NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has sealed mortgage deals worth Sh1 billion at the Diaspora Investment Expo held in August in New Jersey, United States of America.
NBK Executive Director for Retail and Business Banking Robert Kibaara said there is a lot of interest in the areas of residential homes as well as commercial buildings.
“This expo was an eye opener to many Kenyans in the Diaspora and to National Bank as well. Many groups in the Diaspora have come together to invest in commercial buildings and we are lucky to win some of these deals,” said Kibaara.
The event brought together 24 exhibitors drawn from real estate players, banking sector, insurance and legal firms.
“What came out is that most Kenyans have lost lots of money, running into hundreds of millions through unscrupulous developers, or even relatives. What we managed to achieve at the expo is to bring together credible developer and lawyers and with us as the financier so that those in the Diaspora seeking to own properties back home has complete and credible package of providers,” he added.
Kibaara said the bank is now building its portfolio to meet increasing demand from the Diaspora community especially in the real estate sector.
“We are building a portfolio that will be able to meet the financial requirement of this growing Diaspora market. We are aware that some of these investments especially those under commercial development may need large capital outlay which we’ll be able to meet,” he said.
Remittances from Kenyans in the Diaspora stood at Sh10.2 billion in March 2014, a 16 percent increase from the same period last year.
Data released by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicates the 12 month cumulative remittance inflows also increased by 12.2 percent from Sh101.4 billion in March 2013 to Sh113.7 billion in March 2014.
Most of the money sent by about half a million Kenyans living in the Diaspora is used to fund investment projects, a move that has attracted local companies, especially in the banking sector, according to the World Bank.