South Africa’s Standard Bank Reduces Stake In Turkey’s Unlu

South Africa’s Standard Bank (SBKJ.J) is selling most of its stake in Standard Unlu to its partner in the Turkish investment banking venture in another move to scale back non-African operations.

Standard Bank will cut its holding to 25 percent from 67 percent, lifting the stake held by Mahmut Unlu to 75 percent, according to a press release.
Standard Bank will sell a 53 percent stake to Unlu and buy out 11 percent held by minority shareholders. The value of the deal was not disclosed

Standard Unlu posted sales of 72.4 million liras (25.36 million pounds) in 2011 and a net profit of 21.7 million liras.
Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender, is shedding overseas operations and turning its focus to the fast-growing continent.

It sold its 36 percent stake in Russia’s Troika Dialog last year for $372 million and raked in a further $600 million by reducing its stakes in three Argentine operations to 20 percent.
“They are moving towards their plan of focusing on Africa. It is consistent with that strategy,” said Faizal Moolla, an analyst at Avior Research in Cape Town.
“I don’t think it (money) will be returned to shareholders, they will either use it to grow their advances or make an acquisition in Africa, in particular in Nigeria.” Johannesburg-based Standard has operations in at least 17 sub-Saharan markets, including South Sudan, and has said it no longer has ambitions to buy or build commercial banking operations outside of Africa.
It posted a 21 percent increase in full-year profit, boosted partly by turning its attention to Africa.
Standard, which is 20 percent owned by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (601398.SS), intends to spend up to $300 million this year growing four of its key sub-Saharan business: Kenya, Angola, Zambia and Ghana.
Standard Bank’s shares were up 1.8 percent at 113.08 rand at 1249 GMT, compared with a 0.03 percent decline on Johannesburg’s blue chip index .JTOPI, Reuters reported.

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