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Equity injects over Sh11 billion into its DRC subsidiary

Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi speaking during an investor briefing and release of Q3 2021 financial results. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Equity Group has injected an additional $100 million (Sh11.5 billion) into its Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) subsidiary as it eyes to fund mining and manufacturing companies in the country.

The lender disclosed yesterday it has added the capital in EquityBCDC, coming on the back of 26 Kenyan companies committing trade investments worth $1.6 billion (Sh184.7 billion) in the DRC.

Equity Group Chief Executive James Mwangi (pictured) said the additional capital will help the DRC unit to fund development projects and large mining and manufacturing companies in the newest member of the East African Community (EAC).

The new capital adds to the Sh17.39 billion that Equity had already invested in DRC by end of last year, making it the subsidiary with the highest investment after Kenya, where Equity’s value of investment is Sh40.73 billion.

Companies that have committed to invest in DRC include Rentco Africa, Optiven Group, Greenlight Planet, Jumbo Foam, Bidco, Geomaps and Nyanja Associates.

Kenya Builders and Concrete Company is, for instance, looking to set up a cement company while TruFoods wants to build an edible oil manufacturing plant in the country.

The announcement was made in the presence of DRC President Felix Tshisekedi during a business dinner to celebrate the admission of the country into the EAC.

President Tshisekedi said his government has put in place reforms to support investors including improving tax systems to allow flow of goods and access to loans for economic cooperators.

Equity has been increasing its presence in DRC.

In December last year, it acquired shares previously held by Equity Bank Congo SA ESOP in EquityBCDC at Sh383 million.

In 2020, Equity acquired 66.53 per cent stake in BCDC from the George Arthur Forrest family for Sh10.35 billion and merged it with Equity Bank Congo, an existing subsidiary.