South Africa’s Standard Bank Group has lent Sh3 billion to Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim to expand its supermarkets business in Kenya through the Carrefour franchise.
Carrefour Kenya has emerged as one of the major players in the local retail market, having launched operations in 2016 at The Hub in Karen, Nairobi.
It has grown rapidly since then and now has seven stores including the branches at Nairobi’s Two Rivers Mall, Thika Road Mall, The Junction and Sarit Centre.
Its expansion and that of others like Naivas International Limited have been enabled by the collapse of the former retail giant Nakumatt Holdings.
“Provided Majid Al Futtaim –Dubai’s leading shopping mall, retail and leisure group– with a Sh3 billion loan to expand its retail presence in Kenya,” Standard Bank said in its latest annual report.
It was not immediately clear whether the multinational lender provided the loan directly or through its local banking subsidiary Stanbic Holdings.
The new credit facility signals further expansion and replaces earlier loans that Carrefour Kenya had taken to launch its operations. The retailer took Sh1.5 billion loans and repaid them last year ahead of their contractual maturity.
Carrefour Kenya’s expansion can be seen through a sharp increase in its asset base. The company reported total assets of Sh7.1 billion in the year ended December 2019 compared to Sh4.5 billion the year before, a growth of 57.2 percent.
Its revenues over the same period rose 2.7 percent to Sh18.2 billion from Sh17.7 billion.
The retailer has been attracting shoppers through a mix of loyalty programmes and aggressive discounts on a wide array of merchandise.