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Standard Bank to have office in Ethiopia

Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, will open a representative office in Ethiopia, which could help the bank to increase its footprint to 20 African countries. Establishing a presence in Ethiopia, with a population of about 92-million people and which is second in size only to Nigeria, with about 174-million people, will pave the way for the bank to seek opportunities for establishing banking activities in that country. According to data from the National Bank of Ethiopia, the country’s central bank, there are 18 private banks and three state-owned banks. The banking system is dominated by government-owned banks, which include the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Development Bank of Ethiopia. The opening of a representative office by Standard Bank raises questions about whether the bank is moving in anticipation of the future liberalization of Ethiopia’s banking sector.

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