KCB eyes DRC in regional expansion plans

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KCB Bank
PHOTO/COURTESY: Reuters

KCB Group is looking at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a possible candidate for the establishment of a new branch in a bid to further expand its regional footprint, the Group’s Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara revealed last week.

Despite not providing a timeline for its entry into DRC, the group, which currently has branches in Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, is similarly awaiting approval to operate in Ethiopia where it currently has a representative office.

“We are talking about two markets in trying to scale up our businesses so the market we are looking at is Congo and Ethiopia because they are very much aligned to our business,” he said. “For us there is a chance to really grow our business to reach the psychological height of Sh1 trillion of balance sheet size which is a strong size,” Mr. Oigara told the Business Daily on Friday last week.

The plans to enter into DRC by KCB, has been declared by experts as a move by the bank to counter the increasingly growing dominance of its rival Equity Bank in the region. Both banks have been eyeing countries outside Kenya in an effort to grow their customer base and footprint.

Last month Equity Group entered into non-binding agreement to buy controlling stake in Banque Commerciale du Congo (BCDC), the oldest bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a transaction whose value is estimated at Ksh. 17 billion by Standard Investment Bank analysts. The tier 1 bank, which rebranded to Equity last week while marking its 35th anniversary, currently has branches in Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

KCB’s efforts to expand its service portfolio and customer base similarly saw the lender successfully acquire controlling stake in the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) last month. KCB Group’s Director for Regional Business Paul Russo has been selected by the lender to head the National Bank of Kenya for a two-year period of its incorporation into KCB.

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