Oil Report

S.Africa's Standard Bank plans Angola investment

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Africa's biggest bank by assets, Standard Bank SBKJ.J, plans to invest millions of dollars in Angola to set up a commercial and investment bank and offer retail banking services, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

Senior executives from Standard Bank, which has applied to the Angolan government to convert its current representative office into a bank, met Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in Luanda on Tuesday.

Angola is experiencing an economic boom, sparked by oil revenues from offshore fields which has made it sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest oil producer and the newest member of Opec.

Peter Wharton-Hood, Standard Bank’s chief executive, personal and business banking, who was in the delegation along with board member and top black businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, said the bank was looking at developing a universal bank in Angola.

“Angola is an exciting market with lots of potential, there are lots of unbanked people. Our primary interest is in developing a commercial and investment bank, we will be developing a retail offering over time,” Wharton-Hood said.

Standard Bank planned to invest about $25 million in Angola, he added.

The group said last year it aimed to become a bigger player in key African countries. In July last year, Standard Bank bought Nigeria’s IBTC Chartered Bank in a deal worth around $400 million, expanding its footprint in Africa’s most populous country.

About $450 million of the proceeds from Standard Bank's sale last year of a 20 percent stake to China's biggest lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) 1398.HK, would be used for growth in existing markets and investments in key markets such as Kenya, Ghana and Angola, the bank said last month. (Reporting by Marius Bosch; Editing by Quentin Bryar)