Standard Chartered to buy Absa's South African custody business

JOHANNESBURG Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:54am EDT

A woman walks down the stairs of the Standard Chartered headquarters in Hong Kong in this October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

A woman walks down the stairs of the Standard Chartered headquarters in Hong Kong in this October 13, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip/Files

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Standard Chartered (STAN.L) said on Thursday it will acquire Absa Group's ASAJ.J South African custody and trustee operation, as the London-based lender steps up its presence in the continent's top economy.

Absa's sale of the operation follows that of its parent Barclays Plc (BARC.L), which sold its custody businesses in Africa to Standard Chartered in 2010.

The banks did not disclose the size of the deal, but Absa said it would not be material to the group. Custody services include processes such as back office management for overseas investors trading on the continent's bourses.

Standard Chartered is expanding its South African operation and last week told Reuters it was opening up two new branches in the country's second and third biggest cities to tap corporate clients with operations in the rest of Africa.

The lender made revenues of $1.6 billion on the fast-growing continent in 2012 and plans to double this in the next five years.

(Reporting by Helen Nyambura; editing by David Dolan)

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