RMB Westport says West is best

Posted On Monday, 08 October 2012 07:49 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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RMB Westport recently raised US$250-million for its Real Estate Development Fund aimed at developing real estate assets in west Africa.

RMBThis unprecedented amount of committed investor capital is earmarked to supply Africa’s current strong demand for high-grade retail and commercial property.

RMB Westport opened its doors in 2008 when Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)‚ through its Real Estate Investment Banking division entered into a joint venture with the Westport Property Group to combine west African property development skills‚ capital and investing expertise to enable the construction and development of high-grade retail‚ commercial and industrial property assets in key growth nodes of sub-Saharan Africa.

RMB Westport has earmarked Nigeria‚ Ghana and Angola as key jurisdictions in which to develop retail and commercial property going forward. “We believe in the African growth story. Over the past decade‚ African economic output has more than tripled‚ which is one of the many reasons we think that Africa today holds the greatest overall investment potential for all frontier markets globally‚” says Michael O'Malley‚ Director of RMB Westport who has spent the past 20 years working on retail and mixed-use projects in 12 African countries.

- O’Malley says the discovery of oil in Ghana will likely lead to a further increase in investor interest and subsequent demand for office and industrial space.

RMB Westport is no newcomer to Africa. Some of RMB Westport’s biggest projects (at various levels of completion) include: Icon House and Accra Financial Centre (A-grade buildings in Ghana); Ikeja City Mall (the largest shopping mall in Nigeria); Osapa Retail (Phase I) and Project Wings (Office and retail property in Nigeria) and recently the Junction Shopping Centre (retail property in Accra‚ Ghana).

“Africa currently has the world’s highest rate of urbanisation. This migration‚ along with Africa’s growing middle-class further reinforces the need for high grade office space and retail buildings in urban areas. The city of Luanda was for example built for a population of 300 000 and currently has over six million inhabitants‚” adds Alan Wilson‚ CFO of Westport.

Wilson says that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently forecast Nigeria’s economy to grow by 6.9% – a rate which‚ if sustained‚ will eventually lead to Nigeria overtaking South Africa as the largest economy in Africa.

“We believe that regulatory reforms in Nigeria‚ along with its sheer population size‚ oil wealth and strong economic growth trend‚ make it a market that is difficult to ignore‚” adds Wilson.

Although many property developers and financiers play in this highly competitive industry‚ RMB Westport believes their delivery of property development projects on time and on budget‚ will continue to stand them in good stead. The team has extensive experience in real estate development in Africa over a number of years.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:20

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