South Africa-headquartered  financial services listed company Absa Group today (31 January) announced its physical expansion into the People’s Republic of China with the opening of a new non-banking subsidiary in Beijing.

The non-banking subsidiary is now open, with the official launch event in Beijing, scheduled for the 8 May 2024.

At a ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa today (31 January), attended by Enoch Godongwana, the minister of finance of South Africa and Chen Xiaodong, the Chinese ambassador to South Africa – Absa Group said in a statement that it showcased the continued growth of its international footprint alongside its commitment to fostering new opportunities between Africa and China.

The new office will enable Absa Group to offer local support to Chinese clients and stakeholders to conclude transactions across the African continent, helping to support clients’ needs, goals, and ambitions.

Absa said this was part of a wider commitment from Absa to expand its operations with international representative offices in strategic markets and offer deep expertise in African markets to its overseas clients.

Arrie Rautenbach, group CEO of Absa Group said: “We’re thrilled to add our office in China to our global footprint. Today’s announcement reinforces our ambition to grow our international strategy – particularly as China is such a strategically important market for Africa.

"Our expansion into this dynamic market represents an exciting opportunity to unlock new avenues of growth and prosperity for Africa and China.”

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed financial services group further said the China-Africa investment relationship had flourished over the past few decades, with China emerging as the continent’s largest bilateral trade partner.

This was fuelled by Chinese investment in Africa’s vast natural resources and infrastructure projects, creating huge commercial opportunities for both regions.

Charles Russon, CEO of Absa Corporate & Investment Bank said: “Our presence in China will help to firmly establish Absa’s capability to provide general advisory services to clients based in China for concluding transactions across the African continent, offering us new opportunities with our clients in the region.

“Establishing our base there will not only give us a physical presence in the region but also help us to meet the needs of our clients operating in this rapidly growing market.”

Absa Group Limited is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups. It offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance.

Absa Group owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia and has insurance operations in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.

Absa also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria, and securities entities in the United Kingdom and the United States.