NAIROBI Feb 4 Nigeria's Guaranty Trust Bank
will open its outlets over the weekend and even
deliver cash at home for Kenyan depositors, its chief executive
said, aiming to win market share in one of the toughest markets
for foreigners in Africa.
The bank, which is also listed in London, joins
Nigerian lenders such as Ecobank and UBA which
have also expanded into Kenya in recent years, but have yet to
make a dent on the lead enjoyed by local and British banks.
Guaranty bought a 70 percent stake in Kenya's Fina Bank for
$100 million last year to give it access to the wider east
Africa market including Tanzania.
"When you come into any market you have to bring something
different," Segun Agbaje told a news conference.
Guaranty, which says it is Africa's sixth biggest bank by
profit, has already injected $30 million into its new Kenyan
business, which will be invested in several areas including new
information technology systems.
The bank plans to grow its assets to close to those of the
biggest lenders such as Equity Bank and Barclays Kenya
through focusing on existing business like personal
lending and seizing new opportunities like oil and gas.
"There are about six banks which are considered tier 1. We
are going to move this bank from where it is to just under the
tier 1 banks over a five-year period," Agbaje said.
Fina was ranked the 19th largest bank in Kenya out of 43 in
Guaranty has wide experience in lending to the oil and gas
sector with 20 percent of its loan book in Nigeria being
composed of upstream activities.
Tullow Oil Plc discovered oil in Kenya's far north
in 2012 and it is close to developing its fields in neighbouring
Guaranty plans to expand into Tanzania in the next three
years, Agbaje said. It already operates in Uganda and Rwanda.
(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by George Obulutsa and