Standard Bank Group’s full year results to December brought to an end a five-year “journey of transformation” for the bank, from aspiring to be a leading emerging markets bank to realigning its strategy with Africa at the core of its business, said joint chief executive, Ben Kruger on Thursday.
The cash disposal of a 60% interest in Standard Bank Plc – the bank’s London-based global markets business – to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), meant the bank could reposition its capital to focus on customers and clients in Africa, Kruger said.
The sale, completed in February, earned Standard Bank $690 million (R8.1 billion), about 10% less than initially anticipated. As part of the deal, ICBC has a five-year option to purchase a further 20% of the outstanding ordinary shares of Standard Bank Plc.
For the year to December 2014, headline earnings for Standard Bank’s corporate and investment banking (CIB) division fell 23% as a result of a R3.7 billion loss in Standard Bank Plc, regarded as a discontinued operation for IFRS purposes.