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Wednesday, 31 January 2024 13:33

Absa sets up base in Beijing as it eyes growing China-Africa trade.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Banking group Absa has opened a nonbanking subsidiary in Beijing, to allow the group to support domestic Chinese clients who are in pursuit of deals in Africa.

This is part of a wider commitment from Absa to expand its operations with international representative offices in strategic markets and offer deep expertise in African markets to its overseas clients," the group said.

The office officially launch on 8 May 2024, it said.

Group CEO, Arrie Rautenbach, said the move "reinforces our ambition to grow our international strategy – particularly as China is such a strategically important market for Africa".

"Our expansion into this dynamic market represents an exciting opportunity to unlock new avenues of growth and prosperity for Africa and China."

Absa said that the China-Africa investment relationship has flourished over the past few decades, with China emerging as the continent's largest bilateral trade partner.

"This has been fuelled by Chinese investment in Africa's vast natural resources and infrastructure projects, creating huge commercial opportunities for both regions.

"Our presence in China will help to firmly establish Absa's capability to provide general advisory services to clients based in China for concluding transactions across the African continent, offering us new opportunities with our clients in the region."

China is Africa's largest two-way trading partner. The country's exports to Africa were US$164.49 billion in 2022, while imports reached US$117.51 billion, according to Chinese customs data.

The group signed an agreement for a three-year US$200 million working capital facility with China Development Bank (CDB) on April 19.

Absa Group separated from Barclays completely last September when the British lender sold its remaining 7.4 per cent stake, or 63 million shares, exiting an investment it made in 2005.