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Rand Merchant Bank sets up shop in Kenya

* Eyes infrastructure, agriculture, FMCG, resources

* Looking at over 10 transactions in Kenya

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Rand Merchant Bank, the investment banking arm of South African group FirstRand , has set up in Nairobi to target large and medium-sized Kenyan firms and expand its presence in fast-growing east Africa.

RMB is currently looking at 10 transactions in Kenya, where it has already arranged deals for firms such as fuel retailer KenolKobil and trucker Multiple Hauliers, said Michael Larbie, head of Africa investment banking for RMB.

“The region is a key focus market for us and we are giving it the needed attention, focus and leadership,” Larbie told Reuters.

RMB will focus on agriculture, infrastructure, fast-moving consumer goods and resources such as oil and gas, he said.

Neighbouring Tanzania already produces natural gas. Uganda plans to start pumping oil next year and Rwanda has yet to tap methane gas trapped in its Lake Kivu.

RMB hopes to offer services such as arranging structured trade and commodity, complex structured funding, as well as plain vanilla senior funding, Larbie said. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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