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Imara focused primarily on African listed equities

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Steff ens highlighted that Corporate finance has a strong client base in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, particularly with companies listed on the local stock exchanges.

OAITSE MATHALA

Imara Holdings Limited has indicated that its asset management activities are focused primarily on African listed equities, following a challenging year which saw sub-Saharan African markets in which Imara operates, suffering from weak commodity prices which led to sharp declines in currencies, difficult economic conditions, lower share prices and reduced equity trading volumes.
These conditions, according to Imara Chairman, Gunter Steffens, adversely impacted all their businesses which are highly leveraged to African economic conditions. This resulted in Imara incurring a P13.38 million pre-tax loss in 2016 “before one-off items from continuing operations.”
The Company said it is actively exploring the possibility of broadening its asset management product range into fixed income and real estate products which would require longer time commitments from investors, noting that this would offer existing and new clients a wider product range and reduce Imara’s sensitivity to African equity capital markets and exposure to short-term redemption risk.
“Private equity is being targeted to provide capital on a deal-by-deal basis to growing African companies before establishing a fund. The approach is to generate transaction opportunities from Imara’s strong in-country local networks and to source capital from our proprietary investor base in Europe and North America. There is a natural lead time to source, assess and execute private equity transactions and the team is well progressed with a number of transactions,” the chairman said in his statement following the financial results for the year ended 30 April 2016.
He maintained that in line with other African asset classes, private equity values fell during the year which now provide attractive investment opportunities for a new entrant.
Steffens highlighted that corporate finance has a strong client base in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, particularly with companies listed on the local stock exchanges. “Depressed share prices and limited liquidity have, however, led to reduced corporate finance activity in these relatively small markets. New initiatives are underway to broaden corporate finance’s geographic range by developing partnerships with leading local stockbrokers in certain East African countries which have large, growing and under developed capital markets. Imara’s African brand and financial advisory skills are attractive and exportable to other markets,” he said.

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