* Aims to consolidate growth of existing subsidiaries
* Pretax profit up 19 pct in first half 2013
(Adds outlook, details, analyst)
By George Obulutsa
NAIROBI, Aug 29 Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)
said it would focus on increasing the contribution of
existing East African regional subsidiaries this year to reach
15 percent of pretax profits before it expands into other
Kenya's largest bank, measured by assets, also operates in
Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi.
KCB's network of regional branches contributed 11 percent of
pretax profit in the first six months of 2013, up from 7.4
percent in the first half of 2012. Its Kenyan operations
accounted for the rest.
"In the short term, which is this year, what we are going to
do is to make sure that they contribute a bigger share of
profits," Chief Executive Joshua Oigara told reporters after an
"Fifteen percent is a good target in the short term, 25
percent in the mid term."
KCB on Thursday posted a 19 percent rise in first-half
pretax profit to 10.1 billion shillings ($115.3 million).
The bank said it was looking to technology such as Internet
banking, mobile banking and the use of a uniform banking
platform across all its branches to support growth in profits.
In the first six months, KCB's interest income rose 12
percent to 16.05 billion shillings.
Its net loans and advances rose to 214.09 billion shillings
from 202.07 billion in the first half of 2012, while its basic
and diluted earnings per share rose to 4.82 shillings from 4.10
Earlier this year, Oigara said that KCB planned in 2014 to
expand into markets including the Democratic Republic of Congo
KCB Chairman Ngeny Biwott said that once the performance of
existing subsidiaries was consolidated, the Kenyan bank would
also look to Somalia and Djibouti.
"Going forward as a board, instead of looking at East
Africa, we want to look at eastern Africa. All these are within
our radar if and when the situation gives us a kind of comfort
that we can the go to those areas," Biwott said.
Kenyan lenders, such as Equity, Co-operative Bank
, NIC Bank and Diamond Trust Bank,
have expanded aggressively into the region in the past decade.
At 1105 GMT, KCB shares were down 1.2 percent at 42.50
KCB's share price was still up around 43 percent for the
year to date, and analysts said they expected it to rise
($1 = 87.6000 Kenyan shillings)
(Editing by Kevin Mwanza and Jane Baird)