ONE of the biggest impediments to doing business in Africa has been lack of access to financing – many companies struggle to find enough capital to launch and expand their businesses.
But a South African investment-focused firm is stepping in to fill the gap, and has urged companies in South Africa to make the most of funding it has available to expand their operations to Ghana.
Kagiso Tiso Holdings, based in Johannesburg, has urged interested companies to present their business proposals assuring them it had funds available to assist them establish a footprint in the West African country.
The company has a positive track record at financing such expansions having previously funded such established companies as Fidelity Bank, which it financed with $30 million (about R360 million), in a transaction that propelled the bank’s entry into the Ghana financial services sector.
In an interview with Mail & Guardian Africa in Johannesburg, Kagiso Tiso Holdings Chief Investment Officer, Jacob Hinson, said his company would support companies with ambitions to expand to markets in Ghana, especially in the areas of food, healthcare, energy, insurance, transport, mining as well as information and communication technology.
Chief Investment Officer of Kagiso Tiso Holdings, Jacob Hinson.
“South African companies are looking for growth in Ghana and we are here to ensure those companies realise their dreams. Once they prepare their proposal that can be approved by our team, Kagiso Tiso Holdings will then support such viable projects to boost growth.
“Our door is open to those companies that have the appetite to grow. Companies are starved of capita and we are there to fill in that gap by supporting such companies wishing to grow. We also promote partnerships of Ghanaian and South African companies in order to grow fast,” said Hinson told Mail & Guardian Africa.
But the recent depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi has complicated the business environment, making imports more expensive.
Hinson cited an example when his company started supporting local Ghanaian companies when the US dollar was pegged at 1:2 against the local Ghana cedi pointing out now that the same dollar was trading at 4.4 cedi.
Hinson noted that of late, Ghana, West Africa’s second biggest economy after Nigeria, has been experiencing severe shortage of power saying his company would finance such companies with appetite to generate electricity, healthcare, food and manufacturing.
The current energy deficit in Ghana has had a debilitating effect on local industries.
“We are now beginning to see the green shoots of investment in the energy sector bursting through. We know that the energy deficit cannot be resolved without sound financial backing, so we support such viable companies,” he said.
Kagiso Tiso Holdings is a leading black-owned holding company with an asset base of $1.1 billion (R14 billion), which has performed consistently well over the past 15 years.
The firm is a merger between Kagiso Trust Investments (KTI) and Tiso Group, which was formally concluded on 1 July 2011.
Today, the firm’s investment is concentrated on three distinct investment sectors: financial services (investment banking, life insurance and asset management); resources (power and infrastructure sectors); and ICT (industrial and information communication technology and media).