KCB Group has entered an agreement to acquire 85 percent stake in Trust Merchant Bank (TMB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The entrance into the Central African country with a population of over 84 million will mark the seventh market outside Kenya for KCB.
The lender announced on Tuesday that it expects to close the transaction by the end of the third quarter of 2022 after receiving regulatory approvals.
"This will see KCB acquire 85 percent of the shares in TMB while the existing shareholders will continue to hold the balance for a period of not less than 2 years after which KCB will acquire their shares," KCB said in a statement released Tuesday.
KCB entry into DRC will bring competition to the doorstep of its rival, Equity Group, which in 2020 purchased a 66.5 percent stake in Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) through a Sh10.3 billion cash transaction making it the second-largest lender in the country.
Kenyan commercial banks are looking beyond their borders for acquisitions, seeking to tap opportunities in East Africa which are driven by rapid economic growth and trade integration.