Absa and French multinational Société Générale (SocGen) are working on a deal to collaborate across 27 African countries with an eye to securing lucrative Chinese business on the continent, the companies said on Friday. The banks penned a memorandum of understanding to roll out a commercial agreement and provide services to large clients across the continent, they said in a joint statement. The move comes as Absa, no longer controlled by UK-based Barclays, repositions itself for growth in Africa. SocGen brings much of the French-speaking parts of North and West Africa to the table, while Absa offers the southern region and East Africa. The banks said that together they could offer "a wider range of banking products and services to international and domestic corporate clients and financial institutions with operations in Africa". But SocGen's strong presence in the Far East is the real carrot, as the agreement includes a combined offering dedicated to Chinese companies operating in A...

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