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Citigroup South African Trader Nkomo Quits, Explores Options

Citigroup Inc. South African cash-equities trader Owen Nkomo quit to explore other opportunities.

Nkomo left the Johannesburg-based brokerage of Citigroup yesterday after more than two years with the company, Quintus Kilbourn, the head of South African equities, said by telephone from the city today. Citigroup will fill his post, he said.

Nkomo, 33, is looking at “more appealing opportunities,” he said by mobile phone, declining to give details on his plans because he is still involved in talks with “strategic partners.”

Nkomo leaves amid consolidation and increasing competition in the industry. Religare Capital Markets Ltd., the investment banking and institutional securities unit of India’s Religare Enterprises Ltd., said on July 25 it bought control of Noah Financial Innovation Ltd., a South African broker.

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest bank, last year ended its South African stock-brokerage joint venture with Credit Suisse Group AG because both firms wanted to control their own units in Africa’s biggest economy. Renaissance Capital, the Russian emerging-markets investment bank with operations in Africa, last year bought the securities business of Barnard Jacobs Mellet Holdings Ltd.

“The broking industry in South Africa is under severe pressure at the moment with the advent of tighter competition,” Nkomo said. “With such competition in the market, and ever improving execution technology, there’ll definitely be continued pressure on commissions in the South African broking industry.”

Nkomo previously worked at the South African units of Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co., both based in Johannesburg.

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