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Regional Bank of the Year understands Africa’s complex banking scene

Regional Bank of the Year understands Africa’s complex banking scene

12 December 2016. Johannesburg – The Standard Bank Group has been awarded ‘Regional Bank of the Year – Africa’ by the Banker magazine for 2016. The bank is also the ‘Bank of the Year’ in Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda.

Says Sim Tshabalala, the CEO of the Standard Bank Group: “We are delighted to have received these awards which recognise our sustained investment in understanding Africa’s complex and varied banking, transaction and regulatory landscapes – from a client perspective.”

The Banker magazine’s judging panel reported that Standard Bank Group’s operations in these six African countries had made the most progress over the 12 months – not only in terms of strong financials, but also in the wide range of initiatives which Standard Bank undertook during this period.

In particular the awards recognised the strong management, sound business model and clear and effective strategy delivered consistently by the banking group across multiple jurisdictions.

“These awards correctly reflect our ability to serve clients across the continent through our physical network in Africa – and by linking Africa to markets and investors in the rest of the world,” said Tshabalala.

Standard Bank operates in 20 markets across the continent and in major global financial centres. The bank says it blends its global capabilities with local insights through established relationships that deliver a truly universal banking proposition to private, wealth, business, corporate and sovereign clients across the continent.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s biggest bank, holds a 20% share in the Standard Bank Group. Through ICBC Standard Bank provides renminbi trading across the continent, linking Africa with the world’s fastest growing economies.

About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.