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Equity Bank value crosses Sh1tr after Congo acquisition

By Dominic Omondi | December 24th 2020

Equity Bank is now the most valuable company in East and Central Africa after the bank finalised the acquisition of Banque Commercial Du Congo (BCDC).

The migration of BCDC into Equity’s balance sheet has seen the Kenyan lender cross the Sh1 trillion mark in asset value.

“We are delighted to witness this milestone that has shattered the psychological barrier of a trillion-shilling balance sheet,” said James Mwangi, the Equity Group chief executive.

He said that the benefits to the bank’s customers will be immense.

“The bank is also the most capitalised in East and Central Africa with over Sh142 billion, giving it a single lending obligor of Sh35 billion,” he added.

Equity Group has acquired a majority stake in the Congo bank at a cost of Sh10.3 billion as the race to the pinnacle of Kenya’s banking sector intensifies.

Earlier, Equity Bank had shelved plans to acquire London Stock Exchange-listed Atlas Mara, citing challenges occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.

The transaction would have seen Equity acquire a 62 per cent stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) and all of Atlas Mara’s subsidiaries in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.

However, KCB Bank has moved to snap up the banks after it signed an agreement with Atlas Mara.

KCB will pay Sh3.5 billion for 62 per cent stake in BPR and Sh872 million for the entire stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania.

Should the plan go through, the lender’s assets will also cross the Sh1 trillion mark.

“There is not a single other organisation in our market that has reached a trillion shillings, except the government, in terms of assets,” said KCB CEO Joshua Oigara in an earlier interview with the Financial Standard.

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