Knowledge

Hybrid Capital Solutions to Support the Next Phase of Inclusive Growth

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In recent years, the Inclusive Financial Institution sector has grown significantly in Africa and elsewhere, driven in part by growth in the global specialist investor base supporting the sector, and in part due to the growth of local debt markets. In Africa, this growth has stretched the equity capital bases of many institutions – and of the sector as a whole – due to the narrow range of equity and equity-like capital sources and instruments available to these institutions. One solution to this problem is hybrid capital, an intermediate capital type that sits between debt and equity while meeting the regulatory capital requirements of financial institutions. In Africa,... View Article

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Banking on the Future (DRC)

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country with significant resources. Its surface area of 2.3 million square kilometres (km) spans the equivalent of two-thirds of the European Union. Despite its vast expanse, the country remains virtually unconnected due to the lack of basic infrastructure, agricultural production, and notable industrial base. As per the CIA World Factbook, only 2,794 km of paved road exists along with only 4,000 km of railways leaving the country disconnected and the population without access to affordable domestic transportation. In contrast to this reality, the DRC, with 80 million hectares of arable land and... View Article

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Special Report: “Aadhaar: Lessons for the African Continent?”

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In 2009, India launched the world’s largest IT project, i.e. the Aadhaar biometric identification program. The program is intended to drive social and financial inclusion, reform public-sector service delivery, improve fiscal management, increase convenience, etc. An Aadhaar number can be viewed as a permanent financial address. Considering that almost the entire Indian population is now enrolled in Aadhaar – the underprivileged as well as the rich – it also can be viewed as a tool for justice and equality. The program consists of the following: A demographic database with a 12-digit number for each person, secured by fingerprint and retina... View Article

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Driving financial inclusion in Africa: Verdant Capital has identified four main themes as the driving forces behind financial inclusion

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Originally published in Banker Africa,  Issue 42: March 2017 and, Published in CPI Financial, March 2017. Read the article here. A critical theme in terms of the development agenda in Africa is financial inclusion, meaning increasing the proportion of poorer people (including those who live in rural areas) who have access to financial services, for example basic savings products, credit and insurance. Persons without access to such services are said to be financially excluded. We identify four key themes driving financial inclusion in Africa: (i) technological change, (ii) adoption of best practice, (iii) the broadening of wholesale funding markets available... View Article

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The M&A Market in Africa’s Alternative Finance Sector

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Originally published in MicroCapital Monitor, February 2017 ,Vol 12: Issue 2 Headlines in the M&A market in Africa recent years seem to have been dominated by the to-ing and fro-ing of Anglo-South African giants such as Barclays Africa / ABSA and Old Mutual. However, the middle market in financial institutions has been perhaps more active. The M&A market in the alternative finance sector (non-bank or “speciality” lenders) has seen at least thirty transactions (excluding minority stakes) completed over the last five years, and activity levels remain robust over the last 18 months notwithstanding the slow-down of the M&A market overall. The... View Article

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Raising Funds for Non-bank Financial Institutions in Africa

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  Originally published in MicroCapital Monitor, January 2017 ,Vol 12: Issue 1 The non-bank financial institution (NBFI) sector, often referred to as the alternative finance sector or the shadow banking sector, around the world is largely dependent on the institutional market for funding. By regulation, NBFIs in most markets are prohibited from gathering deposits or restricted from transactional banking services, which are critical to attract deposits. In most markets, banks themselves are reluctant to lend to NBFIs, given the potential long-term competitive threat. For example, Capitec of South Africa and Equity Bank of Kenya, which are now very much fully-fledged... View Article

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Is technology the key disruptor of financial services across Africa?

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Originally published in Deal Makers Africa, Vol 9: No 2, 2016 In many markets on the African continent, significant growth in the number and breadth of financial services providers can be seen. This is in terms of the number of non-bank financial services providers who have reached critical mass in terms of size and scale, as well as the number of “non-traditional banks” (ie non-bank financial services providers) who have climbed the regulatory hierarchy and become deposit-taking banks (for example, Trustco in Namibia, and before them Capitec in South Africa). A number of critical factors have contributed to this trend... View Article

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Has the gloss come off the Africa rising narrative?

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Originally published in Deal Makers Africa, Vol 8: No 4 The historic combination of favourable macro-economic conditions for Africa began to reverse in 2013, with a weakening of most commodity prices as well as the taper tantrum in the global financial markets. Over the course of last year the decline in commodity prices has continued and even accelerated, and in December, the US Federal Reserve finally announced its first increase in interest rates for nearly a decade. Two to three years of falling commodity prices has now left governments grappling with meaningful current account and fiscal deficits. Previous economic darlings,... View Article

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