Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

ITWeb Africa

Wednesday, Feb 26th

Expansion, mobile money drives up profit for KCB

Expansion, mobile money drives up profit for KCB.

East African commercial bank KCB Group has announced it will enter the Ethiopia market and set up a representative office as part of its pursuit of business in new markets.

The Bank said on Thursday that authorities in Addis Ababa had granted it clearance to run a representative office in the country, deepening the bank's regional expansion to enable it grow and sustain its regional business and open up trade with neighbouring countries.

According to KCB it received the license to open the office on 14 October and is looking to use this presence to facilitate trade between Ethiopia and the rest of East Africa.

"In 2013, Kenya signed a special status agreement (SSA) with Ethiopia, giving Kenyan companies the highest possible access to the country and focusing on areas of trade, investment, infrastructure and food security," the company has stated.

KCB is eyeing expansion on the back of positive Q3 financial results, in the nine months ending September 2015.

Increased investment in alternative service delivery channels and offerings, like M-Pesa, has helped the company record a 10% increase in profit before tax to KShs.19.4 billion.

KCB's international business, which covers countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan, has grown by 74% year-on-year to contribute 12% of the Group's profit, compared to 7% in the same period last year, the company has stated.

"The new strategy adopted for the international business is gaining momentum and underpins our regional expansion model. The September 2015 numbers are an indication of a robust business model that we have continually adopted through initiatives that support customer-centricity to deliver affordability, efficiency and convenience in deepening financial inclusion across the East African region and beyond," said KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara.

Oigara said net interest income increased by 10% due to growth in the Bank's asset book partially impacted by the high cost of funds especially during the last quarter of September 2015, while gross fees and commissions grew by 14%, attributable to new products and alternative channels tailored to meet customer needs and increased transactions volumes.

The company added that earnings were buoyed by a substantial growth in net-interest income, fees and commissions, as well as cost management initiatives.

Financial inclusion

Recent statistics released by the Communications Authority of Kenya state that the country has approximately 22.3 million internet users.

Social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, are increasingly being used as a channel of service delivery between the finance services sector and consumers.

According to statistics published by The East African, the high uptake of mobile money in Kenya has elevated the country to the top of the list of regions with ease of access to financial services.

The publication references the Global Findex Database2014 as stating that 75% of the country's population is banked.


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