Fresh from ‘merger’ with Diamond Bank, Nigeria’s biggest lender, Access Bank Plc. is set to acquire another bank, Kenyan Transnational Bank Ltd in bid to expand operations on the continent.
The East African nation’s Competition Authority has given, Access, which is the third Nigerian bank to establish presence in the country, the go-ahead to acquire 93.57 percent of Transnational as consolidation in it’s banking industry gathers pace.
The acquisition follows the merger of NIC Group Plc and Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., and KCB Group Ltd.’s acquisition of National Bank of Kenya Ltd. earlier this year. Access Bank joins other Nigerian lenders Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd. and United Bank of Africa Plc in operating in the Kenyan market.
Bloomberg asserts that the deal bodes well for the Central Bank of Kenya’s push for consolidation in an industry of more than 40 lenders and a population of almost 50 million people.
Kenya, the medium said, has more banks per person than South Africa and Nigeria, Africa’s two largest economies.
In the past two years, SBM Holdings Ltd. of Mauritius bought up some of the assets of Chase Bank Kenya Ltd. and the entire capital of Fidelity Commercial Bank Ltd.
Transnational is a struggling lender, however, posting a full-year pretax loss of 98.5 million shillings ($951,690) in 2018 and lends mainly to the agricultural sector. Non-performing loans ballooned 58 percent to 1.85 billion shillings, while loans rose 0.5% to 6.63 billion shillings, according to its annual report.