By Abdi Ali
PublishedMarch 7, 2016
African capital markets are likely to face challenging times in 2016.
Africa Capital Markets Watch 2015, a publication of PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC), says these challenges could spring from â€œmarket volatility and the emergence of renewed global economic uncertainty.â€
Even then, PwC says, growth across Africa shall â€œrequire continued investmentâ€ in sectors such as â€œinfrastructure, agriculture, financial services, and telecommunications, alongside other industries more traditionally associated with Africa.â€
The five-year report analyses equity and debt capital markets transactions that took place between 2011 and 2015 on exchanges throughout Africa. It also looks at transactions by African companies on international exchanges. Equity capital markets (ECM) transactions included in the analysis comprise capital raising activities, whether initial public offerings (IPOs) or further offers (FOs), by African companies on exchanges worldwide, as well as those made by non-African companies on African exchanges. Debt capital markets (DCM) transactions analysed include debt funding raised by African companies and public institutions.
Nicholas Ganz, PwC Africa Capital Markets Leader, says: â€œAt 31 December 2015, African exchanges had a market capitalisation of about US$1 trillion, with 23% of this value residing on exchanges outside of South Africa. Though statistics cannot be interpreted in isolation, certain metrics commonly used to analyse global market performance, such as the market capitalisation-to-GDP ratio, suggest that untapped value remains in Africaâ€™s capital markets.â€
Overall, US$12.7bn was raised in 2015 in ECM activity across the continent. Over the past five years, there have been 441 African ECM transactions raising US$41.3bn.
There was a steady overall increase in IPOs of 12% in terms of transaction volume and 17% in terms of US dollar denominated value in 2015 over the previous year. However, 72% of 2015 IPO value and 54% of IPO volume was carried out during the first half of the year, reflective of the relatively higher levels of consumer confidence as compared to the second half of 2015.
Over the past five years, there have been 105 IPOs raising US$6.1bn by African companies on exchanges worldwide and non-African companies on African exchanges. The top 10 African IPOs by value in 2015 took place in South Africa, Egypt and Morocco.
In 2015, capital raised from IPOs by companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in US dollar terms decreased by 11% as compared to 2014, largely due to the weakening of the South African Rand during the year; noteworthy is that the Rand value of IPO capital raised on the JSE in 2015 increased by 11% over 2014 levels. Capital raised from IPOs by companies on other African exchanges in US dollars increased slightly by 3% as compared to 2014. In terms of volume, the JSE saw a 33% increase in the number of IPOs as compared to 2014, and listings on the JSEâ€™s AltX more than doubled.
Over the past five years, the JSE has led African exchanges in terms of IPO transactions and capital raised, at US$2.7bn. In second place in terms of IPO transaction volume after the JSE was the Bourse de Tunis with 23 issuances, while in second place by capital raised was the Egyptian Exchange with $861m. In third place in terms of volume was the Casablanca Stock Exchange with 7 issuances, and third by capital raised was the Nigerian Stock Exchange with US$751m, over 70% of which relates to 2014 SEPLAT IPO.
Since 2011, capital raised from IPOs by companies on the JSE represented 45% of the total African IPO capital and 33% of the total transaction volume.
Coenraad Richardson, PwC South Africa Capital Markets Partner, says: â€œThe JSE remains a significant anchor of African capital markets activity, with a ranking of second in the world for exchange regulation and a leading global ranking for ease of raising debt and equity capital, according to the World Economic Forumâ€™s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016.â€
On a sector basis, the financial services sector continued to dominate the African IPO market during 2015 at 46% of total value and 50% of total volume, followed by industrial, health care and consumer goods sectors in terms of value.
Over the past five years, there have been 336 FOs raising US$35.2bn by African companies on both African and international exchanges.
â€œThough the growth rate of 2015 FO activity did not match that of the prior year, the trend remained distinctively positive,â€ adds Andrew Del Boccio, PwC Associate Director in charge of Capital Markets for South Africa.
During 2015, FO activity increased by 20% in terms of transaction volume and by 13% in terms of US dollar value as compared to 2014.
In 2015, capital raised from FOs by companies on the JSE, specifically, increased by 17% (in US dollar terms), whereas proceeds from FOs on other African exchanges decreased by 30% from US$1.2bn in 2014 to US$827m.
Over the five year period, the vast majority of FO activity was from sub-Saharan African countries, with 76% and 86% of total FOs volume and value, respectively.
Between 2011 and 2015, capital raised from FOs by companies on the JSE represented 85% of the total African FO capital raised and 67% of the total transaction value. Over this period, in second place in terms of both FO volume and value was the Egyptian Exchange followed by the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
On a sector basis, FOs were slightly lower than the five-year average in the financial sector during 2015. There was a significant increase in the technology sector from 7% on average to 23%, driven largely by a December rights issue by Naspers.
African DCM activity has declined since its peak in 2013. Over the past five years, 489 debt transactions took place on African debt markets or, more commonly, by African companies on international markets, raising US$110.2bn, of which 72% was US dollar-denominated. The average of proceeds raised in 2015 was US$411m per transaction, US$85m higher than 2014â€™s average of US$326m and 83% higher than the average per transaction over the past five years of US$225m.
Darrell McGraw, PwC Nigeria Capital Markets Partner, says: â€œDespite challenging economic times, which are felt heavily in Nigeria, 2016 will be pivotal as companies will be looking to reassess their strategies, which may include divesting of non-core businesses. This will create an opportunity for cash-rich investors, or other corporates to tap into the local debt markets to raise domestic currency bonds. Until relative certainty returns to the currency markets, the popularity of US dollar denominated bonds is likely to taper.â€