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RIYADH: Standard Chartered has decided to completely shut its operations in seven countries in the Middle East and Africa, the company said in a statement.
The British financial company said it’s doing so to improve profits by narrowing its focus to faster-growing markets in the region.
According to the statement, the bank is planning to completely exit from countries including Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, subject to regulatory approval.
The bank has also decided to close its retail banking operations in Tanzania and Ivory Coast, to fully concentrate on corporate and commercial banking.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered is trying to strengthen its presence in some of the largest and fastest-growing economies. The bank had recently opened its first branch in Saudi Arabia. It has also obtained preliminary approval for a banking license in Egypt.
“We remain excited by a number of opportunities we see in the Africa and the Middle East region, as illustrated by our new markets, but remain disciplined in our assessment of where we can deliver significantly improved shareholder returns,” said Standard Chartered Group CEO Bill Winters.
He added, “Collectively, our actions will position the AME franchise for the next phase of growth after a very strong 2021 performance.”
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