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Absa Group expands footprint in Asia with new office in China



African banking giant, Absa Group, has announced the opening of its new non-banking subsidiary in the People’s Republic of China. The lender says the new entity based in Beijing marks its entry into the larger Asian market and cements its continued expansion of its international footprint alongside its commitment to fostering new opportunities between Africa and China.

“We’re thrilled to add our office in China to our global footprint. The announcement 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,” said Arrie Rautenbach, Absa Group Chief Executive Officer.

The new office is expected to enable Absa Group offer local support to Chinese clients and stakeholders to conclude transactions across the African continent, helping to support clients’ needs, goals, and ambitions.

The lender says the new subsidiary is also part of a wider commitment from group to expand its operations with international representative offices in strategic markets and offer deep expertise in African markets to its overseas clients.

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 fueled 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. Establishing our base there will not only give us a physical presence in the region but also help us to meet the needs of our clients operating in this rapidly growing market,” added Charles Russon, Absa Corporate and Investment Bank Chief Executive Officer.

The move comes after the bank’s subsidiary, Absa Bank Kenya announced earlier the reestablishment of a China Desk to offer relevant solutions to the growing community of Chinese investors and businesspeople operating in Kenya and the East African region.

This strategic initiative, which will significantly be bolstered by the Beijing office, underscores the bank’s commitment to providing tailored financial solutions to support the growing trade between these two dynamic economies.

According to official data by China, bilateral trade with Africa topped $282 billion as at the end of 2022, making the Asian economic giant the continent’s largest trading partner and the fourth largest source of investment.