KCB close to Somalia entry

KCB close to Somalia entry
KCB Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara. PHOTO| FILE

The KCB Group is one step closer to having operations in Somalia following a deal brokered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The listed lender has been eyeing the horn of Africa nation, with the government now seeking a formal assurance from the Somali government to have the bank set up.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the first Kenyan head of state to go to Somalia, expects the move to foster closer ties between the two countries.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta secures agreement for KCB Group to open office in Mogadishu after Mogadishu talks with Somali President Hassan Mohamoud,” Statehouse Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said on his official twitter handle.

KCB already has already for an operating license to open a subsidiary in Somalia.

The move would grow the banks regional footprint to six countries outside Kenya. KCB has operations in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

Somalia has a nascent banking industry with just 11 banks.

KCB is also said to be considering a move to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2015, Equity Bank became the first Kenyan Bank to venture into western Africa after acquiring a controlling stake in Pro Credit Bank.

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