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VENTURES AFRICA – Standard Bank is set to open a representative office in Francophone West African country, Ivory Coast, increasing the number of its operations in Africa to 19.
Africa’s largest bank by assets said the office – to be based in the capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan – would start operating in February next year.
Sim Tshabalala, the joint group CEO, said this move was a sign that the lender was interested in markets in Francophone West Africa which offers good opportunities.
Tshabalala added it was the lender’s strategy to use the office in Abidjan as an entry point to business prospects in the region.
According to the South African lender, the new office would be immensely beneficial to its corporate clients that already have offices in Ivory Coast, or are in the process of launching operations there.
West Africa’s membership in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) places it perfectly as a business centre for the region.
This union includes Burkina Fasso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Togo and Niger.
“(The office will provide) a deeper understanding of the market opportunities and challenges, which is required by our clients, both South African and regional corporates, as well as multinationals,” Tshabalala said.