Standard Chartered Share Price: Lender Hopes to Enter Iraq and Angola in 2013

on Aug 22, 2013
Listen Thursday, August 22nd: : Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) is expecting to enter two new markets by the end of this year – Iraq and Angola.

The bank is relying on the British government to assist it to open branches in two of the world’s largest oil exporters. The London-based bank, which earns most of its profits from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, will also most likely be awarded a banking licence in Angola, Bloomberg reported today. Standard Chartered’s share price opened at 1,468.00p, little changed from yesterday.

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US banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citibank have already announced intentions to invest in Iraq as the country’s oil exports recover. Unlike them, HSBC Middle East has decided to sell its subsidiary in Iraq and leave that market. Earlier this month, however, Iraqi regulators rejected the two offers the British bank had received for its 70 percent stake in Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank (DES), through which it is operating in Iraq.

“We are planning to open three branches in Iraq – Baghdad, Erbil during the fourth quarter of 2013 and then Basra during 2014, subject to regulatory approvals,” a spokesman for Standard Chartered has said, as quoted by The National. “Our main aim is to meet the increasing banking needs of our global network clients in Iraq, notably in the power, oil, telecoms and infrastructure sectors.”

According to Angolan central bank officials, Standard Chartered will probably receive its banking licence for the African country by the end of this year, subject to approval by the government.
The country is considered as a growth market with only 26 percent of its population having a bank account. Angola is home to 23 banks with some of the more notable being Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo and South Africa’s Standard Bank.

StanChart, which already operates in 16 countries in Africa, plans to invest over $100 million (£64 million) in the continent over the next three years, the head of the bank’s African operation Diana Layfield said in May. Earlier this year, the British lender established a joint-venture with the state-backed insurer ENSA in Angola.
!m[The bank plans to invest more than $100 million in Africa over the next three years](/uploads/story/5004/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
Angola’s central bank wants local commercial banks to comply with the Basel II regulations and for the last three months has implemented a number of regulations aimed at improving corporate governance. Central bank vice-governor Antonio Andre Lopes has said that the regulator will leave market forces to determine whether lenders consolidate. This would allow banks to pool their resources in order to reach the minimum $25 million (£16 million) capital requirement.
**Want to trade Standard Chartered shares? Standard Chartered’s share price was 1,475.50p as of 22.08.2013, 08:27 BST.**

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