Stanbank, Japan boost for Africa trade

6 October 2009

South Africa’s Standard Bank has signed a US$150-million (about R1.1-billion) loan agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in order to boost trade finance in Africa.

The deal was signed by Standard Bank Group CEO Jacko Maree and JBIC president and CEO Hiroshi Watanabe in Istanbul, Turkey this week, during the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

African growth, development

The loan is the first transaction between Standard Bank and JBIC, the international arm of the Japanese government-owned Japan Finance Corporation. It is also their first trade facility programme transaction in Africa.

“This transaction is significant for Africa as Japan remains an important and strategic trade partner and JBIC can work with us towards our joint goal of supporting economic growth and development in Africa,” Maree said in a statement this week.

“It is good for Africa, the region and Standard Bank. These funds will enable us to increase the flow of trade into and out of Africa.”

Japanese investment in Africa

During the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in May 2008, the Japanese government announced that JBIC would provide financial support totalling up to $2.5-billion to Africa over a five-year period, with the aim of doubling Japanese private sector investment to Africa.

The Standard Bank loan will be used to facilitate trade finance in South Africa and other African countries.

It will also serve as a platform for future cooperation between Standard Bank and JBIC across a range of different banking products and geographies.

SAinfo reporter

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