Standard Chartered To Double African Presence, Invests $100m

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VENTURES AFRICA – Standard Chartered plans to invest $100 million in Africa over the next five years, the bank announces, in a push to double presence on the continent.

The bank announced its expansion plan to investors in London on Tuesday, mapping out its projects for the coming years.

The bank outlined a five year investment plan which will see 110 new branches open across the African continent, including in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and five other countries – at a total investment of $100 million. Standard Chartered will also spread to hitherto unexplored markets- launching in Angola and Mozambique.

The bank also hopes to create over 950 new sales jobs within its consumer financing business.

The company has indicated that it hopes to invest more into mobile money technologies, in line with the system’s popularity on the African continent.

Standard Chartered is a UK-based bank, however its business focus is directed to emerging markets, in particular Asia and the Middle East. The company now hopes to ramp up its expansion on the so far relatively untapped African market.

The bank also held an “Africa Investor Day” in London on Tuesday, the first such conference not only held by the bank, but by any investment bank in the UK. The inaugural event came in response to growing investor interest in the potential held by the African continent, with investors eager to discover what sort of opportunities are available to them.

Throughout the investor day, senior members of Standard Chartered held presentations on various topical issues: outlining the African market, discussion of macro-economies on the continent, presentations of current trading trends – particularly between Africa and Asia, to name but a few of the issues explored over the day.

The expansion move comes as the next in a line of UK banks looking to move out to the African continent and maximise on strong economic growth across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Earlier this year, Barclays entered into a merger with South African bank Absa in a transaction which saw Barclays’ operations swallowed by Absa’s continent-wide operations. The UK bank saw this as an opportunity to grow its African market sector while maximising on efficiency.