VENTURES AFRICA – Africa’s biggest bank by asset, Standard Bank has disclosed an expensive plan to open 30 more branches in sub-Saharan Africa this year, strategically positioning to reap more from the explosive increase in loans and deposits on the continent.
According to Standard’s Chief Executive, Jacko Maree profit from the boom is “growing by some 80 percent.”
The bank, which recorded a 9 percent rise in first-half profit, explained it recorded a below-expectation profit because of the burden of heavy investments on earnings. It also stated that it would continue investing to profit from Africa’s 30-40 percent increase in deposits and loans.
Operating currently with seven branches in Angola, Standard Bank is set on a 70-branch expansion plan in the second-largest oil-producing African nation.
At the time of this report, shares of the Johannesburg’s Top-40 index rose 10 percent higher than Standard Bank’s 18 percent increase putting the bank’s share value at 112.48 rand at 1414 GMT.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has a 20 percent stake in Standard Bank.
Headquartered in Johannesburg, the South African financial giant has operations in 17 countries and a total of 514 branches outside its home market. By 2013, the lender plans to expand to 550 branches.