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West Africa Property Investment Summit To Showcase Ghana Growth



West Africa Property Investment Summit To Showcase Ghana Growth


By Modupe Gbadeyanka

From tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16 to Wednesday, November 17, 2016, experts in the property investment industry in Africa and the world will converge in Accra, Ghana, for the annual West Africa Property Investment Summit.

They will meet to discuss the challenges, opportunities and the future of real estate in the West African region.

The event is expected to take place at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana’s capital city.

Despite very often receiving less coverage than its powerhouse cousin Nigeria, the summit’s host nation has emerged as a powerful real estate investment destination, and a favourable endorsement from the World Bank as West Africa’s “best place to do business.”

Ghana seems to be on the upswing despite some significant struggles in 2014 and 2015. This followed IMF approval of a $116.2 million disbursement to the country, which has resulted into significant improvements in power supply, exchange rates and the local currency, the Cedi, which is stabilizing.

These changes, coupled with the emergence of significant improvements in the housing, retail and commercial sectors, and some pioneering mixed-use developments on the horizon present the possibility for a brighter Ghanaian future. These improvements make it far easier to believe the growing sentiment that Ghana is rising and Ghana is doing well. Ghana recently received a solid credit rating from Moody’s, which was followed by equally positive ratings by Fitch as well as Standards and Poors.

The West African retail market has been revolutionized over the past ten years. There has been considerable growth in the sector which has meant a significant change in the view of retail investment in the region. But recent economic challenges have made it difficult for the sector to continue to flourish in the same way as previous years. Even the best retail spaces are struggling to incentivize the right number of tenants, but the Ghanaian market has weathered this challenge by adjusting its tactics. Broll Ghana CEO, Kofi Ampong explains.

“To ease the increasing pressure on landlords, given the prevailing market realities of higher vacancy rates, some Landlords in order to drive occupancy in their malls have adopted a strategy of subdividing larger boxes originally meant for one tenant for use by multiple tenants in order to reduce vacancy rates,” he says.

In particular, the residential market in Ghana is at its most active in recent history, registering over 85,000 transactions a year over the past decade. However, with an abundance of new residential developments both in the pipeline and coming to fruition on the back of weakened consumer purchasing power, it is difficult to know whether the market will boom as a result, or suffer from oversupply in middle to high income housing. Despite some challenges, the summit will tackle the potential for the Ghanaian housing market, and the missing links still required. General Manager at Devtraco Limited, Elvin Larkai, remains positive about the sector’s outlook.

“There are massive opportunities for Ghana’s housing sector. Demand continues to grow and this serves as an added incentive for real estate investors. Unfortunately, a lack of reliable data is impeding progress. We need such data to improve our products and services to house hunters. This would also lead to a more thriving industry, contributing immensely to the country’s economy,” he says.

While the predominant focus on real estate rests in the commercial and housing sectors, some companies are turning their attention to blends between the two. Rendeavour’s Appolonia City development is one such example – as a 2250 acre mixed-use and mixed-income in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area. The project is being developed for residential properties, retail and other commercial centres, as well as schools, healthcare and other social infrastructure. All local and national regulatory approvals have been met and a full land title certificate has been granted. The City has been planned to include key amenities and allow for the integration and flourishing of its two key elements.

“The combination of functions is the only way to create the quality people rightfully expect of urban developments in the 21st century. Mixed-use developments have been proven to stand the test of time and as future-proof real estate investments,” explains Holger Adam, Country Head for Rendeavour Ghana

While the 2016 election will play a major factor in Ghana’s trajectory, the landscape for investment is certainly more amenable than even just a year ago. With an internal structure being clearly established, and successful strategies and projects being implemented in the West African nation, current wisdom suggests the country will continue its upward real estate journey for some time.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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OPEC+ Likely to Keep Output Cut Levels as Group Meets April 3



OPEC Meeting US Stocks

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) will likely stick to its existing deal to cut oil output at a meeting on Monday, April 3.

According to Reuters, this was said disclosed by five delegates from the producer group after oil prices recovered following a drop to 15-month lows due to banking fears and demand worries.

