Absa Group has opened an office in London to help UK and European businesses expand into Africa.

The group will also soon be opening an office in New York, and in a yet undecided location in Asia.

The aim of the new UK office is to become the preferred corporate and investment banking partner for UK and European firms and investors who want to do business in Africa’s growing economies and “successfully navigate relatively unfamiliar territory”.

Officially trading as Absa Securities UK, the office will be headed by CJ Giddy. It will provide a range of services, including liquidity management, cash management, trade and working capital, risk management and investment banking.

The launch comes at “an opportune time”, the bank says, “as UK and European investors and businesses look to an increasingly stable and prosperous Africa for opportunity in a post-Brexit environment”.

“The UK is a key source of foreign direct investment and a critical trade partner for Africa,” says David Renwick, head of global finance and trade at Absa. “London has a wealth of investment managers and financial institutions who have a long and successful track record of investing in Africa. They make ideal partners for our trade ambition across the continent.”

Absa is one of Africa’s largest financial services group, with offices in 12 countries in the continent. It is now on a mission to expand its international presence throughout major trading corridors into Africa, which include North America and Asia.

According to Absa, the new UK office “represents a key milestone in Absa’s journey to becoming a true, standalone universal African bank” following its official separation from Barclays in June. Until then, Absa was named Barclays Group Africa.

Barclays’ share in Absa Group is today 14.9%.

Absa Group CEO, Maria Ramos, says: “Having made the strategic commitment to grow in Africa we are also focused on investing in the infrastructure and capacity we need to help our global clients maximise their own growth potential in Africa.”