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VENTURES AFRICA- Old Mutual Investment Group is planning to expand its investments in Nigeria by venturing into the country’s power sector, housing, and agricultural market in the next three to five years.
The financial service provider plans to launch an infrastructure fund in Nigeria next year and hopes to raise $50m-$100m from global investors. Proceeds from the fund will be deployed predominantly in energy and transport infrastructure projects in the West African nation.
“It will be launched in 2014. We would like to clear between $50m-$100m,” Old Mutual Investment Group CEO Diane Radley confirmed.
The company which said it is currently in discussion with the Nigerian government had already invested substantially in the West African nation just like it did in Ghana.
Nigeria was a major beneficiary of Old Mutual’s $5 billion emerging market expansion funding which saw the successful acquisition of Oceanic Insurance Life and its general business licence from Ecobank.
Old Mutual’s strategy for the continent is to carry on with expansion into the growth markets of the South African business. It will later expand the company’s presence beyond the countries in which it now had operations.
The three countries of immediate focus were Nigeria, where it already has a presence through Ecobank; Ghana, where it recently bought Provident Life; and Kenya, where it bought a controlling stake of Faulu – a microfinance company.
Old Mutual’s Head, capital raising, infrastructure and impact funds, Rojie Kisten, at the Old Mutual Emerging Market Showcase in Cape Town said the group is looking at making Nigeria what it made in South Africa.
“We are not taking Nigeria for granted in our investment plan, we see opportunity in Nigeria, we see growth and we are working toward this.”
“We are sourcing for $50 million for infrastructural development, out of which $15 million has come in and this we hope to complete before the end of 2016,” Kisten said on the sidelines of the Old Mutual Emerging Markets investor conference last week.
She stated that the company is currently discussing with the Nigerian government to provide funding in the ongoing power sector reforms, which, according to her, will unlock the Nigerian economy for growth.
However Kisten and other Old Mutual Alternative Investment Team, Paul Boynton and Jurie Swart said the company’s challenge with investment in Nigeria’s housing sector is getting the necessary legal framework in place.
She said as soon as all of that are completed “we will make our investments”.
Nigeria is not the only country that will benefit from this new investment. Malawi, Nambia and Kenya will also benefit from the phase one of the housing project, while Nigeria would be part of the second phase pending when the regulatory documentations are concluded, the team said.
Nevertheless, Old Mutual Group Chief Executive, Julian Roberts, sees Old Mutual as becoming “the African financial services champion”.
“We want to cover the whole of sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.