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KCB Group Talks With Potential Targets in Plan to Enter Ethiopia

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Paul Russo

KCB Group Plc, Kenya’s second-biggest bank by assets, is in talks to acquire stakes in lenders in Ethiopia as it revives plans to expand into Africa’s second-most populous nation, Bloomberg reported this April 4.

“It’s not going to be a green field entry,” KCB’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Russo said in an interview in the capital, Nairobi. “We’re talking to three potential targets,” amid regulatory changes that he hopes may be concluded this year, he said.

KCB is relooking at Ethiopia after a three-year pause due to internal conflict that disrupted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s plan to spur private business. The Ethiopian government may allow foreign investors to own as much as 30% of its existing commercial banks as part of efforts to boost its foreign currency reserves.

KCB already operates a representative office in Ethiopia where over 100 million people are served by 25 commercial banks. Kenya Bank With Worst Bad Loan Level Falls on Dividend Cut The Nairobi-based bank has a presence in six markets, including the Democratic Republic of Congo where it acquired TMB Bank.

KCB sees its subsidiaries contributing 25% of the group’s revenue from about 17% currently by the end of this year, according to Russo.

By Bella Genga

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