Chinese bank invests in SA

first_imgChina’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has offered to purchase a 20% stake in Standard Bank, South Africa’s largest bank by assets and earnings, for US$5.5-billion, representing the largest foreign direct investment in the country to date.The majority state-owned ICBC will pay cash for the stake, estimated at R36.7-billion, which now surpasses the R33-billion that British-based Barclays Bank paid for just over 50% of Absa Bank in 2005.The deal is also the largest investment by a Chinese bank outside China. Of this value, Standard Bank will receive R15.9-billion in new core equity capital and existing shareholders will receive R20.7-billion.“A partnership between Standard bank and ICBC is attractive as each party brings numerous complementary benefits to the relationship,” Standard Bank Group chief executive Jacko Maree said in a statement.“Both banks can benefit through the creation of new revenue streams, access to the new partners’ expertise and sharing distinctive local market knowledge and expertise.”The Standard Bank group is the continent’s largest lender, with over R1-trillion in assets (approximately $156-billion) and a market capitalisation of R145-billion ($21-billion).ICBC is currently the world’s largest bank in terms of market capitalisation, worth some $319-billion, and has been on the lookout for overseas expansion opportunities after it raised $21.9-billion following a public listing on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges in 2006.In a jointly issued statement, ICBC said it views South Africa as an attractive market for investment, given its growth prospects, its sophisticated economic and well-regulated financial services infrastructure, as well as its rapidly growing banking customer base.The best way of capturing these opportunities, ICBC said, was through a strategic alliance with Standard Bank, which has significant operations on the African continent.“From a strategic perspective, ICBC has been seeking opportunities to expand its international business, in particular in Africa given strong trade linkages and the close and long standing friendship between China and South Africa,” ICBC chairman Jiang Jianging said.“As many of our large clients seek investments in Africa, the demand for cross-border financial services is accelerating. Standard Bank, with its market leading position in South Africa and a true pan-African footprint, represents the best organization with which ICBC can partner.”The two partners are not wasting any time in identifying joint business opportunities, stating they are discussing the launch of a $1-billion global resource fund that will focus on selected opportunities in Africa and China, specifically in the junior mining and energy sectors.Maree said the transaction also enables Standard Bank to have preferred access to the largest and fast-growing economy in the world, along with a substantial investment from and an alliance with a leading Chinese company in South Africa.“Standard Bank will have a strengthened position of facilitating and financing trade flows between Asia and Africa. In particular, opportunities will be enhanced for providing financial services to resource-based companies engaged with Chinese counterparts,” he said.“An investment of this magnitude is a strong endorsement of the strength, profitability and quality of regulation of South Africa’s banking industry. It is also a meaningful validation of the position achieved by Standard Bank on the African continent.”The transaction is subject to approval by the two companies’ shareholders, as well as gaining the necessary regulatory approval.Useful linksStandard Bank: www.standardbank.co.zaICBC China: www.icbc.com.cnlast_img read more

Patents for Startups from an Anti-Patent P.O.V.

first_imgTags:#start#StartUp 101 Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img If you have been working in the startup industry, then you may already be well aware of what venture capitalist Brad Feld calls “a massive tax on and retardant of innovation” – software patent litigation. In his blog post this morning, Feld points to the circular court battles of companies like Apple, Nokia and HTC and the “ridiculous nature of software patents” as reason enough for all members of the startup community to take an interest in this topic. “This explosion of litigation based on the patenting of software,” Feld writes, “cannot be brushed-off as large corporations doing what they do, as almost every start-up software company is at some point being shaken down by software patent holders. “Feld says that, to this end, he is promoting the film Patent Absurdity, which looks at “how software patents broke the system” through interviews with members of the software community. The film is framed within a discussion of the Bilski case, a pending Supreme Court case that hinges on the idea of whether or not business methods are patent-eligible subject matter.From the film’s website:Patent Absurdity explores the case of software patents and the history of judicial activism that led to their rise, and the harm being done to software developers and the wider economy. The film is based on a series of interviews conducted during the Supreme Court’s review of in re Bilski — a case that could have profound implications for the patenting of software. The Court’s decision is due soon…The film argues that “we are all members of the software industry, because we use software every day” and that, while other industries also face problems in the realm of patents, “software is different in that there are also many small businesses, software projects without a direct commercial motivation, and even individual hobbyists.” The film is available for viewing on PatentAbsurdity.com, as well as available for download, and can be shared under the Creative Commons license. If you want to spread the word, Feld says that his friends at the End Software Patents campaign are making a list of people they feel should be made aware of issues with software patenting and are taking suggestions. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting mike melansonlast_img read more

7 sentenced to life term for advocate’s murder

first_imgA court here on Saturday sentenced seven persons to life term for killing a leading lawyer here over two years ago in broad daylight. The seven sentenced by Additional District and Sessions Judge Ved Prakash Sirohi for stabbing and battering to death advocate Subhash Gupta included his son Rose Gupta’s father-in-law Pawan Bansal.Bansal’s six other accomplices who were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case are Sunil, Kuldeep, Pawan, Gulshan and Naresh of Hisar and Sanjeev of Fatehabad in Haryana.Fine of ₹55,000 each The court also ordered the seven to pay a fine of ₹55,000 each, failing which they will have to undergo an additional jail term of one month. According to the prosecution, advocate Gupta was attacked by some miscreants on January 24, 2017, minutes after he left the court premises and was heading to his residence at Urban Estates here in his SUV. As Gupta reached a petrol pump on Delhi Road in Hisar, his vehicle was intercepted by a bike-borne youth. As the advocate’s driver stopped the car, five-six other youths armed with knives and batons emerged from an adjoining vacant plot and attacked Gupta. The assailants first smashed the window panes of the car and repeatedly hit the advocate on his head with batons, while one of them stabbed him in the chest. Declared brought deadAs some other persons rushed to the scene, the assailants fled, said the prosecution. Gupta was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared “brought dead”. The police lodged a murder case and arrested the seven persons. During the investigation, the police found the estranged relations between Gupta’s son and the latter’s wife as the motive behind the crime.last_img read more