PIC invests R2.5bn in Africa

06 October 2014

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), a South African government-owned financial services provider, plans to invest R2.5 billion on the African continent during the 2014/15 financial year.

“The commitment to invest in the rest of the continent is born out of a realisation that our collective success is premised on economic integration,” says Nhlanhla Nene, chairman of PIC in the corporation’s annual report tabled in Parliament on 2 October 2014.

He says Africa’s economic outlook has been positively changing and over the last decade, the continent’s economic output has tripled with projections that Sub-Saharan Africa will grow at an average of 5% over the next 10 years.

“This growth means that the continent will be the second fastest growing region in the world after Asia. For this reason, the PIC will, in the new financial year, also focus on developmental investments in Africa with a minimum commitment of US$500 million for developmental investments in Africa and a further US$500 million towards private equity in Africa,” says Nene, adding that the African story presents the PIC with unique investment opportunities.

Acting PIC CEO, Matshepo More, says in the next financial year the PIC plans to invest “at least a further R2.5 billion in the rest of the continent”. “PIC’s largest transaction during the 2013/14 financial year was securing a 1.5% stake in a Nigerian listed cement company, Dangote Cement for US$289 million,” she says.

PIC’s first investment in the rest of Africa was the US$250-million investment made in Ecobank, which has exposure to more than 30 countries in central Africa.

Established in 1911, the PIC is one of the largest investment managers in Africa, managing assets of over R1.6 trillion and still growing. During the 2013-14 financial year R11.4bn worth of unlisted investments were approved, of which R4.8bn has already been disbursed.

Nene says PIC investments had created in excess of 7,805 direct and indirect jobs, and sustained 78,636 jobs.

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