Aug 04, 2008:
Standard Bank wants to expand its property finance activities into certain African countries, it said on Friday.
"We believe there is significant untapped potential in terms of developers and opportunities in Africa," said Gary Garrett, director of Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking's (CIB's) property finance unit.
He said key potential markets included Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana and Mauritius. Standard Bank is already involved in the development of a hotel in Seychelles.
In addition, Standard Bank CIB's real estate investments unit also wants to expand into the rest of Africa and selected international markets. Stewart Shaw-Taylor, head of the unit, said it was looking at Nigeria, Brazil, Russia and Turkey. The unit is involved in asset management joint ventures, and trading and strategic investments, and has over R9bn under management.
The unit owns a 50% interest in JSE-listed retail-focused Fountainhead Property Trust Management Limited, whose major assets are the Westgate and the Boulders shopping centres.
Shaw-Taylor said the unit planned to create its own emerging market real estate fund.
The unit's equity exposure to joint ventures is R267m, but Shaw-Taylor said the unit would increase the unit's exposure to R2bn in a year's time, partnering with developers, asset managers and investors.
Current JVs are a R60m share in Exchange Square, Sandton and R52m in Hillcrest Office Park.
The unit further planned to increase its equity investments, which are currently worth R1,1bn, in both direct and indirect real estate in South Africa, the rest of Africa and internationally.
Current investments in the listed property sector amount to R761m, and direct investments amount to R183m in the Rosebank Precinct site. - Tiisetso Motsoeneng, I-Net Bridge