US institutional investors in SA to seek co-investment opportunities

05 April 2019, www.iol.co.za/business-report/a

JOHANNESBURG – The United States of America Embassy on Friday said that its country investors were looking to explore co-investment opportunities across sectors in South Africa.

A delegation of American investors was visiting Johannesburg to strengthen relationships with African pension funds, asset managers, and financial institutions for potential partnerships and co-investments.

The delegation — known as the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), –partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2016 through a joint program called Mobilising Institutional Investors to Develop African Infrastructure (MiDA).

The program connects U.S. public plan in retirement, pension, and health sponsors, and other institutional investors with African counterparts to mobilise greater U.S. investment in South Africa and the continent, particularly in infrastructure development, real estate, and private equity.

Donna Sims Wilson, NASP chair, said they were looking forward to advancing their discussions with South African counterparts for mutual support and benefit.

“Our delegation of US institutional investors comes to South Africa with a keen interest to explore investment opportunities in the region. While there is currently limited exposure in South Africa, there is great opportunity to scale up these investments,” Wilson said.

The US investors delegation has already met with leaders at Standard Bank, the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP), the Batseta Council of Retirement Funds for South Africa (Batseta), and the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA).

The delegation also hosted discussions with leading African pension fund trustees and executives around best practices and promoting inclusion in the financial services industry.

Jessye Lapenn, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, said great economic opportunities exist for American and South African investors to create connections that will build infrastructure and contribute to prosperity for all.

“This program is one of many win-win initiatives supported by the U.S. Mission to South Africa to promote the mutually beneficial outcomes of trade and investment between our two countries,” Lapenn said.

MiDA-influenced U.S. institutional investments allocations extend to almost U.S.$800 million. An additional U.S.$200 million has been committed in offshore investment services offered by MiDA/NASP asset manager.

The US Embassy said that MiDA was currently in the process of structuring three innovative capital markets transactions to support local pension funds co-investments, housing finance bonds, and the refinancing of infrastructure assets in South Africa.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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