Profica is sponsoring the African Property Investment (API) Summit.Join us for cocktails on the 18th August at 18h00 at the Maximillien Restaurant in the DaVinci Hotel – an excellent opportunity to relax and network after the debates of the day.
The API Summit takes place on the 18-19 August at Sandton Convention Centre. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss current trends and share industry experiences. Some of the agenda items up for discussion are particularly relevant to Profica and our clients:
AFRICAN ECONOMICS AND ITS EFFECTS ON REAL ESTATE
Despite the economic downturn, multinational companies, retailers and private equity funds continue to invest in Africa. With Africa’s largest countries looking to diversify their economies, real estate investment has received increased amounts of attention from policy makers throughout Africa because it is expected to be a substantial contributor to GDP going forward.
At Profica, we understand the diverse African market. Our experience spans over ten years in Africa and includes projects across the continent. The local insights offered by Profica have grown to the extent that we have become more than a project manager – offering development origination and support. We are often approached by landowners and can package viable opportunities for clients as we understand investment criteria and the risks inherent in particular regions.
BUILDING THE CASE FOR NEW MODERN LOGISTICAL HUBS IN AFRICA
The newly announced industrial developments in Nairobi, Lusaka, Accra and Lagos are a direct response to the demand for modern, flexible warehouse space with good access, circulation and loading facilities in the region. Profica has managed the York Commercial Park development in Lusaka, Zambia from inception, overseeing and managing the pre-development and land enablement as well as the construction of the services and infrastructure to turn agricultural land into a high tech logistics park. This ultra-modern logistics, warehousing and distribution park brings a unique ‘built-for-you’ concept to Lusaka, targeting both local and multinational companies with a unique business model of selling or leasing warehousing and light industrial units designed and constructed to clients’ own specifications. Profica is proud to be involved in this major development in a pivotal distribution hub at the centre of the Sub-Saharan African logistics routes.
SEIZING THE EAST AFRICAN MOMENT – HAS THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY FOR GROWTH SHIFTED FROM WEST TO EAST AFRICA?
Profica is seeing growth in both these regions, with two permanent offices in Ghana and Lagos looking after West Africa, and a permanent team in Kenya.
We’ve seen that countries in the East African region have been experiencing significant growth in mixed use facilities, modern office parks, and hotel space driven by rapid urbanisation, a growing middle class, high rental yields, technology innovation and sustainability with a drive toward green and open spaces. While we are seeing signs of a potential slowdown in the East African market due to global economic pressures, the trend for companies to start establishing secondary head offices for the East African region still indicates growth. While there is a potential oversupply of B and C grade office space in the market, there is still a demand for A grade space.We are working on a number of office fit-out projects stretching across all sectors of the market that will be completed during the course of the year.
There is currently a concern about an oversupply of hotels in Nairobi, but the pipeline represents an increase of 10% in the hotel rooms.These are primarily internationally branded hotels, which are currently underrepresented in the Kenyan marketplace. We closed out our Radisson Blu project in Upper Hill, Nairobi during May 2016, the venue for the East Africa API. This started out as a ‘rescue’ project and we are pleased to have completed it successfully. It was great to see the East African Property Investment Summit hosted there in April. Going forward, we have two hotel projects coming up in Nairobi.
On the West African side, the market in Nigeria has changed quite rapidly over the year and a half. The Central Bank of Nigeria implemented some drastic restrictions with respect to forex and this has had a marked influence and impact on the market. Many of the international investors, but not all, are reluctant to commit further investment at this juncture, until things turn around. Local investors have been impacted the most by the lack of forex to service debt, as debt is secured offshore. We know the region intimately as we have been operating in Nigeria since 2006, with a full time office for the last four years. Profica currently has 8 projects ongoing in Nigeria. Some of these are projects by South African and Nigerian investors, developers or funds, whilst others are being done by international companies such as Actis. Ghana has been slow over the last few years due to tough economic conditions. However, this is showing some light. We are currently in the ground with The Exchange project – a large mixed-use scheme, and busy with another three projects in various pre-construction phases.
FRANCOPHONE AFRICA: THE NEW FRONTIER
French-speaking African real estate markets have always been considered as enclaves of political instability with economic stagnation but Francophone Africa has stepped up its game in a big way. Investor and operator perception of these markets is now evolving rapidly with a number of large scale developments now in the pipeline.
Profica is well known for its capacity in Francophone Africa and we’re set for growth in the region. We recently added the completion of a new office for General Electric in addition to its previously completed fit-out project for Ericsson in Cote d’Ivoire to our growing portfolio of projects in these countries. We see great potential for development in these countries, with a particular focus on Cameroon and Ivory Coast where we have been engaged on two projects, both in very early stages – in Douala (Cameroon) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast). These should go to ground by the end of the year.
RETAIL IN AFRICA: Still the Next Big Thing?
With Africa’s property markets attracting increased interest from regional and international investors, the retail sector has become a major focus for development activity.
Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a wave of modern mall development, on the back of the growth of the region’s consumer markets. A range of local, regional and international operators are driving retail market activity across Africa – despite economic headwinds. Profica has been extensively engaged in the retail sector, from large greenfield regional shopping centres, to re-developments in live environments, to the coordination of tenants and tenant installations. We are now offering retail turnkey solutions throughout Africa. Further to a number of developments in South Africa, retail developments elsewhere on the continent include the Owerri, Jabi Lakes, Twin Lakes, Asaba, Delta, Warri, Silver Valley and Festival Malls in Nigeria, Garden City Mall in Kenya, and Kabulonga Mall in Zambia. Mixed- use developments include The Exchange in Ghana, Garden City in Kenya and our new project, The Avenues in Cameroon.
Join Profica at the API for essential insights and discussions at the leading forum of this nature in Africa.