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ICBC Devotes to Supporting China-Africa Financial Cooperation

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a strategic partnership between Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (“ICBC”) and Standard Bank Group. It coincides with the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in September. As early as in 2008, ICBC acquired a 20% stake in Standard Bank Group, the largest bank in Africa by assets. In the past decade, the two sides have successfully facilitated more than 100 cooperation projects in various fields, providing financing support of more than USD10 billion for 43 Chinese enterprises in Africa, involving more than USD30 billion in investment.

According to an official source of ICBC, the two sides, after ICBC took a stake in Standard Bank, have established a long-term strategic cooperation mechanism and set up a joint strategic cooperation committee based on their respective advantages and under the principle of “openness and inclusiveness, equality and mutual benefit, honesty and friendship, pragmaticism and innovation”. Efforts have been continuously made to strengthen cooperation in equity transactions, customer development, project financing, product innovation, risk management, information technology, personnel exchanges, etc., with fruitful results achieved.

In terms of project cooperation, the two sides had successful cooperation in such projects as the Caculo Cabaca Hydropower Project in Angola, the Lower Kafue Gorge Hydropower Station in Zambia and the Nigeria Telecom Tower Project, covering energy, minerals, infrastructure, agriculture, medicine and other industries, thus highlighting the strengths of cooperation between ICBC and Standard Bank. This year, the two banks also successfully cooperated in the Area 4 LNG project in Mozambique, which was the largest LNG financing project in the world and awarded the “Best Oil and Gas Trade of the Year” by the Project Finance International.

Regarding product innovation, the two sides jointly launched the “China-Africa Cash Management Platform”, “China-South Africa Direct Remittance”, “China-Kenya Direct Remittance” and other financial products, providing a full range of financial services for Chinese enterprises in Africa in credit financing, fund management, investment banking and others. Meanwhile, the launch of ICBC credit card campaigns, namely “I Go ♥ South Africa” and “I Go ♥ Kenya”, brought great convenience for cardholders in Africa. In addition, the two banks also signed the “ICBC e-Security” cooperation agreement, marking Standard Bank as the first African bank that chose this innovative risk-control product of ICBC.

With regard to equity transactions, the two parties also completed the equity acquisition of Standard Bank Argentina and the equity acquisition of Standard Bank’s commodities business line in London in 2012 and 2015 successively, composing the “trilogy” of equity cooperation. This not only promoted Standard Bank’s strategy of focusing on Africa, but also enhanced ICBC’s global service capabilities.

According to reports, Standard Bank boasts 155-year experience of local operation and network layout in Africa. The strategic cooperation between ICBC and Standard Bank has realized resource sharing and complementary advantages, building a financial bridge for economic and trade exchanges between China and South Africa. In the next stage, ICBC will further expand the strategic synergy with Standard Bank and fully leverage the advantages in internationalization and integrated network layout of the two sides. Additionally, it will explore cooperation in wealth management, investment banking, personal and SME business, Internet finance and FinTech with Standard Bank, to enhance the competitiveness and influence of the two banks in international financial market.