Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2002: Africa
Awards for Excellence 2002
Best bank: Citigroup
Banking in Africa can be a high-return business. But as recent events in Zimbabwe have shown all too clearly, it can also involve high levels of risk. To make it work, a bank needs a strong base, a diversified business mix and a broad spread of country exposure. Since July 2000, when it brought together its east, west and southern Africa businesses and headquartered them in Johannesburg, Citigroup has made ground on all three counts and established itself as the leading bank in Africa.
Among foreign banks, Barclays and Standard Chartered both have extremely well developed African operations and present the stiffest competition to Citi.
Both have powerful retail banking presences in east African countries such as Kenya and both have broad corporate banking activities in syndicated lending, project financing, trade and specialized finance operations throughout the continent.
The breadth of Citi's business in Africa is impressive. It has branch representation in 17 countries ranging from the Arabic-speaking north, through the francophone west and the East African Economic Union to the southern regions.
Through these locations, some of which have been in place for 50 years and where Citi is often the only international bank, the bank offers corporate and investment banking services in a further 35 countries.