, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – The Kenya Commercial Bank is set to launch mortgage operations in Rwanda and Uganda as early as February this year.
According to Divisional Director Caroline Kariuki, KCB Mortgages will also be rolled out in the other KCB Subsidiaries of Tanzania and Southern Sudan by the end of the year.
“We will be fully operational in Rwanda beginning February 2011 and hope to launch in Uganda within the first quarter of 2011 as we continue with our regional expansion strategy,” said Ms Kariuki.
Rwanda has been on a robust economic growth path over the last fifteen years, and has in place an urban development master plan that KCB now hopes to tap into to grow its regional mortgage business.
“From a regulatory and customer perspective, Rwanda is ready to move into the mortgage space and we expect the market to grow by about Sh10 billion annually, she said.
KCB’s expansionist move is attributable to the amalgamation of the mortgagor with the KCB Group in January 2010. As a benefit, the division now has access to cheaper sources of funds from the bank’s asset base of Sh224 billion.
“The market has really responded positively to the new S&L Mortgages and especially the fact that we can now do much bigger deals of more than Sh1 billion per project. This has attracted a lot of interest throughout the region” explained Ms Kariuki.
Southern Sudan she said, currently harbours a huge mortgage business potential in the second quarter of 2011 given that Sudan was keen on a socio-economic reconstruction and recovery plan.
Currently, KCB has a total of 212 branches comprising 168 branches in Kenya, 14 in Uganda, 11 in Tanzania, Rwanda 9 and 11 in Southern Sudan respectively.
With the recently concluded rights issue, this means the bank will be able to expand its mortgages to Rwanda.