Find visitors' favorite businesstravel Hotels And.... Book your best!

Middle East investors are increasingly looking to Africa for Business Opportunities

Though the fast-growing continent offers plenty of opportunities, bankers say there are also a raft of problems for Middle East investors, particularly the relatively small size of deals.

"We're seeing more interest but I think it's fair to say that we haven't seen a lot of that crystallise into deals so far," said Diana Layfield, Africa chief executive at Britain's Standard Chartered.

"The Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds are very interested in Africa. The challenge that they face is that the amounts they need to invest are way too large for the continent at the moment," Layfield said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa.

Held this week in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the forum highlighted Africa's attractions: it is home to some of the world's fastest-growing economies and disposable incomes are rapidly rising.

A decade of relative political stability has also helped the case for African investment.

"Definitely there will be more investment coming to Africa," Saudi Arabian Minister for Agriculture Farad Balghunaim said.

"With the clear vision building up in African leadership now there will be more and more investors from Saudi Arabia," he said.

But tapping that growth is not easy, given the lack of liquidity in public capital markets. For private equity bankers there is often a shortage of deals to meet their mandate on size.

For instance, emerging markets private equity firm Actis said last month it is aiming for individual deals of $50-million or more in Africa, meaning it has to focus on the continent's biggest economies - South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria to find deals.

Some Middle East investors, therefore, are focusing on smaller deals to gain exposure to Africa.

Dubai's Abraaj Capital is acquiring UK private equity firm Aureos Capital, which invests in small and medium businesses in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

"We tend to have a sweet spot at about $10-million, but we have investments as low as $2-million and going up to about $35-million," said Davinder Sikand, Aureos' regional managing partner for Africa.

Because of the constraints in their home markets, Middle East investors are familiar with Africa's drawbacks, such as shoddy infrastructure, scarcity of a trained workforce and lack of liquidity in capital markets.

"The Middle East, part of which is rich in capital, is starting to look at Africa as an investment destination," said Frederic Sicre, a partner at Abraaj Capital.

Sicre said he was "definitely" seeing more interest in African private equity from Middle East investors.

"Behind us are 200 of the wealthiest merchant families and royal families from the Middle East, and sovereign wealth funds in the region. We can pull them into looking at the opportunities here."


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Africa Uganda Business Travel News .

Haven't yet found what you Want...?

If you haven't yet found what you were looking for or you need detailed information about the subject matter on this page


feel free to ask our business travel consultants.

Farmland for Sale
Prime Commercial Property
Entebbe Rd Land 4 Sale
Over 20 Farmland Parcels
Property & Plots of Land

Uganda Online SuperMarket
Online SuperMarket

Uganda Coffee Safari
Book My Coffee Tour

Uganda Honey
Uganda HoneyComb

Subscribe to our Business Travel Newsletter

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Africa Uganda Business Travel News Digest.

Hotel Booking

Car RentalCar Hire

Africa Uganda Shipping & Handling ServicesShipping & Handling Services

Our Sponsorship Policy

Apple Guavas available
Africa Uganda Plants GuideAfrica Plants Guide

Charity Investment Guide
Changing Lives

Africa Uganda SMS Guide
Africa Bulk SMS

Poultry Investment Guide
Poultry Business Guide

Related Pages

Uganda Hotels Directory

Uganda Hotels Booking Guide

Houses U can buy Uganda Real Estate Guide Industrial/Farmland Deals

Uganda Real Estates Guide

The Mountain Gorilla

Uganda Safari Guide

Uganda Weather Today

Book My Hotel

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Uganda Currency