(The following press release from FirstRand Ltd.'s Rand Merchant Bank was received by e-mail. The sender verified the statement.) RMB Nigeria opens its doors for business in Lagos RMB has officially opened RMB Nigeria in Lagos, Nigeria follows the granting of an investment banking licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria. RMB, which is the investment banking division of FirstRand, has been operating in Nigeria from a representative office since January 2010 and is already a meaningful player in the Nigerian investment banking sector. RMB chief executive Alan Pullinger says that RMB Nigeria allows RMB to rapidly build its franchise, provide products and services to corporate and institutional clients, as well as employ talented bankers in the country. "Although we have already established a track record through our representative office, RMB Nigeria enables us to significantly scale up our in-country offerings and play a more prominent role in the growth of the Nigerian economy. Potential investors need a reliable, on-the-ground financial services partner who understands the unique challenges and regulatory framework of doing business in Africa." RMB Nigeria provides the full spectrum of investment banking services to all industries, including corporate advisory, equity capital markets, infrastructure and project finance, resource finance, structured trade and commodity finance, and fixed income, currency and commodity services - making it one of the leading financial and business partners on the continent. Services are offered to large local, regional and international corporates already operating in, or entering Nigeria and the broader West African economies. RMB has a strong track record of operating across Africa. . Many infrastructure development projects, cross-border transactions and property and structured finance deals in over 30 countries have been completed over the past two decades. RMB has already concluded several deals in Nigeria, including ExxonMobile Nigeria (US$50m), Conoil (US$40m) and Africa Finance Corporation (US$50m). It also acted as co-financial adviser for the US$350m Lekki Epe Expressway in Lago (awarded the Euromoney Project Finance Deal of the Year in 2008). "Our track record and long-standing partnerships are proof of our capabilities and appetite for business in Africa," says RMB Nigeria chief executive Michael Larbie. "Our knowledge of local financing requirements, legal and jurisdictional frameworks, together with the expertise and balance sheet of FirstRand, enables us to service the rapidly expanding Nigerian economy." FirstRand chief executive Sizwe Nxasana says the establishment of RMB Nigeria, which required an initial capital investment by the Group of $100 million, is in line with FirstRand's strategy to build a presence in high-growth African markets with attractive long- term prospects. "This move is completely consistent with our objectives as we often enter a new market through the appropriate operating franchise, in this case RMB. Nigeria currently offers strong growth prospects particularly with regards to corporate and investment banking". End.
RMB NIGERIA OPENS ITS DOOR FOR BUSINESS IN LAGOS: STATEMENT