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BANKING

Swaziland Best Bank:Standard Bank of Swaziland

Botswana I Ethopia I The Gambia I Ghana I Kenya I Malawi I Mauritius I Namibia I Nigeria I Senegal I South Africa I Swaziland I Tanzania I Togo I Uganda I Zambia I Zimbabwe Swaziland’s economy has had a tough time in recent years, with a quarter of the population requiring food aid in 2004/05 as a result of a drought. GDP grew just 1.8% in 2005 and the country also attained the unwelcome distinction of overtaking Botswana to have the highest rate of HIV/Aids in the world: nearly two-fifths of the population is infected, putting severe pressure on economic performance.

Although there are 17 listed banks in Swaziland, only two have any real size. Both number one ranked Standard Bank of Swaziland and number two bank Nedbank are South African, reflecting Swaziland’s almost total dependence on its much larger and richer neighbour. Standard Bank of Swaziland is twice the size of Nedbank in terms of assets and is growing faster. It therefore deserves this year’s award.

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