Highlights of African Financial Services Investment Conference (AFSIC 2016), held in London 5-6 May
Mauritius is the top base for private equity funds investing into Africa, says JP Harrop Head of Sales for private equity fund administrator Augentius: “Many of larger Africa-focused LPs (limited partners) insist on vehicles being Africa domiciled, its either Mauritius or South Africa.”
Sunil Benimadhu, Chief Executive of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius: “We are busy positioning ourself as an attractive capital-raising platform for focused Africa-oriented ventures. We are aligning our strategy, as vibrant international financial centre for Africa and other emerging regions.
“Also Mauritius as a jurisdiction has signed bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements (IPPAs) with number of countries in Africa and elsewhere, mitigating some of political risk. We already offers a wide value chain of services for investors
“We are now looking at addition value-add services to the international investor. We are positioning the Stock Exchange of Mauritius as an attractive capital-raising, trading and settlement platform for issuers. We have set up a multi-currency capital raising, listing, trading and settlement platform. We allow issuers looking at Africa and elsewhere to raise money internationally, structured in Mauritius, issued in any of 4 international currencies (USD, EUR, ZAR, GBP), trading and settlement can happen in any currencies, positioning ourselves as a risk-mitigation platform for exposure to African currency.
“Another innovation, we created a platform for listing and trading of depository receipts. So a Kenyan company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange can raise in KES, but it can use Mauritius platform to issue depository receipts to raise funds in USD.”
Paul Cunningham, Chief Financial officer of Helios Investment Partners
“The big advantage from an investor perspective is the strength of the rule of law and the idea that if you follow the legal process, the final court of appeal is UK Privy Council. Mauritius is tried and tested and gives investors a great degree of comfort that they are investing through good banks, fund administration, management companies and others.”