Standard Bank’s three-decade bet on Africa is yielding rich returns for the group as evidenced by a 27% surge in headline earnings to R43bn for the year to end-December, with earnings from its African operations jumping 49%.

Standard’s strong results come after Absa, which also has sizeable operations in the rest of Africa, reported earnings growth of just 1%. Nedbank grew earnings 11% and FirstRand 6%...

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