StanChart CEO wants `to take a look & # 39; at Ethiopia banking CPI Financial | CPI Financial news

Winters, head of the London-based Standard Chartered since mid-2015, "would like to think there are opportunities" in Ethiopia, he said in an interview in Nairobi, Kenya. The problem is that it is completely closed to foreign banks.

"The underlying fundamentals are pretty interesting," Winters said. "It would be nice if we could get in and take a look to see if we could add some added value."

Banks across Africa are betting that Ethiopia, one of the continent's fastest growing economies, opens a financial sector closed to investors since a Marxist junta nationalized lenders thirty-four years ago. Winters' comments are consistent with those of Joshua Oigara, CEO of KCB Group Ltd., the largest bank in Kenya. In June Oigara said that the country is "ready for a big start." Winters is part of a British business delegation that accompanies Prime Minister Theresa May on a three-day tour through Africa, designed to increase trading opportunities with the continent. The bank, which is financing trade in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, had about 86,000 people in 63 markets worldwide at the end of last year.

Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, has 18 commercial banks serving 102.4 million people, according to the annual report of the National Bank of Ethiopia. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office almost five months ago, is warming up against foreign investors by making commitments to open up the country's telecommunications, shipping, power generation and aviation industries, while encouraging reforms to improve the role of the military. to reduce and make peace with neighboring Eritrea.

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