FBC Holdings flexes business muscle…takes over Standard Chartered Zimbabwe Standard Chartered Bank regional chief executive officer for Africa and the Middle East, Mr Sunil Kaushal (left) and FBCH chief executive officer, Dr John Mushayavanhu, shake hands during the signing ceremony in Harare

Business Writer

GIANT financial services group, FBC Holdings Limited (FBCH), has moved in to consolidate its market grip after sealing a deal with Standard Chartered Bank Plc paving the way for the 100 percent takeover of Standard Chartered Zimbabwe business, subject to regulatory approval.

A signing ceremony for the acquisition agreement was conducted in Harare yesterday, and is seen as a giant step in growing FBC Holdings’ impact in the country’s financial services sector. 

The deal follows an announcement in April last year, where Standard Chartered strategically decided to divest from a number of markets, namely Lebanon, Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Jordan, and to exit the CPBB (Consumer Private and Business Banking) business in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.

The British-owned banking group announced the sale of its business in Jordan earlier in March this year.

“FBCH and Standard Chartered Bank PLC have entered into an agreement for the acquisition of Standard Chartered’s business in Zimbabwe, subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,” said Standard Chartered in a statement.

“Under the agreement, FBCH will acquire 100 percent of the shareholding in Standard Chartered Bank (Zimbabwe) Limited and by extension, the custodial services business that is wholly owned by Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe,” it added.

“As part of the agreement, FBCH will also acquire the economic interest in Africa Enterprise Network Trust whose main asset is a 20,7 percent shareholding in Mashonaland Holdings.”

Following the planned transaction, Standard Chartered Bank said FBCH would continue to employ all of its local employees and the two institutions will work closely in the coming months to provide a seamless transition for its clients and staff.

Standard Chartered Bank regional chief executive officer for Africa and the Middle East (AME) Mr Sunil Kaushal was quoted as saying: “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”.

FBCH chief executive officer, Dr John Mushayavanhu, said the acquisition enables his institution to consolidate its banking market share, customer base, and market competitiveness in a rapidly changing banking landscape.

“We are pleased to sign this agreement today and to have been selected by Standard Chartered Bank as the preferred buyer,” he said. 

“Standard Chartered is a leading regional and international bank with more than 150 years of experience globally. The bank has been present in Zimbabwe for more than 130 years.

“Equally, FBCH is a leading financial services group in Zimbabwe and the region, with interests in commercial banking, insurance, re-insurance, micro-finance, stock-broking, and mortgage finance. 

“The combined strengths of the two institutions will enable us to better respond to the ever-changing requirements of our clients,” said Dr Mushayavanhu.

He added that Standard Chartered Bank’s clients can expect the continued provision of seamless trade finance and cross-border payments by FBCH.

“We welcome Standard Chartered’s employees to the FBCH group. Both clients and employees alike will benefit greatly from their association with a leading financial institution such as FBCH. 

“Ultimately, the acquisition will further enhance shareholder value,” said Dr Mushayavanhu.

The FBCH boss said the signing of their agreement is a testimony to the FBC group’s strong financial position and further enhances its presence in the market.

He said his group looks forward to working closely with Standard Chartered Bank over the coming few months, towards achieving a smooth transition and successful completion of the transaction.

“We are now in the process of securing the necessary regulatory approvals from all the requisite regulators,” said Dr Mushayavanhu.

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