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Capital Markets

Standard Chartered launches Africa equities business

Global investment banks increasing focus on continent

Standard Chartered will build an Africa equities business, Stephen Priestley, co-head of Africa wholesale banking, has told Euromoney.

Standard Chartered has traditionally been inactive in global equities capital markets but that has begun to change in Asia with its acquisition of Cazenove Asia two years ago. Standard Chartered will look to replicate this in Africa, a continent that looks ever more attractive to global banks.

Standard Chartered has already tripled its corporate finance revenue in Africa annually since its acquisition of Johannesburg M&A boutique First Africa in 2009, according to Priestly. The firm also acquired the Africa custody business of Barclays last year.

“The next area to build on in Africa will be to leverage our acquisitions, namely securities services [...] and public equities,” Priestley says.

Helmut Engelbrecht, head of Africa investment banking at Standard Bank, says his firm too has increased its headcount in Africa investment banking by about 40% in the past 24 months.

“Given new hires and new opportunities and with revenue last year already higher than before global financial crisis, Standard Bank will probably be able to grow revenue from rest-of-Africa investment banking by 30% to 40% in 2011,” says Engelbrecht.

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