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FirstRand Unit Raises $250 Million for West African Property

FirstRand Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest financial-services company, said the property unit of its investment banking arm raised $250 million to develop real estate in West Africa.

The money will be used to supply the “strong demand for high-grade retail and commercial property,” Johannesburg-based RMB Westport said in an e-mailed statement today. Nigeria, Ghana and Angola have been “earmarked as key jurisdictions in which to develop retail and commercial property.”

An increasing proportion of Africa’s population is moving into urban areas as economic growth quickens, with houses and malls being built in major cities including Accra, Abuja and Luanda, the capitals of Ghana, Nigeria and Angola respectively.

“Over the past decade, African economic output has more than tripled, which is one of the many reasons we think that Africa today holds the greatest overall investment potential for all frontier markets globally,” Michael O’Malley, a director of RMB Westport, said in the statement.

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