Guido Haller
Head of Global Markets, Standard Bank Group

Our continent has faced severe headwinds over the last few years. Although the worst of COVID-19 has passed, 2022 saw the effects of the pandemic replaced by new challenges.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict and high inflation have caused financial market volatility, higher commodity prices, global supply chain disruptions, and a heightened sense of uncertainty. These come at a time when many of our economies are struggling with high financing costs and debt burdens, as well as a difficult environment to raise new finance, or refinance existing debt.

Despite these challenges, we believe the continent remains an attractive investment destination. Growth themes across the continent are intact. Population growth, coupled with urbanisation, higher secondary education levels, and a median age that is moving into its most productive range, continue to support higher growth levels relative to the rest of the globe. The needs of a rapidly expanding middle class are leading to continued demand for infrastructure spending, growth in the consumer and savings sectors, as well as the expansion of new companies and industries to support these.

Key to continuing to unlock and support the rapid development we see across the continent is our reflection on how the palm tree has adapted to its environment. We need to recognise the challenges and circumstances we face and evolve to ensure the continued flow of capital to support industry and society’s needs, as well as providing solid investment returns.

Standard Bank – partnering to develop

At Standard Bank, when it comes to investing in the continent, we believe that what separates the uncertain investor from the confident one, is foresight and practical local knowledge. As the African proverb goes, “There are no shortcuts to the top of the palm tree.” With in-depth research and an understanding of Africa’s investment environment, combined with an understanding of the local regulatory, economic, logistical and market environment, there are immense opportunities for local and global investors. It simply requires looking at Africa through the right lens and working with the right partner.

This is where our Global Markets Division (GM) plays a key role within the Standard Bank Group. Through our in-depth knowledge of our markets, we can support the right investment decisions. More importantly our deep presence in 20 countries across the continent positions us to provide the insight and financial tools to help enter, manage, and monetise the financial investments made.

Our business model with in-country financial markets expertise coupled with a wide global presence and partnerships, allows us to craft unique solutions to allow investors and businesses to participate in and support what we believe is a phenomenal growth and investment opportunity. We can connect our clients to unrivalled opportunities while providing exceptional risk management to ensure financial ambitions are turned into investment impact.

… we believe that what separates the uncertain investor from the confident one, is foresight and practical local knowledge…

Guido Haller

Why we do this

  • Creating exclusive funding solutions to channel global and local capital into infrastructure and industrial development.
  • Supporting trade and investment management to provide liquid financial markets.
  • Growing the savings sector with knowledge and appropriate diversified investment alternatives.
  • Working with partners across the continent to create new channels to deliver more price-competitive transactional and investment products to previously unbanked customers.
  • Underpinning decision-making with insight from our research teams.

Reaching new heights

By putting our clients’ requirements at the heart of everything we do, the GM team is confident that the customised financial tools we create and our market making function, will help them capitalise on the immense growth opportunities this continent has to offer. At the end of the day, as a bank, we are committed to driving Africa’s growth. Combined with our confidence in the continent’s resilience, and an intimate knowledge of the African investment landscape, we look and work towards Africa’s future and reaching new, record-breaking heights.

... we believe that what separates the uncertain investor from the confident one, is foresight and practical local knowledge...
Guido Haller