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Economy

Ecobank takes battle to rivals

Ade Ayeyemi
ETI Group chief executive Ade Ayeyemi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyan banks’ aggressive regional expansion faces fierce competition after Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) tapped Sh50 billion Eurobond cash to strengthen its 33 subsidiaries across Africa.

Speaking at the London Stock Exchange during the listing of the facility, ETI Group chief executive Ade Ayeyemi said the funds will be used for general corporate purposes, including the refinancing of maturing debt facilities.

“The successful issuance of our inaugural Eurobond on the main London market demonstrates international investors’ approval and confidence in Ecobank’s long-term strategy and prospects as a strong and sustainable pan-African financial services institution. It also demonstrates the ability of African corporates to access international capital markets,” he said.

The ETI Eurobond attracted investors from UK, USA, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa who will enjoy a coupon interest rate of 9.5 percent per annum payable semi-annually in arrears during the next five years.

Acting Group chief finance officer Ayo Adepoju said Ecobank closely monitored its capital allocation to sustain their business with a view to maintaining profitability and competitiveness across Africa.

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“Our emphasis is to have the right strategic positioning, competitive advantages, products and resources to increase efficiency and profitability. Our access to international capital markets are part of the mix and enable us to boost our liquidity profile, refinance maturing facilities and strengthen our foundations to ensure long-term sustainable growth and profitability for all our stakeholders,”he said.

Last April, Equity Group entered into a preliminary agreement to buy out banking units in Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda currently owned by a London Stock Exchange-listed firm.

This will see Equity buy out Atlas Mara Limited-owned African Banking Corporation’s (ABC) operations in Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique as well as a majority stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR).

On its part KCB Group has announced plans to enter Somalia and the DR Congo as well s Ethiopia.

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