Brent crude has recovered towards $80 a barrel after falling to near $70 on March 20 as fears ease about a global banking crisis and as a halt in exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan region curbs supplies.

OPEC+ is due to hold a virtual meeting of its ministerial monitoring panel, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday.

The consensus was that Kurdistan curbs and recent price drops were not sufficiently important to affect the overall OPEC+ policy path for 2023.

Kurdistan’s crude oil exports – around 400,000 barrels per day shipped through an Iraqi-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan and then on tankers to the international markets – were halted late last week by the federal government of Iraq.

Last week, the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favour of Iraq against Turkey in a dispute over crude flows from Kurdistan. Iraq had argued that Turkey shouldn’t allow Kurdish oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline and Ceyhan without approval from the federal government of Iraq.

Talks between officials from Kurdistan and from the Iraq federal government have failed in recent days, but they are set to continue next week.

Three other OPEC+ delegates also told Reuters that any policy changes were unlikely on Monday. After those talks, the next full OPEC+ meeting is not until June.

Last November, OPEC+ reduced its output target by 2 million barrels per day – the largest cut since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The same reduction applies for the whole of 2023.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, has said OPEC+ will stick to the reduced target until the end of the year.

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Oando to Quit Nigerian, Johannesburg Stock Exchanges



oando nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

The board of Oando Plc has informed the investing community of its intention to leave the Nigerian and Johannesburg stock exchanges in the coming months.

The reason for exiting the stock market, according to the energy firm, is to become a private company and to achieve this, its core investor, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited (OODP), has offered to buy all the shares held by minority shareholders in Oando.

OODP is offering to pay N7.07 in cash or its equivalent in South African Rand (ZAR) for each of the stock, which it said represents a 58 per cent premium to the last traded share price of Oando on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, being the day prior to the date it submitted the scheme application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Oando trades its shares on the floors of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

This news comes hours after the company announced that it had bounced back into profitability after years of dishing out losses to the frustration of shareholders.

In its unaudited financial results for 2021, Oando reported a profit after tax of N34.7 billion, in contrast to the loss after tax of N140.7 billion of the preceding year.

Before now, Oando has had it rough with regulators in Nigeria, leading to its suspension from the market and a court tussle over allegations that it tampered with its financial statements to deceive investors.

In the notice released this week, Oando said after the acquisition of “the shares of all minority shareholders in Oando,” it would “subsequently be delisted from NGX and JSE and re-registered as a private company.”

At the moment, the energy firm said it has “applied for the SEC’s No Objection to the scheme, noting that the deal is “subject to the approval of the shareholders of Oando at the Court-Ordered Meeting of the company, as well as the sanction of the Federal High Court.”

However, it disclosed that, “The terms and conditions of the transaction will be provided in the scheme document, which will be dispatched to all shareholders following the receipt of an order from the Federal High Court to convene a Court-Ordered Meeting,” promising to update the market “upon receipt of requisite approvals from shareholders and regulators.”

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Ajay Banga to Become World Bank President Unopposed



Ajay Banga World Bank

By Adedapo Adesanya

The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced Mr Ajay Banga, a US national, as the only nominee for the position of the bank’s next president and may clinch the post if he passes the next hurdle.

This was contained in a statement issued by the World Bank on Friday.

“The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today confirmed that, as announced on February 22, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank Group closed on Wednesday at 6:00 pm ET.”

“The board received one nomination and would like to announce that Ajay Banga, a US national, will be considered for the position.

“In accordance with established procedures, the Board of Executive Directors will conduct a formal interview with the candidate in Washington D.C., and expect to conclude the Presidential election in due course,” the board said.

US President Joe Biden in February nominated Mr Banga to lead the World Bank, saying he is “well equipped” to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history.”

No other country proposed an alternate candidate for the prestigious post.

Mr Banga, 63, was born in India and is a naturalised US citizen. He has led Mastercard Inc and now currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic.

If confirmed, Mr Banga would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Mr Banga is expected to replace the current World Bank president, Mr David Malpass, who will step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire.

Mr Malpass faced strong criticism over the bank’s commitment to climate action and over his personal views on climate change.

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