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World’s Largest Bank Gets a Footprint in Kenya



J.P. Morgan

JP Morgan Chase, America’s largest lender with a balance sheet total of $3.31 trillion, and the world’s largest bank by market capitalization now has a regional office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Happening this Feb 24 the move follows a January 24  2020 announcement by the lender’s Chief Executive Officer, Jamie Dimon, made during the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, saying the bank was aiming to grow its presence in Africa by opening branches in Ghana and Kenya.

“You’ll see us open in some countries we are not in, in Africa, you’ll be hearing about some of that stuff,” Mr. Dimon had told Bloomberg Television in 2018.

According to the BUSINESS CHIEF report, the bank was specifically focusing its continent expansion on Ghana and Kenya – both regulators in both countries had previously blocked the firm’s expansion plans.

Kenya’s President William  Ruto said the move was a vote for Kenya’s emerging success in the global marketplace and a sign of confidence in Kenya’s economy.

The Kenyan leader while meeting with Daniel Zelikow, vice-chairman and global head of J.P. Morgan Public Sector Group here in Nairobi held discussions centered on revising development financing so that it could be more responsive to climate change.

“We welcome the firm’s expertise in environmental risks that will help Kenya to sustainably confront the climate change crisis,” Ruto said.

JP Morgan also has offices in Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa. JP Morgan’s history in Nigeria and Egypt dates back to 1960 and 1979, respectively, while in 1997 the bank debuted in South Africa becoming the first global investment bank to open offices there after the lifting of sanctions in April 1994.

With opening an office in Nairobi, the bank is widely thought to be targeting U.S. multinationals entering the East Africa region, as well as wealth funds and universities.

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