Standard Chartered to open first branch in Egypt
Standard Chartered to open in Egypt: Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi dropped the big business news of the night last night, reporting during her show that British bank Standard Chartered has received preliminary approval from the Central Bank of Egypt to open its first branch in Egypt in the next six months (watch, runtime: 2:34). The bank has repeatedly tried in recent years to expand into the Egyptian market by acquiring local banks. The bank’s entry has not yet been confirmed by an official source. EFG Hermes’ chief MENA economist Mohamed Abu Basha was on hand to provide the analysis (watch, runtime: 9:03).
The bank’s entry underscores that Egypt “is attractive to many foreign and regional banks,” Abu Basha said, adding that there is a wide space in the market for a newcomer to offer retail banking services including loans to individuals and SMEs.
About Standard Chartered: The emerging-markets focused lender operates in 59 markets and is listed on the London Stock Exchange and two Asian bourses. In November, the bank said it expected earnings to be flat in 2021 on the back of the “uneven recovery” in its main Asian, African and Middle East markets. The bank has been reducing its physical presence in recent years, last summer announcing plans to close half its branches and cut global office space by a third amid the pandemic.