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AFRICAN BANKER AWARDS - African Banker Awards 2016.

Summary: The 10th African Banker Awards ceremony in Lusaka recognised the most impressive players in Africa's financial services sector.

The 10th African Banker Awards, held at Lusaka's In- terContinental Hotel on the sidelines of the African Devel- opment Bank's Annual Meetings in May, recognised the most impressive players in the continent's burgeoning financial services sector. Ten years on, the Awards are stronger than ever, with entries from over 200 institu- tions.

For the second time, Segun Ag- baje, chief executive of Nigeria's Guaranty Trust Bank, was named Africa's Banker of the Year. Agbaje was recognised for his leadership of a bank at the forefront of technological change. The Harvard Business School alumnus helped to launch a pioneer- ing social media banking platform reaching over 3.6m Facebook followers, an achievement for which his col- leagues also picked up the Innovation in Banking Award.

"I work in probably the greatest continent on earth which is Africa," said Agbaje on receiving the award. "Most people think the greatest plac- es in the world are in the developed economies. But look at the ROEs in Africa and look at ROEs in developed countries. Doing business in Africa is a blessing."

An audience of over 400 financi- ers, including African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina, witnessed Moroccan institution At- tijariwafa take home the prestigious Bank of the Year award. The panel of judges acclaimed the bank, active in 24 countries, for its "huge regional expansion at a time when other banks are retrenching.

" Elsewhere it was a night to remember for Cameroon, whose Al- amine Ousmane Mey took home the Minister of Finance of the Year award. He was joined in celebration by compatriot Paul Fokam, presi- dent of the Afriland First Group, who picked up the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award.

After another busy year heading up South Africa's Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the continent's largest fund manager, chief executive Daniel Matjila was named African Banker Icon. He was honoured for driving investment into corporations across Africa.

"This award is very special to me, to the PIC, and my colleagues that work very hard to drive economic growth across the continent," said Matjila. "This is a very important sign that the PIC is on the right path ... and now we are more determined than ever before to drive growth in the continent."

The PIC is currently considering taking a more activist role in boosting the struggling South African econo- my, and another firm which excelled against that challenging backdrop was Rand Merchant Bank, which saw its pre-tax profits increasing 13% to $264m. The bank's efforts were rewarded with Investment Bank of the Year. Banco Comercial e de In- vestimentos, the Mozambique-based institution, also defied the Southern African gloom with a 23.74% increase in operating income. A net profit of $37m saw it take home the Retail Bank of the Year award. Central Bank Governor of the Year went to Patrick Ngugi Njoroge of Kenya after a year in which he pledged to weed out the "bad apples" in his nation's banking system.

Fulsome praise

Appearing as a special guest at the ceremony, African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina gave fulsome praise to Africa's financial sector: "The private sector does not operate on air, it operates on finance. I am extremely proud of the bankers in Africa. We've got today 200 banks with total asset value of $1.5 trillion. That's about 75% of all the GDP of Africa right there. You're supporting all the businesses."

The award for Financial Inclusion went to Ecobank (Togo), which this year made haste on plans to deliver accessible financial services to over 1.5m low-income individuals and micro-entrepreneurs.

Equity Deal of the Year was won by Citi for its work on a $2.5bn acceler- ated equity offering for media giant Naspers, the largest South African eq- uity transaction of all time. Rival in- vestment banking house Lazard beat off the competition to win Debt Deal of the Year for its work on Cameroon's credit-enhanced currency swap.

Infrastructure Deal of the Year was awarded to a consortium includ- ing the International Finance Cor- poration (the private sector arm of the World Bank), Fieldstone, Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank for its work arranging funding for the 459MW Azura-Edo power plant in Edo State Nigeria.

Social responsibility

And proving that banking is not all about mega-deals and dominant CEOs, the Socially Responsible Bank of the Year award found a welcome recipient in Egypt's Commercial In- ternational Bank. The bank allocates 1.5% of net profits to long-term, sus- tainable development programmes in its home country, totalling $6.75m in 2015.

Speaking at the dinner, Omar Ben Yedder, group publisher of Af- rican Banker magazine, which hosts the awards in partnership with Busi- nessInAfricaEvents, said: "We have recognised true leaders tonight who are playing a critical role in the so- cio-economic development of the continent. Finance remains a key component of development, be it in terms of financing massive infra- structure projects that today are be- ing wholly financed by consortia of African banks, or SME financing. It's happening because of strong, bold and visionary leadership."

This year's judging panel was made up of Koosum Kalyan, chair- man of EdgoMerap Pty Ltd; Zeme- deneh Negatu, managing partner of Ernst & Young Ethiopia; Tom Minney, chief executive of African Growth Partners; Alain le Noir, CEO of Finances Sans Frontieres; Christopher Hartland-Peel, princi- pal at Hartland-Peel Africa Equity Research and Kanika Saigal, editor of African Banker magazine.

The winners of the 2016 African Banker Awards

Banker of the Year

Segun Agbaje -- GTBank (Nigeria)

Bank of the Year

Attijariwafa Bank (Morocco)

Minister of Finance of the Year

Alamine Ousmane Mey (Cameroon)

Central Bank Governor of the Year

Patrick Ngugi Njoroge (Kenya)

Best Retail Bank

Banco Comercial e de Investimentos (Mozambique)

Investment Bank of the Year

Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)

Award for Financial Inclusion

Ecobank (Togo)

Socially Responsible Bank

Commercial International Bank (Egypt)

Innovation

Guaranty Trust Bank (Nigeria)

Deal of the Year -- Equity

Naspers $2.5bn Accelerated Equity Offering (Citi)

Deal of the Year -- Debt

Cameroon's Currency Swap (Lazard)

Deal of the Year -- Infrastructure

Azura-Edo IPP (Fieldstone; Rand Merchant Bank; Standard Bank)

African Banker Icon

Daniel Matjila - CEO, PIC (South Africa)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul Fokam - President, Afriland First Group (Cameroon)

Best Regional Bank -- North Africa

Commercial International Bank (Egypt)

Best Regional Bank -- West Africa

Banque Atlantique (Cote d'Ivoire)

Best Regional Bank -- Central Africa

Banque Gabonaise et Francaise Internationale (Gabon)

Best Regional Bank -- East Africa

CRDB Bank (Tanzania)

Best Regional Bank -- Southern Africa

Mauritius Commercial Bank (Mauritius)

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Publication:African Banker
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Aug 31, 2016
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