The British multinational Standard Chartered (StanChart) bank is poised to commence full-fledged banking operations in Egypt by the end of 2023, Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said announced.
Last week, the bank appointed Mohammed Gad as CEO of its office in the country effective immediately. StanChart is already operating in the Egyptian market through a representative office, which will be replaced by an official office in the market.
In January, Standard Chartered obtained the in-principal approval from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in November 2022, being the first bank to secure such a license to operate in Egypt under the country’s new Banking Law released in September 2020.
The license allows the bank to extend services to sovereign and government-related bodies, corporate entities, financial institutions, and multinationals operating in Egypt.
Gad will lead StanChart’s expansion plan in the Egyptian market, as well as support the nation’s aspirations for economic progress, Boutros Klink, CEO of Standard Chartered Middle East (excluding UAE) stated.
The opening of Standard Chartered’s Egyptian unit comes as the London-listed bank is exiting seven markets, including Lebanon and Jordan, to focus on bigger and faster-growing markets like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The bank has operations in more than 53 countries across the world, with its headquarters located in London.
The bank’s pre-tax profit fell by 33% in the third quarter of 2023, which ended 30 September, owing to a nearly $1 billion combined hit from its exposure to China’s real estate and banking sectors, according to its financial results released in October.
On the other hand, StanChart’s income rose 6% to post $4.4 billion over the rising global interest rates.
In its recent report on trade in Africa, StanChart projected Africa’s total exports to hit $952 billion by 2035 and the completion of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will have the potential to increase this estimate by a further 29%, representing an annual growth rate of 3% from now until 2035.
“Rising regional trade levels and greater connectivity will unlock high‑growth corridors across Africa and beyond. Intra-Africa trade is expected to reach $140 billion by 2035, equating to 15% of Africa’s total exports”, said the report.