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Standard Bank looks to Kenya to expand reach in Africa

Posted On Monday, 12 September 2005 02:00 Published by
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Standard Bank is interested in buying a stake in the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) to expand its reach in Africa.



Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest bank by assets, says it has expressed its interest in a letter to NBK’s major shareholder, the National Social Security Fund.

"We’re small in Kenya and would like to play a much bigger role," says Kevin Wingfield, director of acquisitions at Stanbic, Standard Bank’s Africa business.

"There’s an opportunity for another international player, and if something became available that met our strategic intent, we would look at it."

"NBK is one that may meet those requirements. If the shareholders were interested in selling, we would look at it," Wingfield says.

Standard Bank is active in SA and 16 other African countries, with a little more than 1-million retail customers in Africa and more than 5-million in its home market.

But Wingfield says: "There’s no offer on the table and there’s no discussion at this point."

The fund and Kenya’s treasury officials were not immediately available for comment.

Kenya’s parliament last month passed a new privatisation law that is aimed at speeding up the sale of state assets, and that country’s government lined up the National Bank of Kenya, fixed-line telephone company Telkom Kenya, and state-run electricity-generating company Kengen.

In the six months to June, Standard Bank’s Africa operations reported headline earnings of R338m, 15,8% up on the same period last year.

Africa contributed 9% of the R3,94bn in group headline earnings. The improvement came on the back of improved margins and loan growth in a number of the countries it operates in on the continent.

The Standard Bank group reported higher transaction volumes, and it also initiated a review of the fee structure across its African network. Reuters, Stephen Gunnion.

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:25
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