Absa CEO Maria Ramos. Picture: SUPPLIED
Absa CEO Maria Ramos. Picture: SUPPLIED

Absa announced on Friday that it had formed an alliance with French banking group Société Générale to develop “a pan-African wholesale banking offering”.

In the same announcement, Absa said it was buying Société Générale’s South African custody, trustee and clearing services for an undisclosed amount.

Société Générale mainly operates in Western and Northern Africa, and Absa in Southern and Eastern Africa. The two groups only overlap in four countries, so by combining Société Générale’s 19 African countries with Absa’s 12, the alliance will span 27 countries.

“The agreement we have entered into should go a long way to enabling our clients to do business in Africa, regardless of where they want to do business,” Absa CEO Maria Ramo said in a media release.

Société Générale has established China business desks at 11 of its local subsidiaries to service Chinese clients in Africa.

As part of Absa’s international and China strategy, the group will be rolling out China service desks in key African countries to complement its desk in SA.

the media release said, “These desks will allow Absa to extend its strong local offering to Chinese multinational corporates.  Through the new co-operation agreement, Absa will be able to leverage Société Générale’s strong presence in China.” 

laingr@businesslive.co.za