NAMIBIA – Standard Bank Namibia is going public, seeking to list about 16% of its shareholding on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) on November this year, reports The Namibian.

Standard Bank Namibia will become the fourth bank in the country to list on the local bourse and the first since 2017 when Letshego Namibia Holdings had its Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The shares will be going for N$8.90 (US$0.59) and the offer is open to the public until 1 November this year. The Standard Bank Namibia group is at the moment owned by the Standard Bank Group SA (90%) and an employee investment vehicle, Purros Trust (10%).

According to Standard Bank, the main purpose of the listing and going public includes a desire to facilitate direct investment into the group, while meeting the Namibia Financial Sector Charter’s proviso that requires that a part of all local financial institutions be owned by Namibian residents.

In May this year, the group subdivided their ordinary shares from 100 000 000 to 500 000 000. The 16% offering will come from a new offer of 22 million shares and 58 million shares from existing Standard Bank SA shares.

Standard Bank Namibia Holdings is the holding company of Stanfin (Pty) Limited, Standard Insurance Brokers, the commercial Standard Bank Namibia and Mobicash Payment Solutions (Mobipay), as well as their custody vehicle, Standard Bank Namibia Nominees (Pty) Limited.

The commercial banking activities contribute the largest proportion to the profits pool, as much as 85% in the last three years. The group has a N$22 billion (US$1.47bn) loan book, with non-performing advances as a percentage of total gross advances standing at 6.16%, an increase from 3.73% last year, and surpassing the 4% central bank benchmark.

The total capital adequacy ratio was at 12.95% and 10.63% at tier one. Return on equity as of June 2019 was 16.67%, the lowest it has been in the past four years, while a 1.6% return on assets was achieved, also the lowest in the last four years.

Standard Bank Namibia’s public listing comes a year after Governor Iipumbu Shiimi advised foreign-owned commercial banks to float shares on the NSX to meet local empowerment requirements.

Only NSX-listed FNB Namibia and Letshego Namibia out of the five foreign-owned banks in Namibia have fully complied with the local shareholding requirement, while Standard Bank Namibia has transferred 10 percent equity to locals following an N$300 million (US$20.05m) empowerment deal announced in 2015.