IFA looks to South Africa with $100m investment


Jassim M Al-Bahar, the chairman and managing director of Kuwait’s International Financial Advisors (IFA) - a major investor in Dubai’s Palm-Jumeirah - has announced one of the largest foreign international transactions in South Africa’s tourism industry.

The IFA Consortium will invest $100 million over a 10-year period in the Zimbali Resort.
International Financial Advisors (IFA) is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange  with a capitalisation of $500m. IFA heads a consortium with several leading Kuwaiti and international companies, Kuwait Real Estate Company (KREC), International Finance Company (IFC) and United Investments Portugal (UIP), with assets in excess of $1 billion.

In an initial investment of $10m, IFA has acquired a 50 per cent equity stake in the renowned Zimbali Coastal Resort in the KwaZulu-Natal region, north of Durban. The joint venture that was formed - Moreland/IFA Resort Developments - is with Moreland Developments, one of South Africa’s leading land developers and property subsidiary of the Tongaat-Hulett Group.

IFA’s joint venture partner, Moreland Developments, has developed more than 10 million sq m of land (1,000 hectares), worth more than $1.5 billion, over the past 10 years.
The existing Zimbali Resort covers 3.7 million sq m the expansion of resort will add a further 3.5 million sq m with 340 properties sold to date.

Additionally, IFA Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of IFA, has purchased one million sq m of land to build a 300 bedroom, five-star hotel, golf course and vacation club.

The combined value of the acquisition by IFA of 50 per cent of the equity in Zimbali Coastal Resort and the planned development of the Zimbali Hotel and Beach Resort makes this transaction, one of the largest tourism investments ever undertaken in the region and a significant investment into the South African tourism industry.

The total economic value of the first phase of the intended development plan is estimated to be $350m.