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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs