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Chinese stakes in African banks encouraged

         Date: 2012-07-10

           Tag: Chinese, Chinese in African banks encouraged

Summary: Chinese lenders should increase their stakes in African banks to boost Sino-Africa financial cooperation and promote investment from China in Africa, said an African senior banking executive on July…

Chinese lenders should increase their stakes in African banks to boost Sino-Africa financial cooperation and promote investment from China in Africa, said an African senior banking executive on July 9.

The current stakes of Chinese banks in African lenders are quite "limited", and in the future there should be increasing cooperation between the two sides based on more shareholdings to facilitate mutual economic ties, said Jean-Louis Ekra, president and chairman of the board of directors of the African Export-Import Bank.

Ekra made the remarks at a media briefing during a shareholders' meeting of the bank in Beijing.

China became Africa's largest trade partner in 2010, and finance services provided by Chinese lenders to facilitate trade and investment in Africa are "quite beneficial" for the continent, he said.

"It's clear that Africa's traditional partners are experiencing financial difficulties. It's important for Africa to rely more on the financial sector of countries like China to continue to grow," he added.

The Export-Import Bank of China, one of the country's major policy lenders, holds about 2.5 percent of the African Export-Import Bank's shares.

In 2008, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest lender by market value, purchased a 20 percent stake of Standard Bank Group, Africa's biggest lender by assets.

The South Africa-based bank said in March that this year it will boost its strategic cooperation with ICBC with a particular focus on Africa.


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