(Adds confirmation from the bank)
By Clement Uwiringiyimana
KIGALI, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Attijariwafa Bank, one of Morocco’s biggest banks, has signed an agreement to buy Rwandan bank Compagnie Générale de Banque Limited (Cogebanque), the bank said on Wednesday.
Cogebanque is Rwanda’s third largest bank by assets, which totalled 167.5 billion Rwandan francs ($226 million) at the end of the third quarter of 2015, according to the company.
“We have signed an memorandum of understanding to buy 75 percent stake in Cogebanque,” Attijariwafa’s chief executive Mohammed Kettani said after signing the deal.
A statement from Rwanda’s president’s office said the deal was worth around $41 million.
Like other large Moroccan companies, Attijariwafa Bank has been expanding in Africa. It has subsidiaries in Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Mali, among other countries, as well as branches in Europe.
The Cogebanque deal was signed during a visit to Rwanda by the Moroccan king, which began on Tuesday.
Attijarawafa Bank said the closing of the deal was conditional on signing the sale contract and receiving regulatory approvals.
Attijariwafa said Cogebanque has 23 branches and had 166 million Moroccan dirhams ($16.85 million) in net banking income and 34 million dirham in profit at end of 2015.
Earlier this month, Attijarwafa bought Egyptian business of Britain’s Barclays. The two banks did not give a price for the transaction, although sources previously told Reuters they valued the business at around $400 million.
($1 = 741.0000 Rwandan francs) ($1 = 9.8492 Moroccan dirham)
Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi in Rabat, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman