AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

WestProp plots mega capital raise

WestProp chief executive officer Ken Sharpe

VICTORIA Falls Stock Exchange-listed WestProp Holdings Limited is in talks with “several parties” as it moves to ensure the success of another capital raise expected in the next three months to accelerate its projects.

The discussions come a year after an initial public offering (IPO) raised about a tenth of the amount required after shareholders subscribed to preference shares worth US$3,3 million out of the US$30 million that was on the table.

WestProp chief executive officer Ken Sharpe told NewsDay Business that the company was “getting ready” for another capital raise.

He said the lesson learnt from last year was that WestProp was supposed to do a book building exercise to whet the market’s appetite about the IPO.

The book building exercise, Sharpe said, was a pre-marketing of the capital raise “to make sure that the market has an appetite and the capacity to fund the amount that you need”.

“We are in discussions with several parties. We expect an announcement to be made within the next two to three months of a significant transaction on capital raise that will change the trajectory of the company dramatically. We are busy doing those book building exercises now,” he said.

Last week, WestProp began the development of the US$300 million mixed-use Hills Luxury Golf Estate as its urban renewal push intensifies.

Its other projects include Millennium Heights which is ongoing, Pokugara Residential Estate, Pomona City (ongoing), The Mall of Zimbabwe and Millennium Heights Office Park.

WestProp executives were recently on a roadshow in the United States to raise more interest in their projects.

For Sharpe, it was a significant moment announcing a development happening in Zimbabwe like the Hills Estate in Washington, the world’s “capital”.

“I felt proud that we as Zimbabweans can get things that can be recognised by the international community.

“In the capital city of one of the world’s powerhouses and announcing that Zimbabwe was going to be doing something exceptional, something that is a game changer, something that raises the bar, for me was humbling,” he said.

“This gave me the confidence that this is not the first roadshow nor the last, but the first of many that we will be doing in the diaspora. Our brothers and sisters out there have access to several billions of United States dollars. That is enough money to rebuild our country.”

Sharpe said while international financiers can come on board it would be more exciting when “Zimbabwean brothers and sisters” take money from their pockets and send it home.

“As WestProp we are ready to build the country together and we know that with their commitment it would be much faster. We have several people committed to the project from that event and we will continue doing the roadshows.” he said.

He, however, bemoaned the absence of mortgage facilities by banks which he said was not normal for any economy.

“We are not a bank, but our mortgage book of US$24 million growing to US$30 million is bigger than any bank in Zimbabwe; that is not normal, that is not possible. Why are banks not providing mortgages?

“Why are they not accessing international markets for mortgage-backed securities which could be sent to Zimbabwe? Sanctions have gone, but they are not active enough. My message to them is please be more active,” he said.

Sharpe said the central bank could lend the statutory reserve to commercial banks at concessionary rates for lending to the real estate and manufacturing sectors, among others, as “we know we are productive”.

Recently the central bank increased the statutory reserves to 20% from 15%.

“We are not going to put that money into consumption. We are going to put that into permanent infrastructure that develops our country and create value. And, when we do that, the economy grows,” he said.

Related Topics