NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7 – Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has injected Sh4.325billion into Ecobank Kenya, doubling its lending capacity in order to power the subsidiary’s growth at a time when banks are ratcheting up their capital base to comply with new capital adequacy ratios set by the Central Bank of Kenya.
Despite having already met the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), Ecobank Kenya has gradually been boosting its financial war chest as it strategically angles to finance large ticket transactions in Kenya as well as power cross-border investments. Regional trade remains Africa’s biggest opportunity for rapid economic development.
“We are extremely delighted to receive these funds which will boost our lending capacity, aid business growth in line with our strategy and critically address the problem of high cost of funds,” said Ehouman Kassi.
East Africa is now a hotspot for investors angling for emerging business opportunities following the discovery of commercially viable oil and gas deposits in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania that need infrastructural support. In a recent interview, Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, Albert Essien, said Kenya was one of the key markets in Africa that the Group would focus on as a gateway to business opportunities within the region.
Ecobank Kenya, together with EBI investment Corporate, the Investment banking arm of the Ecobank Group in Kenya, are currently gearing up for 3 key structured transactions worth over USD400 million. Kassi said the bank is currently building its capacity in a rapidly changing banking environment where efficient customer service and ability to structure tailor made products and services are at the core of banking operations.
“We have reviewed our personal banking products in addition to deploying our electronic platform for internet banking and regional collections for our corporate clients. We want to ride on our footprint, the robustness of this system and our flexibility to provide financial solutions to our retail and corporate clients here in Kenya and regionally,” said Kassi.
The bank, he said, has developed innovative products for the African Diaspora living in Kenya as well as Kenyans working in the rest of Africa where it operates.
Ecobank Group operates the largest geographical network across Africa with a footprint in 35 countries. Its local entity has 29 branches across Kenya.