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Britam plots Sh35 billion funding for real estate

By Nicholas Waitathu | June 4th 2015
By Nicholas Waitathu | June 4th 2015

The local market is headed for exciting times as private developers gear up to deliver more housing units to reduce the huge supply gap.

In the next two years, British-American Investments Company Limited (Britam) will finance various property projects to the tune of Sh35 billion and deliver more than 1,100 housing units.

The local property market is grappling with an annual deficit of more than 250,000 units with Government and private sector supplying only 50,000 units every year.

The diversified financial services group under its subsidiary British American Asset Management Company (BAAM) targets to put up residential houses, shopping malls and apartments in selected pockets in Kajiado, Machakos, and Kiambu counties respectively.

BAAM’s acting Chief Executive Officer Jude Anyiko explained that the company is capitalising on the increasing middle class as well as the high demand for property, both commercial and residential.

Asset base

During a dinner for high-net-worth clients at a Nairobi hotel, Mr Anyiko explained that the asset base of the company has increased by 89.7 percent over the last eight months from Sh39 billion to Sh74 as at last week. The company, he said, is undertaking housing projects worth Sh30 billion with Housing Finance (HF) in Machakos and Kiambu counties.

“In the second half of this year, we will launch a project of 1,100 housing units to be constructed in Kamiti, Kasarani and along Thika Road, and a shopping mall in Komarock. The structures will be constructed by HF and Kenya Building Society,” said Anyiko.

Along Kamiti Prison Road, construction of 240 units will be initiated next month, while 120 units in Kasarani will be launched in November this year. The construction of 640 units along Thika Road will  commence in August.

Britam also acquired a Sh300 million, 21.4-acre piece of land in Ngong to put up commercial and residential units.

In Mlolongo, the company is planning to put a shopping mall and residential houses on ten-acres. Britam is also partnering with other investors to construct ultra-modern residential apartments for sale in Nyangumi, Kilimani.

Anyiko says the new projects are in addition to the 31-storey Britam Tower in Upper Hill, Nairobi. The Sh7 billion structure is expected to be complete mid next year.

“The new projects will be financed from internal sources in addition to sourcing from local and external investors,” said Anyiko.

He added: “All these projects are outlined in our property agenda. We are confident that based on a strong balance sheet, we will be able to actualise our course and contribute to reduction of the huge supply gap in the local market.”

The company has hired London based Marcus Evans, one of the world’s leading providers and promoters of global summits and strategic conferences, to organise its European pension summit in Montro, Switzerland on June 8 and 13.

Anyiko said that during the summit, Britam plans to woo investors interested in investing in East Africa and specifically Kenya.

“We are targeting investors who can come and invest the ur stock and property markets in the East African region,” added Anyiko.

But even as the company continues looking at Nairobi’s suburbs, Anyiko said plans are still underway to move to the counties, but only after the devolved units have created the necessary structures, mainly by improving infrastructure and security.

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