Standard Bank improving economic presence in Africa

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Standard Bank improving economic presence in Africa Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets and earnings. PHOTO: Standard Bank

“The group’s positioning across the African continent has been further validated in the period with 27 per cent growth in aggregate headline earnings for our African subsidiaries, other than South Africa,” the financial services organisation has said.

“We are appropriately invested in key African countries and are leveraging the group’s strong South African platform developed over many years to grow our businesses and deliver value to our clients.”

South Africa’s Standard Bank started building a franchise in the rest of Africa in the early 1990s. They are currently operating in 18 countries on the continent, including South Africa, as well as in other selected emerging markets.

The group reported its unaudited interim results on Thursday. Headline earnings were up 11 per cent to 8.1 billion rand and headline earnings per share was up 10 per cent to 506 cents.

Return on equity was at 13.8 per cent and the net asset value per share was up 16 per cent to 7 660 cents.

“In an environment where revenue generation is becoming increasingly challenging, the group has achieved good growth in total income of 13 per cent and has managed to offset the pressures of higher credit impairments and costs affected by a weaker rand,” the bank revealed.

Cost to income ratio was 57.3 per cent, the credit loss ratio was 1.17 per cent and a dividend per share of 233 cents was declared.

The banking group, which has a strong focus in Personal and Business Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking and Wealth, saw positive growth in its corporate banking division.

“Corporate and Investment Banking grew fees and commissions by 11 per cent as good growth continued in transactional banking across the African continent. Sharply increased activity occurred through the mobile banking channels in South Africa offset by slightly lower activity through the group’s ATM network,” they said.

Standard Bank also indicated that underlying momentum in the businesses across the continent is strong and that they will continue to build on the foundation laid in previous years.