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Pension schemes seek to partner with US funds


Zamara chief executive officer Sundeep Raichura. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A consortium of local pension schemes is seeking a partnership with a group of US funds to co-invest in large infrastructure and housing projects in the country.

The Kenya Pension Fund Investment Consortium says it has opened talks with the US funds under the umbrella of the American programme known as Mobilising Institutional Investors to Develop Africa’s Infrastructure (MiDA).

The local consortium is made up of 12 funds that collectively control an asset base of Sh204 billion.

“We have been speaking to them (Mida) for the past two months, where we are looking to create a partnership so that local pension funds can co-invest with their US and global counterparts,” said Zamara chief executive officer Sundeep Raichura who spoke on behalf of the consortium.

“We get a lot of comfort when we see global funds co-invest with us, and likewise, they get confidence to invest in Kenya when they see local fund participation in projects.”

The consortium is eyeing an investment in affordable housing under the government’s Big Four plan, as well as private public partnership projects in road infrastructure and power projects.

Kenyan pension funds’ assets were worth Sh1.17 trillion as at June this year, with the bulk deployed in government securities and listed equities.

The member schemes say their collective approach will allow them invest in the capital intensive projects that would ordinarily be a challenge if the funds were to invest individually, hence the move to seek partnerships both locally and with the US counterparts.

MiDA was set up after the second US-Africa Business Forum in September 2016, designed to help US institutions invest in African infrastructure in the sectors of power, transport and real estate.

It is a collaboration between the US National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) and USAid, with a membership of 30 pension fund foundations and insurance groups.

Since June last year, MiDA members have invested up to $700 million (Sh70 billion) in Africa, largely in West and Southern Africa.

MiDA managing director Aymeric Saha said the programme is seeking investments in Kenya and other African countries due to higher returns in the markets.