Russians buy SA broking firm

PRIVATELY owned Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital is buying Barnard Jacobs Mellet Securities, South Africa's leading independent full-service broker-dealer, for R207million.

PRIVATELY owned Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital is buying Barnard Jacobs Mellet Securities, South Africa's leading independent full-service broker-dealer, for R207million.

"When completed, the acquisition will mark a major step in building the first truly pan-African investment banking franchise stretching from the Cape to Cairo," Rencap's Clifford Sacks said yesterday.

Rencap was one of the most active dealmakers in Africa last year, executing 18 transactions in 10 countries. It has offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Ghana.

In February, it appointed a senior Merrill Lynch director to run its new offices in South Africa to focus primarily on metals and mining, oil and gas, financials and telecommunications.

Rencap said last month it would expand in Africa, adding further local expertise in a continent rich in minerals and oil.

Shares in BJM, the parent company of BJM Securities, were 5,3percent higher yesterday, outpacing a 0,6percent weaker JSE All Share Index. The deal will not affect BJM's other units, including BJM Private Client Services.

Abri du Plessis, chief investment officer at Gryphon Asset Management, said BJM's share price was driven higher by a good price for BJM Securities. - Reuters

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