Egypt's CIB takes full ownership of Kenyan lender Mayfair

NAIROBI, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Egypt's Commercial International Bank (CIB) (COMI.CA) has taken full ownership of Kenya's Mayfair CIB with the purchase of the 49% of shares it did not already own, it said on Monday.

CIB bought a 51% stake in Mayfair Bank in 2020, offering funds, skills and infrastructure to speed the tiny Kenyan lender's growth at a time when it accounted for only 0.2% of the East African nation's banking market.

"Kenya offers great opportunities," said Hossam Rageh, the head of Mayfair CIB.

Operating profit at the bank jumped 64% in 2021, Mayfair CIB said, adding that the acquisition has been approved by the central bank and will take effect on Jan. 31.

"The acquisition will anchor CIB's expansion into the East African region. Additionally, it will strengthen the trade and investment ties between Kenya and Egypt," the Kenyan central bank said.

Increased regulatory scrutiny in Kenya's banking sector in the past eight years has resulted in a measure of consolidation.

Equity Group (EQTY.NR), the country's biggest lender by assets, has completed a deal to acquire certain assets of Spire Bank, a distressed smaller institution owned by the teachers' union, the central bank said in a separate statement on Monday.

"This transaction will enhance stability of the Kenyan banking sector," the central bank said of the Spire deal.

Kenya has 39 commercial banks, which executives in the industry say is too many for a country of 50 million people.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri Editing by David Goodman

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