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Ecobank Expands to 34th African Nation With South Sudan Office

Ecobank Transnational Inc., the lender that operates in more African countries than any other, said it started operations in South Sudan, it’s 34th nation on the continent.

The local affiliate of the Lome, Togo-based bank opened on July 10 and offers financial products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, Ecobank said in an e-mailed statement today.

Founded in 1985, Ecobank has expanded across Africa and into France, with representative offices in Beijing, Dubai, Johannesburg, London and Luanda, Angola. Its assets totaled $19.6 billion at the end of March.

“We are very excited to have obtained the authorization of South Sudanese authorities to operate in this country, which holds a huge potential for financial intermediation,” Chief Executive Officer Thierry Tanoh said in the statement. “Our presence in four of its six bordering countries, namely Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, is a unique advantage to contribute to the development and integration of South Sudan’s young republic.”

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 and took three-quarters of the formerly united country’s crude output of 490,000 barrels a day.

Ecobank’s shares trading in Nigeria were unchanged at 14.75 naira as of 11:23 a.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. Ecobank stock has increased 31 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 189.2 billion naira ($1.2 billion). The 10-member Nigerian Stock Exchange Banking 10 Index has climbed 25 percent.

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