Britam set to pump Sh35bn in property investment plan

Britam Group Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on June 20, 2014. The company has outlined a number of housing projects in partnership with Housing Finance Corporation and other investors aimed at enabling the company to strengthen its grip on the mortgage industry. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • At a recent meeting with investors to unveil the real estate investment strategy, Britam Asset Managers acting chief executive Jude Anyiko said the firm’s plan is intact despite the exit of its asset managing partners last year.
  • The company has organised a European pension summit in Switzerland next month to woo investors from overseas to join its development agenda. About 100 pension investors are expected in the five-day event.
  • Britam’s asset management unit suffered a blow following the exit of Acorn Group in which it owned a 25 per cent stake. The partner walked away with real estate projects worth billions of shillings.

British-American Asset Managers plans to invest Sh35 billion as it seeks to expand its property portfolio.

The company has outlined a number of housing projects in partnership with Housing Finance Corporation and other investors. The investments are aimed at enabling the company to strengthen its grip on the mortgage industry in the next two years.

At a recent meeting with investors to unveil the real estate investment strategy, Britam Asset Managers acting chief executive Jude Anyiko said the firm’s plan is intact despite the exit of its asset managing partners last year.

“Strategies are rooted in the institution and I can assure you everything is within plan. We shall soon be breaking ground for 1,100 residential housing units on Thika Road and Kamiti Road at a cost of Sh11 billion.

Several multi-billion shillings projects are in the pipeline as we are engaged in various negotiations with partners to bring in more,” Mr Anyiko said.

HIGH-END CLIENTELE

The housing plan will begin with 640 units on Thika Road, followed by another 240 apartments on Kamiti Road, whose ground-breaking is scheduled for next month.

Britam recently took over the management of Lang’ata House on behalf of its 50 investors. The property, which is located within Wilson Airport, has high-end clientele including the United Nations and Fly 540.

The asset management firm says it has grown its portfolio by 50 per cent in the last eight months to hit Sh74 billion currently.

Britam tightened its grip on mortgage financier, Housing Finance through a buyout of Equity Bank’s stake, pushing its shareholding in the company to 46.08 per cent from 21.32 per cent.

The company has organised a European pension summit in Switzerland next month to woo investors from overseas to join its development agenda. About 100 pension investors are expected in the five-day event.

Among the land earmarked for development are a 21-acre land in Ngong, a 10-acre plot in Mlolongo, a two-acre parcel at Kilimani and others around Nairobi.

A plan is also underway to create a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with a range of property lined up to be floated at the Nairobi Securities Exchange for potential investors.

“We will be going to the Capital Markets Authority to have the properties listed and accommodate interested investors. Komarock Mall will be our flagship under this scheme as we develop more malls and property to expand our REIT,” Mr Anyiko told Smart Company.

The 3,000-square feet Komarock Mall is set to be opened in September with another mall on Thika Road set to be completed in the coming years.

OFFICE COMPLEXES

Local pension fund schemes are lined up for key partnerships as Britam prepares to put up affordable housing units, which its members can buy.

Britam’s asset management unit suffered a blow following the exit of Acorn Group in which it owned a 25 per cent stake. The partner walked away with real estate projects worth billions of shillings.

Acorn was to focus on the actual development of the properties, which include shopping malls, office complexes and mixed-use projects.

Construction of its flagship 33-storey office, Britam Tower in Nairobi’s Upper Hill will be completed next year, with the total cost of the project estimated at Sh7 billion.

Kenya’s property market has continued to grow and investors have recorded high returns from the segment owing to the stability of the housing industry, where demand outstrips supply, especially in the residential segment.

Property tracker Hass Consult last month said a jump in land prices by 17.6 per cent in the year to March, compared to 4.5 per cent in the previous quarter, presents a positive indicator for property investors. 

Sh11bn 

Value of 1,100 housing units on Thika Road and Kamiti Road that Britam plans to construct starting next month

100 

Number of potential pension investors that Britam expects to meet in Europe next month as it woos global financiers

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