Equity to take control of a top Congolese bank


CREDIT| Equity Bank


Equity Group (EQTY) will pay Ksh10.7 billion to purchase a controlling stake in one of the biggest banks in Congo, the company announced last week. Equity will purchase a stake of 66.5% in Banque commercial du Congo (BCDC) from a wealthy Belgian family. The Congolese government owns a stake of 25.5% in BCDC, the country’s second-largest lender by assets.

The acquisition of BCDC is part of Equity’s efforts to grow its footprint in Africa. Equity currently operates in six African countries, including Congo and its home country Kenya. But the company wants to extend its footprint further and aims to have a presence in 15 African countries and 100 million customers by 2024. Equity currently has about 14 million customers.

Since Equity already has operations in Congo, the acquisition of BCDC will see it deepen its presence in the country. Congo is home to more than 81 million consumers, meaning it is strategic to Equity’s goal to significantly grow its customer base over the next several years. Equity’s existing operation in Congo has about 170,000 customers.

The countries Equity intends to expand into include Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Ghana and Nigeria. Ethiopia is also on Equity’s sight. It recently opened a representative office in Ethiopia. Equity rival Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is also eyeing the Ethiopian market, which has more than 100 million consumers.

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