Bloomberg News

Standard Bank Climbs on Turkey Unit Disposal: Johannesburg Mover

April 10, 2012

Standard Bank Group Ltd. (SBK) gained the most in two weeks after selling 53 percent of Turkish broker and investment banking unit Standard Unlu, reducing its ownership to 25 percent.

Shares in Africa’s largest lender climbed 1.2 percent, the most since March 27, to close at 112.60 rand in Johannesburg.

The sale is part of a global strategy which includes selling assets in Argentina and Russia, according to Martin Botha, a director at Standard Bank. The lender, which has about $1 billion in surplus capital after the sale, is trying to improve the profitability of its Africa operations. Standard Bank last year said it didn’t plan to sell the Turkish business.

“It’s no surprise given the way Standard Bank has scaled down London, sold Russia, sold Argentina, that Turkey doesn’t really fit into the whole Africa-China corridor as such,” Patrice Rassou, head of equities at Sanlam Investment Management, said by phone from Cape Town. “Perhaps the speed is surprising the market; they are acting so quickly to divest capital offshore that has been earning very, very low returns,”

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Gunnion at sgunnion@bloomberg.net


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