VTB Capital Seeking Africa Growth After $1 Billion Angola Bond

VTB Capital, the investment arm of Russia’s second-largest bank, plans to increase fixed income and equity-market businesses in Africa and said the region offers it the best expansion opportunities.

“We see Africa as our biggest growth market in the near future,” Makram Abboud, VTB Capital’s chief executive officer for the Middle East and Africa, said in an interview in Moscow.

While most of VTB Capital’s underwriting business comes from ruble notes and sales for parent VTB Group, the brokerage is expanding beyond Russia, hiring more than 100 employees in London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai and other financial centers.

VTB Capital last month helped manage Mozambique’s issue of a $350 million bond due in September 2020. It was also one of four Russian lenders that provided $278 million of loans to Angola in 2011. The African country’s government later picked VTB to manage its $1 billion bond. Parent VTB Group has a bank in Angola, VTB Africa Bank SA.

VTB Capital has a “few” fixed-income transactions closing in Qatar, one in Saudi Arabia and one in Dubai, Abboud said today, without disclosing details.

Herbert Moos, VTB’s deputy chairman, said in 2012 that the bank wanted to become the first Russian borrower to sell Shariah-compliant debt.

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