China's ICBC to buy control of StanBank unit for $765 million

JOHANNESBURG Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:43am EST

Cars drive past a branch of Golomt Bank in Ulan Bator January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Mareike Guensche

Cars drive past a branch of Golomt Bank in Ulan Bator January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mareike Guensche

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Standard Bank (SBKJ.J) said on Wednesday it would sell a 60 percent stake in its London-based markets unit to China's ICBC for $765 million, as Africa's top lender continues to scale back operations outside the continent.

The deal also reflects a growing appetite by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (601398.SS) to trade commodities as well as consume them.

Reuters reported in July that Standard Bank was in talks to sell the business to ICBC, its top shareholder.

Standard Bank, which is 20 percent owned by ICBC, has been hiving off its operations outside Africa to focus on fast growing sub-Saharan markets.

ICBC will acquire 60 percent of the London-based markets business, which focuses on commodities, fixed income, currencies, credit and equities products.

ICBC will also be granted a five-year option to purchase another 20 percent of the business for cash.

Standard Bank said it will retain its London-based investment banking and transaction products businesses.

Shares of Standard Bank were up 0.4 percent at 122.50 rand at 1131 GMT.

(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa)

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