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ICBC to Buy Standard Bank’s Markets Business

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has increased its effort to build a financial markets business with the acquisition of 60% of the existing issued shares in Standard Bank Plc.

SB Plc is a bank wholly owned by Standard Bank via Standard Bank London Holdings Limited, and has full banking licenses and an “active” global markets business with in-depth knowledge of emerging markets, the banks says, adding it also has extensive experience in trading commodities and providing global markets solutions to meet its clients’ needs.

As part of the share sale and purchase agreement, SB Plc will carve out all businesses not related to the global markets business prior to completion of the transaction.

Following the completion of the carve-out and re-organisation, SB Plc will become a bank dedicated to the global markets business, providing services to global clients through its affiliates and operations in the London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Jianqing Jiang, chairman of ICBC, says, “The large amount of commodities trading and the consequential needs for hedging resulting from the development of the Chinese economy, as well as financial reforms such as the deregulation of interest rates and foreign exchange rates, along with the two-way opening-up of capital markets, have posed new demands for the transformation of the service capabilities and business model of Chinese banks.

“By leveraging SB Plc’s global markets business platform, mature business model and industrial expertise, this transaction will elevate ICBC’s global markets capabilities in business development, risk management, operations and innovation in order to better serve our clients’ needs,” he continues. “With the advantageous strength and resources of the shareholders, the joint venture will continue to enhance risk management and compliance practice. On this basis, the joint venture will steadily develop current businesses while exploring new business opportunities with high growth potential. Serving both ICBC and Standard Bank’s clients, as well as Chinese clients’ needs in global commodities, foreign exchange, interest rates, credit, equity and risk hedging, I believe the joint venture will become a financial markets business platform that will satisfy both parent shareholders’ strategies.”

Ben Kruger, joint chief executive officer of Standard Bank, adds, “We are excited about the prospects of deepening and extending our cooperation with ICBC through the global markets platform that we have built outside Africa. The strength and reach of ICBC, our strategic partner, will open a wide range of new business opportunities for the global markets business, while continuing to serve Standard Bank’s African clients as their economies continue to grow and develop.”

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