- Egyptian banks say they will take advantage of billions in annual trade between Egypt and Kenya to gain market share, a sign that Bank Misr is targeting trade finance.
- Kenya has seen renewed interest from global banks since the CBK lifted a licensing moratorium in March 2017.
- Other lenders who have expressed interest in Kenya include the largest US bank JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Egypt’s second-largest bank, Misr Bank, now says it has officially applied for a license from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to enter the Kenyan market as it seeks loan deals in East Africa and serves businesses Egyptian women operating in the region.
The state-owned bank, which hinted at plans to enter Kenya last year, said license applications with Kenyan regulators had been filed alongside similar applications in Somalia and Djibouti.
The vice-president of the lender, Akef El Maghraby, announced the decision at a business forum held in Egypt.
The Business Daily has yet to get confirmation from the regulator on licensing plans and whether the lender is considering setting up branches or a representative office.
A spot check on the bank’s website also showed that the lender was looking for senior executives to be in charge of various banking divisions locally, apparently in preparation for the license.
The lender said earlier that it plans to open branches or representative offices in Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti.
Bank Misr Mohamed Eletreby said it would borrow 27 billion shillings ($ 250 million) from international lenders last year to finance Kenya’s expansion, which will also coincide with planned entry into Djibouti and Somalia. .
“We are in talks with two international institutions over loans at competitive interest rates,” Eletreby said last year.
Bank Misr’s announcement marks the latest expression of interest from an Egyptian lender to enter the Kenyan market.
Egypt’s largest private lender, Commercial International Bank, has bought a controlling stake in Kenya’s Tier III bank Mayfair in a deal that has stepped up transactions in the local banking sector.
Egyptian banks say they will take advantage of billions in annual trade between Egypt and Kenya to gain market share, a sign that Bank Misr is targeting trade finance.
Kenya has seen renewed interest from global banks since the CBK lifted a licensing moratorium in March 2017.
Other lenders who have expressed interest in Kenya include the largest US bank JPMorgan Chase & Co.