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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 22:04 GMT 23:04 UK
Standard Bank to sell 10% stake
Standard Bank advert
Standard says it is firmly committed to black economic empowerment.
South Africa's biggest banking group Standard Bank has said it will sell 10% of its business to black investors.

Standard Bank and its insurance arm Liberty plans to sell the stakes for a total of 5.6bn rand ($919.8m; 496m).

The deal is reported to be the biggest black empowerment transaction in South Africa's financial sector.

Black investors said to be acquiring shares include ex-ANC secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa who heads Millennium Consolidated Investments.

Also set to gain from the deal is investment holding firm Safika, which has Standard Bank's former deputy chairman Saki Macozoma as a leading shareholder.

Meaningful participation

Black economic empowerment is a key policy of the ANC government but it has been heavily criticised for not distributing wealth to a greater number of people.

"Standard Bank is firmly committed to black economic empowerment in South Africa and to the transformation requisites sited in the Financial Services Charter," said Jacko Maree, chief executive of Standard Bank Group.

"We believe that meaningful participation by black people in the mainstream economy is essential to sustaining South Africa's successful economic and democratic structures."

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