KCB completes acquisition of Rwandan bank

Thursday August 26 2021
KCB banking hall.

Customers wait to be served in the banking hall at KCB Kencom branch in Kenya's capital Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE


KCB Group has completed the acquisition of Rwandese lender Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) from London-listed financial services firm Atlas Mara Limited.

KCB Group chief executive Joshua Oigara said the lender has secured regulatory approvals in Kenya and Rwanda for the deal which makes KCB Group the majority shareholder in BPR.

The lender says it will merge the new acquisition with its subsidiary KCB Bank Rwanda and rename the combined entity as BPR Bank, making it the second largest bank in the country.

The acquisition is set to give KCB a larger footprint in retail banking in Rwanda, building on its existing corporate business that has been the strength of KCB Bank Rwanda.

“The completion of the transaction in Rwanda will give the group a stronger edge in deepening the ongoing strategy to scale regional presence,” said Mr Oigara.

“The plan is to eventually create one banking entity in Rwanda to be named BPR Bank by merging KCB Bank Rwanda and BPR.”


KCB announced in November it had signed a deal with Atlas Mara to buy 62.06 per cent stake in BPR and a 100 per cent stake in Banking Corporation Tanzania (BancABC), with the latter awaiting approvals from regulators.

The lender said it is still looking to close the deal on BancABC that will see it acquire 96.6 per cent stake from ABC Holdings Limited and 3.4 per cent stake from Tanzania Development Finance Company Limited.

Kenya’s high rate of financial inclusion and digital banking have forced local lenders to look outside the country’s borders for growth.

The resultant acquisitions have seen both KCB and Equity Bank Group boost their asset base to over Ksh1 trillion ($9 billion) each.

The KCB deal comes months after Equity Bank Group called off its plan to acquire four banking subsidiaries in Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique from Atlas Mara Limited in a move aimed at preserving its capital in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.