Standard Bank Testing the Financial Water


Standard Bank Testing the Financial Water

Standard Bank showed a strong interest in entering the Ethiopian financial sector with its CEO for African Region, Yinka Sanni, visiting Addis Abeba last week. During his three-day stay, Sanni visited the Ministry of Finance, the central bank, Ethiopian Airlines and Safaricom. It is one of the regional banks testing the water alongside Equity Bank and Kenyan Commercial Bank (KCB) after Ethiopian authorities announced their decision to let foreign capital invested in the banking industry. The South African-based bank is the largest in the continent, with assets of close to 170 billion dollars, nine-fold bigger than Ethiopia's largest public bank, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Headquartered in Johannesburg, Standard Bank has the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the Government Pension Fund as its largest institutional shareholders, with 20pc and 14pc stakes, respectively. ICBC is one of the biggest banks in the world, with total assets nearing six trillion dollars. Standard Bank is traded on the South African and Namibian stock exchanges, with a market capitalisation of 14 billion dollars in the last fiscal year. It has 46,000 employees across 22 countries, and 6,600 runs ATMs. The Bank opened a representative office in Ethiopia in 2015 and remained inactive due to overarching domestic laws prohibiting foreign banks. However, it had structured 75 million dollars in finance for opening the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa plant in Sebeta.


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