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Leading figures from the banking and capital markets world gathered in London on Thursday to hear the announcement of Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence 2015, considered the benchmark for leading firms in financial services globally.
Standard Bank returned as Euromoney’s best bank in Africa, an award the bank has missed out on since 2008.
While Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank won last year, South African banks – Standard Bank in particular – have been much better placed to overcome volatility in Africa’s currency and commodity markets this year, with strong capital positions compared with their counterparts in countries such as Nigeria.
For Standard Bank, tier I and total capital were at 12.9% and 15.5%, respectively, for financial year ending 2014.
Most importantly, however, is Standard Bank’s revitalized commitment to the continent, following its decision to sell 60% of the bank’s London-based operations to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in February 2015.
“Proceeds from the transaction will be deployed in furthering the group's growth strategy in South Africa and the rest of the continent, subject to relatively approvals,” notes Euromoney. “Meanwhile, the joint venture between ICBC and Standard Bank will strengthen the group’s activities in China and Asia.”
Euromoney notes: “In arguably one of the most significant deals for Africa in 2014, Citi acted as joint bookrunner for oil and gas company Seplat’s dual listing on the Nigerian and London stock exchanges. The $500 million IPO of ordinary shares was heavily oversubscribed by high-quality, long investors and the IPO was the largest for a sub-Saharan company since Kenya’s Safaricom listed in 2008.”
Banks based in Nigeria and South Africa took two important regional prizes this year, showing growing sophistication and geographical coverage of home-grown banks in Africa.
South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) took the prize for best M&A house in Africa, as the bank worked on some of the region’s most high-profile deals within the time period under review. In particular, RMB advised Brait and Pepkor on their acquisition by Steinhoff, culminating in the largest non-resources M&A transaction in South Africa in November 2014.
Nigerian player Access Bank won this year’s awards for best flow house in Africa as a result of the bank’s innovation on home ground and ability to leverage off of regional networks.
Euromoney notes: “Access Bank created its own online foreign-exchange trading platform, Access FX in 2011, which enables clients in Africa to access the local currency of the country of import and immediately close out positions with Access Bank online and in real-time.
“In 2014, transactions executed on the platform were in excess of $670 million across the G10 currencies.”
In the country awards, a number of Africa’s dominant players have retained their spot as best bank from last year, including Attijariwafa in Morocco, Guaranty Trust Bank in Nigeria, Bank of Kigali in Rwanda and FirstRand in South Africa.
There were also a number of new banks added to Euromoney’s awards this year. In Angola, Banco Angolano de Investimentos was knocked from the top spot by Banco de Fomento Angola under the leadership of CEO Emídio Pinheiro due to the bank’s strong fundamentals and high profitability, with the bank’s return on equity at 30.4% far outstripping others in the sector.
In Mozambique, the best bank was new outfit Banco Unico. Euromoney notes: “Although starting from a low base … the bank has grown at lightning speed moving from the 18th largest bank to the sixth largest, gaining 4% market share in the banking sector.”
New countries were also added to Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence this year, highlighting the growth of the banking sector on the continent as a whole. Regional banks, however, dominated in this respect.
Standard Bank was awarded best bank in Botswana (under Stanbic Bank Botswana) and Uganda (under Stanbic Bank Uganda). And as well as winning the award for best bank in Ghana, Ecobank won Euromoney’s inaugural award for best bank in Malawi.
|Best bank||Best investment bank|
|Best equity house||Best debt house|
|Best M&A house||Best risk adviser|
|Best flow house||Best transaction services house|
Country Awards for Excellence
NOTES TO EDITORS
A full list of winners of Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence 2015, as well as detailed citations for all of the winners, is available on our website from 23:30 BST on Thursday, July 9, at the conclusion of our Awards Dinner in London.
Euromoney’s award decisions are made by a committee of senior journalists, chaired by Euromoney’s editor, following the receipt of detailed submissions from market participants and extensive year-round research into the banking and capital markets in the region by our editors, journalists and research team.
For more information on the Africa awards, contact: