Leading African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) is atop a new generation of multinationals in developing markets with the competitive strength and capacity to become a major player in the global scene, says the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of the world-leading business media platform, The Economist.
The Bank, which operates out of 10 African countries and the United Kingdom, is one of twelve companies, selected from four continents and spanning six industries, that the EIU believes has the strategy and potential to dominate domestic markets and expand its business outlays internationally.
In its report, “Going Global: 12 Companies to Watch in Developing Markets,” the EIU said Guaranty Trust Bank is leading the digital banking race in Sub-Saharan Africa by getting more customers to bank online, reducing the communication gap with its customers and allowing customers to conduct 90% of their banking transactions from home.
“The lender’s digital services extend beyond banking to online payments for services such as applying for passports,” the EIU report added, whilst also stating that, “in traditional banking, GTBank has held its ground despite falling interest income and assets.”
Regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions, GTBank has been the major driver of digital banking in Africa. The Bank is renowned for constantly delivering innovative financial products and services, such as its full-service USSD banking product, 737, which enables customers and non-customers access financial services on their phones, by simply dialing *737#, and the SMEMarkethub, a free online marketplace for people to buy and sell at no extra cost, amongst several others. Recently, the bank achieved another first in digital services in Africa when it announced that it will be leveraging the WhatsApp Business Solution to enable customers bank as easy and swiftly as they chat.
By being at the forefront of Africa’s digital banking market and maintaining its leadership in traditional banking, the EIU said GTBank and all of the companies profiled in its report are well positioned and have the ambition, business acumen and capacity to go big, globally. The report also notes that GTBank and the others have their work cut out for them.
“They will have to counter ongoing global trade disputes and a rise in protectionism. With the tightening of global monetary conditions, there will also be considerable economic and competitive risks involved in investing in some markets.”
Despite these challenges, the Economist Intelligence Unit says it will be closely tracking GTBank’s impressive run for leadership in the global business scene.
“We will be examining their financial results, their new product launches, their marketing plans and the careers of their senior executives as they aim for the top.”
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Heirs Holdings Signs $600 million Loans With Afrexim Bank, To Scale Its Energy Investments
As a further demonstration of the African Export-Import Bank’s (“Afrexim”) mandate to facilitate the growth of intra-Africa trade and support the development of African businesses, Afrexim today, signed financing facilities totalling US$600 million with the Heirs Holdings Group, a pan-African proprietary investment holding company.
Heirs Holdings has significant investments across Africa, in the financial services, resources, real estate and hospitality and power sectors. The facilities will further support the Group’s power, oil and gas strategy, as it positions itself as an African leader in integrated natural resources. The signing ceremony took place at the Afrexim Intra-Africa Trade Conference taking place in Cairo, Egypt.
The proceeds of the facilities will assist the Heirs Holdings Group vision of creating a dynamic resource based division, focused on ensuring value creation occurs on the African continent and that value chains are developed, that directly benefit the broader African economy and consumer.
Commenting at the ceremony, Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afrexim who signed on behalf of the Bank, stated that the investment by Heirs Holdings would play a key role in addressing some of the fundamental challenges that have affected the power and energy sectors in Africa. He stated that “A world class energy sector is fundamental to the sustainable growth of businesses in Africa. If we do not deal with these basic matters, growth of trade and exports will always be limited”.
Mr. Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, commented that “We are delighted to be partnering with Afrexim. The Bank continues to play a critical role in the economic and social development of the continent. Together, we illustrate that Africa can create world class institutions, which are capable of successfully making the long-term investments necessary for Africa’s economic transformation and catalyse the enabling environment that will unleash Africa’s potential”.
UBA Academy Gets CIBN Accreditation for Excellence in Training, Capacity Building
In recognition of its high standard, quality of human resources development, training and capacity building, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria(CIBN) has certified and awarded UBA Academy the certificate of accreditation in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Competency Framework for the banking industry .
UBA Academy, the dedicated learning and development centre of the Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, was accorded the new recognition of excellence at a ceremony presided over by the President/Chairman of Council of the institute, Dr. Uche Olowu in Lagos on Thursday.
According to the president of the institute, UBA Academy was conferred with the new status having met the rigorous standards set for the delivery of their suites of programmes by the Institute.
The certification follows rigorous assessment exercise carried out by the institute’s Capacity Building Committee, the accreditation agency under the competency framework for the country’s banking and finance industry instituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“This Accreditation is an affirmation that UBA Academy has adopted and complied with the minimum assessment standards for programmes run by the organisation, which have gained a label of recognition and distinction,” Olowu said.
According to him the accreditation of UBA Academy would enable its graduates to be eligible for exemptions from various subjects in the banking professional examinations thereby facilitating their completion of the Chartered Banker examination. “This will not only enable them comply with the provisions of the Competency Framework for the banking industry, it will go a long way in the strengthening of the intellectual resources and capabilities available in their institutions,” he concluded.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Bank’s Group Head Human Resources, Mrs Patricia Aderibigbe, while appreciating the recognition conferred on the UBA Academy, said the academy has already embarked on training for the future with digitisation of its training programmes and modules.
“With Ignite, UBA has taken training into the future as we believe that the only way to get the best results and continually stay ahead of the curve is to continually sharpen our most important asset – our people, using mobile technology,” Aderibigbe said.
Aderibigbe promised that UBA Academy will continuously seek improvement in ensuring that it serves the needs of industry in a changing banking industry.
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