Standard Bank, which had a representative office in Abidjan since 2013, officially launched its Ivorian subsidiary on April 9 under the name of Stanbic Bank Côte d’Ivoire, after having obtained its banking license in 2016. A member of the South African Standard Bank, the continent’s leading banking institution, the new subsidiary is a sign of growing interest in West Africa.
« When it came to (…) rethinking, reorienting and re-energizing Standard Bank Group’s African strategy, particularly in West Africa, the remarkable economic performance and stability found in Côte d’Ivoire, an obvious choice to create a bank, « explained Michel Brizoua-Bi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Stanbic Bank Ivory Coast.
« Our operational presence in Côte d’Ivoire supports Standard Bank’s strategy of being the leading financial services organization in Africa and our desire to broaden and deepen our presence on the continent, » Sola said. David-Borha, Executive Director for the Africa region of Standard Bank.
The country has the advantage of having strong growth and a « diversified economy » in the group’s favorite sectors such as energy, infrastructure, natural resources (oil, gas and mining), agriculture or telecommunications.
Presented as a « corporate and investment banking », targeting large local and pan-African companies, the bank also intends to turn to « SMEs and individuals, » told the press Hervé Boyer, the general manager.
Senegal, the next destination
If Abidjan was initially intended to serve as a base for the francophone countries of West Africa, it is now the entire region that interests the banking group. « Francophone West Africa is becoming increasingly important as a growth vector on the African continent, » Bloomberg CEO Sim Tshabalala, the group’s CEO, told Bloomberg. « We will follow our customers according to their needs and demands; we will go where they take us, « he added. And the next target country is Senegal, the future oil eldorado, with a maturity of 12 to 18 months, said Sola David-Borha, Bloomberg.
Based in Johannesburg, the Standard Bank Group has a presence in 20 African markets. Total earnings for 2017 were approximately $ 2 billion and total assets were R $ 2,000 billion (approximately $ 165 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalization as at December 31, 2017 was $ 317 billion, or $ 28 billion.