Winners of the 2018 African Banker Awards have been announced with East African banks stealing the show. This is despite several Nigerian banks making the shortlist at the prestigious award held in Busan, South Korea.
The Awards, held annually on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.
Guaranty Trust Bank was nominated for the Bank of the Year Award while its managing director, Segun Agbaje, got shortlisted for the African Banker of the Year.
First Bank of Nigeria (FirstBank) and its sister company, FNBQuest Merchant Bank were nominated for Socially Responsible Bank of the Year and Investment Bank of the Year respectively.
Other Nigerian nominees include Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund – Chapel Hill Denham (Infrastructure Deal of the Year); and Viathan – Renaissance Capital, and $300m Diaspora Bond – Standard Bank/FBNQuest Merchant Bank (The Deal of The Year –Debt).
James Mwangi, the CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc. in Kenya, won Banker of the Year. His bank has seen impressive growth through a series of innovations and diversified investment channels away from consumer loans.
Kenya’s Equity Group also beat off strong competition from four other shortlisted nominees to win the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year Award’. Tanzania’s Benno Ndulu, former central bank governor who finished his second term last year won Central Bank Governor of the year for his work in pushing for financial inclusion as well as for sound macroeconomic management. CRDB, also from Tanzania was named the ‘Regional Bank in East Africa’.
South African banks dominated the investment banking and deals of the year categories. Standard Bank Group swooped three awards, including the one for ‘Investment Bank of the Year’. Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa took the ‘Infrastructure Deal of the Year’ for the $5 billion Nacala corridor rail and port project in Mozambique and Malawi, one of Africa’s largest private sector funded infrastructure projects.
The project covers 912km of railway running from the Tete province in western Mozambique to Nacala port on the East coast through a section of Malawi. A deep sea port at Nacala also features in the project. Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa was also recognized for the listing of Steinhoff Africa Retail that took place last year. Veteran South African banker, Stephen Koseff, won the Lifetime Achievement Award. As the co-founder of Investec he has built a global leader in banking and asset management.
BGFI Bank in Gabon won the award ‘Regional Bank of the Year’ in Central Africa.
The ‘Socially Responsible Bank of the Year’ title went to BMCE Bank of Africa, widely regarded as a leader in sustainable finance. Le Crédit Agricole du Maroc won the award for financial inclusion. Ecobank won two awards – one for Innovation in Banking and one for Retail Bank of the year – largely for the way it has integrated technology to considerably widen its products and reach.
Commenting on the impressive achievements of the banks shortlisted for the 2018 awards, Omar Ben Yedder, publisher of African Banker said: “The winners of the African Banker Awards reflect the innovation and energy within Africa’s banking market. The categories that most catch my eye are the Deals of the year and the one on Innovation in Banking. They reflect the true energy and vigour of the banking sector. I cannot stress enough though the important role financial services have to play to drive the development of the continent.”
This is the first time the African Banker Awards are taking place in South Korea, more precisely in the port city of Busan. As a shareholder in the African Development Bank, the South Korean government offered to host this year’s Annual Meetings aiming to strengthen its long-standing relationship with Africa.
THE 2018 AFRICAN BANKER AWARD WINNERS
African Banker of the Year
James Mwangi, Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya
Lifetime Achievement Award
Stephen Koseff, co-founder Investec
African Bank of the Year
Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya
Best Retail Bank in Africa
Investment Bank of the Year
Award for Financial Inclusion
Groupe Crédit Agricole (Morocco)
Socially Responsible Bank of the Year
BMCE Bank of Africa Group
Innovation in Banking
Deal of the Year – Equity
Steinhof Africa Retail Listing – Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)
Deal of the Year – Debt
$300m Diaspora Bond, Nigeria
Standard Bank / FBNQuest Merchant Bank (Nigeria)
Infrastructure Deal of the Year
Nacala Railway and Port Corridor
Standard Bank / Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)
Regional Bank of the Year
East Africa – CRDB (Tanzania)
West Africa – BDM (Mali)
North Africa – CIB, Egypt
Southern Africa – State Bank Mauritius (SBM)
Central Africa – BGFI, Gabon