Frothy Market

Kohath considers first ex-Nigeria investments to diversify naira risks

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on March 9, 2022 10:43

Nigerian early-stage investor Kohath Investment is considering backing companies outside the country for the first time to diversify risks including further naira weakness, chief operating officer Thomas Eleoramo tells The Africa Report.

Ghana and Rwanda are both possible initial destinations in a programme of investments that may go farther afield, Eleoramo says in Abuja. Mining of precious and industrial metals and fintech are sectors where the firm could commit capital, and due diligence on more than one possible investment is already taking place, he adds.

Foreign-exchange risk in Nigeria is one reason for the strategy, with Kohath wanting to hedge against the danger of the naira dropping further against the dollar, Eleoramo says. Overvaluation of Nigerian startups is another factor. Startup capital has flooded into Africa, with $4b being raised in 2021. Nigeria was the biggest single destination.

  • The result is that “valuations in Nigeria are on the high side,” Eleoramo says. It’s time to “explore value in other countries. We are shopping on a value basis.”
  • Uncertainty over the future political direction of Nigeria

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