Knowledge

A list of feature articles and thought pieces by the Verdant Capital team in leading industry publications.

Receivables Finance: Innovative approaches to unlocking Access to Finance for African SMEs

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Publication: Making Finance Work for Africa Blog

Date: 8 June 2020

Making Finance Work for Africa Logo

Restricted access to finance for SMEs remains a roadblock to growth for economies worldwide. Economies across the African continent remain no different: in South Africa, where SMEs are estimated to employ between 30 and 50% of the workforce and contribute 20% of GDP[1], the estimated credit gap for SMEs in SA between $6 and $23 billion;[2] in Kenya, recent estimates put the MSME Finance gap as a percentage of GDP at 31%, totalling nearly $20 billion.[3] Similar estimates put SMEs providing 80% of the country’s employment and contributing 20% of GDP;[4] and  in Côte d’Ivoire, 2016 government reports indicated that […]

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SPECIAL REPORT: One Size Does Not Fit All – Restructuring for Uncertain Times, from Verdant Capital

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, May 2020

Date: 1 June 2020

MicroCapital

This sponsored content was written by Edmund Higenbottam and Patrick Ball, who serve, respectively, as the Managing Director and a Director of Verdant Capital. Verdant Capital is a leading specialist financial advisory firm that operates across Africa. A combination of factors is challenging the economic sustainability of financial institutions and other businesses large and small across Africa. Globally, the COVID-19 crisis and associated lockdowns have had the effect of “calling the end of a long bull market” that has run since the credit crisis of 2008. In most African markets, however, the bull market had already ended some years before […]

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Hybrid Capital Solutions to Support the Next Phase of Inclusive Growth

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, October 2018

Date: 17 November 2018

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, […]

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Banking on the Future (DRC)

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Date: 19 October 2018

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 […]

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

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, May 2018

Date: 5 May 2018

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 […]

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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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Publication: Banker Africa Issue 42 March 2017, CPI Financial March 2017

Date: 24 March 2017

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 to the lending institutions on the ground, and (iv) finally, financial inclusion has become a mainstream segment for a broad […]

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

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, February 2017, Vol 12: Issue 2

Date: 16 February 2017

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 alternative finance sector covers a range of credit institutions which […]

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Raising Funds for Non-bank Financial Institutions in Africa

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, January 2017, Vol 12: Issue 1

Date: 14 January 2017

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 banks, have roots as NBFIs. In South Africa, the deepest and broadest […]

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Is technology the key disruptor of financial services across Africa?

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Publication: Deal Makers Africa, Vol 9: No 2, 2016

Date: 19 August 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 including technology and innovation changing the shape of asset origination, as […]

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Has the gloss come off the Africa rising narrative?

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Publication: Deal Makers Africa, Vol 8: No 4

Date: 16 February 2016

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, such as Nigeria and Angola – 18 months on from […]

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