Standard Bank hungry for acquisitions in Africa

Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala

Standard Bank would consider doing an acquisition as it seeks to gain a greater foothold in East Africa, a region that’s been aided by increased ties to the Middle East. 

The lender will first prioritize growing its market share organically, Sim Tshabalala, CEO of Standard Bank, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

“We’re also looking to look at buying market share in appropriate parts of the competitive environment, like, for example, where people are selling their books,” Tshabalala said.

“We’re looking at opportunities to partner with others, and indeed, we look for judiciously priced and appropriate opportunities to make acquisitions where they make sense.” 

With R3.03 trillion in assets as of June, Standard Bank is Africa’s biggest lender. The company already has a presence in 20 African nations as well as in the US, China, United Arab Emirates, Isle of Man, Jersey and the UK. 

East Africa’s economy has been expected to expand faster than other regions on the continent, aided by public spending on infrastructure, a push by governments to diversify their economies beyond agriculture and deeper regional trade.

Countries like Kenya and Tanzania are expected to have some of the best-performing economies in the world this year. 

“The first thing to do there is to grow organically, look for opportunities for our clients, look at what they’re buying, help them to make those acquisitions, look at the projects that they’re executing, help them to finance them, help them to raise the capital that they need, help people as they build,” Tshabalala said.