ABUJA May 8 Africa's biggest lender Standard
Bank aims to take advantage of opportunities in Nigeria
by expanding its existing operations and has no immediate
acquisition plans, its group chief executive told Reuters.
Sim Tshabalala also said on Thursday that the South
African-based bank had not bid for Enterprise Bank, one of three
banks held by state-owned Asset Management Corporation of
AMCON put Enterprise Bank up for sale last year and has
attracted 18 bidders including foreign and local investors.
Tshabalala cited growth and return on equity as the key
criteria for any potential acquisition.
"Assets that we have looked at will not meet those criteria,
and that's why we have not done it," he said.
"If anything that meets our investment criteria presents
itself, we will look at it, but at the moment not," he added on
the sidelines of a World Economic Forum conference in Abuja,
Nigeria last month overtook South Africa as Africa's biggest
Corporate and investment banking accounts for most of the
bank's profits in Nigeria. Retail banking, which has been rolled
out more recently, carries a higher cost burden but over time
should provide an increasing share of profits, Tshabalala said.
Standard Bank, the biggest retail bank in South Africa with
11 million customers, currently has a market share of around 4
percent in Nigeria in terms of deposits and loans.
It has expanded across Africa, but faces competition from
other South African banks also looking to take advantage of
opportunities in the fast-growing continent.
(Editing by Jane Baird)