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Growing regional investment is leading to the significant expansion of the Sudanese banking sector. Banks are expanding their branch networks across the country and looking beyond its borders. The latest entrant, Emirates & Sudan Bank (ESB), will start operations in late February. ESB already plans to expand within Africa and is looking at retail banking opportunities in Algeria. An initial public offering (IPO) of shares last May raised the bank’s capital to $115 million. The IPO followed a private placement, which saw Sharjah Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) and the Islamic Development Bank acquire stakes in ESB. ESB was established in 2004 and is managed by DIB.