Kenya’s biggest lender by market value received approval to open a representative office in May as well as a licence to provide remittance services in partnership with an Ethiopian lender to target three million Ethiopians living abroad.
Thursday 13, June 2019
(Bloomberg) --Equity Group Holdings plans to set up a representative office in Ethiopia as the East African nation opens up its financial sector.
A spokesman for Equity Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Neither did Yinager Dessie, the governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia.
Equity Group would be the second Kenyan bank to set up in Ethiopia after rival KCB Group opened a representative office in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia, which has 18 commercial banks serving more than 100 million people, is working with the World Bank to open up its financial sector to foreign investment. The industry has been closed to investors since the nationalising of lenders four decades ago.
Significant changes may include the establishment of a capital market and the modernisation of the nation’s payment system.
Equity Group helped facilitate KSH 106.7 billion ($1.1 billion) of remittances to Kenya by end of 2018 through partnerships with global payment companies such as PayPal Holdings and Moneygram.