Emerging markets investment bank Renaissance Capital said yesterday that it is opening an office in Hong Kong.
In May, Renaissance Capital filed with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for licences that will allow the firm to engage in, deal in and advise on securities transactions. It is currently in the process of working through the licencing process with the SFC, but has already gone ahead and appointed a CEO for the office.
Like Renaissance Capital's offices in London and New York, the Hong Kong office will distribute securities from Russia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and other emerging markets to institutional investors.
It is expected that the Hong Kong office will have a staff of 15 by the end of 2010. This will include sales and trading staff, as well as four or five senior investment banking professionals, with a focus on the metals and mining sector. In addition, Renaissance Capital expects to have a light investment banking presence on the ground in Beijing by the end of the year.
Jeremy Sparrow has been seconded from London to Hong Kong to lead the office as CEO. Sparrow, a managing director since 2001, is a former head of equities and former head of international sales at Renaissance Capital.
Stephen Jennings, CEO of Renaissance Capital, said: "The centre of global capital for emerging markets is moving east, and we expect Hong Kong to be the greatest beneficiary of that process. We are also witnessing a major M&A integration between Asia and other emerging markets. For these reasons, we are building an Asian presence with an office in Hong Kong."
Sparrow added: "Russia is the largest commodities producer in Asia, (while) Asia, and China in particular, is becoming the world's largest consumer of commodities. Thus it is natural for these two regions to integrate further, including integration through the financial markets. There are large pools of Asian capital, both sovereign and private, looking for commodity driven ideas. Renaissance Capital has a dominant position in these resource rich geographies and we believe we are ideally positioned to intermediate these flows."
In February the firm announced it had hired Nick Andrews, formerly with J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse First Boston in Hong Kong, as global head of equities, noting that he will focus on Asia. This is obviously a key area for the firm that made its Asian "debut" as one of the eight bookrunners on UC Rusal's $2.24 billion Hong Kong IPO in January.