Boston, MA 02/19/2014 (wallstreetpr) – Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) hopes that Africa is now ripe to play a key role in its global grow and profitability, despite the fact that it is recoiling from some emerging markets.
The bank which is the third largest lender in the U.S. is excited by the merger and acquisition prospects in Africa and believes time has come to increase investment in the continent so as to tap the opportunities – ahead of rivals, that is.
The attracting thing in Africa’s banking and financial industry can be seen in the pickup in equity capital markets, debt and merger and acquisition deals. Severing the oil billionaires in African also makes serious business sense for Citigroup which has what it takes to serve Africa’s banking and financial needs at global scale.
Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday, Citigroup’s CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa or EMEA, Jim Cowles noted that the bank has a new strategic plan for sub-Saharan Africa. And in particular, South Africa, Nigeria and East Africa are high on Citi’s investment priority.
Counting on Africa
Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is scaling back operations in some emerging market where it is not convinced about financial viability of its investments. But African is not one of those questionable emerging markets. Cowles said that the bank was actually counting on Africa to be a major contributor to its growth.
However, the bank is not yet disclosing just how much it has been earning from its Africa business. Also Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) isn’t talking about the amount of dollars it has lined up or hope to invest in Africa in order to take advantage of the opportunities it has identified.
International banks in Africa
There is no doubt that Africa is increasing becoming an investment magnet for global banks and that Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is just the latest among international banks that have been expanding their business in the continent.
The traction in Africa is the surging economic growth and high demand for assets. Just recently Barclays arm in South Africa declared plans to boost its equities and brokerage business in order to serve the rest of the continent. That move would boost its profit from the region. UBS AG is yet another international bank and one of the world’s biggest wealth managers that is targeting to serve and profit from oil millionaires in Angola and Nigeria.