NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22- Bank M Tanzania has officially kicked off operations in Kenya by acquiring 51 percent stake in Oriental Commercial bank.
The bank will now operate as M Oriental bank after getting regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Bank M Tanzania Chief Executive Sanjeev Kumar says the bank will start operations with eight branches which were originally Oriental’s and plans to open six more in the near future.
“We are seeking approval from the Central Bank to open at least four branches in Nairobi and two others outside Nairobi. But the four will be opened very soon,” Kumar said during the launch of M Oriental bank in Nairobi on Wednesday.
The acquisition of the 51 percent is expected to be completed by September 2016.
The new bank will kick off with an operating capital of Sh2.5 billion and would be targeting Sh5 billion following the proposal by Treasury to raise banks’ capital to Sh5 billion from the current Sh1 billion.
“I would say that we are very confident that raising capital will not be an issue because we have strong shareholders and who are committed to this,” he added.
He assured that new bank will retain the roughly 100 employees who were previously working for Oriental Bank as it also seeks to recruit more.
M Oriental will be re-positioned as the only wholesale bank in Kenya focused on large business families.
“Our focus is not mainly focused on growing the balance sheet but more into making profits by avoiding Non- Performing loans and keeping our customers. We just want to remain who we are, family business focused,” Kumar added.
Bank M is a commercial bank licensed and regulated by the Bank of Tanzania since February 2007 and is focused on corporate and investment banking.