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Lisbon - Stanlib Asset Management plans 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 Johannesburg-based Stanlib, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“Mota will be a good long-term investment.”

Mota-Engil Africa, a unit of Portugal’s biggest builder Mota-Engil SGPS SA, will start trading on the London Stock Exchange July 16.

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 542 billion rand ($51 billion) of assets in Africa, declined to comment on how much it plans to invest in Mota-Engil Africa.

The asset management firm is part of Liberty, which has Standard Bank as its main shareholder.

While Standard Bank is the sole global coordinator 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,” said Ncalo.

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

Mota-Engil and Mota-Engil Africa are offering 35 million shares for 920 pence to 1,160 pence each in the IPO, according to the prospectus published last month.

At the upper end of the range, that would translate into a market value of 1.33 billion pounds ($2.3 billion), based on 115 million shares outstanding.

The offering includes 15 million new shares for investors who were shareholders of the parent company before June 20 and as many as 20 million shares for institutional investors sold by Mota-Engil. - Bloomberg News