The Reserve Bank of
South Africa has rejected Absa Bank’s bid for a controlling stake in Ecoban Finance, the emerging markets trade finance company. This has left Ecoban unsure of its future direction, although Peter Belmont, head of the London office, does say that the firm is still looking to co-operate with Absa and direct business to it. A deal is not totally out of the question and “something is still being ironed out,” adds Belmont. “It’s too soon to tell how the situation will pan out. But I hope it works out, as our capabilities married with their product technology would dovetail nicely.”
An Absa spokesman comments: “Unfortunately I cannot comment on the issue. Currently there exists no formal business relationship with Ecoban although we have had discussions about opportunities that could be to the mutual benefit of both parties.”
The London team is relocating offices regardless of the Absa deal falling through as its lease has expired.