The Standard Bank building in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
The Standard Bank building in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Standard Bank will probably need to inject about $80m (R1.1bn) into ICBC Standard Bank in the next 12-18 months, Africa’s largest lender by assets said on Thursday.

In the year ended December, ICBC Standard Bank recorded a loss of $14.9m as declining emerging-market risk appetite and flows dented the trading business, said Standard Bank, which owns 40% of the joint venture with China’s ICBC.

Standard Bank’s share of those losses equated to R74m.

“ICBC Standard Bank’s ability to deliver sustainable profits is dependent on its ability to continue to integrate into, and leverage, ICBC’s extensive client base,” Standard Bank said.

While the joint venture did not need additional capital in 2018, its business plan will probably required a capital injection of about $200m in the next 12-18 months, Standard Bank said. The group’s share of that would be $80m.

Standard Bank said on Thursday its headline earnings in the year ended December rose 6% to R27.9bn, thanks to growth in the retail banking unit.

“Noninterest revenue continued to record strong growth, driven by retail banking,” the lender said.

At the same time, net interest income growth was “dampened”, and credit impairment charges were lower as a result of new accounting standards.

Standard Bank said its return on equity improved from 17.2% to 18%. It increased its total dividend for the year by 7% to R9.70 a share.

The lender’s shares were 1.3% down at R185.75 in early trade.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za