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Kenya: KCB Group acquires Rwanda's second biggest bank

Christian Fernsby |
KCB Group PLC has completed the acquisition of Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) from Atlas Mara Mauritius Limited and Arise B.V.

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This follows the securing of the requisite regulatory approvals in Kenya, and Rwanda in what makes KCB Group the majority shareholder in BPR, Rwanda's second-biggest bank, with effect from August 25, 2021.

KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara said that the completion of the transaction in Rwanda will give the Group a stronger edge in deepening the ongoing Group strategy to scale regional presence.

"The combined history of BPR and KCB will take the Group to greater heights, giving us a stronger edge to play a bigger role in driving the financial inclusion and economic empowerment agenda in the East African region," said Oigara.

"This will increase our scale and improve our operating leverage by enabling us to deliver our existing retail and wholesale offerings to a wider base of customers in Rwanda while positioning the bank for sustainable growth in the long-term," said Oigara.

BPR is a strong retail and SME Bank with the largest branch network in the sector and a long history spanning over 45 years in Rwanda.

The plan, said Oigara, is to eventually create one banking entity in Rwanda to be named BPR Bank by merging KCB Bank Rwanda and BPR. The combined bank will become the second largest bank in the industry.

KCB Group has appointed an integration committee made up of senior executives to spearhead the attainment of the single entity in Rwanda in the coming months.

The merger will provide current KCB Rwanda's customers with access to a larger network of branches and agents across the country, while BPR's customers will benefit from best-in-class digital capability, transactional banking solutions, trade finance expertise and international banking offering from KCB, the Group CEO and MD said.

Additionally, KCB Group intends to acquire 100 percent shareholding of African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (BancABC) from ABC Holdings Limited (96.6 percent) and Tanzania Development Finance Company Limited (3.4 percent).

The proposed acquisition is however pending some approvals.

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