Ecobank board removes chief

The board of Ecobank decided yesterday to remove chief executive Thierry Tanoh following months of turmoil at one of the biggest financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Two senior bank sources confirmed that Tanoh had been removed during a board meeting in the Cameroon capital Yaounde but gave no further details. The bank has set up a committee to find new board members after Nigeria’s banking regulator made recommendations on corporate governance amid allegations of fraud by senior managers at the Togo-based lender. The committee comprised two former chairmen, Gervais Djondo and Philip Asiodu, two existing directors and three shareholder representatives, the bank said yesterday. – Reuters and Bloomberg


Expansion costs hit Jet Stores

Profit at the Zimbabwe unit of Jet Stores, which now has 23 shops in the country, declined 40 percent during the year to January 14 although holding company Edgars Zimbabwe posted an after-tax profit of $4.2 million (R45.1m) for the period. Profit at Jet declined to $522 527 although sales volumes grew by 17 percent. Edcon controls nearly 39 percent in Edgars Zimbabwe. Linda Masterson, the Zimbabwe managing director for the group, attributed the decline to the costs of setting up new stores. Edgars Zimbabwe’s group chairman Themba Sibanda said overall retail sales had risen 8 percent to $64.8m while after tax profits had surged 12 percent. Masterson said about 70 percent of the group’s 198 000 accounts were active, with the loan book amounting $23.5m.– Tawanda Karombo


StanChart buys into Copperbelt

Standard Chartered’s private equity arm has acquired a quarter of Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy for $57 million (R613m). It would take 25.8 percent of the Lusaka-listed power supplier by acquiring a stake in parent company Zambian Energy Corporation, Standard Chartered and Copperbelt said yesterday. Copperbelt, which supplies power to mines in Africa’s largest copper producer, has recently acquired stakes in a power company and power plant here. Standard Chartered has been ramping up its private equity investments in Africa. – Reuters