JOHANNESBURG, April 25 Gazprombank,
Russia's third largest lender by assets, is setting up a
representative office in South Africa, its first on the
continent, seeking a piece of the resource and infrastructure
pie on the richly endowed continent.
The bank has helped arrange project and structured finance
for resource-based deals in Africa but has not had a formal
presence until now, Oleg Vaksman, Gazprombank's deputy chairman,
"Briefcase banking is possible especially in a deal by deal
basis, but if you have a strategic intent and you believe in the
growth story of the continent, you need to have some presence on
the ground to build up a business of substance," Vaksman said.
The Russian company expects the South African Reserve Bank
to grant it a representative banking licence before the end of
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Stella