A SME-focused lender

INTRODUCTION

As a SME-focused lender, our success has come from the knowledge that risk in Africa is often misunderstood and that customer needs in the region are unique to each business.

We take a long-term partnership approach with our customers in the belief that we will prosper only if our customers prosper and now boast a family of customers that spans the region.

We are headquartered and regulated as a credit provider in Mauritius, with representatives in Johannesburg and Durban. Our team is made up of career financial professionals with a deep pool of expertise spanning asset-based finance, asset management, investment banking, agriculture, resources and corporate banking. Through this depth of expertise, we’ve built a business focused on providing growth capital to high-quality businesses in the region.
 

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Following growing global urbanisation, particularly in Africa, an urgent need for investment in infrastructure has arisen. On this still-developing continent, the key industries are largely SMEs (small to medium enterprises), and this is where 90% of African people are employed.  

Despite a spike in technological advances, thanks to smart-phone saturation into most of the corners of Africa, SMEs generally still do not meet the requirements to be awarded funding and finance from the traditional banking sector in order to help their businesses grow.

At Loinette, we are proud to step in and assist established SMEs to create sound business plans, tailor unique financing packages to help these enterprises develop by addressing their funding shortfalls.

Simultaneously, we give our investment partners excellent return on investment.

Our injection of around US$300 million into the development of infrastructure across Africa in recent years has had a positive impact on many lives.

Not only have the development projects consistently provided our investors with excellent returns, but the far-reaching socio-economic spin-offs will continue to yield positive results for the people of Africa for many decades to come.

WHAT WE DO

We specialise in relationship-building. Our strengths are building and maintaining strategic relationships in the key business sectors of emerging markets. These alliances, backed by the strong foundation of long-standing co-operation agreements with major international manufacturing equipment dealership networks, empower us to offer investors and SMEs excellent growth opportunities for investment and developing businesses.

Using our extensive knowledge and experience of emerging markets, we carefully vet entrepreneurs, identify those with excellent potential and reliability, and connect them with business investors looking for profitable business opportunities. As relationship-based finance specialists, we pride ourselves on getting to know our customers personally to facilitate business and investment growth. Our philosophy is simple - when our customers and investors do well, so do we.

Agriculture

Rising income and urbanisation are currently the driving forces behind investments in agriculture globally, with the agri-business projected to develop into an annual $1 trillion industry by 2030 (up from $313 billion in 2010). 

In Africa, it is generally accepted that less than 25% of arable land is used and less than 20% of irrigation potential realised, therefore massive growth opportunities exist on the continent. However, a critical factor preventing agri-business from exploiting these opportunities is a financing gap estimated at $11 billion annually for agricultural output growth alone. Midstream and downstream agri-business also face a significant financing gap – an estimated $940 billion is needed for investment by 2050.

The majority of the region’s agri-businesses are SMEs engaged in activities such as farm operations, input supply, trade, and processing – activities that are considered too risky for financing by private sector banking systems.

Worryingly, domestic financing for agri-business from commercial banks accounts for less than 6% of total private sector lending, with foreign direct investment (FDI) from financing funds and multinational agri-business companies covering the remainder.

FDI is concentrated mainly on downstream activities (processing, manufacturing, trade and retail), which leaves primary agriculture to apply for public funding, which is scarce.

The agricultural industry is of critical importance to the region’s economy. We believe that the growing need for commercial agriculture and persistent funding gaps present significant opportunities for specialist lenders to provide bespoke funding solutions.

Infrastructure

Currently, Africa invests just 23.5% of its GDP into infrastructure, which must increase to 37% to meet the continent’s development targets. 

This shortfall implies a funding gap of US$11.4 trillion by 2040 and presents foreign investors with a noteworthy funding opportunity. 

To date, successful projects include wider telecommunications coverage and access to potable water, however regional disparities remain in terms of energy and transportation infrastructure, with only one quarter of the continent’s 2.8 million kilometres of roads paved.

