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6th API Summit to Drive Deal Making in Kenya’s Real Estate Sector

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6th API Summit to Drive Deal Making in Kenya’s Real Estate Sector

In 2019, the 6th annual East Africa Property Investment (EAPI) Summit will facilitate a new of era of investment and development driven by market affordability, said its host, Kfir Rusin.

Hosted at the Radisson Blu Hotel on April 10 & 11, 2019, the EAPI Summit will provide a transaction focused and knowledge sharing environment for 500 senior delegates from more than 20 countries as they unpack the theme: Driving Affordability and Opportunity through the Property Value Chain.

According to Rusin, the 2019 theme is an extension of the current market cycle, macroeconomic environment and 12 months of learning and deliberations around creating transaction opportunities in Affordable Housing and the broader real estate sector.

“The reality is that the cost of real estate transactions remains too high in East Africa and this is inhibiting the growth of the sector. To restore real estate as a significant driver of sustainable growth, we have to reduce the input costs of building and deepen the available sources of funding; especially as we build the foundation for more affordable housing in Kenya and East Africa.”

Taking its lead from President Kenyatta’s affordable housing agenda; EAPI’s scope is significant and sector wide. However, Rusin points to the fact that the increasing participation of leading public and private sector institutions and bodies at #EAPI2019 is evidence that confidence is returning to the market following two years of subdued performance.

In recognition of improving market sentiment, EAPI 2019 will focus on achieving six key objectives which relate to the summit’s affordability and investment agenda and thematic focus areas. These include: design and construction; land and urban planning; finance and capital; regulatory framework and infrastructure.

As Rusin explains, “As an outcome based investment and transaction focussed conference; EAPI’S objectives are aligned to our theme and focus areas, and next year our  primary objectives are to reduce  the cost of construction; lower the cost of capital; unlock land for real estate development; create an enabling framework and environment for large scale property development and building the investment case for alternative asset classes and affordable housing.”

While affordable housing, and more importantly the funding and financing of these projects has generated a lot of interest and workshops in the Kenyan real estate and business market; the reality for Rusin is that EAPI’s international and regional investors and developers are results orientated and want opportunities to make deals and meet the decision makers.

“EAPI is a networking and business transaction platform, which attracts stakeholders from deep pools of capital and policy, who can interact with public sector policymakers and regulatory bodies.  East Africa and Kenya has high growth potential and offers an attractive environment to do business, and we will see many new transactions announced, networking and deal making taking place next year across all sectors.”

The emphasis on bringing the public and private sector together; is a key focus for EAPI and is one of the key differentials of the summit, as Rusin explains. “The private sector is key to growth, but at this juncture, it’s critical that the public sector, industry bodies and the development finance institutions come together and drive transactions in the market and make the sector more attractive to local and international money.”

“From this perspective, we have partnered with the Kenya Property Developers Association (KPDA), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Africa Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS), Town and County Planners Associations of Kenya (TCPAK) and the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) as well as confirming participation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). We have a number of new private and public sector companies and bodies who have indicated their sponsorship and attendance, which will be announced in 2019.”

And while real estate market has been relatively quiet in Africa over the 12-18 months, as a result of macroeconomic pressures, oversupply and lack of effective product tailoring, Rusin argues that this cooling down period has allowed for market recalibration and more attractive pricing. “In our global environment, capital is agnostic, and while Africa and Kenya’s property sector have been recalibrating, several investors, private and institutional are of the view that certain markets and asset classes provide attractive and stable yields. Next year is shaping up to be a defining year for Kenya’s real estate market, and we believe that EAPI will provide the transaction fulcrum for investors and developers across the real estate ecosystem,” said Rusin.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Binance Gets Digital Asset Service Provider Licence in France

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Binance

By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance, the world’s largest crypto and blockchain infrastructure provider, has been granted a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) registration to operate in France.

The green light was given by Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), which regulates the French financial markets, with the approval of the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), the authority responsible for supervising the banking and insurance sectors in France, especially AML Regulations.

The landmark achievement for Binance represents its first DASP registration in the European Union and demonstrates its commitment to being a compliance-first exchange.

The registration allows Binance France SAS to operate as a DASP in France and provides regulatory protection for local users with regard to the implementation of French AML/CFT and customer identification requirements.

