Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) which was recently granted an operating license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Thursday officially opened it doors for business in the country.
RMB, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited which is South Africa’s second largest banking group, has been operating in Nigeria from a representative office since January 2010.
Speaking in an interview with THISDAY, Chief Executive Officer, RMB, Mr. Michael Larbie said the strategy of both FirstRand and RMB is to be a leading financial services provider in the continent.
“We are a strong player in the South African market. If you look at Africa, the two biggest economies are South Africa and Nigeria. So, given our position in South Africa where we have done well, the next market for you to navigate to, is Nigeria.
“The Nigerian economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. As you are aware, the Nigerian economy has grown at an average of seven per cent over the last six years and is projected to grow between seven and 7.5 per cent over the next four years and that makes the economy a big growth market that can not be ignored,” he added.
Larbie further disclosed that RMB has been doing business in other parts of Africa over the years, saying that “many infrastructural development projects, cross-border transactions and structured finance deals in over 30 countries have been completed over the past two decades.”
He also revealed that the bank had worked on deals such as ExxonMobil Nigeria ($50 million), Conoil ($40 million) and Africa Finance Corporation ($50 million).
“RMB also acted as co-financial adviser for the $350 million Lekki Epe Expressway in Lagos,” Larbie said.
The bank is expected to provide investment banking services such as corporate advisory, equity capital markets, infrastructure and project finance, amongst others to all industries.