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Interview of the Month October 2010

The China–Africa business connection: An interview with the CEO of Standard Bank , Jacko Maree describes his experiences working with a Chinese investor—the giant Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Before 2007, Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest financial institution by assets, had done its fair share of international deals. Over the years, it had not only expanded northward into the continent from its base in South Africa but had also established a presence in Hong Kong, Russia, and South America. Still, Standard Bank could hardly be considered a high-profile bank on the world financial stage. All that changed in October 2007, when Standard Bank announced that it had sold a 20 percent stake to the giant Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for $5.5 billion, the largest Chinese foreign investment at the time.

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