East Africa still a virgin ground for investment bankers - CNBC Africa

East Africa still a virgin ground for investment bankers

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by Trust Matsilele 0

East Africa is providing lucrative opportunities for investment bankers.

East Africa is providing lucrative opportunities for investment bankers, this is according to Paul Mwai of AIB Capital.

Investment bankers are financial institutions that assist individuals, corporations, and governments in raising capital by underwriting issuance.

Mwai told CNBC Africa that there was need for investment bankers to also start exploring for opportunities in the small to medium enterprise (SME) space.

“SMEs are going to be the engine of growth in Africa with some having the potential to become multinationals,” he said.

(READ MORE: Impressive prospects for investment banking in Nigeria )

According to Mwai, there were various opportunities for investment bankers such as in debt funding, growth in private equity and advisory across sectors.

He also said SMEs were already part of the Africa growth story warning that the big challenge they were facing was access to capital.

“They can see the opportunities and they have accesses to these opportunities but access to capital remains as one of their big challenges,” he said.

(READ MORE: India's investment interests in Africa sharpening )

“There is also a knowledge gap and lack of advisory services as it seems they are concentrated on bigger transactions instead of SMEs.”

Mwai said with the right capital injection it will only take certain SMEs a few years to become big business conglomerates.

“We could look at companies that are growth companies and make investments in those spaces,” he urged investment bankers.

Mwai said the stock market was still alien to SMEs as most players in this space think it is preserved for big players only.

He added that SME players should explore for opportunities on the equity market for capital mobilisation and look for structured debts.

“These examples show that there are alternatives other than getting a loan from a regular bank.”

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