Mauritius: SBM Holdings eyes further acquisitions in Kenya

While remaining open to more deals in Kenya, SBM Holdings Ltd, owners of Mauritius’ second-biggest bank, says it expects to be one of Kenya’s largest lenders. This comes almost a year after acquiring part of Chase Bank Kenya Ltd.

In less than one year SBM has sealed two deals in Kenya. Prior to the signing of the deal on chase Bank acquisition with Kenya’s Central bank last week, it acquired Fidelity Commercial Bank Ltd in May last year. These acquisitions will increase competition among lenders in Kenya where there have been seven acquisitions since 2015.

“We are open to consider further opportunities in Kenya. SBM Holdings has the capability and resources in this regard,” SBM Chairman Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing said. 

The transaction fits with the group’s strategy of having a greater regional presence to take “its footprint beyond Mauritius into the Asia-Africa corridor,” said Li Kwong Wing.

Looking at Chase Bank’s network of more than 60 branches across Kenya with assets exceeding $1 billion, SBM sees this transaction as a landmark deal.

Li Kwong Wing also said, “This landmark transaction will enable us to grow inorganically, taking SBM Kenya from 31st to 11th place as a strong Top Tier II bank within a year of its creation.”

According to Bloomberg, last year, the Mauritius company said that it plans to double its 147 billion rupees ($4.4 billion) of assets in the next three years by entering into more markets in East Africa and venturing into the West African markets of Nigeria and Ghana from 2020, adding to its operations in India and Madagascar.

The chairman also told a news conference that the bank had already injected another $26 million into Chase Bank, after signing an agreement.