Stanlib Asset Management is planning to buy shares in Mota-Engil Africa, a construction company that will begin trading in London next week, to tap into demand for building spurred by the energy and mining industries.

“Infrastructure in Africa is desperately needed so we believe the opportunities for future projects remain quite solid for Mota-Engil Africa,” Thabo Ncalo, a portfolio manager at Stanlib, said yesterday. “Mota will be a good long-term investment.”

Mota-Engil Africa, a unit of Portugal’s biggest builder, Mota-Engil SGPS, will start trading on the London Stock Exchange next Wednesday.

The company is expanding in Portugal’s former colonies in Africa including Angola, where a boom in the oil, gas and mining industries has triggered demand to rebuild roads and transport links after decades of civil war.

Stanlib, which manages more than R542 billion of assets in Africa, declined to comment on how much it plans to invest in Mota-Engil Africa.

While Standard Bank is the sole global co-ordinator of Mota-Engil Africa’s initial public offering, Stanlib’s investment decisions are independent, according to Ncalo.

“We do not make investment decisions based on what the group does or has banking relationships with,” he said.

“We make our investment decisions to ensure our clients’ funds are adequately positioned to make above-benchmark returns.” – Bloomberg