Atta Financial Update

Executive summary: Remaining optimistic about Africa under the Trump administration.

Notwithstanding some comments to the contrary, there is cause for optimism under the Trump administration - not least because of the historical bipartisan nature of US-Africa policy and the perceived skills and expertise of the administration’s recent diplomatic appointees. If one is to care about the future of US-Africa relations, it is too early to preemptively dismiss and disengage from the Trump administration.

Every American president over the past 30 years has launched a major programme for Africa. From Clinton’s trade-focused African Growth and Opportunity Act to Bush’s health-focused President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief and Obama’s Power Africa, the White House’s Africa policy has focused less on strategic narratives and more on flagship initiatives. There is no reason to necessarily suspect the Trump administration will be different - Trump will inevitably want some kind of programme to, in the spirit of just about everything he touches, plaster his name on.

For example, Trump's administration could leverage the US’s global strength in terms of financial markets by establishing a body to support financial inclusion and the evolution of the financial ecosystem in African markets. Africa needs more done in this space.

Fact: In the sixth century B.C., the Olympic wrestler Milo of Croton trained by carrying a bull on his shoulders as it grew from a calf into a full-sized adult.

East African entrepreneurs to benefit from European Investment Bank US$101 million credit

  • The European Investment Bank has signed two new credit lines for East-Africa for a total of 95 million Euros to be made available through Equity Bank and HFC Limited to support smaller local projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda

African Rainbow Capital to take a 20% stake in A2X Markets

  • A2X Markets has been granted a licence to operate an exchange in South Africa with a view to taking some market share from the established incumbent; the JSE
  • The exchange's aim is to reduce trading costs by 50%
  • The terms of the deal were not disclosed, however ARC has an option to expand its holding by an additional 5% once A2X secured its exchange licence
  • A2X is one of three new stock exchanges launching in South Africa this year and aims to become operational in the final quarter of 2017

Momentum and Eris secure US$170 million in commitments

  • The Momentum African Real Estate Fund, a joint venture between Momentum Global Investment Management and Eris Property Group, secured a total of US$170 million
  • Commitments came from a number of investors including pension funds, institutions and family offices
  • The fund, which targets returns of 18% compounding, will focuses on office blocks, shopping malls and warehouses in sub-Saharan Africa (ex. South Africa)
  • The fund aims to make between three and five investments annually over the course of its investment life span, typically deploying US$30 million to US$50 million in capital for each deal