Africa

Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund 2020 review shows loan portfolio topped $ 1 billion for the first time

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Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund 2020 review shows loan portfolio topped $ 1 billion for the first time

8 projects with EAIF loan commitment value of USD 243 million; Growth of committed loan portfolio of 19% year over year; Strengthening local capital markets with EAIF anchor support for two local currency bond issues Zimbabwe becomes the 18th African country in the current portfolio.

The long-term infrastructure debt business of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (www.PIDG.org), the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), saw its loan portfolio break through the $ 1 billion mark in 2020. EAIF signed eight new projects, bringing the book value of the loan to US $ 1.04 billion. The Fund committed $ 243 million in new loans to companies in digital and telecommunications, power generation, manufacturing, transportation and logistics and bulk storage.

Managed by Ninety One, EAIF provides loans primarily to private sector infrastructure developers across Africa and parts of the Levant. It can typically lend between US $ 10 million and US $ 65 million and can lend to 10 infrastructure sectors. In 2020, Zimbabwe became the 18th African country in the Fund’s current loan portfolio to benefit from EAIF support. EAIF has loaned $ 43.7 million to Zimborders, the company that won the Zimbabwe government concession to modernize one of the country’s most important border crossings. The $ 296 million project is in Beitbridge, on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The development includes substantial ancillary infrastructure which will ultimately be transferred to community ownership.

Martijn Proos, EAIF director at Ninety One, says;

“To have signed so many agreements in one of the most difficult years in recent global history is a huge compliment to our borrowers, PIDG, our homeowners, our lenders and all of the many governments, institutions. financial and professional advisers we have worked with. 2020. The main objectives of the EAIF are the mobilization of private capital to strengthen Africa’s economic resilience, helping to build sustainable economies and contributing to poverty reduction. Our activities will help many parts of Africa recover from COVID-19 and will have a long-term economic impact. ”

The Zimbabwe transaction saw EAIF play an important role in structuring the project economy. In the two digital and telecommunications bond issues it supported, EAIF was a benchmark investor. As part of the local bond issue of Sonatel of Senegal, XOF 100 billion was raised to invest in the extension of Sonatel’s 4G + network and in new activities such as energy, banking and multimedia content. . With this transaction, EAIF supported a key regional infrastructure company and the development of Senegal’s financial markets.

A bond issue in London by Helios Towers plc raised US $ 750 million. Helios Towers operates over 7,000 telecommunications towers, primarily in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville and Ghana and has recently established a presence in South Africa.

Tom Greenwood, CFO at Helios Towers, said following the London show’s success;

“The presence of EAIF as a benchmark investor was an important signal for private investors and contributed to the positive market sentiment that welcomed the issue. Their anchor investment has helped us effectively reopen the African corporate debt capital market. The EAIF has fully supported Helios Towers since its inception. Once again, we are delighted to involve him in our success. ”

As part of another digital and telecommunications deal, EAIF worked with the French development finance institution, Proparco, providing up to US $ 40 million for a total loan of US $ 100 million. of US dollars to the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The loan is part of a major investment program planned by WIOCC in East and Southern Africa.

A central element of the PIDG strategy is supporting the creation and growth of Special Enterprise Zones (SEZ). The EAIF was the benchmark investor in the issuance of local currency bonds by the Dakar Port Authority (PAD) which raised more than XOF 60 billion. The proceeds of the PAD bond will help finance the relocation of the port of Dakar from the center of the Senegalese capital to a new deep-water location. The port will be part of the interconnected transport nodes of the new special economic zone. In Nigeria, EAIF supported an Indorama Eleme project to improve productivity and energy conservation at its fertilizer plant in Port Harcourt. In the energy sector, the Fund has lent to projects in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

As COVID-19 spread across the world, the Fund worked with PIDG and PIDG TA on grant programs to help a number of its borrowers with public health materials and communication materials on the health and safety. Progressive health and safety, environmental and social (HSES) standards and the empowerment of women are fundamental to EAIF and PIDG. Each loan application must demonstrate the company’s commitment and transparency in these areas and issues are closely monitored throughout the life of the loans.

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