Postbank Modernises: Postbank has earmarked 230 million shillings for expansion including an online payment and ATM network. They are also seeking to amend the KPOSB Act 493 of 1978 that set up and governs the Bank. The Bank, which was set up to encourage Kenyans to save, is not allowed to give loans, and they would like to offer micro-finance and consumer loans at their 47 branches nationwide.
Bank to auction land: Bank of Baroda will auction off the 8,300-acre farm that used to be Chemelil Sisal Estate in South Nandi at a cost of 78 million shillings. This stems from 3 loans the directors of the company took between 1971 and 1988, that were never paid and accrued huge interest arrears. The farm has 2,000 squatters who are demanding the right to buy sections of the farm, as they have lived there for many years.
Privatisation in Kenya: (The People Feb 21) The government is considering selling its stake in three banks which it controls. National Bank, which is valued at 4 billion shillings, has attracted offers from several investors, the highest being only 500 million. This is mainly because the Bank has non-performing loans of 17 billion, 11 of which is owed by the government. Other Banks on the list are Consolidated Bank and Industrial Development Bank. The newspaper urges the government not to sell these Banks below their value, despite their various problems.
Privatisation in Tanzania: After a review of technical and financial bids, three banks – Radobank Nederland, Standard Bank (SA) and Akiba Commercial Bank – have been short-listed to bid for a 49% stake in the National Micro Finance Bank of Tanzania. (East African Feb 21)
More SMS: Prime Bank is the latest bank to offer SMS banking to its customers.