Bank Review ’07: Part IV

Finally the big leagues – these banks have large networks of branches and ATM’s in most of the major towns around the country.

6. (No. 13 last year) Equity Bank: Estimated assets of 51 billion ($730 million) and profit of 2.1 billion shillings ($30 million) as Equity continues the staggering 100% annual growth rate it has maintained since it converted from a building society. Took some political and banking industry heat, but was ably defended by authorities and management. The bank also bought out ¼ of Housing Finance and sold 25% a stake to Helios Capital to 11 billion shillings. The Helios deal will be used to finance Equity’s expansion into East & Central Africa as well as the payment to Housing Finance – and with the addition of new directors, Equity needs to sort out some governance and staff morale issues in the new year.

5. (9 and 10 respectivly) CFC Stanbic Bank: Estimated combined bank assets of 64 billion and profits of 2.2 billion resulting from the mega-merger of two mid-size banks – the local arm of Stanbic (Africa’s largest bank) and mid-size CFC with a combined corporate, insurance and stockbroking business. Some clash of cultures and systems can be expected as with most mergers, but this could be a South African – Kenyan partnership that succeeds, where many others have failed.

4. (4) Cooperative Bank: Estimated assets of 70 billion, profits of 2.5 billion in 2007. Another record year for the bank that has recovered massively from a loss five years ago and since the government set out to sort of the cooperatives sector debts. With growth of 15% from a year ago, and profit up 100%, though the MD was rumored to have been keen to move to KCB.

3. (3) Standard Chartered: Estimated assets of 100 billion and profits of 3.5 billion. The quietest of the big three banks in terms of product development & marketing, it lost ground to KCB even as it remains second in market cap. Hawking their products on street corners may have hurt their image, while the corporate banking is plagued by high fees and an operational system difficult to maneuver.

2. (2) KCB: Estimated assets of 110 billion and profits of 4.3 billion in 2007. Had a smooth CEO transition and growth of 20% but with both deposits and loans up 30% from a year ago. But into S. Sudan has been slow, while Uganda was also delayed, showing the difficult of regional banking.

1. (1) Barclays Kenya: Estimated assets of 160 billion ($2.3 billion), profits of 8.5 billion ($120 million) with growth of 25% from a year ago. The bank continued its turnaround, expanding in rural Kenya and other parts of Africa where it had previously withdrawn and closed branches. This is not the first time that it has had to reverse direction – years ago they spun off an unwanted asset finance business that is now NIC Bank – and who they are fighting for dominance of the same market.

who’s missing?
– Charterhouse Bank which is under statutory management by the Central Bank
– Gulf African – new Shariah bank began in 2007, but may be operating under different rules – (see post)
Kenya Women’s Finance Trust a micro finance organization with assets of about 4 billion and profit of about 200 million that may be the next bank licensed in 2008.

One thought on “Bank Review ’07: Part IV

  1. Anonymous

    I realize that this has nothing to do with most articles that you post. However after 12 years in the US I am planning to move back home. Are there folks out there who made such a move and what is your opinion? Thanks

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