NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Equity Group shareholders have approved Sh20 billion Pan African expansion plans that will see the group expand its continental reach of it banking, technology and related businesses.
The Group’s Shareholders approved an increase in the firm’s issued share capital through the creation of 411,419,668 additional ordinary shares which at current trading would provide about Sh20 billion of funding during the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Equity Group Managing Director James Mwangi says going forward the firm will be seeking to grow its market presence to an additional five to 10 countries in Africa over the next ten years.
Countries on the group’s radar include Ethiopia, DR Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Burundi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Group also plans to increase its customer base from about 10 million presently to 100 million at the end of the new planning horizon.
“The planned growth across Africa by 2024 is an integral component of Equity 3.0 Strategy. To achieve this, Equity will select countries for entry based on the size of their banking markets and the applicability of Equity’s model in the respective markets,” he said.
A mix of green-field set ups and acquisitions will be considered as market entry options across the various countries.
During the AGM, the shareholders also ratified the recent cross listing of the firm on the Rwanda Stock Exchange and approved the proposed cross listing of the firm on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
“Building on our distinctive strengths that have led to our success to date, Equity will follow a tailored entry and growth strategy for each country that is anchored on core Group capabilities,” he added.
Equity Group Holdings Limited has recorded a 29 percent rise in its net profit in 2014 to Sh17.2 billion compared to Sh13.3 billion posted in 2013.
The growth is attributable to good performance of its regional subsidiaries during the year under review.
The regional subsidiaries are in Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
The company’s deposits grew by 26 percent in 2014 to Sh245.6 billion from Sh194.8 billion in the previous year. This contributed to an increase in the group’s balance sheet to Sh345 billion up from Sh278 billion in the previous year.
During the period, Equity successfully completed its reorganisation which saw the creation of a listed non- operating holding company, Equity Group Holdings Limited following the hiving off of the banking business in Kenya to a new subsidiary- Equity Bank Kenya Limited.