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Johannesburg - Hyprop Investments Ltd., South Africa’s third-biggest property company by market value, plans to invest as much as 3 billion rand building and acquiring shopping centres in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Johannesburg-based company will invest in the continent outside its home market through Atterbury Africa and African Land, it said in a statement today.

Hyprop has allocated 1 billion rand to Atterbury Africa, in which it holds 37.5 percent, and 2 billion rand to African Land, a subsidiary of the company.

The investment will be spread over the next five years, Hyprop said.

“Hyprop will continue to invest in large, quality shopping centres, improve the tenant quality across the portfolio and dispose of non-core assets,” the company said.

The real-estate investor owns 12 shopping centres among assets of 25 billion rand.

Amid a slowing economy in South Africa, Hyprop is seeking growth on the continent, targeting fast-growing economies such as Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.

Hyprop currently owns assets, including malls and land, valued at $240 million in Ghana and Zambia.

For the six months ending December, distributable earnings rose to 561.9 million rand from 514.8 million rand a year ago, the company said.

Revenue increased to 1.17 billion rand compared with 1.12 billion rand.

Distribution growth for the fiscal year ending June will range from 8.5 percent to 10.5 percent, compared with previous guidance of 6.5 percent to 8.5 percent, Hyprop said.

The shares rose 1.4 percent, the biggest intraday climb since Feb. 10, to 74.79 rand as of 9:32 a.m. in Johannesburg.

That pared losses this year to 2.2 percent, compared with a 2.8 percent gain in the 165-member FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index.

Fountainhead Property Trust, a competitor to Hyprop, fell 4.1 percent in 2014. - Bloomberg News