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Goldman Sachs to sell fixed income products in South Africa, seeks licence
By Emma Rumney
JOHANNESBURG, May 15 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs is
seeking a South African banking licence as part of plans to
offer fixed income products in the country, sources and the Wall
Street investment bank said, beefing up its African operations
as global rivals scale back.
The bank, which is in the midst of a sweeping overhaul and
drive to win more clients to counter falling revenue, said on
Wednesday the expansion would see it offer products including
foreign exchange and government bonds.
"The long-term economic potential of South Africa is
unquestionable," Colin Coleman, Goldman CEO of sub-Saharan
Africa, said in a statement.
Other investment banks, including Credit Suisse and
Barclays, have slimmed down or exited their African
Credit Suisse closed its South African business last year
during the country's first recession since 2009. Years of
alleged corruption and mismanagement have knocked confidence in
the continent's most industrialised economy, which is still
struggling for growth.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters Goldman was
seeking a South African banking licence as part of the move. The
bank said its plans were still subject to certain regulatory
While some international investment banks have shrunk their
presence in Africa, local South African lenders are ramping up
their corporate and investment banking offerings elsewhere on
So has France's Societe Generale. Richard Gnodde,
CEO of the bank's international operations, said Africa was a
substantial and growing part of its business, where it saw
"tremendous opportunity" to better serve clients.
Goldman is grappling with a slump in revenue and has been
trying to expand its client base by selling more of its core
It said its expansion plans include an equity trading
cooperation agreement with Investec, which would see
both banks extend their equity trading capabilities in South
Africa and deepen links with African and international
institutional clients looking to invest in the region.
The agreement would be launched in the coming weeks and will
look to expand into additional African markets, it said.
Goldman also reportedly recently applied for a banking
licence in Japan to offer corporate cash management services.
It has also moved into consumer banking, opening an
online-only retail bank called Marcus, and invested in financial
technology firms such as UK-based online wealth manager Nutmeg
and South Africa's Jumo, which helps individuals and small
businesses access credit and savings products via mobile
(Reporting by Emma Rumney; editing by Jason Neely)
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