FBC takes over Standard Chartered Bank


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FBC Holdings, Zimbabwe’s fourth largest bank by loan book, is to take over the Zimbabwe business of Standard Chartered, which announced last year it was leaving the country and six other markets.

FBC will acquire 100% of Stanchart Zimbabwe and the Africa Enterprise Network Trust, which holds a 20.7% shareholding in Mashonaland Holdings, the two banks announced today, without disclosing figures.

FBC reportedly beat off competition from other bidders, who included Nigeria’s Access Bank and the Vista Group, based in Guinea.

John Mushayavanhu, CEO of FBC, said the bank now awaits final approvals for the transaction, a deal that he says will enhance his bank’s market share.

“The combined strengths of the two institutions will enable us to better respond to the ever-changing requirements of our clients,” said Mushayavanhu, adding that Stanchart workers would now be absorbed by the new entity.

FBC has assets of $495 billion, or about US$100 million at current official exchange rates. By lending, it accounted for 10% of all loans in the country, behind CBZ, Stanbic and CABS, according to the latest available RBZ figures. Stanchart accounts for just 3% of credit.

FBC has interests in commercial banking, insurance, re-insurance, micro-finance, stock-broking and mortgage finance. According to Mushayavanhu, the Stanchart deal helps his bank gain market share.

“Ultimately, the acquisition will further enhance shareholder value. Signing this agreement today is a testimony to the FBC group’s strong financial position and further enhances its presence in the market,” he said.

In April last year, Stanchart announced it was leaving Lebanon, Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Jordan, and also exiting the consumer business in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania. This ended the bank’s 130-year presence in Zimbabwe.

FBC is majority-owned by NSSA, which holds 35%. Other major shareholders are the Public Service Fund, which is the second largest owner with 10%, and Mushayavanhu, who owns just under 7% through his investment company, Tirent. Cash Grant investments, a group of shareholders represented by DMH Law Firm, holds 4% of FBC.

Now with 20.7% of Mashonaland Holdings, FBC will now be a joint shareholder in the property company with ZB Bank, which increased its shareholding in Mashold to 50.6% in March. FBC has been expanding its own investments in real estate through its mortgage lending unit.

Sunil Kaushal, Stanchart’s Regional Chief Executive Officer, Africa and the Middle East, said: “The agreement with FBCH for the sale of Standard Chartered’s business in Zimbabwe is in line with the bank’s global strategy, aimed at achieving operational efficiencies, reducing complexity, and driving scale. This strategic decision allows us to redirect resources within the AME region to areas with significant growth potential, ultimately enabling us to better support our clients”.

Standard Chartered is the oldest financial institution in the country, having first set up in 1892 as Standard Bank in Bulawayo.

In Zimbabwe, the bank had already significantly cut its branch presence down to just two branches, focusing instead on digital services and drastically cutting its lending

In 2019, StanChart was fined US$18 million by the US government for violating American sanctions on Zimbabwe by handling transactions for state-owned firms and sanctioned individuals.- NewZWire

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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