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International Financial Review - 8 October 2005

Iroko Securities, an intermediary focusing on African credit opportunities incorporated under the Protected Cell Companies Act 1999 of the Republic of Mauritius, has inaugurated Sphynx Capital Markets US$500m structured note vehicle, offering domestic African and international investors exposure to exotic structured products.

The first deal was a repackaging of US$24m of Ghanaian promissory notes which was placed with asset managers, banks and hedge funds across Europe while the vehicle’s second deal is expected to be backed by CFA bonds issued by the Republic of Cameroon.  Also in Cameroon, Iroko acted as arranger for a securitisation of tax receivables for the City of Doula. Proceeds from the US$32m transaction will be used to upgrade the domestic road network.

Guy Essome, director of structured credit products at Iroko said that there is a subset of the European investor base, mostly pension funds, hedge funds and specialist investors, who want to take exposure to exotic instruments backed by African credit risk without the operational risk commonly associated with the jurisdiction.

“This programme offers investors a unique opportunity not only to access high-risk high-return African fixed-income assets but also to diversify their investment portfolio with minimum economic dissipation and under optimal conditions of reliability and operational security.  As the ivnestment climate improves in regional markets of Africa, we will further promote the interaction between international capital markets investors and their African counterparts,” Essome said. (See Emerging Markets News for more).

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