Standard Chartered bank has announced that it will invest more than $100m in its African business over the next three years as it position itself to take advantage of Africa’s growing relationship with China.
Diana Layfield, Standard Chartered’s Chief Executive Officer for Africa, also revealed plans to open 110 new branches in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria alongside five other core markets as well as creating new employment in both the Wholesale and Consumer banking business including more than 900 sales staff in the Consumer Banking business.
According to Layfield, “At $1.34bn in 2011, Africa currently accounts for eight percent of Group income. Our performance has been sustained by a large number of different growth engines with a very healthy balance across our major geographies. This is a business which is enormously well-positioned. We see a real opportunity to capture a larger share of the increasing ‘south-south’ trade links between Africa and Asian countries including India, China and South Korea. As Africa becomes more globalised, very few banks have a Pan African footprint that is integrated fully with a global network”.
Investment spend will also be accelerated in mobile payments technology, physical infrastructure, staff hires, establishing new onshore presences and deepening existing ones.
Standard Chartered currently covers 37 markets in the region – 15 on a full presence basis and 22 further markets on a transaction basis following its clients; providing extensive reach across the continent, thereby covering 92 percent of sub-Saharan African GDP.
The Group will expand its geographic reach to establish new onshore presences and deepening existing ones. It intends to open new Wholesale Banking office locations in South Africa and invest in new products in both Islamic banking and Mortgages, as well as establishing an onshore presence in Mozambique.