NIGERIA – A new initiative to rave up the mortgage sector activities with about $250 million seed fund for the sub-Saharan Africa has been unveiled by the FirstRand Group.
The scheme, which would begin with focus on Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and the Ivory Coast, as well as a new turn in Africa property development financing, is jointly organised by Westport Property Group, under RMB Westport.
The scheme, which came on the heels of the success of RMB Westport’s first African real estate development fund that closed in August 2012, saw the property development and investment group deciding to embark on the latest mortgage funding plan.
RMB Westport will manage the fund, the proceeds of which will be used to meet the growing demand for high-grade retail, industrial and commercial property in these countries.
“Despite a number of macroeconomic headwinds in certain of the territories in which we operate, strong long-term growth prospects, coupled with favourable demographics, and the pleasing trends of increasing urbanisation and consumer spending have all led to high demand for retail, industrial and commercial property space.
“It is a credit to both the capital raising abilities of our joint venture partner, Ashburton Investments- (FirstRand’s asset management business), as well as the mature, long-term view adopted by our investor base that we have been able to secure such a substantial amount of capital on the first close,” the Chief Executive Officer of RMB Westport, Simon Fifield, said.
According to him, the new funds raised will be used to finance the business’ very strong pipeline, which to date, has attracted eight investors comprising international institutions, although increased interest from South African investors has been noted by their commitments, relative to the first scheme.
RMB Westport has been involved in the development and management of 11 premium property developments in Africa since 2008, and has a proud track record of delivering on budget and on time.