One way or another, Capitec will be offering banking services to small and medium-size enterprises, irrespective of whether it is successful in its for bid for Mercantile Bank. Capitec chief financial officer André du Plessis said if the bid was unsuccessful, Capitec would build a business bank itself. Acquiring Mercantile would fast-track the group's plan to expand its focus to a broader banking strategy, he said. Capitec saw a number of opportunities to serve SMEs and owner-managed businesses better. Capitec, Nedbank and two consortiums - one consisting of Arise, an African investment company, and Grindrod Bank; and the other of the Public Investment Corporation and Bayport Financial Services - are among local contenders for the South African business of Portuguese state-owned banking group Caixa Geral de Depósitos. The sale is a condition of a European Central Bank loan that requires Caixa to reduce its foreign assets. The potential buyers will be allowed to conduct a due diligen...

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