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Djibouti based Bank acquires stake in Kenyan microfinance bank

NAIROBI (SD) – Djibouti’s leading bank, Salaam African Bank (SAB) has expanded its presence in Kenya by acquiring a microfinance bank barely two years after it was licensed to operate an investment bank in the East African nation.

The Central Bank of Kenya announced Thursday Salaam African Bank had acquired 100% ownership of Nairobi based Uwezo Micro Finance Bank (Uwezo MFB).

“The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announces the acquisition of 100 percent shareholding of Uwezo Microfinance Bank Limited (Uwezo MFB) by Salaam African Bank (SAB) of Djibouti effective March 25, 2021,’ the Kenyan regulator said.

The Islamic lender, which holds 30 percent of the total bank accounts in Djibouti, has a presence in Ethiopia through a representative office and in Kenya through an investment bank licensed by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

SAB was established in Djibouti in 2007 and is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Djibouti as one of the three Islamic banks in Djibouti.

According to CBK, Uwezo MFB was licensed by CBK on November 8, 2010 as a community microfinance bank carrying out business in Starehe Division of Nairobi County.

The institution was granted approval to upgrade to a nationwide microfinance bank in December 2015.

Uwezo MFB had a market share of 0.45 percent of the microfinance banking sector and was ranked 10 out of 14 MFBs as at March 31, 2021.

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