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Standard Bank-ICBC Alliance Expected To Be Mutually Beneficial

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com, London

02 November 2007


The strategic alliance announced between Standard Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) is a significant boost for the Standard Bank Offshore Group, according to the Bank’s chief executive in Jersey.

Ian Gibson, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Bank in Jersey, explained that the alliance brought a number of benefits to the offshore operation.

"From a recruitment perspective, the move makes the Bank an increasingly attractive organisation since the partnership with the world’s largest bank enhances Standard Bank’s global presence substantially. It is excellent news for all our staff," he commented, continuing:

"The move will also bring us new business opportunities. We are already winning significant business through our links with the emerging markets and this alliance can only strengthen the opportunities we have to secure new revenue streams and bring more business to the Islands where we are represented."

Standard Bank Offshore Group Limited has offices in Jersey, the Isle of Man and Mauritius. As well as responsibility for Offshore, Mr Gibson, who is based in Jersey, also heads the Group’s international wealth management business, located mainly in London and the Middle East.

ICBC is the People’s Republic of China’s leading commercial bank, with a market capitalisation of approximately USD 319 billion as at the close of business on 22 October, 2007. It is listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges, has over 16,000 branches in China, nearly 100 branches elsewhere in the world and 2.5 million corporate and 180 million personal bank customers.

Jacko Maree, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive in Johannesburg, observed that:

"ICBC has a distinct advantage as a strategic partner, due to a combination of a substantial domestic economy and lack of overlap in other markets where Standard Bank already has a presence. The transaction also enables Standard Bank to have preferred access to the largest fast-growing economy in the world, along with a substantial investment from and an alliance with a leading Chinese company in South Africa. "The Bank will have access to the new partners’ expertise and will be able to share distinctive local market knowledge."

The transaction is subject to the approval of the South African Registrar of Banks, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the JSE and Standard Bank and ICBC shareholders.


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