Moscow-based Renaissance Capital (RenCap), an emerging markets investment bank, is on a mission to build its footprint across the African continent. The person leading that charge is Clifford Sacks, former CEO of Merrill Lynch South Africa.
Sacks, who is currently RenCap’s CEO of South Africa and head of Pan African Equities, recently spoke to Africonomist editor David Dankwa about the bank’s investment interests and priorities in Africa and why he thinks the continent is poised to become an important growth factory globally.
Where is the capital flow into Africa coming from at the moment?
We have seen a significant amount of investor interest from South Africa over the last couple of years. We think the South African fund managers are probably ahead of the pack in understanding and committing to Africa. We also see various other funds from different parts of the world, mostly in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. There is investor interest in Africa globally, which is a trend that is growing, not diminishing.
Has the financial crisis helped divert more investment capital from so-called safe havens to places like Africa?
Yes, but to be clear, in the height of any crisis when there is an aversion from risk, all the emerging markets will see capital flows wane. Africa is no exception. Capital to the continent ebbs and flows. As with any other emerging market, when there is a return to risk, you see flows into emerging markets. Africa is at the front of the queue on that.
Read the full interview here.