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Five minutes with… Quantum Global chairman Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais

Five minutes with… Quantum Global chairman Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais

The global investment firm is planning to open an office in Dubai to further boost its Africa presence

1. Quantum Global has recently announced expansions plans into Africa and the Middle East. Can you elaborate?

The expansion plan of Quantum Global is part of our objective to increase investor access to Africa’s vast development potential through our investment funds that focus on high growth industry sectors.

Dubai is the financial hub in the Middle East and a gateway for investments into Africa. With its strong air connectivity and ease of doing business, the city is quite rightly the regional headquarters of international businesses looking to do business in this region or expand into Africa. The latter is of particular interest to us.

We have already begun the legal registration process to open a representative office in Dubai. The new office will offer financial advisory services to Asian and Middle Eastern investors looking to tap into the development potential that Africa offers.

In addition to this, we have planned strategic offices across Africa in Angola, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria. We will also broaden the scope of our investment services by supporting our offering of financial advisory services, actively sourcing deals and supporting our offering for local private equity investments.

2. Can you provide any further details about your funds in Africa?

With initial planned investments totaling $3bn over the next three to five years, we have established seven dedicated private equity funds that will target high growth industries such as agriculture, healthcare, timber, mining, hospitality, infrastructure and mezzanine investments. The funds will promote regional growth by developing a portfolio of assets.

3. How is the overall African economy performing at the moment?

Despite the current global volatility, which I believe has impacted everyone, Africa remains one of the most exciting markets to invest in due to its growth potential and young population.

We have also seen African governments putting a special emphasis on diversifying away from hydrocarbons and natural resources. This has led to a growth of other non-oil sectors such as agribusiness, timber, mining, healthcare, infrastructure, IT and telecom.

African nations such as Angola, Kenya, and Nigeria are experiencing economic growth and measures have been taken to attract foreign investors, particularly in the development of business-critical infrastructure and highly targeted support for alternative industries such as agriculture and technology.

4. Which sectors in specific would you recommend to investors?

African nations are actively looking to diversify their economies and consequently offering various incentives to foreign investors looking to invest in non-oil sectors.

Therefore, industries such as agriculture, education, healthcare, hospitality, mining, technology, timber, and infrastructure offer unique propositions to investors in the form of direct investments or public-private partnerships. Renewables is also a focus for technological innovation, which many African countries are actively pursuing.

5. With all the bureaucratic hurdles of investing in Africa, do you think Arab investors will look favourably at the market?

The lack of availability of capital for small and medium sized businesses is a challenge in Africa. Banks are reluctant to offer capital to young businesses which is hampering the growth of the SME sector in the continent.

In our experience, African governments recognise the potential of SMEs for the wider national economy and consequently efforts are being undertaken to support small businesses.

Africa remains a resilient continent that continues to attract investors towards it. There is massive development in Africa, there is a growing population with increased demand for quality goods and services and I’m sure any business entity that establishes its presence in the continent today will reap the benefits in the long run.

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