By Desie Heita
Bank Windhoek has welcomed Absa South Africa to Namibia, saying, “We welcome competition.”
“We have been aware of it for some time now and we welcome competition,” Rian van Rooyen of Bank Windhoek said.
Absa had a 34.4 percent shareholding in Bank Windhoek, through Capricorn Investment Holdings, until November 2006.
Absa is still the service provider to clients of Bank Windhoek visiting South Africa and Bank Windhoek the same for Absa clients visiting Namibia.
Absa South Africa has been granted a provisional banking licence by the Bank of Namibia to set up a bank in the country.
Patrick Wadula, Head of Media Relations at Absa South Africa, said the issuance of a provisional banking licence “is the first step in pursuing the possibility of entering the Namibian banking market”.
Van Rooyen said the Bank Association of Namibia is still to be formally informed about the issuance of a banking licence to Absa.
James Hill, the managing director of Bank Windhoek, is the chairman of the Bank Association of Namibia.
Absa will be the fifth bank in Namibia. There are currently only four banks operating in Namibia, namely Bank Windhoek, Standard Bank Namibia, First National Bank Namibia and Nedbank Namibia.