JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Emerging markets investment bank Renaissance Capital RNCG.PK aims to expand its African presence with a move into Egypt soon, possibly through an acquisition, its head for the region said on Thursday.
Moscow-based RenCap is also targeting deals in oil-rich Angola, Clifford Sacks, the bank’s chief executive for Africa, told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit.
“(Egypt) is a market where we will certainly establish a presence. Whether we are going to use local brokers initially or whether we end up buying an asset, that I think will become clearer in the next six to nine months,” Sacks said in an interview at Reuters offices in Johannesburg.
“But a presence we will have at some point reasonably soon.”
The bank would also be comfortable taking a majority stake in a local firm, he said. Sacks declined to say how much the bank would be willing to spend, adding that it was difficult to price assets in the region given the recent political turmoil.
While RenCap has been looking in North Africa for some time, the political uprising in the region also creates opportunities, he said.
“This sort of turmoil does not scare us at all,” said Sacks, who was formerly the co-CEO of Merrill Lynch’s Africa operations.
Last year RenCap bought South African brokerage BJM Securities for $28.2 million and currently operates in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Sacks said that given Angola’s historical connection to Russia, the bank was also seeking more opportunities in the oil-rich nation.
“We are actively involved in a number of potential transactions in Angola. And I think you will see some success. We have a lot of investment professionals spending a lot of time in Angola and dealing with Angolan opportunities,” he said.
RenCap, which is also bullish about the potential for Zimbabwe, advised Indian firm Essar Group which said on Wednesday it would invest an initial $750 million to restart production at Zimbabwe steel firm ZISCO. [ID:nLDE7282I0]
“We see a lot of potential in places like Zambia and Zimbabwe,” Sacks said.
Reporting by Gugulakhe Lourie; Editing by David Dolan and Greg Mahlich