Commerzbank AG is opening a representative office in Abidjan, the economic metropolis of Ivory Coast, thus expanding its network on the up-and-coming African continent. This means that Commerzbank, which has been operating in Africa since 1952 and maintains business relations with 50 of 54 African countries, is increasing the number of its locations on the continent to 7. Commerzbank’s strategic target is to increase its presence precisely in global growth markets. The new representative office will be a contact for local banks and for German and international companies in French-speaking West Africa.
The head of the office in Abidjan, which has 5 members of staff, will be Konrad Engber (41). In his many years of working for Commerzbank, Engber has gathered extensive knowledge of the special economic and cultural characteristics prevailing on the African continent. He has already been Commerzbank’s represen¬tative in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Tripoli, Libya.
Today Commerzbank is already the number 1 German-speaking bank in Africa. It has customer relations with 550 private and state-owned financial institutions, 29 central banks and sovereign wealth funds, as well as ministries and private companies on the continent. Currently more than 100 employees work in African business operations in various areas of the Group.
In the past few years, Ivory Coast’s economy has grown on average at rates of more than 9 per cent, boosted by a stable political framework, massive public and private investments, and structural reforms. In addition, economic relations between Africa and Europe will continue to develop dynamically. Commerzbank will participate in this growth process. “To take this development into account, we are also going to set up an African research hub in the new representative office,” explained Christof Gabriel Maetze, Global Head Financial Institutions at Commerzbank AG. “The intensive exchange with our colleagues in other African Locations and the bundling of information allow us to come even closer to market activity on the African continent,” said Maetze.
In Africa, Commerzbank also has representative offices in Johannesburg, Cairo, Addis Ababa, Lagos, Tripoli, and Luanda. The Bank is represented at more than 70 locations in over 50 countries worldwide. Its Financial Institutions division has a network comprising more than 5,000 correspondent banking relationships.
With a customer base of more than 100,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (revenue of more than €2.5 million) and banking relationships with just about all major German companies, Commerzbank regards itself as a strategic partner for corporate customers regionally, nationally in Germany, and internationally on the global markets of Germany’s strongly export-oriented economy.