Helios Investment Partners says it is eying South Africa for opportunities, claiming the current pessimism is “overdone.”
“South Africa, notwithstanding the challenges that it is having – both from the human toll of Covid-19 and the economic challenges- paradoxically is becoming more interesting for us,” Tope Lawani (pictured), co-founder and managing partner at Helios, said in an interview with Bloomberg.
No detail was provided on the companies Helios is targeting but the firm says it plans investments in fintech, insurance, and the energy sector. According to Tope Lawani, Helios is also considering the possibility of imitating a Ghanaian liquefied natural gas project in South Africa to help close the energy gap.
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South Africa is going through difficult times with GDP slumping by 51% in Q2 2020. The fourth consecutive quarterly decline and the lowest quarterly decline since 1992.
Moreover, the investment community is now afraid that a long debt crisis could occur in South Africa. “South Africa is a place that has a lot of excellent companies, a lot of excellent entrepreneurs and we are now seeing for the first time, that in rand terms, assets are starting to get fairly valued and may be inexpensive,” said Tope Lawani, adding that the current weakness of the South African currency is an asset.
The firm continued to receive investor support for its fourth investment fund for Africa. The latest contribution of $100 million was announced on July 7 by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), the U.K’s private sector financing institution for developing countries. Also this year, Helios and Canada’s Fairfax Africa announced plans to merge to strengthen their activities in Africa.
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In this episode of GFA-Attract, we discuss with Kennedy Mubita, Nairobi based Venture Capital Lead for Africa & Middle east at SC Ventures, the venture capital arm of Standard Chartered Bank. SC Ventures is a $100 million fund focused on FinTech investments.
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