This came just after the platform received licenses to be a crypto service provider in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, a key milestone for the world’s largest digital-asset exchange as it set up the stage for a major push in the Middle East.

According to Binance, compliance and regulation are critical to the development and maturation of the crypto and blockchain industry.

Mr Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance, said: “Effective regulation is essential for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. The French DASP and AML/CFT regulations put in place stringent anti-money laundering and fit and proper requirements to meet the high standards necessary to be regulated in France.”

“We are grateful to the AMF and ACPR who both demonstrated a commitment to innovation that made it possible for Binance to navigate the entire application process. Since day one, Binance has always put its users first, and now the crypto community can have even further confidence in Binance France as a trusted DASP registered in France,” he added.

Mr David Princay, CEO of Binance France added, “The registration of Binance France as a DASP is a key milestone for crypto in Europe. In particular, the new levels of protection for AML will help grow crypto adoption in France and Europe. Greater adoption will help bring better liquidity to the market which will be welcomed by users and the community in particular.”

Following the registration, Binance will significantly expand its operations and intends to recruit more people focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure development.

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Economy

We’ll Sustain High Level of Corporate Governance—Seplat

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Seplat

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The immediate past chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka (ABC) Orjiako, has assured that the company will continue to sustain a high level of corporate governance.

Speaking last Thursday at the closing gong ceremony to honour him and introduce his successor, Mr Basil Omiyi, to the market, the energy expert applauded the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited for insisting on transparent and accountable corporate governance for issuers on its platform.

According to him, this has been critical to the company’s growth, assuring that this trend would be maintained in the interest of the firm’s stakeholders.

“The high level of corporate governance promoted by NGX for its listed companies was a key attribute that motivated Seplat Energy Plc to become part of the market.

“Since our acceptance into the market, Seplat Energy Plc has continued to deliver a corporate governance structure that is accountable and transparent to our investors, employees, government and all other relevant stakeholders.

“We are committed to sustaining these high levels of corporate governance through our collaboration with NGX as we implement market-leading measures towards ensuring Nigeria achieves a sustainable energy sector,” he said.

Corroborating him, Mr Omiyi, said, “NGX has played an instrumental role in Seplat Energy Plc’s growth within the domestic and international markets. Our history with the exchange dates back to 2014 when the shares of Seplat Energy Plc were listed in the market and over the years, Seplat has benefitted immensely from its collaboration with NGX.

“As we celebrate another milestone on the Trading Floor of the Exchange, we look forward to strengthening our partnership with NGX for the fulfilment of our joint goal of leveraging capital to empower sustainable initiatives that positively impact our investors, employees, and the environment.”

The chairman of NGX, Mr A.B. Mahmoud, in his address, congratulated Mr Orjiako for his exemplary leadership and outstanding performance of Seplat Energy for well over a decade, during which the company was listed on both NGX and the London Stock Exchange.

“The notable acquisition of eight oil and gas assets, expansion of the Oben and development of the ANOH gas plants under his leadership positioned the company as the largest indigenous domestic supplier of gas,” Mr Mahmoud, who was represented by a director on the bourse, Mr Kamarudeen Oladosu, he noted.

On his part, the CEO of NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, said, “The exchange is better positioned to lead government advocacy efforts for listed companies, promote technology advancement and digital innovation for the capital market, and increase retail investor participation in the capital market aimed at building a market for the future and addressing the prevailing challenge of financial inclusion.

“We welcome Seplat Energy Plc to a renewed NGX and look forward to deepening our collaboration to develop and push for disruptive, out of the box ideas that could support Nigeria’s energy transition into a net-zero economy.”

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Economy

JUST IN: CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 13%

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killing interest rate

By Dipo Olowookere

For the first time in two years, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has been raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 13.0 per cent from 11.5 per cent.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the CBN, who announced this development on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that the decision to increase the benchmark interest rate was taken at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held yesterday and today.

While addressing financial reporters this afternoon, Mr Emefiele said members of the committee were unanimous with the decision to hike the rates as it was the best thing to do after holding them for about two years.

According to the central bank chief, one of the reasons for raising the rate is to control liquidity ahead of the 2023 general elections as politicians would be expected to flood the system with cash in a bid to woo voters.

However, the other parameters were left unchanged by members at the gathering as the Asymmetric corridor remained around the MPR at +100/-700bps, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30.0 per cent.

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