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Ecobank says to facilitate Chinese investment in sub-Saharan Africa


08:51, April 10, 2013

ACCRA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) said here on Tuesday it would facilitate Chinese investors for business in sub-Saharan Africa.

It said the opening of its representative office in Beijing, China about six months ago was to ensure that it positioned itself well to support China's drive to do business in Africa.

Answering a question from Xinhua on the floor of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) after leading stakeholders through the bank's 2012 annual performance, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thierry Tanoh said China had become a key player in terms of investment drives in Africa.

"It will be a big mistake therefore, if we are not able to support the Chinese investors coming to invest in the sub-region," Tanoh stressed.

"We will be the entry port to South-South investors in line with our belief in the South-South cooperation," Tanoh said, adding that, with what the bank had experienced through its Beijing representative office, he had confidence that the Chinese market had great potentials for Ecobank.

Meanwhile, the bank, with branches in 33 African countries, reports that its Profit After Tax went up 39 percent to record 287 million U. S. dollars in 2012.

Its recorded total asset base was 20 billion dollars, while customer deposits totaled 14.6 billion dollars.

Tanoh described 2012 as a transitional year for the bank as it successfully acquired and integrated two banks, The Trust Bank (TTB) in Ghana, and the Oceanic Bank in Nigeria.

"The performance was primarily driven by the successful integration of our landmark acquisitions in Ghana and Nigeria, resulting in significantly increased market share in both countries in terms of total asset (Number 1 in Ghana and number 6 in Nigeria) including investments of 74 million U. S. dollars in one-off restructuring costs that will enable us to benefit fully from the enlarged platform," he explained.

Ecobank, with its headquarters in Lome, Togo, and 18,500 employees, is owned by 600,000 individual, institutional, local and international shareholders with 1,200 branches in Africa.

It has representative offices in Dubai, London and Beijing.

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