Mer­cury As­set Part­ners taps $USD600 mil­lion pool; plans to set up an In­vest­ment Bank for Con­struc­tion Fi­nance in Zam­bia

Zambian Business Times - - BUSINESS REVIEW -

MECURY AS­SET PART­NERS - MAP, a multi­na­tional fi­nanc­ing and lo­gis­tics plans to estab­lish an In­vest­ment Bank for Con­struc­tion Fi­nance in Zam­bia. The lo­gis­tics and in­vest­ment com­pany has amassed a pool of funds to­tal­ing $USD600mil­lion for this cause. The con­struc­tion tar­geted will range from hous­ing to so­lar projects es­pe­cially at a time that re­new­able en­ergy is at its peak fol­low­ing en­ergy bot­tle­necks and the hous­ing deficit Zam­bia ex­pe­ri­ences. The con­struc­tion of the hous­ing will ex­tend to aux­il­iary in­fra­struc­ture such as paved roads, sewer retic­u­la­tion, wa­ter retic­u­la­tion, elec­tric­ity sup­ply, schools, clin­ics, shop­ping malls, among oth­ers. With a grow­ing and ex­pand­ing econ­omy Zam­bia’s con­struc­tion agenda as per 2017 bud­get speech is very ag­gres­sive and ac­counts for about over 85% of the bud­get.

These rev­e­la­tions came to light when a Min­istry of Hous­ing and In­fra­struc­ture Devel­op­ment del­e­ga­tion led by the Min­is­ter, Mr. Ron­ald Chi­totela dated Mer­cury As­set Part­ners group in Wash­ing­ton D.C.

MAP had ear­lier in Q3 2017 the gov­ern­ment of Zam­bia signed an MoU with Mer­cury As­set Part­ners for erec­tion of over 5,000 hous­ing units in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in the coun­try.

The Min­is­ter said Gov­ern­ment wants to grow eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties by open­ing Zam­bia to more for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment through in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment.

Mer­cury As­set Part­ners ex­pressed de­ter­mi­na­tion in part­ner­ing with the state to drive the con­struc­tion agenda and that they will con­tinue with meet­ings that have ad­vanced with the Na­tional Hous­ing Author­ity – NHA in this vein, Founder of Mer­cury As­set Part­ners Julie Bwalya af­firmed.

Eco­nomic Note of the $USD600mil­lion con­struc­tion Fund

We load the in­ten­tion for the setup of a con­struc­tion fund to the tune of $USD600mil­lion. How­ever, what is key in the devel­op­ment is that this for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment should ben­e­fit Zam­bians not only from an in­fra­struc­ture per­spec­tive but from an em­ploy­ment per­spec­tive at the In­vest­ment Bank through hir­ing of Zam­bian In­vest­ment bankers, con­struc­tion work­ers at the build­ing projects and from lo­cal raw ma­te­rial ac­qui­si­tion such as ce­ment and other in­puts. The na­tion has seen the in­crease in con­struc­tion pro­ject num­bers yet very un­trace­able to min­i­mal im­pact on the econ­omy gen­er­ally. $USD600mil­lion has the abil­ity to im­pact fi­nan­cial mar­kets from a for­eign ex­change con­ver­sion per­spec­tive if Zam­bian ma­te­ri­als will be used in ad­di­tion to a mul­ti­plier ef­fects if lo­cal sup­plier busi­nesses are con­tracted. Zam­bia must now be strate­giz­ing on how a bal­ance of pay­ment can be nar­rowed through us­age of con­struc­tion con­tracts like the $USD600mil­lion in ques­tion. The na­tion has a chance to start to solve some of its prob­lems such as bud­get deficits and widened bal­ance of pay­ment us­ing lo­cal means than re­ly­ing on long awaited deals with mul­ti­lat­er­als which cur­rently seem a mi­rage.

“Con­struc­tion can be used to nar­row bal­ance of pay­ment po­si­tions if raw ma­te­ri­als are lo­cally sourced such as ce­ment. Pri­or­ity on di­rect ben­e­fits must be on lo­cals such as em­ploy­ments and sub­con­tract­ing of lo­cal en­ti­ties to carry out most works” Busi­ness Times Re­search note

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