Fund set up to explore Africa’s natural resources

LONDON - Standard Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have announced they will each commit US$250m to establishing a global resources fund to help explore Africa's large resources sector.

The fund will focus on selected opportunities in Africa and China in the junior mining and energy sectors. Opportunities for third parties to participate would be available.

Demand for steel, coal and cotton are high, especially from China whose economy is said to have grown by 11,5% in the third quarter of this year.

China has shown more willingness than western investors to put money into infrastructure projects and natural resource exploration in countries often seen as high-risk such as Angola, the Democratic republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

Other private equity resources funds launched this year include the US$1,3bn Ramodzi Resources Fund and the $50m-$100m Botswana Africa Mining Fund.

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