Guaranty Trust Bank eyes Kenyan financial institution

KENYA –  Nigerian multinational financial institution GTBank, has revealed  plans to buy a rival bank in Kenya, adding to the growing list of Nigerian lenders closing acquisitions locally to grow market share.

The London and Nigeria Stock Exchanges listed bank said it wants to tap into East Africa’s biggest economy.

“I think the place we would still like to do business or do an acquisition is Kenya,” GTB’s managing director, Segun Agbaje told reporters during an investor call, responding to a question about whether there was a plan by the lender to acquire another bank.

GTB is just one of several Nigerian banks that have begun expanding into Kenya’s 40-plus bank market.

The Nigerian banks reckon they will ride on the billions of dollar flows in annual trade between Nigeria and Kenya to gain market share, a pointer that it is targeting trade finance.

“I think the place we would still like to do business or do an acquisition is Kenya,” GTB’s managing director”

Segun Agbaje – Managing Director, GTBank

In January 2020, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) gave nod to another top Nigerian lender, Access Bank, to expand into Kenya by acquiring Transnational Bank, a mid-tier lender.

The deal saw Nigerian banks deepen their presence in Kenya with United Bank of Africa (UBA) and GTB already in the market.

GTB with assets worth over US$10 billion, also has presence in 12 other African countries including Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Congo, Zambia, Liberia, Tanzania, Cote D’ Voire, Rwanda, Uganda, China and the UK.

In Kenya, GTB has 15 branches in major towns countrywide including Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru, Nanyuki, Thika and Meru.

Kenya has witnessed renewed interest by global banks, since the CBK lifted a licensing moratorium in March 2017.

Kenya’s banking sector has enjoyed huge growth amid innovation to help satisfy huge unmet needs among consumers, according to a report by consultancy McKinsey.

They include America’s largest bank JPMorgan Chase & Co, which said earlier it was considering entering Kenyan market.

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