Kenya's Diamond Trust bank raises 3.6 bln shillings for expansion

NAIROBI Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:24am EDT

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NAIROBI Aug 13 (Reuters) - Kenya's Diamond Trust Bank has raised 3.6 billion shillings ($41 million) in an oversubscribed rights issue to expand its branch network in the region and to support lending.

The bank, which focuses on services to small and medium-sized businesses, plans to use the funds to expand its retail banking services in Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

The bank said it received a total of 16 billion shillings or a 440 percent subscription for the 22 million additional shares it had offered at 165.00 shillings a share in June.

Alkarim Jiwa the general manager for finance and planning said the new funds will also be used to explore new investment opportunities in new markets for the bank.

"We plan to expand into Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Mozambique and Madagascar. We are doing feasibility studies in two of these countries, and based on the outcome we could enter one of those markets in the next 18 months," Jiwa told Reuters via telephone.

Diamond Trust is following a trend by its bigger rivals KCB , the country's largest lender by assets, Equity Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya, to expand in the east African region, exploiting growing trade ties between countries and buoying their earnings.

The bank's shares closed at 230 shillings.

(1 US dollar = 87.8000 Kenyan shilling) (Reporting by James Macharia, editing by David Evans)

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