Johannesburg - The management of Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI]
has plans “to internationalise” South Africa’s fastest-growing low cost bank in the long term and India is one of the markets it could enter, CEO Riaan Stassen confirmed on Tuesday.
This means the company would look at making acquisitions overseas or be involved in leveraged buyouts in countries outside the African continent.
“Yes, we do have plans to internationalise our operations. But this is in the long term. At the moment, we are looking at growing the company in South Africa,” Stassen told Fin24.
“We will clarify our international strategy in the next 12 months. When we decide to embark on an international strategy full steam, we will certainly look at countries like India and other emerging countries.
"The developed world is not in our plans.”
Developed nations have been heavily battered by the global economic downturn.
Capitec is not looking at entering African markets in the near future as its business model would simply not work properly on the continent with its sometimes problematic business terrain and high unemployment rate.
Analysts say the bank’s business model caters for employed people who have jobs but are unbanked.
But South Africa’s big four banks – Absa Group [JSE:ASA], Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK]
, Nedbank Group [JSE:NED]
and FirstRand [JSE:FSR]
– have prioritised African expansion. All of them have a presence in the continent.
In preparation for its international expansion the company appointed Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff International, as a non-executive director last year because he has an international retail “mindset.”
The appointment would help the company when it starts searching for international opportunities.
Stassen said the company is currently focusing on growing organically in South Africa, adding that 28 branches had already been committed in the next six months.
“But in the next three years, we are going to build 50-75 branches across the country,” he said in an interview.
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