Togo-based Ecobank opens branch in Sao Tome and Principe

11 June 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 11 June – The Ecobank group, based in Togo and operating in Central and West Africa, is to open its next branch in Sao Tome in July with initial share capital of US$ 1.5 million, officials have said.

An accord formalizing the bank’s entry into Sao Tome’s banking sector was signed at the weekend by the director of Sao Tome’s treasury, Anita Silveira, and Ecobank representative Hervé Borna.

Ecobank will invest around US$ 700,000 in promoting Sao Tome’s business and products, granting loans to firms in the islands.

The new bank will benefit from tax incentives, particularly a reduction in tax on profits of nearly 50 percent, as well as a 75 percent reduction in property taxes in investment projects.

The accord between the bank and Sao Tome also involves reduction of customs tariffs on material and equipment for the new bank in the islands’ capital.

Sao Tome’s authorities hope the presence of the new bank will stimulate the country’s financial sector by creating new jobs and facilitating currency exchange between the archipelago and other countries in West Africa.

Ecobank is a private banking group operating in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. (macauhub)