Absa to take over Societe Generale securities services in South Africa
January 19, 2019
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Absa has agreed to acquire Societe Generale's custody, trustee and clearing services operated in South Africa, enabling Absa to advance its growth strategy.

The announcement was made at the same time as the banks reported that they had reached a commercial agreement signed to launch a unique pan-African offering.

The agreement includes a combined offering dedicated to Chinese companies operating in Africa. Societe Generale has established China business desks at 11 of its local subsidiaries to service Chinese clients in Africa. As part of Absa's international and China strategy, the Group will be rolling out China service desks in key African countries to complement its desk in South Africa. These desks will allow Absa to extend its strong local offering to Chinese multinational corporates. Through the new cooperation agreement, Absa will be able to leverage on Societe Generale's strong presence in China.

"Large African companies and multinational groups present in Africa have increasingly sophisticated banking needs and require expertise that was mostly delivered in more mature economies. On the other hand, there are more and more regional champions on the continent for whom national markets have become too narrow. Joining our forces through this agreement makes perfect sense to accompany the economic development of the continent," comments Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale.

"The agreement we have entered into should go a long way to enable our clients to do business in Africa regardless of where they want to do business. This is yet another example of how Absa is delivering against our growth strategy through both partnerships and acquisitions where relevant and appropriate," says Maria Ramos, Absa Group Chief Executive Officer.

The separate agreement covers the sale by Societe Generale of its custody, trustee and derivatives clearing services operated in Johannesburg to Absa Group Limited. Absa agreed to acquire the related activities conducted by Societe Generale in South Africa, notably its client portfolio, IT systems and all the employees dedicated to these activities.

The transaction is subject to the approvals of the relevant authorities, which are anticipated to be obtained by end of 2019. The securities lending and borrowing services are not part of the transaction and will be terminated by end of March 2019. Furthermore, Societe Generale and Absa intend to cooperate on the provision of securities services as part of the enrichment of the pan-African and global offering.

"For Absa, the acquisition supports our growth strategy in Africa," said Maria Ramos. "The transaction allows Absa to re-establish a firm foothold in the custody and trustee services market and provides us with the opportunity to expand our offer to corporate clients in South Africa. Our strategic intent is, in time, to provide these services across markets where we have a presence."

Societe Generale says the move is in line with its strategic plan whose primary objectives are to focus on markets where it can generate potential synergies with other Group businesses. Societe Generale group remains engaged in South Africa with its activities in corporate and investment banking managed via its representative office in Johannesburg and through the combined pan-African offering launched in partnership with Absa.





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Absa has agreed to acquire Societe Generale's custody, trustee and clearing services operated in South Africa, enabling Absa to advance its growth strategy.

The announcement was made at the same time as the banks reported that they had reached a commercial agreement signed to launch a unique pan-African offering.

The agreement includes a combined offering dedicated to Chinese companies operating in Africa. Societe Generale has established China business desks at 11 of its local subsidiaries to service Chinese clients in Africa. As part of Absa's international and China strategy, the Group will be rolling out China service desks in key African countries to complement its desk in South Africa. These desks will allow Absa to extend its strong local offering to Chinese multinational corporates. Through the new cooperation agreement, Absa will be able to leverage on Societe Generale's strong presence in China.

"Large African companies and multinational groups present in Africa have increasingly sophisticated banking needs and require expertise that was mostly delivered in more mature economies. On the other hand, there are more and more regional champions on the continent for whom national markets have become too narrow. Joining our forces through this agreement makes perfect sense to accompany the economic development of the continent," comments Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale.

"The agreement we have entered into should go a long way to enable our clients to do business in Africa regardless of where they want to do business. This is yet another example of how Absa is delivering against our growth strategy through both partnerships and acquisitions where relevant and appropriate," says Maria Ramos, Absa Group Chief Executive Officer.

The separate agreement covers the sale by Societe Generale of its custody, trustee and derivatives clearing services operated in Johannesburg to Absa Group Limited. Absa agreed to acquire the related activities conducted by Societe Generale in South Africa, notably its client portfolio, IT systems and all the employees dedicated to these activities.

The transaction is subject to the approvals of the relevant authorities, which are anticipated to be obtained by end of 2019. The securities lending and borrowing services are not part of the transaction and will be terminated by end of March 2019. Furthermore, Societe Generale and Absa intend to cooperate on the provision of securities services as part of the enrichment of the pan-African and global offering.

"For Absa, the acquisition supports our growth strategy in Africa," said Maria Ramos. "The transaction allows Absa to re-establish a firm foothold in the custody and trustee services market and provides us with the opportunity to expand our offer to corporate clients in South Africa. Our strategic intent is, in time, to provide these services across markets where we have a presence."

Societe Generale says the move is in line with its strategic plan whose primary objectives are to focus on markets where it can generate potential synergies with other Group businesses. Societe Generale group remains engaged in South Africa with its activities in corporate and investment banking managed via its representative office in Johannesburg and through the combined pan-African offering launched in partnership with Absa.



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