FirstRand plans to build its west African business by financing regional infrastructure projects and increasing investments in Nigeria, according to Michael Larbie, the chief executive of the bank’s Nigerian unit and the regional head of west Africa.
“Growth of our rest-of-Africa business is increasing faster… than South Africa and part of that is attributed to the push in Nigeria, Ghana and west Africa,” Larbie said in an interview on Friday in Lagos.
FirstRand’s Rand Merchant Bank had completed deals worth more than $1.6 billion (R15.6bn) in Nigeria since February, Larbie said. This included providing credit lines for banks and finance for Dangote Group and MTN Group’s businesses.
The bank was looking at transactions in Ivory Coast and Senegal and was “very focused on other countries that are democratically and economically stable, with good fundamentals”, he said. – Bloomberg