British fund manager Gemcorp, which has been operating in Angola for almost ten years, wants to manage assets as a local company and is identifying opportunities in other Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Mozambique.
In an interview with Lusa, Gemcorp CEO Atanas Bostandjiev said he was “very interested” in investing more in the financial sector in Angola and applied for a licence to manage assets locally.
“We are a UK-based asset manager, and we also want to be a local manager to bring foreign funds and contribute to the development of the local capital market,” he said, adding that the administrative procedures for granting the licence are underway.
With this licence, Gemcorp will be able to conduct the investment activities that are currently being done from London, with a team of local managers “to bring more knowledge and hire local talent” and train people in the investment sector.
Atanas Bostandjiev emphasised that Angola is Gemcorp’s “hub” in Africa, where in addition to investments in energy (Cabinda refinery), they are focused on financing other strategic projects for the government, such as the project to combat drought in Cunene (southern province), agriculture and mining.
“These are our main areas of interest”, he emphasised.
These include a partnership with the state diamond company Endiama to boost the potential of Mulepe, located in Lunda Norte, which contains significant alluvial deposits and kimberlites.
“We are finalising the investment plan to start the operation. We will announce it very soon,” said Gemcorp’s founder.
On Angola’s current economic situation, characterised by rising prices and sharp currency devaluation, he said he has a long-term vision for the country.
“We started investing in Angola in 2014, and since then, the Angolan economy has gone through several cycles, some of greater difficulties and others of improvements. Our strategy is to be a long-term strategic partner. We believe in the potential of the Angolan economy. We believe that the country deserves the best, and for Angola to have the best, it needs investors like us to bring capital and knowledge,” he said.
“We are not concerned with short-term fluctuations, but rather that the government understands that it has to make the right structural reforms to attract investors and facilitate the coming of foreign investors and capital,” he continued, stressing that Gemcorp wants to “take advantage of the opportunities that the market creates”.
Presenting himself as a pan-African investor, the Gemcorp leader says he was aware of other countries in Africa, namely Mozambique.
“Yes, we are interested. We are identifying the right opportunities,” he told Lusa.
Kenya is another African country where Gemcorp is investing, having recently acquired a minority stake in one of Africa’s largest wind power projects.
Atanas Bostandjiev said that Africa is one of the central continents, but it is not the only focus of Gemcorp, which also looks to Eastern Europe (where he himself is from) and other emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and Latin America.