ENP Newswire - 11 August 2014
Release date- 08082014 - The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) (President: Nobuyuki Hirano) is pleased to annouce that it has formed a strategic alliance with FirstRand Limited (FirstRand), a leading South African financial services group, through a Memorandum of Understanding.
The alliance is a comprehensive agreement covering a broad range of financial services in Africa that aims to provide ongoing mutual cooperation and support to customers. FirstRand is one of the largest financial institutions in South Africa, and provides banking, insurance and investment products and services to retail, commercial, corporate and public sector customers. The group has an extensive global network where they operate in nine countries in Sub-Saharan Africa*, with branches in India and the UK. They also have representative offices in Dubai, Kenya, Angola and in China.
*Sub-Saharan Africa is the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert, and includes 49 countries with a total population of around 900 million. Strong growth is expected for the region and 2014 GDP growth of 6% is forecast. South Africa is an important gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa and the abundant natural resources of the region and its expanding consumer markets driven by growth of its middle class population are expected to attract an increasing number of Japanese and other multi-national companies to the region. Under the alliance BTMU plans to introduce FirstRand's services to its customers, allowing it to offer a wide range of locally-based services including local currency financing, trade finance, project finance and export credit agency finance. BTMU has had a presence in Africa since 1926 when one of its predecessor banks, Yokohama Specie Bank Ltd., established an office in Alexandria in Egypt. In 1961, BTMU opened a representative office in South Africa to support its Japanese customers, which was upgraded in September 2013 to a sub-branch under Japanese banking law in order to reinforce its business promotion activities in South Africa.