Standard Bank eyes West Africa growth

Abidjan - Standard Bank is seeking a banking license in Senegal after opening in Ivory Coast as the lender expands in West Africa’s French-speaking countries.

Africa’s largest lender, which opened in the world’s biggest cocoa producer on Monday, will focus on corporate and investment banking clients after obtaining the license in 2016, Sola David-Borha, the Johannesburg-based company’s chief executive officer for Africa, said in an interview in Abidjan.

Standard Bank sees Ivory Coast as an entry point for Francophone West Africa and will target to have all the necessary permits for Senegal in 12- to 18 months, she said.

Ivory Coast, the biggest economy among the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, expanded at 7.8% last year after an average of 9% per year since 2012, boosted by public spending. After growth of 6.8% in 2017, Senegal will maintain an expansion rate of about 7% until 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Following clients

“Francophone West Africa is increasingly becoming important as a vector of growth on the African continent,” Standard Bank group CEO Sim Tshabalala said in the same interview. “We’re going to follow our clients. It’s mainly going to be driven by our clients’ needs and our clients’ demands and we’ll go to where our clients take us.”

Standard Bank, which operates in 20 African countries, also wants to obtain a license for Ethiopia where it has a representative office, said David-Borha. African countries outside South Africa contributed 28% to Standard Bank’s net revenue in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

ZAR/USD
17.03
(+0.31)
ZAR/GBP
21.88
(-0.22)
ZAR/EUR
19.89
(+0.06)
ZAR/AUD
12.06
(-0.11)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.27)
Gold
1881.63
(+1.06)
Silver
23.67
(+3.12)
Platinum
880.00
(+3.52)
Brent Crude
42.29
(0.00)
Palladium
2267.50
(+1.91)
All Share
54718.80
(+2.11)
Top 40
50578.66
(+2.08)
Financial 15
9932.20
(+5.65)
Industrial 25
73991.07
(+1.43)
Resource 10
54366.26
(+1.71)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 1378 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
73% - 8921 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
16% - 1977 votes
Vote