Standard Bank Group leads in Africa with host of accolades at Euromoney Awards

Standard Bank Group was prominent among the winners of the 2012 Euromoney Awards for Excellence, receiving accolades for its work in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), risk advisory, project finance and debt capital markets. 

Standard Bank Group was named Best Risk Advisor in Africa, Best M&A House in South Africa, Best Project Finance House in Africa and Best Debt Capital Markets House in Africa. 

The awards were announced on 5 July 2012. 

Chris Newson, Chief Executive of Standard Bank Group's operations in Africa, says receiving these awards is particularly significant in the context of the challenging environment for banks in recent times. 

"Banks have had to generally adapt to increased volatility, tough liquidity markets in certain geographies, fewer deal opportunities and a range of changing regulations. In spite of this environment it is pleasing that in our region we have come through the challenges in a particularly strong position," says Mr Newson. 

"To be independently judged as successful in these award categories is indeed gratifying as it provides further evidence of the traction Standard Bank has for its strategy in Africa. Placing the continent at our core and building our operations across Africa is an approach that we are confident will continue to deliver results," he says. 

For the M&A award, Standard Bank Group was recognised for its advisory work on the R9-billion acquisition of Metorex by China's Jinchuan. The Jinchuan/Metorex deal was the largest Chinese inbound investment into Africa in 2011. 

Mr Newson says complexity was a hallmark of the Jinchuan/Metorex transaction as it involved a counterbid to Brazil's Vale. In addition, the deal advisors had to negotiate a number of regulatory hurdles in China, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa. 

The award for Best Debt Capital Markets House came from Standard Bank Group's key transactions of sovereign Eurobonds for the governments of Senegal for US$500-million and Namibia, also for US$500-million. 

More than a dozen Standard Bank projects featured in the accolade for Best Project Finance House. These included financing of $80-million for African Rainbow Minerals' Konkola North copper project in Zambia; more than US$180-million for the Boseto Copper Project in Botswana; US$50-million for the GOVE Hydropower project in Angola; and ZAR350-million for the ROMPCO oil pipeline expansion in Mozambique. 

The award for Best Risk Advisor in Africa recognised Standard Bank Group for a transaction last September. In a period of 48 hours, Standard Bank Group assisted a large corporate with a debt restructure solution which included a large amount of market, credit and legal risk. Standard Bank Group's effective re-structure, together with its ability to assume and disseminate large amounts of market risk, facilitated an optimal solution for the client. 

Says Mr Newson: "In receiving these awards we recognise that they are truly a function of the support and commitment of our clients and staff for which we are grateful. It is particularly satisfying that our focus on providing on-the-ground expertise across Africa has been recognised. 

"That commitment is stronger than ever and Standard Bank continues to make significant investments in expanding and deepening our in-country capabilities in the 18 African countries where we are present." 

In recognising Standard Bank Group for the awards, Euromoney Editor Clive Horwood said it "stands out for its geographical spread and wide range of products and services across Africa. In debt capital markets in particular it has a big share in South Africa and Nigeria but also activity in smaller markets - as well as its ability to print deals in local currencies and dollars. Standout deals include sovereign Eurobonds for the governments of Senegal and Namibia. The latter was a debut issuer in the Eurobond market and was one of Euromoney's Deals of the Year". 

Euromoney is a leading journal of the global financial services sector. The 2012 Euromoney Awards for Excellence attracted over 600 submissions from the world's banks and brokerage houses. Euromoney's research team and awards panel rated submissions on quantitative and qualitative factors such as key performance indicators, financial ratios and innovation. 

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