Abu Dhabi's Invest AD eyes Africa growth
Abu Dhabi, April 17, 2012
Abu Dhabi-owned fund Invest AD is betting on its range of investment products to tap growth opportunities in fast-growing Africa, a continent which the state-owned investment firm believes is still undervalued for its potential.
"If you look at Africa, there are opportunities across the board and it's not as well-defined as in some other more mature markets. So we want to build a suite of products that captures that growth," Chief Investment Officer David Sanders said in an interview.
As part of the move, Invest AD has converted its existing Emerging Africa Fund to a Ucits standard fund -- viewed as more regulated, transparent and liquid -- to lure risk-averse European investors, Sanders said. The fund expects to be $40 million in size by the end of May.
The firm will retain a portion of the existing fund in a different Cayman Island structure and look at less liquid investments, the executive said.
The company teamed up with Japan's SBI Holdings set up a $75 million Africa fund in 2010 and invested in the 2011 initial public offering of Bank of Kigali, Rwanda's largest bank by assets.
The joint venture, which does not shy away from investing in unlisted companies, is closely studying opportunities in countries such as Tunisia, Morrocco, Ghana and Nigeria.
"We have some early due diligence. Our aim is to be a financial investor and not take controlling stakes. Occasionally you will visit a listed company and you will find a better unlisted company or the flip side is also true," Sanders said.-Reuters