Robust and reliable infrastructure is a key driver of economic and social development, with SMEs and economic production relying heavily on infrastructure networks such as roads, telecommunications systems and the steady supply of energy and water. The World Economic Forum estimates that Africa’s workforce will increase by a staggering 910 million people between 2010 and 2050, of which 839 million will be in sub-Saharan Africa. This will put incredible pressure on existing infrastructure, much of which already falls short of development goals, and is forcing governments to prioritise infrastructure spending. It is estimated that the continent will need to spend US$6 trillion over the next 20 years to build, upgrade and maintain its infrastructure.

While there has been a marked improvement in technological infrastructure, much investment is needed in the base level infrastructure to sustain economies and accommodate population growth, increased urbanisation and increased commercial agriculture and agri-business. All of which requires ongoing bespoke financial solutions to fund capital expenditure, working capital and trade finance.

Mining

In Africa, there are more than 1, 850 mining projects in various stages of development by many of the largest global mining companies. (https://www.projectsiq.co.za/African-Mines.htm).

Fortunately, there is a positive shift in how mines are funded and run, with increasing focus from the international funding community on the environmental, social and governance standards. There are parallel increases in demand for materials required to update regional infrastructure, as well as export-focused minerals that are required to drive new industries such as electric vehicles and smartphones.

These trends all dictate enhanced investment opportunities.

Insurance

Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa?) accounts for 13% of the global population but only 0.2% of global insurance premiums. Insurance penetration into the region, as measured by premiums/GDP, remains very low at 0.9% relative to the emerging market average of 3.2%. Of this, more than 50% of all premiums in the region are driven by agents and brokers personally, as opposed to online-driven business.

The region’s vastness, combined with a low level of technical and specialist knowledge within the thin broker talent pool, leaves large parts of the SME market un(der)served and unable to obtain specialist insurance for their businesses. This situation presents enormous opportunity for investment into the insurance sector.

WHY WE ARE SUCCESSFUL

The SME (small to medium enterprise) sector in sub-Saharan Africa employs 90% of workers in the region, yet access to formal funding remains unattainable for most of these emerging businesses. We have taken bold steps to fill this funding gap and provide finance to SMEs, where the formal banking sector cannot and will not take the risk.

We believe that the next few decades will present significant investment opportunities in the region as the need for infrastructure development is driven by increasing urbanisation, population growth and a general decrease in the level of poverty.

The SME sector will shoulder the responsibility of supplying short, medium and long term solutions to development in sectors such as agriculture,infrastructure and mining.

Enormous levels of investment are needed to achieve these goals, and SMEs require specialist finance solutions such as credit facilities and insurance.

Our team, with decades of specialist experience in accessing and managing investment opportunities in developing markets, is uniquely positioned to operate successfully in this opportunity set. 

Our bespoke finance and investment solutions are created to overcome the challenges presented by the fact that most African countries rank in the lower half of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings – sub-Saharan Africa’s current regional average is 142 of the 190 ranked economies.

WHERE WE ARE

Our Transactional Footprint

SOCIAL IMPACT

Local job creation, new schools, new hospitals, well-maintained roads, introduction of electricity supply, housing and other infrastructure development are some of the positive socio-economic spin-offs for the communities in which the Loinette-funded projects operate.

In addition to yielding excellent, consistent returns on investment for funders, the projects have a ripple effect on the wider community, where the benefits will be enjoyed by many future African generations.

One of the Company's SME clients in the aggregate sector has doubled local employment thereby boosting the coffers of local tax revenues - in addition to boosting trade in the region, thanks to the improved roads.  Local children are benefiting from the schools which have now been established.

The agri-sector clients have created jobs, enhanced food stability in the region, and generated community outreach programmes which include schools, clinics and the provision of land on which the community can grow their own crops. Furthermore, the local people have now embraced sustainable agricultural practices - concern for the environment is key, including pollution-control. Our infrastructure-focused clients are working on projects such as the East African railway project, which will provide a gateway to several neighbouring countries, stimulating trade and job creation.

Our mining-related projects, spanning several countries, are all compliant with local regulations around the rehabilitation of mined areas, reduced pollution and sustainable practices.