Last week in brief… It was a tale of two extremes in Africa's private capital deal world last week. While a private equity real estate fund announced a significant final close, with the exception of one deal, direct investments in companies were on the small side, all under $20 million each.

The deal with the biggest dollar commitment came from South Africa's Public Investment Corporation or PIC, the investment manager for the Government Employees Pension Fund or GEPF. They're backing SA Home Loans with approximately $720 million to boost housing financing for government employees and other qualifying members of the public. It fits in neatly with the development investment mandate handed down by the pension fund to PIC by the GEPF.

The biggest fund close to take place in Africa for some time was also announced last week. Novare Private Equity held a $350 million final close for its second property investment fund at the end of June. The capital will be deployed in a number of retail, office and mixed-use developments in Nigeria, Mozambique and Zambia. A first close was held for the fund in mid-2014 and it has already has a number of projects underway. The pipeline of additional deals is apparently pretty healthy too.

In other deal news, DEG, Germany's development finance institution, has raised its stake in ZEP-RE by putting down another $14.63 million and take its holding in the Kenya-headquartered company to almost 15%. The capital will be used to fuel the re-insurer's expansion plans. DEG originally invested $15 million in the firm in late 2014.

TLG Capital is backing crowdfunding platform Homestrings in an undisclosed deal. The investment is being made via the private equity firm's Credit Opportunities Fund which was launched in January this year with a target of $150 million. The capital is being earmarked to ramp up Homestring's expansion activities, boosting their sales, marketing, origination and technology investment plans.

Meanwhile, publicly-listed Australian mining company Burey Gold is a recent beneficiary of an oversubscribed private placement, successfully raising A$11.6 million from a mix of institutional and professional private capital investors both in Australia and overseas. The capital will be used to accelerate exploration at its Giro Gold project, which consists of two exploitation permits covering a surface area of 610km², lying within the Kilo-Moto Belt, a significant under-explored greenstone belt located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some interesting perspective in a Financial Times' special report on Tanzania last week. With an economy that is among the fastest-growing in Africa, Tanzania is no longer an economic backwater. "Investing in Tanzania" looks at the current landscape in the country for investors, the opportunities presented as well as some of the challenges that they can anticipate.

In sector news, a report from A.M. Best flags up the risks posed to growth and stability in Africa's insurance sector by a combination of the commodity price slump, China's slowing economy and the US Fed's tightening monetary policy. Their report, which was published last week, assesses the impact of these factors on both life and non-life insurance markets.

And finally, some interesting people moves reported over the last week. Kevin Latter is joining J.P. Morgan's South Africa office as joint senior company officer and the firm's head of investment banking for Sub-Saharan Africa. His main focus will be on growing the New York-headquartered bank's presence on the continent. Hoda Atia Moustafa is to be the new Regional Head for Africa at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency or MIGA, the World Bank’s political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm. And Paul Badrick, who has been acting-CEO of Grant Thornton's South Africa office since February, has been officially confirmed in the position as of July 1st. He joined Grant Thornton in 2013 following the firm's merger with PKF where he had been a partner since 2006.

Allan Cunningham

Allan Cunningham

Allan Cunningham is a senior media executive who has spent the last 15 years of his career working for some of the world’s most respected M&A and Private Equity media companies including Dow Jones’s publications Private Equity Analyst and VentureWire and most recently, The Deal. He has built a number of successful digital and event content businesses, both subscription and sponsor-supported, delivering information and content-marketing services to clients in the M&A and broader deal ecosystem. He recently struck out on his own and launched Rowayton Press, a multi-platform media company focused on the private capital opportunities in emerging and frontier markets. Mr. Cunningham holds a Bachelors degree from Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.

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