Investors Eye New Hot-spots in Nigeria, see Covid-19 Pandemic Easing by September

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EFG-Hermes Holding SAE expects the Covid-19 pandemic to start easing in Africa’s largest economy by September and boost investments in food and consumer facing industries.

Agriculture, digital payments, health, consumer goods and well-capitalized banks will attract new investors and customers, Kato Mukuru, head of frontier research at the Cairo-based company said in a virtual conference on Thursday. “The good thing about Covid-19 is that it has forced new sectors to come through.”

A lockdown by authorities in Africa’s most populous country to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic moved the nation of 200 million people away from cash to digital payments. Also, a crash in the price of crude oil, the nation’s major revenue earner intensified effort by the government to diversify income sources by supporting investments in agriculture and processing industries.

The brokerage firm sees local and foreign investors going into food cultivation, processing, storage and distribution to take advantage of the expansion in the industry, Mukuru said. The country’s biggest banks will also attract new investments and customers as most lenders are deficient in capital.

“There are clients that are looking at very good opportunities and we are discussing with them,” Mukuru said. “I know a local investor who is looking to do hospitals post Covid-19. We have started that dialogue.”

The pandemic will peak in Nigeria in August, Mukuru said. Nigeria has more than 20,000 reported cases of the virus, with 542 fatalities, according to official data.

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