Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited is targeting to increase its business with 300 Chinese firms operating in Zambia

Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited is targeting to increase its business with 300 Chinese firms operating in Zambia using the partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) which acquired a 20 percent stake in the bank valued at 5 billion U.S. dollars, according to Zambia Daily Mail on Thursday.

The bank said here Wednesday the partnership that was entered into force last December would enable Stanbic Zambia understand operations of over 300 Chinese companies registered in the country.

Executive director for corporate and investment banking Anton Marais said ICBC's investment in Stanbic Bank means that the Chinese bank had a presence in 17 African countries.

Stanbic is a subsidiary of South Africa's Standard Bank.

"The intention of the deal was to give them a presence in Africa. Through our partnership with ICBC, it would help us understand our Chinese clients," he said.

Stanbic Bank incoming managing director Joseph Chikolwa said its long term objective is to maintain the bank's position as the most profitable institution and retain market share.

Chikolwa said management is the biggest competitive edge Stanbic Bank had, being a multi-national bank with a strong focus on Africa.

He said being an African grown bank, the group understood the business environment in Zambia and had taken deliberate decisions to grow the business in Zambia.

Outgoing managing director Larry Kalala said since the reduction of minimum balance accounts five years ago, the bank received overwhelming response which resulted in crowding of branches and queues at ATM machines.

Kalala cited Kitwe and Ndola branches as being some the branches that were very crowded, adding that management had to create more space in the building and increasing the number of ATMs.

"Efficiency in service delivery is the only thing that will separate us from other banks and we have done a lot in improving in our services," he said.