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Stanbank – Standard Bank Limited

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Standard Bank Limited is a South African financial services conglomerate that is Africa’s largest lender in terms of assets. Standard Bank Centre, the company’s corporate headquarters, is located on Simmonds Street in Johannesburg. Standard Bank Group is the industry leader in Sub-Saharan banking via approximately 700 locations.

Its home country provides a wide range of retail and commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, investment management, and life insurance services.

About Standard Bank

The bank’s history can be traced back to 1862 when a group of businessmen led by leading South African politician John Paterson founded a bank in London under the name Standard Bank of British South Africa. The bank began operations in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1863, and soon after combined with many other banks, including the Commercial Bank of Port Elizabeth.

Until 1962, the British bank was officially known as the Standard Bank of South Africa, though its activities had expanded across Africa by that time.

When the South African operations turned into a subsidiary in 1962, the parent renamed itself Standard Bank Limited, and the South African subsidiary adopted the parent’s previous name.

Standard Bank Africa’s assets are estimated at R20 billion in 2020, making it the largest banking group in Africa by assets. The company’s JSE market capitalization is R206 billion. Personal & Business Banking, Corporate & Investment Banking are the three business divisions within the company.

Standard Bank has a primary listing on Johannesburg Stock Exchange as (JSE: SBK) and its secondary listings on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX). Its subsidiary entities are listed on exchanges in Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, and Uganda.


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Stanbank Investments

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The Standard Bank Investment Corporation was established in 1969 as the South African bank’s holding company. Standard Chartered gradually reduced its shareholding in Standard Bank Group during the 1970s and 1980s and sold its remaining 39 percent stake in the holding company in 1987, transferring complete ownership of the holding company to South African investors, especially Liberty Life (and its affiliates), with the latter becoming the company’s major shareholder until 1999.

In March 2019, Standard became Africa’s first bank to switch its operations to Amazon Web Services.

Stanbank has plenty of investment ventures. Some of them are:

1. Payment24

Payment24 is a multinational provider of international fuel payment solutions headquartered in Cape Town.

Payment24 creates motivated, creative technology that improves Fleet Fuel Management, prevents fuel theft, and provides high-tech payment options.

2. TradeSafe

TradeSafe is a digital escrow and paymaster services, provider.

The escrow funds are kept in a stable Standard Bank account in the name of TradeSafe. Standard Bank manages the escrow account and participates in the approval process for payment instructions initiated by TradeSafe.

3. KudiGo

For emerging consumer retailers in Africa, KudiGo provides a mobile-based integrated shopping, accounting, payments, and analytics engine.

Its approach enables users to gain control of their businesses by using advanced technologies, implementing effective bookkeeping procedures, and being financially inclusive.

It also uses big data and blockchain to allow transparency and real-time oversight of its niche market’s manufacturers and distributors.

4. Dis-Chem Pharmacies

Dis-Chem Pharmacies Ltd is a South African pharmaceutical company. Its product portfolio includes personal care, cosmetics, healthcare, wellness, and dispensary and baby care products.

5. Helios Towers

Helios Towers is a telecommunications company headquartered in the United Kingdom. Helios Towers Africa Limited is a holding company that owns and operates country-specific operating companies that acquire, construct, and maintain telecommunications towers and lease space on those towers to wireless telecommunications service providers across Africa. The corporation operates 7,000 mobile communications towers in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, the Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania.

Stanbank business strategy

Standard bank’s primary activity is financial intermediation. This role involves using customer capital (liabilities) to provide funding to the same or other bank customers (assets). As a result, understanding a bank’s balance sheet and each line directly related to customers is critical.

Encouraged by opportunities at the lower end of the market and also the popularity of its branchless banking and mobile phone technology in other emerging African markets, Standard Bank has successfully pursued an inclusive banking strategy over the last five years, with the aim of offering accessible banking solutions to people with low income in a commercially viable manner.

This has driven the bank to innovate at the commodity level, with a low-cost transactional account, and at the distribution level, with collaborations with thousands of retailers in low-income communities throughout South Africa’s rural and urban areas.

Stanbank IPO

SBK was approved for listing on the JSE in 1962. The majority of its IPO holders are Standard Bank Group Limited, the issuers of the SBK, Standard Bank 6.5 percent Preference Shares (+116.67 percent ), and Standard Bank Preference Shares (+2.83 percent ) stocks on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

On October 25, 2007 – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) and Standard Bank Group Limited jointly announced an equity deal and strategic cooperation. ICBC was the single largest shareholder of Standard Bank after paying 36.67 billion Rands (USD 5.46 billion) for a 20% stake.

Both banks note that they have advanced in many areas through strategic collaboration over the years, and the relationship is still ongoing.

Stanbank stock analysis

Standard Bank Group Limited (SBK) currently has a share price of ZAR 122.09. The SBK stock closed its last trading day on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange at 122.09 ZAR per share, a 0.13 percent decrease from its previous closing price of 122.25 ZAR. SBK started the year with a share price of 127.08 ZAR but has since lost 3.93 percent of that value, placing it 360th on the JSE in terms of current JSE stock rankings.

The current trend is bullish, as the banking sector is reviving from its pre-pandemic situation. And investors can take advantage of it.

Bottom line

The banking sector has huge growth potential in South Africa, and Standard Bank is the household name. Standard Bank provides an attractive investment opportunity, which also drives inclusive growth in the South African economy.  Though Standard Bank provides good overall investment opportunities, investors need to study the overall market before investing in Standard Bank.

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