Published On: Fri, Dec 4th, 2015

Standard, ICBC partner to fund SA power projects

P6JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – STANDARD Bank has announced a partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to raise R10 billion to support the development of South Africa’s power generation infrastructure over the next five years.

This follows the signing of a collaboration agreement between ICBC and Standard Bank in the presence of President Xi Jinping of China and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma at the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation Heads of Summit in Johannesburg.

The partnership follows anticipation there would be significant development in the South African economy – particularly in the power and infrastructure sectors of the South African economy – over the next five years.

Executives said Standard Bank and ICBC wanted to participate in this development with a view to ensuring that the South African economy grew from strength-to-strength.

Speaking on the side lines of the FOCAC Summit, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive Sim Tshabalala, announced that the ICBC-Standard Bank partnership would jointly support up to 100 new infrastructure and industrial projects across Africa, ranging from resources and transportation, to electricity and telecommunications, to manufacturing and industrial parks.

Standard Bank and ICBC have worked together on a wide range of initiatives, all with a strong focus on supporting infrastructure investment and industrial development in Africa, and on growing trade and investment flows between China and Africa.

A few recent examples of deals that have been made possible by this partnership include the co-financing the Kabompo hydro project in Zambia, where Sinohydro has been appointed as the civil engineering contractor.

The banks are joint lead arrangers, underwriters and book runners of US$1 billion syndicated loan facility to Angolan state oil company Sonangol, and jointly provided Hisense with a R1,1 billion working capital facility – the largest working capital funding package provided to any Chinese
entity secured by an ICBC guarantee.

Standard Bank and ICBC have jointly re-financed the debt of Samancor Chrome by way of two corporate facilities amounting to R3 billion – this collaboration is the largest single distribution that Standard Bank has undertaken with the ICBC to date.

Strategic cooperation between ICBC and Standard Bank has enabled the firms to arrange more than $7 billion in loans to African countries and to complete over $14 billion of transactions that have brought equity and debt capital from Chinese corporations and financial institutions to Africa.

Tshabalala said while much of their joint work so far had been in corporate and investment banking, ICBC and Standard Bank were increasingly exploring opportunities to expand cooperation into new areas of business.

“In retail banking, we are working together to introduce new solutions to facilitate personal remittances between South Africa and China. This will enable online person-to-person and business-to-business direct international payments and will be managed by dedicated specialist teams, improving convenience and reducing costs for our customers,” he said.

ICBC, said to be the largest bank in the world, teamed up with Standard, the largest bank in Africa, in 2009 when ICBC bought a 20 percent stake becoming the single largest shareholder.

– CAJ News

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