Prospectors detect hidden gems for Nigerian private equity

Big deal: Private equity firm Helios has invested in the petrol stations of energy company Oando.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s trove of precious metals and gems once funded the expansion of colonial empires. Over the past two decades, a new breed of prospector has begun staking claims, this time using capital to unearth profits.

Private equity (PE) investors, lured by the potential for rapid growth offered by industries serving Africa’s young, fast growing populations, are beating a path to Nigeria in search of bargains.

Risk has risen, though. Emerging markets turmoil has undone public equity markets around the world. Sub-saharan economies have suffered in particular, as many depend on commodities for their export income. The MSCI Africa (excluding South Africa) stock price index has fallen nearly a fifth this year, trailing far behind the MSCI Frontier Index.

Read more: Prospectors detect hidden gems for Nigerian private equity – FT.com

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