Low val­u­a­tions drive loan de­mand

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES -

CIT­I­GROUP, sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa’s top loan ar­ranger in 2016, ex­pects in­creased sov­er­eign de­mand and merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions to drive lend­ing in the re­gion this year as low val­u­a­tions spur deals. “Lots of fi­nanc­ing ac­tiv­ity is ex­pected in 2017,” Aziz Rah­man, the bank’s head of cor­po­rate fi­nance in the re­gion, said on Mon­day. Loans to sov­er­eigns and cor­po­rates will in­crease as merger and ac­qui­si­tion deals rise and in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing picks up, he said. A to­tal of $34.3 bil­lion (R464.5bn) in loans were ar­ranged for bor­row­ers in the re­gion last year, ac­cord­ing to data compiled by Bloomberg. Cit­i­group re­claimed its po­si­tion as the top loan ar­ranger in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa for the first time since 2008, edg­ing out Stan­dard Char­tered, which had held the top spot since 2011. – Bloomberg

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