NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – Bank M Tanzania PLC has announced plans to enter the Kenyan market in less than a month’s time.
According CEO designate Jacqueline Woiso, the lender will be setting shop in the Kenya through “acquisition of a local bank.”
At the moment, she said, only a few regulatory approvals are pending and once through, it will be the first Tanzanian bank to venture into the Kenyan market.
“We believe we are able to enter into the Kenyan market and we see the right time is now because there are a lot of opportunities. What I would say is that we will not be going on green fields at the moment, but what we will be doing is actually through an acquisition and we should be announcing very soon after getting the final approvals from the regulator in Kenya,” Woiso said on Tuesday.
She says details of transactions, operation model and even management strategy will be given during the launch.
In May 2015 a group of Tanzanian investors, who are also shareholders in Bank M, received regulatory approval to purchase a 51 percent controlling stake in Kenya’s Oriental Commercial Bank (OCB). Established in 2002 Oriental bank has a branch network of eight, spread across Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru Eldoret and Kitale.
The Tanzanian lender formed in February 2007 is ranked among the top 10 banks in Tanzania and which is owned by 15 shareholders.
Despite the increasing competition and tough regulatory measures in Kenya, Woiso says the market is stable for business, where it will target “family business and corporate institutions.”
“We have been successful in a market which has over 50 banks in Tanzania. So with a market of 43 banks here definitely we should make our fortune. We still see opportunities that perhaps other banks in Kenya don’t see,” she said.
With no Tanzania banks in Kenya at the moment, at least seven Kenyan banks operate in Tanzania including Equity bank, KCB, NIC bank, Commercial Bank of Africa, I&M, Bank of Africa and Diamond Trust Bank.