Stanbic seeks to improve trade with China

HARARE - Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe (Stanbic) is seeking to extend its footprint into new markets in China leveraging on its ties with the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which holds a 20 percent stake in the Standard Bank Group.

“ICBC’s stake in Standard Bank Group places both Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe and the group in a unique position to facilitate capital flow between China and Africa and this sets the financial services institution apart from its competitors,” Stanbic marketing and corporate affairs manager Palmer Mugavha said on Tuesday.

This comes as China — touted as Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend — has been accounting for about 30 percent of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the country in the last few years, official government figures show.

Statistics from the Zimbabwe Investment Authority revealed that in 2014 China contributed over $200 million out of the total $543 million FDI in Zimbabwe.

Mugavha, who was speaking at an art exhibition targeted at the bank’s Chinese clients and their business partners following a two-day  visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Zimbabwe, said ICBC was a key development partner not only in Zimbabwe and South Africa but throughout the continent.

“Our relationship also showcases a successful Africa-China relationship through collaboration between ICBC and Standard Bank as well as deepen the understanding of ICBC and SGB’s role on the continent,” he said.

Stanbic is part of one of Africa’s leading banking and financial services groups, the Standard Bank Group Limited, which is based in South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.

The bank’s profits increased by 10 percent to $10,5 million in the six months to June 2015 due to a rise in investments interest.

The unlisted bank’s core capital stood at $81,6 million by end of June this year against a regulatory minimum requirement of $25 million — ensuring the bank is on course to meet the $100 million minimum requirement set by the central bank in 2013.

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