Real People: R150m to be raised from investors

Real People Investment Holdings planned to raise about R150 million of capital from shareholders this year, the closely held South African provider of small loans said yesterday. That would increase capital adequacy levels to as much as 36 percent by the end of the year from about 32 percent, chief executive Neil Grobbelaar said. Shareholders include private equity firm Abraaj Group and a unit of London-based Old Mutual. Real People, which operates in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, lends to small businesses and people who want to improve their homes or invest in education, targeting low- and middle-income consumers and the previously unbanked. The company will report a loss this year after incurring a one-time impairment when it stopped offering unsecured loans last year. “We’ve made a large annual loss for the first time in our history,” Grobbelaar said. “In our continuing businesses, profit is up.” Real People, which has about R2.4 billion of outstanding debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, might also issue bonds before December, he said. The East London-based company might issue its first bond denominated in Kenyan shillings to support growth in east Africa, Grobbelaar noted. Real People is due to report its annual results on Friday. – Bloomberg


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