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Federal Government Girls College Owerri • View topic - JPMorgan, Citigroup, BNP Paribas etc Setting up offices in N

JPMorgan, Citigroup, BNP Paribas etc Setting up offices in N

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JPMorgan, Citigroup, BNP Paribas etc Setting up offices in N

Postby weruche » Fri May 04, 2007 12:28 pm

Briefcase bankers from JPMorgan, Citigroup build Nigerian roots

NIGERIA'S briefcase bankers are finally putting down roots.

Investment bankers who until now had flown into Lagos to do deals then retreated to homes in New York or London are now opening offices in the country as record oil revenue, asset sales and a crackdown on corruption spur economic growth. Nigeria may overtake South Africa as the region's largest economy by 2020.

Nigeria's commitment to democracy and free markets will be tested after the election, which may bring the first peaceful transfer of power from one civilian leader to another since independence from Britain 47 years ago. President Olusegun Obasanjo will step down May 29 after eight years in office.

``We're not waiting on the sidelines to see if the elections are successful,'' says London-based Yvonne Ike, JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s country chief, who is moving back to her homeland to open a permanent office. ``We're trying to end briefcase banking in Nigeria.''

Bankers are warming to Nigeria after record oil prices helped slash the country's international debt to $3.4 billion from $35 billion in two years. The government plans to invest $67 billion in the oil and gas industry and spend $7.3 billion to double power production by the end of next year.

Nigeria is also selling state-owned companies to diversify the economy, which gets 95 per cent of its export revenue from oil. The government is seeking investors for coal mines, power plants and oil-services companies. It is also selling stakes in cement and sugar companies owned with neighboring Benin.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last year advised China's Cnooc Ltd. on its $2.7 billion purchase of a stake in a Nigerian oil field.

``All indications we're getting are that the reforms will continue after the elections,'' says Craig Bond, chief of African operations outside South Africa for Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group Ltd., which is buying a Nigerian bank. ``We're going into this market boots and all.''

While Obasanjo has boosted spending on roads, communications and power, a festering insurgency in the oil-producing Niger River delta cost the economy $4.5 billion in oil revenue last year. Poll monitors said that April 14 states elections were tarnished by ballot rigging and violence that left at least 21 people dead, raising concerns about the presidential vote.

``There is a fair bit of turbulence there now because of the elections, and ideally you would like to see that settle down before moving in,'' says Dana Botha, head of African operations at Johannesburg-based Absa Group Ltd. ``The opportunities, however, do exist.''

A ``robust understanding of the risks is critical,'' says Ike, who flies to Nigeria twice a month to meet with clients.

Ike is one of a new breed of bankers who are trading Fifth Avenue and Piccadilly for the streets of Lagos, Africa's most populous city, where vendors weave through miles of gridlock wielding dead rodents to advertise rat poison.

The 40-year-old says she'll miss the things she takes for granted in London, such as well-stocked shops, working telephones and watching television without the hum of a generator in the background. Yet she's upbeat about Nigeria's future, even if she's moving to a city where burning trash blacken the sky.

``Nigeria is delightfully chaotic,'' Ike says. ``You can look at things and think it's terrible, but you can also look at it as an opportunity.''

Deutsche Bank AG, which has seven people in the country, is among the biggest holders of Nigerian government bonds. The Frankfurt-based bank says fees from sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa, are growing more than 30 per cent a year, double the rate in Europe.

``Big players are coming to the market,'' says Kayode Akinkugbe, Deutsche Bank's head of global markets coverage for sub- Saharan Africa.

Citigroup Inc., which has rented offices in Nigeria since 1984, will move into its own building on Lagos's Victoria Island in August, says Emeka Emuwa, head of the bank's Nigerian unit.

``It's hard to compete if you're not in the corridors,'' he says.

The biggest U.S. bank is loaning United Cement Co. of Nigeria Ltd., a venture between Lagos-based Flour Mills Nigeria Plc and Switzerland's Holcim Ltd., $205 million to finance a new cement plant in Nigeria.

``In the past we would never have done that much,'' says Emuwa, 46.

BNP Paribas SA, the biggest French bank, opened a representative office in Nigeria last year, helping it win more deals, says Ronke Onadeko-Osayande, the bank's country director in Lagos. Last month it arranged a $1.5 billion loan to Zenon Petroleum & Gas Ltd., which is building an oil-products storage facility and a chain of gas stations.

``We're more on the ground, which makes it easier to spot opportunities,'' she says.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts Nigeria's economy will expand 8.2 per cent this year from an estimated 5.3 per cent growth in 2006. The country's benchmark stock index quadrupled over the past seven years.

Nigeria has proven trustworthy on what it owes. The country last month paid $480 million to Merrill Lynch & Co., the last of its debt to the London Club of commercial lenders.

``The excitement I feel about what is happening in Africa and Nigeria is more about untapped opportunities than about going back to my roots,'' Ike says.
...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ( Phil. 3: 13-14)
weruche
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Postby weruche » Fri May 04, 2007 12:29 pm

Hopefully, this will create more job opportunity for the countless grads walking around.
I'm luving it!! :smt047
...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ( Phil. 3: 13-14)
weruche
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Postby eby » Fri May 04, 2007 12:50 pm

Nigeria may overtake South Africa as the region's largest economy by 2020.


High time, we deserve it, we are the Giant of Africa, and we are very intelligent people. We just have very corrupt people in places of power and it's holding the economy down. But we shall be liberated from this problem pretty soon.
The one who kneels to God in prayer can stand up to anything.
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Postby igoloa » Fri May 04, 2007 4:17 pm

please let them come. :smt038 naija needs help badly our youths go to school without jobs thereby causing them to go into criminal activities :evil: :( . God save Nigeria. Amen :D
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Postby kk » Sat May 05, 2007 2:35 am

My brother is soo excited about thie development as he is graduating with honours this summer...he is studying financ and economics. He says he doesn't mind going home at all.....its a fantastic opportunity....
Enjoy life....You never live the same day twice!
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Postby Trish » Sat May 05, 2007 4:51 am

Weruche - thanks for this thread....
Gives us lots of opportunities now...
I'm willing to take a plunge (like Ms Ike) and return to Nig - if I get frustrated with the jobhunt here!
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Postby dubem » Sat May 05, 2007 8:51 am

Trish I am liking da avatar :P
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To the degree that we seek the approval of men, we will compromise our obedience to Christ - Rick Joyner
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Postby Trish » Sat May 05, 2007 7:30 pm

MUCHO GRACIAS!!
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