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Tuesday, 06 October 2009 12:06

Stanbic Partners With Russian Investment Group

BOTSWANA, October 6 - Stanbic Bank Botswana's parent company, Standard Bank of South Africa, recently entered into yet another strategic partnership with Russian investment giant, Troika Dialog Group.


Standard Bank recently emphasised the value of their partnership in leveraging Russia-Africa trade flows when officials from the two banks met in Windhoek, Namibia.


This follows a visit to Namibia by Andrei Sharonov, managing director of Troika Dialog Group. Sharonov is part of a high-profile delegation led by Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev that is currently visiting Africa.


One of the highlights of the visit by Medvedev and his entourage of leading business representatives is to give an opportunity to local entrepreneurs to meet with their Russian counterparts and explore opportunities available through Russia-Africa trade links.


"Such partnerships are ideal for broader trade relations between Africa and various parts of the globe. We are proud of our strategic alliances which provide us access to vast resources, ideas and skills," said Leina Gabarane, the MD of Stanbic Bank Botswana.


Troika Dialog Group is the most established and largest independent investment bank in Russia. Standard Bank recently announced that it would be entering into a strategic partnership with Troika Dialog under which Standard Bank intends, subject to regulatory approvals, to become a 33 percent shareholder in Troika Dialog.


"Standard Bank is an emerging markets banking group, and from its position in Africa, is developing businesses in and across the world's other key emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia and China," said Richard Gush, the chief executive (Corporate and Investment Banking).


"Russian businesses are interested in partnership opportunities in Africa, both in terms of access to mineral resources as well as participating in power and infrastructure projects," Sharonov said.


"My trip to Nigeria, Namibia and Angola is meant to introduce members of the Russian delegation to Standard Bank and to explore opportunities for financing Russian companies' projects on these markets," he said.


Sharonov said Standard Bank is uniquely placed as the leading bank in Africa and other emerging markets to introduce Troika Dialog to its global network and set of relationships.


"Together with Standard Bank we will work to strengthen and enhance our domestic franchise, as well as create an international platform to connect Russian clients to Africa and other emerging markets."


Standard Bank last year entered into another partnership with the world's largest bank by market value, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). ICBC and Standard Bank were recently in Botswana to sign loan agreements for the financing of the expansion of Morupule B Power Station.


This funding plan includes a $825 million export buyer's credit and a $140 million bridge loan and is expected to help ICBC speak louder in the international power market and earn a good reputation in Africa.


By March this year, the two banks had cooperated on 65 projects of which nine have already been completed. ICBC got R1.213 billion cash dividends and stock dividends worth R589 million from Standard Bank after becoming the latter's biggest single shareholder.


It is estimated that annual return for ICBC's investment in Standard Bank is about 7.7 percent, far more than investing in foreign bonds.


ICBC has intensified cooperation with Standard Bank in resource banking, corporate banking, investment banking, global financial markets and investment funds, said a spokesperson from ICBC.


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