Configural cue processing of project finance risks in the lending decision : an analysis of loan officers decision processes in mining project finance
Thesis (MDF)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
The continent of Africa is often recognised more for its problems and conflicts than for its successes. Blessed with an abundance of natural resources, the continent has also suffered from the ‘resource curse’ with many of its troubles directly linked to resource conflicts. Project-finance provides a unique opportunity for unlocking the continent’s resources by structuring arrangements which can allay investor concerns. This report contributes to the discourse on Africa’s development by unpacking some of the key issues which will enable and fast-track future investment on the continent. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate how subjective risk analysis and decision making affect risk-based lending. Tied to this was the examination of five risk categories and how these influence the decisions of project-finance loan officers. The particular focus of this study was in the mining sector. This study reviewed a comprehensive body of the literature which found that corruption and political risk were of great influence on lenders’ perception of risk. This study also reviewed the cognitive psychology literature in order to understand how decision makers process information cues. A quantitative method was then employed in order to understand how project-finance lenders respond to project-finance risk information cues. The results of the study were that, when considering mining projects in Africa, political and market risk have significant influence on the decisions of lenders. This finding confirms that there remain key issues which must be recognised and addressed if the continent is to generate and sustain long-term wealth.