Saturday, February 21, 2009

Soros sails for the antipodes...

Now, the security question (the answer to which will be American presence in Sub-Saharan Africa) is less an inchoate doctrine and more inevitability.

More of this to come as the Remora follow the big fish.

Soros analysts eye Nigeria's banking sector
By Matthew Green in Lagos
Published: February 20 2009 02:00 | Last updated: February 20 2009 02:00
George Soros's $20bn hedge fund company is looking at potential opportunities in Nigeria's banking sector, where valuations have collapsed in the past year amid growing fears over the level of supervision and transparency.

Senior analysts from Soros Fund Management visited Nigeria this week to meet bankers and government officials, raising hopes in the market of a return of foreign interest after many portfolio investors fled during the course of the past year.

Remi Babalola, minister of state for finance, said he was due to brief Sharif Atta, a senior analyst at Soros Fund Management, and Ahmad Zuaiter, a portfolio manager, on the investment climate in Nigeria today.

"What makes it interesting is that they are the first to come since the global financial crisis, and since the departure of most other investors from the market," Mr Babalola told the Financial Times. "It's going to be a magnet for other investors to come in."

The Soros delegation met Nigerian bankers including senior managers from United Bank for Africa and Diamond Bank during their trip to Lagos, the commercial capital, according to sources within the banks. Representatives of at least two other big US and European funds have also visited Lagos since the start of the year, according to another industry source. The Soros Fund Management declined to comment.

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