Absa strikes alliance for pan-African banking service

Absa has announced a partnership with Société Générale to form a "pan-African wholesale banking offering" in what the bank described as part of advancing its growth strategy.

According to Absa, the partnership will leverage both banks' geographical strengths and expertise, offering a range of banking products and services to international and domestic corporate clients and financial institutions with operations in Africa. 

"The agreement we have entered into should go a long way to enable our clients to do business in Africa regardless of where they want to do business," Absa chief executive Maria Ramos.

"For Absa, the acquisition supports our growth strategy in Africa," added Ramos.

The combination of the French banking group's business operations in 19 African countries, mainly in Western and Northern Africa, with Absa’s presence in 12 countries, would boost client coverage beyond the banks' respective traditional markets, offering a wide range of banking products.

"It is also aligned with Absa's growth strategy which aims to further develop its wholesale banking activities and extend its geographical reach into key African trading corridors," said Absa in a statement.

The agreement includes a combined offering dedicated to Chinese companies operating in Africa. Societe Generale has established China business desks at 11 of its local subsidiaries to service Chinese clients in Africa.

As part of Absa's international and China strategy, the group will be rolling out China service desks in key African countries to complement its desk in South Africa.

Last year, Absa rebranded itself after Barclays sold down the controlling stake it bought in 2005.

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