African Medallion Group (AMG) has said it is relocating its South Africa headquarters to United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is the biggest destination for African gold from SA’s capital Johannesburg.
Founded by prolific businessman Frank Buyanga, AMG – which has interests in gold, financial services, mining, and property – moves to Dubai in a continuing expansion drive that has seen it surpassing the staggering R1 billion threshold in gold reserves in less than one year after its inception in 2017.
The new headquarters is already fully operational at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Boulevard. This multi-billion Rand establishment’s relocation comes hardly a month after it was honoured as the startup that has displayed the greatest growth over the last year at the World Business Leaders and Honours Summit held at the Lady Majestic 71, one of Dubai’s 5-star luxury yacht.
UAE is a natural choice for AMG as it grows its footprint in this region, with the fast-growing start-up commanding quite a huge number of the firm’s customers across the region. “An executive decision was reached on 13 May 2019 to have AMG’s headquarters domiciled in Dubai,” AMG said in a note.
“The AMG Dubai office address (henceforth the new official African Medallion Group Headquarters) is as follows: Unit 2004, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AMG remains committed to adding value to Africa and the world.”
AMG – an erstwhile leading African diversified company with footprints in South Africa, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – has been on a drive to educate African entrepreneurs to shun begging for funding and instead concentrate on creative ideas on how best they can generate value from the resource of the African continent.
Together with this, it has been linked with creating a Sovereign Wealth Fund within Africa, for Africans, which will result in the emancipation, social financial inclusion and the upliftment of the general standards of living of inhabitants of the African continent.
AMG’s forays into the wealthy emirate comes as the Dubai’s economy is roaring, growing by a third over the past decade, buoyed by foreign trade, tourism and its status as the main regional hub for business services. Economists see little risk of another financial crisis; after restructuring billions of dollars of debt, Dubai’s state-linked companies are less leveraged than they were a decade ago.
Nor has headline economic growth slowed greatly. International Monetary Fund officials have estimated gross domestic product will expand over 3 percent this year. UAE has imported unrefined gold worth billions of dollars from African states since 2006, as rising gold prices after the 2008 financial crisis encouraged informal mining.
The Middle East is also a gateway to markets in Europe, the United States and beyond. Customs data shows that the UAE imported $15.1 billion worth of gold from Africa in 2016, more than any other country and up from $1,3 billion in 2006. The total weight was 446 tonnes, in varying degrees of purity – up from 67 tonnes in 2006.
Strong prices have fueled the boom. Today, gold trades at over $40,000 per kilo, which is below a peak from 2012 but still four times the level of two decades ago.
AMG’s entry into Dubai comes at a time the gold industry is seeing an increase in deals as the country attract a rising pool of investment capital.