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SA’s Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest lender, is predicting it can outpace the continent’s fast-growing economies in which it operates. Stagnant GDP in SA means the lender is having to rely on its business in 20 other Sub-Saharan countries to compensate for rising costs and almost zero revenue growth in its biggest market. Kenya, Uganda and Ivory Coast are all expected to expand more than 6% this year and Standard Bank can do even better, says CEO Sim Tshabalala. “Most of these countries are growing at much faster rates than SA,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “That, together with the fact that we are offering our customers new products and solutions, means we are bound to grow at much faster rates.” While the lender’s SA unit was able to accelerate cost-cutting initiatives and lending in the second half of 2018, it was not enough to offset other pressures, such as lower income from interest rates charged on loans. This resulted in expenses growth exceeding revenue growth...

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