Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

South Africa’s Standard Bank Wants to Exit a Once-Legendary Joint Venture with Chinese Mega-Bank ICBC

File image of a Standard Bank branch in Johannesburg, South Africa. Emmanuel Croset / AFP

Standard Bank, one of South Africa’s major banks, is looking to exit a joint venture with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC.) The joint venture, the London-based ICBC Standard Bank Plc (ICBCS), long represented the largest Chinese investment on the continent.

Now Standard is trying to convince ICBC to buy out its 40% share of the joint venture. It hopes that exiting ICBCS will free up capital that it can then redirect into African business. Sim Tshabalala, Standard’s CEO told Fin24: “It doesn’t make sense. We’re not an international bank. We don’t want to be competing internationally. We want to use that capability that we have in Africa to be the African champion.”

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.