According to Reuters and numerous other sources, Pan-African banking group Ecobank has launched a $2.5 billion rights issue and public offer on three West African stock exchanges in the biggest cross-border operation of its kind on the continent. The simultaneous offer will close on Oct. 3, ran on the exchanges in Ghana and Nigeria and on the West African regional bourse in Ivory Coast -- a range that encompasses 10 African countries in all. Ecobank, based in Togo's capital Lome, has more than 10,000 employees and more than 500 branches across 25 countries in Africa. It has expanded out of its traditional base in West Africa and in June bought a 75 percent stake in Kenya's EABS. The move follows this year's completion of the largest inward investment deal into South Africa by China's Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, when they acquired a 20% stake in Standard Bank Group. Both positive signs for growth on the continent.