Egypt’s Banque Misr seeks nod enter the Kenyan market

KENYA – Banque Misr, Egypt’s second-largest bank, says it has formally applied for a Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) licence to enter the Kenyan market as it seeks lending deals in East Africa and serving Egyptian firms operating in the region, reports Business Daily. The State-run bank, which in 2020 hinted of plans to enter Kenya said the licence applications to Kenyan regulators were made alongside similar applications in Somalia and Djibouti. The lender’s vice chairman Akef El Maghraby was quoted announcing the move at a business forum held in…

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Kenya’s diaspora remittances hit a high of US$315m in May 2021

KENYA – Kenyans in foreign countries sent home a monthly record US$315.8 million in May 2021, a 22 percent jump from the corresponding period a year earlier, supported by higher flows from the US and Saudi Arabia. This is the first-time diaspora remittances to Kenya have crossed the US$300 million mark, continuing to defy expectations of a dip due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to data from Central Bank of Kenya, inflows from Asia jumped 12 percent month-on-month to US$32.6 million, while remittances from North America—which includes the US, Canada…

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Djibouti’s Salaam African Bank acquires Kenya’s Uwezo Microfinance

KENYA – Djibouti lender Salaam African Bank (SAB), has acquired a 100 percent stake in Kenya’s Uwezo Microfinance Bank that was founded in 2008 but has struggled to post profits for an undisclosed amount. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced that Djibouti’s largest lender by branch network, Salaam African Bank (SAB), completed the transaction on March 25, 2021. The regulator did not disclose how much the Djibouti lender paid to the owners of the micro-financier. “This follows CBK’s approval on December 24, 2020 under Section 19(4) of the Microfinance…

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I&M Holdings completes acquisition of Ugandan lender Orient Bank

UGANDA – I&M Holdings Plc. has completed the acquisition of 90 percent shareholding in Uganda’s privately-owned lender Orient Bank Ltd (OBL) as part of its regional expansion plan. In a press statement, I&M said the acquisition was completed on April 30, 2021 after the transaction received the necessary approvals from the Central Bank of Kenya, Bank of Uganda, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The agreement for the deal priced at US$26.93 million was made in July 2020. “I&M Group aspires to…

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Kenya seeks another debt service suspension to June 2022

KENYA –  The government of Kenya has sought the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) extension to June 2022, a one-year extension from the earlier granted June 30, 2021, debt service suspension secured in January. Besides the relief under the DSSI, the country is also pursuing new limits access to International Monetary Fund funds through the reallocation of existing special drawing rights and the allocation of new special drawing rights. Such facility will allow faster access of disbursements from the IMF Rapid Credit facility and the Rapid Finance Instrument, granted to countries…

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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…

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Kenya’s Housing Finance joins international money transfer business

KENYA – Housing Finance Company of Kenya (HF) has partnered with digital payments firm Interswitch Group to offer International Money Transfer (IMT) as part of expansions of its digital banking services. With the IMT, the lender’s diaspora customers can remit funds into any HF account and also allows a simplified channel for them to make their loan or mortgage payments. The partnership comes on the back of HF’s turnaround strategy that is set to see the Kenya’s premier mortgage lender transform into a full-service bank. HF Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Kibaara said…

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Diamond Trust Bank (K) to shut six branches by end of October 2021

KENYA – Nairobi Securities Exchange listed lender Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) is expected to shut six branches by the end of October as part of efforts to consolidate its physical footprint in Kenya. In a notice issued to the press, the lender said it had received approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to consolidate its branches. “The DTB branch consolidation will affect locations where branches identified for merger are co-located or in close proximity to each other. The affected branches will cease operations with immediate effect,” DTB announced.…

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Motor dealer Car & General ups its stake in microlender Watu Credit to 29%

KENYA – Automotive and engineering products dealer Car &General (C&G) has invested an additional US$353,736 in microlender Watu Credit Limited, raising its stake in the company to 29 percent in the year ended September 2020. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm previously held a 26.5 percent interest in the lender. The investment in Watu Credit has helped C&G to boost its sale of motorcycles and tuk-tuks, which are hugely popular modes of transport in Kenya. The microlender funds acquisition of the two and three-wheeled autos including brands sold by C&G…

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Kenya in first recession since 2000 as Covid-19 ravages the economy

KENYA – Kenya slid into a recession for the first time in two decades in the third quarter of 2020 as measures introduced by the East African nation to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to hurt output. Gross domestic product in East Africa’s biggest economy fell 1.1% compared with a year earlier, after shrinking a revised 5.5% in the second quarter, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics told Money Web. The outcome matched median of three economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Before the decline in the…

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