharan Africa Fund. Carlyle Group LP (CG:US), the world’s second-largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate, raised $698 million for its first fund targeting investments in sub-Saharan Africa.

The final amount was 40 percent above the $500 million targeted by Washington-based Carlyle for the strategy, according to Catherine Armstrong, a spokeswoman. The firm started a team based in Johannesburg and Lagos, Nigeria, in 2011, headed by Marlon Chigwende and Daniel Jordaan. Jordaan stepped back from his role earlier this year and became a senior adviser. Private-equity firms invested $1.6 billion in sub-Saharan Africa last year, a five-year high and an increase from $1.1 billion in 2012, data from the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association show. The firm has done two deals in the region, investing in Tanzanian agricultural commodity business Export Trading Group in 2012 and in Mozambique-based logistics company J&J Africa earlier this year. US insurance firm gets nod to establish centre in Morocco. US insurance corporation, AIG, is all set to launch its office in Morocco. (Image source: David Hilowitz/Flickr)American International Group (AIG), one of the largest underwriter of commercial and industrial insurance in the US, has received approval for the establishment of a servicing office in Morocco According to the company, the new centre in Casablanca Finance City (CFC), will support the strategic growth and expansion of its insurance business across North and West Africa.

CFC serves as Morocco’s finance centre and an African hub for the development of business across the region, with a particular focus on financial services. Michael Whitwell, president for Middle East and Africa, AIG, said, “AIG’s commitment to Africa dates back over 50 years. “It will also allow AIG to enhance its service to existing clients in the region, as well as raise the company’s profile in these territories.”

Startup Stock Exchange Opens On June 10 To Help African Startups Sell Shares To Investors. Backed By Google And eBay's Founder, Crowd Funding Takes Off In Africa. African banks lose out to US rivals on cross-border flows | African Business. UBS Targets African Wealthy as Credit Suisse Takes Step Back. Carlyle Africa sails to $700m (Exclusive) | Private Equity Africa. Kenya Invites JPMorgan to Be Lead Manager for Inaugural Eurobond. PayPal ramps up Africa presence with Equity partnership. Visa Launches African Integration Index. MasterCard to drive African business with new appointment. Why a Caribbean bank decided to invest in Ghana.

S says sub-Saharan banking landscape offers growth potential, but risks remain. Funding available for companies listed on any African stock exchanges. Brazil’s BTG launches $1bn Africa PE Fund | Private Equity Africa. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Citigroup Inc (C) In Africa: How It Affects You. Old Mutual makes Ghana acquisition.

JP Morgan Awarded a License to Operate in Kenya - Imassera News. Africa Enthralls Goldman With Record Bond Sales: Credit Markets. African stocks offer untapped opportunities. Old Mutual `Confident' on Earnings Growth in Africa. African stocks boost US fund - Business - Development Through Enterprise. Africa Investor - Ai News. KKR to invest in Africa. Morgan Stanley, IFC Invest in eleni Commodities Company. And Equity Bank Announce Partnership to Introduce PayPass™ Enabled Debit and Prepaid Cards in Five African Markets. Investors, Take Note: U.S. Committing to Africa - Private Equity Beat.

Ben Bernanke's Gift to Africa. US opens up credit line for Angolan businesspeople’s projects. Private equity firm sees potential in French-speaking West Africa | panafrican.