By Staff Reporter
Standard Bank has won the African Infrastructure Deal of the Year Award at the Africa Investor Projects Summit recently held in Lagos, Nigeria, says a statement from the bank.
Standard Bank shared this year’s African Infrastructure Deal of the Year Award with Rand Merchant Bank.
Standard Bank, which also trades as Stanbic Bank, won the coveted prize for its leading role in underwriting the Gautrain project in South Africa.
The Gautrain project is an 80-km rail system, running both above and below ground that is designed to travel at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour.
The project is the largest infrastructure Public Private Partnership (PPP) ever financed in Africa. It is also the largest PPP greenfield-rail-project under construction internationally, says the statement.
The $500-million private sector funding incorporated in the project, according to the bank includes a well-structured debt-funding package.
Standard Bank says it arranged the package to ensure optimal balance between risk transfer, shareholder returns and maximising revenue for Gauteng Province. It is expected to generate 93 000 jobs during the five-year construction period.
“Standard Bank’s presence in over 18 African countries where it has continued to make a difference in its operational communities also earned it a nomination and commendation in the African Bank of the Year award category,” the bank said.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Jonathan Wood, Director of Investment Banking at Standard Bank, thanked the organisers for the award.
He said the award further challenged Standard Bank to do more in terms of financing infrastructure development across Africa adding that, “Standard Bank has remained at the forefront of efforts to develop African infrastructure. For us this award is an important reflection of that commitment”.
Earlier in a paper he presented at the summit, Wood called for increased public-private partnerships as a sure way to tackle poverty and underdevelopment in Africa.
He noted that such synergies have worked in other parts of the world while recommending policy stability as an incentive to encourage potential investors to invest their money in infrastructural development across the continent.