The Eastern Europe bank says it intends to play more of a complimentary role than being a competitor as it intends to focus on less congested sectors such as oil and gas.
“We are looking into providing financing and skills in oil and gas as we are one of the banks with advanced skills in oil and gas deals in the world, “Oleg Vaksman, deputy chairperson of Gazprombank told CNBC Africa.
“Traditionally, we focus on corporate credit, project finance, corporate finance, and capital markets activities. The bank is one of the biggest bond holders in Russia and in the international markets,” said Vaksman.
“Gazprombank is a universal corporate bank with about 80 per cent coming from corporate investments and 20 per cent coming from retail,” he added.
With over 45,000 corporate clients, Gazprombank is ready to set the Johannesburg office before the end of the year which will help in its expansion into the African market.
The entrance of Gazprombank into the South African market is part of its international emerging market strategy.
“Asia and Africa forms part of our emerging markets strategy as they are the engines for growth and this is critical for our long term plans expansion. We are big enough to diversify so South Africa being one of the major financial, banking and skills hub we saw that potential for partners and that informed our decision to start here,” added Vaksman.
Vaksman noted that the bank will be looking into establishing partnerships with commercial banks and some development finance institutions.
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A number of international institutions have used South Africa as the base with long term intentions of expanding into SADC countries and even into East Africa chiefly due to policy predictability and developed infrastructure.
BY TRUST MATSILELE