Gulf eyeing up South Sudan for investment
Many investors from the oil and gas-rich Gulf region, including Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), are showing interest in investing in South Sudan, the “youngest” country in the world, a top executive in a Dubai-based investment bank said.
Eric Essigner, chairman and chief executive officer of Emirates Capital Limited, told Gulf News that the African country offers “a pioneer job in order to develop the whole country”.
“We are already in talks with several Sovereign Wealth Funds from the GCC and we already have received a tremendous interest from those entities, who not only would invest directly in cash, but also would like to expand their activities into of south of Sudan,” he said.
While he preferred not to mention any party at this stage, he said “most of them like to go into a county where they can participate in the tremendous growth of this country, But also in the direction of food procurement as well as other infrastructural investment, they are very very interested in.”
“I strongly believe that this is one in a lifetime opportunity to build a country and moreover, a pan-African hub,” he added.
Emirates Capital Limited, which is a European Merchant Bank offering services in investment management and Corporate Finance, has signed an investment agreement with the government of South Sudan during the visit of South Sudanese Vice-President Riek Machar to Dubai last month. In an interview with Gulf News, Machar said his government is working on attracting foreign investment to develop its infrastructure and accelerate its economic wheel.
According to the agreement, Emirates Capital Limited will mandate the first-ever Investment Fund initiated by GPS3 investments and dedicated to the development of African country.
Already, the government of South Sudan has put a 5-year-plan that is going up to $55 billion (Dh202 billion).
And according to the agreement reached in Dubai, the government of Sudan has made an allocation to the investment fund in the amount of 35,000 barrel of oil per day for the duration of 20 years, explained Essiger. This will be equivalent to $25 billion. While Emirates Capital and its partners will raise the amount of $30 billion from the international community in the form of direct investment.
Essiger noted that “we are very confident that we will be able to raise the remaining amount from the international community. As a matter of fact, we have already letters of interest of about $20 billion investments.”
South Sudan offers foreign investors scores of opportunities in different fields, said Eric Essiger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the investment Bank of Emirates Capital Limited.
These opportunities include infrastructure, agriculture, mining and energy in the oil-rich African country that became independent in 2011, added Essigner.
“When we say that we are focusing on energy, that means they are looking towards building a refinery, but in addition, they plan to build pipelines other than the one currently existing. And there will be additional petrochemical units based out of the refinery, which will be one of the initial investment in this direction.”