Johannesburg - Traders covering Africa from Dubai will move “in due course,” to South Africa’s largest city, bank spokeswoman Vicki Robinson said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday.
Private equity, transaction banking and project finance teams covering Africa have already moved to Johannesburg, she said.
Competitor Barclays, which controls South Africa’s Absa, closed its Africa headquarters in Dubai in 2011 and relocated staff to Johannesburg to work more closely with the local bank.
Standard Chartered’s income from Africa rose 15 percent last year to $1.59 billion, with 10 countries posting growth of more than 10 percent, including Kenya which gained 34 percent and South Africa, which rose 28 percent, the bank said.
The London-based lender, with operations in 16 African countries, plans to invest $100 million over the next three years opening 110 branches on the continent and recruiting 950 consumer-banking staff, Robinson said.
Revenue from Africa made up more than 8 percent of income last year, the bank said.
Standard Chartered has been operating in Africa for more than 150 years and entered the United Arab Emirates in 1958, according to the bank’s website.
It employs more than 2,300 people in the UAE and prior to the relocation had over 200 traders in Dubai.
The bank said in October it plans to double revenue at its African business within five years.
The lender, which gets most of its profit from Asia, has been expanding in Africa, India and China, where economies are outpacing many developed nations.
Standard Chartered has just under 300 people based in Johannesburg and while its sub Saharan Africa team will be based in the city, its Middle East and North Africa team remains in Dubai, Robinson said.
Barclays and Absa are integrating their operations in Africa as both lenders seek to boost profit on a continent where many of the 1 billion people don’t have bank accounts.
Absa investors on February 25 voted to approve the South African bank’s $2.1 billion all-share offer for most of Barclays’s African assets, marking “the birth of a pan-African banking giant,” according to Absa Chairman Garth Griffin.
Standard Chartered, which said yesterday that pre-tax profit gained to $6.88 billion, rose 3.2 percent to 1,837.5 pence in London, valuing it at about 44 billion pounds ($67 billion).
The stock is up 17 percent this year, making it the second-best performer among Britain’s five biggest lenders, trailing Barclays. - Bloomberg News