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Business News of Monday, 11 March 2013

Source: Graphic Business

Standard Bank records impressive results

Standard Bank Group, the parent company of Stanbic Bank Ghana, recorded 10 per cent growth in its combined earnings to a record US$1.77 billion for 2012, including a US$0.18 billion profit realised on the sale of a majority stake in Standard Bank Argentina (SBA) during the year.

“The group’s results for 2012 reflect divergent themes. On one hand, they indicate the considerable challenges the group has faced. Many of the negative factors are evident in Corporate and Investment Banking’s results, with headline earnings down 13 per cent from 2011,” the Group Chief Executive, Mr Jacko Maree, said in a statement made available to the Daily Graphic.

He added that “on the other hand, the exciting prospects of our Africa-centred strategy are beginning to show in the performance across our business units.”

The group had significant contributions from its Africa operations, with the group’s business in Ghana performing creditably.

Daily Graphic learnt that the bank plans to make further and better investments in selected African operations, including Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

“Standard Bank’s focus on maintaining its position in South Africa and growing in chosen markets in the rest of Africa paid off in 2012,” the bank said in a release, explaining that revenues from the group’s banking activities increased by 17 per cent and in the rest of Africa revenues were up an impressive 38 per cent.

“This was the result of Standard Bank’s consistent efforts over the last few years to gain new customers, win new mandates and increase its reach, underpinned by significant investment in systems and people,” Mr Maree said.

Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive, Ghana, Mr Alhassan Andani, said "the results show that the growth areas aligned to our strategic focus did very well, with areas that we are in the process of scaling down performing worse than expected; a vindication of the new focus of the group. It is a clear and positive demonstration of the new drive for the bank which Stanbic Ghana is proud of.”

The group recorded 20 per cent return on assets, with personal and business banking (PBB) reporting headline earnings of $0.88 billion; 27 per cent higher than the prior year. The PBB in South Africa alone delivered an excellent performance with headline earnings of US$0.9 billion; up 25 per cent, as PBB in the rest of Africa reported a loss, albeit smaller than in the previous year.

Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) reported headline earnings of US$564.82 million; down 13 per cent on the prior year. Despite the business delivering strong revenues, with total income up 20 per cent on the prior year, this was more than offset by cost growth (including a once-off restructuring charge) and several large impairment charges.

The Group’s investment arm, Liberty, also recorded headline earnings for the year of US$444.86 million.

According to the Group Chief Executive, the bank will continue to manage the group for long-term profitability by investing appropriately in diverse portfolio of businesses and in the capability and wellbeing of its people, while applying a disciplined and prudent approach to risk.

“We understand that our primary aim to improve the returns we deliver to our shareholders requires that we create lasting value for all our stakeholders,” said Mr Maree.

Meanwhile, Mr Maree has retired as the Group Chief Executive of Standard Bank Group, after 13 years at the helm of Africa’s largest bank.

He has also resigned from the boards of the group, South Africa operations and Liberty Holdings.

Mr Maree, who has served the bank for 32 years, will however remain in the bank as a senior banker focusing on key clients of the bank, without any managerial role.

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