Bank of Africa acquires Sh1.5bn office block in Westlands for relocation


Bank of Africa Kenya Managing Director Ronald Marambii. PHOTO | FILE

Bank of Africa (BoA) has bought a building in Westlands for Sh1.5 billion, with the lender set to relocate its headquarters from Nairobi’s central business district to the new office bloc on Karuna Close.

The mid-sized bank, which has 530 employees, will move its 210 head office staff currently operating from Reinsurance Plaza and International Life House to the new building.

BoA, which has over 100,000 customers, made the real estate purchase on the back of a Sh1.9 billion capital injection from its parent BOA Group that is in turn majority owned by Morocco’s BMCE Bank.

“We project to have fully moved our functions to the new location in September once ongoing interior finishing is complete,” said Ronald Marambii, the bank’s managing director.

“We purchased the building from a private developer. The capital injection from our shareholders has enabled us to secure the building which will enable the bank consolidate its operations.” Mr Marambii, who was appointed in November, added that the staff being relocated to Westlands would occupy five of the seven floors while the remaining space will most likely be leased out.

The building will host its administrative offices, a business centre and an elite retail branch. BMCE Bank of Morocco has since 2007 been progressively increasing its stake in BOA Group to the present 74.9 per cent as multiple capital injections have progressively diluted other shareholders’ stake. BOA Group, which has operations in 18 countires, owns 84.2 per cent of BOA Kenya.

In the three years to December 2015, the group has channelled Sh4.7 billion to the Kenyan subsidiary to fund its expansion activities with the latest venture being the head office purchase.

A huge chunk of this investment came from BMCE Bank and as consequence of its present controlling stake, BoA yesterday announced that it had adopted a new corporate identity incorporating the Moroccan lender.