Standard has its hands full

Richard Stovin-Bradford

Richard Stovin-Bradford

Standard Bank may have painted most of sub-Saharan Africa blue with an on-the-ground presence in 18 countries, but recent acquisitions in Nigeria and Kenya need to be bedded down before it can resume the acquisition trail.

Although Standard is Africa's largest bank, Francophone West Africa remains a region that has not yet received "on-the-ground" treatment from the bank.

Global corporate and investment banking chief executive Peter Wharton-Hood said yesterday setting up a physical presence in French-speaking Africa was not on Standard's radar screen.

But analysts say the bank's partners at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China could cause it to review its position, given the resources wealth in the region.

Asked whether Standard had considered buying Ecobank, the Togo-based retail and business bank, Wharton-Hood said: "We are aware of them, but we have to be careful not to do things that cause management stress. We must remain focused on what we've got - our Nigerian and Kenyan acquisitions are keeping us busy." - Business Times