News / Africa

Sudan's Bank of Khartoum Plans Retail Expansion, Livestock Export Finance

A woman displays Sudan's new currency at the central bank in Khartoum, Sudan, (File photo).
A woman displays Sudan's new currency at the central bank in Khartoum, Sudan, (File photo).
Reuters
Bank of Khartoum, Sudan's biggest privately-owned bank, plans to add 12 more retail branches and launch financing for livestock exports to Gulf countries, its head said in an interview.
 
Undeterred by insurgencies, poverty, a scarcity of dollars and spiraling inflation, the bank - which was founded 100 years ago during British colonial rule - has been steadily expanding its business in the African country.
 
Its main shareholders, Dubai Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, are currently more than tripling the capital to 1 billion Sudanese pounds (around $225 million based on the official rate).
 
The bank will add 12 new retail branches and cash points, mainly in eastern and central Sudan, bringing the total number to 75 by next year, General Manager Fadi Faqih told Reuters on Tuesday.
 
“The retail business is the promising side of the business,” he said. The consumer loan book was growing, helping the retail business to contribute to more than the current 30 percent to overall net profits, he said, without being more specific.
 
In a second expansion step, the bank will launch several dedicated funds for private firms to finance the export of livestock and agricultural products such as sesame seeds to Gulf Arab countries, Jordan and Egypt.
 
“There is strong demand for livestock from Sudan,” he said. Several such finance funds, each worth up to 50 million euros ($67 million), were in the works with one of them about to be started, he said, without giving details.
 
Faced with the loss of most oil reserves to South Sudan when it seceded in 2011, Sudan is trying to boost exports of gold and farming exports such as cotton, cash crops or gum arabic from its vast farmlands.
 
The expansion of the retail business and the new export finance unit would offset slower growth of the corporate business, helping to propel 2013 net profit to slightly above last year's 200 million Sudanese pounds, he said.
 
The bank had taken the decision not to expand its corporate loan book or stop arranging new Islamic bonds, or sukuk, for the time being due to Sudan's economic crisis. “It's not worth to do any kind of government or corporate sukuk at this stage,” he said.
 
The loss of oil revenues, which used to be the main source for state revenues and dollars needed to pay for food imports, has thrown the economy into turmoil. The Sudanese pound has more than halved in value since the secession, while inflation has risen, driven by the need to import wheat and other food items.
 
With Sudan largely cut off from international markets due to U.S. sanctions over its human rights record, Bank of Khartoum is one of the few local banks with foreign ties.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid