Stanbank secures $1bn Chinese loan

14 September 2009

Standard Bank has further strengthened its relationship with China, with the signing of a US$1-billion loan facility with four major Chinese banks: the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), Bank of China, China Development Bank, and China CITIC Bank.

The club deal, believed to be the largest of its kind for a South African financial institution in the Chinese market, was self-arranged by Standard Bank and is a “debut term loan” for the bank’s fund raising in the Asian market.

“This transaction is a first for a South African borrower dealing in the Asian market,” Standard Bank Group CEO Jacko Maree said in a statement last week. “The deal reflects the trust that Chinese banks have in Standard Bank, Africa and emerging markets, despite the tough global capital markets.

“In addition, it shows the increased level of cooperation between Standard Bank and a number of leading Chinese banks, including ICBC.”

Strategic partnership

Maree said that Standard Bank’s strategic partnership with ICBC played a huge role in putting together the five-year facility, repayable in a single tranche at maturity.

“This deal will serve as a platform for future cooperation between Standard Bank and these banks across a range of different banking products and geographies to support Chinese companies going global into emerging markets,” he said.

According to news agency Reuters, Standard Bank expects to seal a dozen major lending deals in Africa with its China partner next year, as resource-hungry Chinese firms begin returning to the continent.

“Standard Bank has said that Chinese companies are looking for opportunities in Africa with focuses on mining, oil and gas and mineral sectors, where the African bank expects to see fast-growing and huge demand for financing in these resources and infrastructure-related sectors,” Reuters reported.

SAinfo reporter

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