Financial service provider, SBM Holdings Ltd (SBM Group) has today announced the completion of the acquisition of Fidelity Commercial Bank in Kenya through its subsidiary SBM Africa Holdings Ltd, marking its entry into continental Africa.
SBM Group’s acquisition of Fidelity Commercial Bank which will operate under the legal entity SBM Bank (Kenya) Limited, will result in rebranding of all branches and ATMs to SBM Bank, appointment of a new Board of Directors and a capital injection of USD 20.6 million in its first year of operations.
Welcoming this acquisition, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge said, “The entry of SBM Group into Kenya provides a welcome impetus to our banking sector. SBM will bring its experience and expertise from Mauritius and other markets, to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of Kenya’s banking sector.”
The Chairman of the SBM Holdings Ltd, Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing, G.O.S.K, has highlighted that SBM Group has been accessing corporate clients in Kenya through its off-shore segment B business extending funded credit facilities.
“Now, it is a shift from suitcase banking to direct brick-and-mortar branch banking. SBM’s entry into Africa begins from Kenya as hub for East Africa expansion followed by expansion into other regions.” He said
SBM also announced the appointment of a new Board of Directors for SBM Bank (Kenya) Limited following completion of the acquisition.
The new Board of Directors includes Mrs. Flora Mutahi, Mr. Jim McFee and Mr. Sharad Rao with Mr. Jotham Mutoka as the acting CEO ahead of the appointment of a Kenyan Managing Director to be announced at a later date.
SBM Bank (Kenya) Limited, founded in September 1973 and headquartered in Mauritius will retain branches and staff members of the acquired bank and will thus have 6 branches in Nairobi and 4 branches in Mombasa, which will soon offer its revamped suite of products and services to all existing customers.
SBM listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius has total assets of KES437 billion as at December 2016 and has a market capitalisation of KES59.3 billion as at 31st January 2017, representing third largest listed companies in Mauritius.
According to Jairaj Sonoo, C.S.K. Chief Executive – Overseas Expansion, SBM Holdings Ltd, SBM Bank (Kenya) Limited intends to focus initially on the Corporate and SME segments.
“We would like to offer these companies that are the engines of growth, better access to dollar lending and trade financing. We will also look at financing large infrastructure and real estate projects that are key for economic growth. Through our continued growth in Africa and Asia, we are also looking to strengthen the Africa-Asia trade corridor with our banking and financial services,” he stated.
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