JPMorgan to Expand Operations in Africa

21 October 2015, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jamie Dimon, whose firm has offices in South Africa and Nigeria, said the bank wants a presence in more African countries to spur growth, even after regulators in Ghana and Kenya refused the lender entry.

JP Morgan Chase.

JP Morgan Chase.

“We’ll hopefully start opening branches again in Africa,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Monday.

“I’m not doing that because it’s going to affect earnings in the next couple years. I’m doing that because that forms the base for the next generation.”

JPMorgan joins banks including Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA and Citigroup Inc. that have added operations in Africa to gain from the continent’s economic growth. Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to grow 3.8 per cent this year and 4.3 per cent next year, making it one of the fastest-expanding regions, an International Monetary Fund report released Oct. 6 shows.

JPMorgan was refused entry by regulators in Ghana and Kenya in the past two years, according to Dimon, who said the New York-based lender would get around these obstacles by banking multinational companies and the biggest institutions in those markets. This is how the bank will build for the future and “win,” he said.

JPMorgan managed the Kenyan government’s debut $2 billion Eurobond sales last year and, along with Citigroup, is financing planes for Kenya Airways Ltd. In Ghana, JPMorgan finances government power plants among other large-scale projects, Dimon said.

“We’re not doing retail,” he said. “We’re not doing stuff like that. So I would say it’s rather low risk. We’re going to do a bunch of things and serve the clients who already want us to be there.”


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