GTBank set for new acquisition in Kenya

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc. is making move on how to acquire a Kenyan lender in its drive for more expansion on the continent, according to the managing director.

The lender’s Chief Executive Officer, Segun Agbaje, disclosed this at an investor call in Lagos.

“I think the place we will still like to do business or do an acquisition is Kenya,” he stated without giving a time-line for the acquisition.

GTBank has offices in 10 countries outside Nigeria, including Kenya. It wants to increase the contribution of African subsidiaries to the bank’s income to about 30% of profit-before-tax in the next three years from 15.3% in 2020.

The bank in November revealed that, it had received an approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria to transition to a holding company by way of a scheme of merger between the lender and its shareholders, and this move is expected to tow the path of rival FBN Holdings and Stanbic IBTC Holdings.

The Holdco structure will enable a new corporate group known as a parent company to hold the outstanding stock of the companies making up the group while maintaining only oversight capacities over them without participating in the day-to-day running of the companies.

Banks in Africa’s most populous country are expanding on the continent and diversifying outside their core operations as they seek to grow after the coronavirus pandemic and two economic contractions in four years shuttered businesses and limited lending opportunities at home.

Guaranty Trust Bank is expecting the approval by regulators of a move to transition into a financial holding company in the second half, which will enable it to start payments and asset management units, Agbaje said. It targets 10% growth in the loan book this year and pre-tax profit of 243 billion naira from 238.1 billion naira.


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