Standard Chartered works to boost business in Africa
BUSINESSBy BiztechAfrica - July 9, 2012, 9:21 a.m.
Standard Chartered Bank has encouraged South Korean companies to advance into Africa, as the bank grows its support of business on the continent.
Standard Chartered reports that more than 90% of its income and profits are derived from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The bank has 170 branches in 16 African countries, and is bringing to market new offerings designed to meet the needs of small and medium enterprises in Africa.
The bank last week announced new services for SMEs in Ghana and Nigeria, among others. The services include SME centres, dedicated hotlines and access to the bank’s global online platform Straight2Bank.
Speaking in Lagos, the bank’s Global Head, SME Banking, Tim Hinton, noted that as mass employers of labour and great contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), small businesses cannot be neglected; rather, efforts to mitigate risks must be made in order to enhance their sustainability.
In addition, the bank has called on South Korean companies to venture into Africa. Richard Hill, president and CEO of Standard Chartered Korea and Standard Chartered Bank Korea, told businessmen that the bank has already helped several Korean companies advancing into Africa, including Hyundai Engineering which won the bid for the world’s biggest geothermal plant project in Kenya.
Standard Chartered was also recently appointed as the sole arranger for the IFC Pan-African Debt Medium Term Note Program, which will increase the availability of local-currency financing for private sector development in Africa.
Standard Chartered CEO Peter Sands said: “Standard Chartered shares IFC’s commitment to supporting the development of local capital markets in Africa, which has been a core part of our business for nearly 150 years."
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