Nordic Business Leaders Meet on African Opportunities

The Nordic-Africa Business Summit discussed how Nordic capabilities can be linked with African opportunities

KCB Group has been approved to enter Ethiopia as it seeks new markets to boost business growth, website the lender said while announcing its profit before tax that climbed 10% to KShs.19.4 Billion in the nine months ending September 2015.

The impressive earnings were buoyed by a substantial growth in net-interest income, healing fees and commissions and cost management initiatives.

The Commercial Bank said on Thursday that authorities in Addis Ababa had granted it clearance to run a Representative Office in the country.

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This, according to KCB will deepen the bank’s regional expansion to enable it grow and sustain its regional business and open up trade with neighbouring countries.

KCB’s International Business in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan had an impressive nine months performance, growing by 74% year on year to contribute 12% of the Group’s profit, compared to 7% in the same period last year.

“The new strategy adopted for the International Business is gaining momentum and underpins our regional expansion model. KCB Group CEO. Joshua Oigara said.

“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,”he said.

He added that the performance in the subsidiaries, affirms the Bank’s growing role as a regional lender and a sustainable business.

“Across the six markets we operate in, while we experienced a relatively challenging economic environment on the overall, we have seen the business show great resilience arising from our deliberate focus on prudent cost-management and efficiency in operations, a trajectory we expect to continue in the remaining part of 2015,” Mr Oigara said.

Mr Oigara divulged that the 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.

Total assets grew by 34% in what saw the Bank’s balance sheet clock KShs.607.3 Billion up from KShs.451.6 Billion recorded in September last year.

The increase on the balance sheet is attributed to a 32% growth in loans and advances which constitute the highest proportion of the assets at 57%.


As at September 2015, the total number of loans disbursed stood at KShs. 4.3 Billion with 1.9 million loans approved since March 2015.

Mr Oigara said the Bank is on track to register more than 5 million new customers by the end of the year.

KCB hopes to ride on its strong balance sheet, diversified products and expansive regional and national footprint to deepen its financial inclusion agenda in the existing and into four new markets by 2020.

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.
Over 400 African and Nordic leaders, cheapest including more than 20 ambassadors from Africa, information pills Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark have Thursday discussed how Nordic capabilities can be linked with African opportunities at the Nordic-African Business Summit in Oslo.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA) has hosted the largest Nordic-African business summit.

NABA seeks to promote business opportunities on the African continent, and serves as a bridge between Norwegian and African business communities.

The African continent hosts the world’s youngest, fastest growing urban population, and Africa’s economy must facilitate rapid growth and change in the coming years.

The Summit was held under the theme, Nordic competence linked to African opportunities.

According to Monica Mæland, Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Norway is committed to build further trade relations with the African continent.

“The Nordic-African Business Summit is one of the initiatives that help Nordic industries navigate the new investment landscape in African countries,” Mæland said.

“In 2010, the Norway-African Business Summit started with a simple idea: if we brought African and Norwegian business leaders together to share experiences, knowledge would increase, investments would accelerate and jobs would be created,” Eivind Fjeldstad, Managing Director of NABA said.

“Today, in its fifth consecutive year, the biggest Nordic-African Business Summit hosts 400 participants from the Nordic and African markets. Due to its great success, the Norwegian-African Business Summit has now become the Nordic-African Business Summit,” he added.

He said that NABA has since its establishment become an important, vibrant and influential meeting place for Norwegian companies and other stakeholders committed to doing business in Africa.

“The drive and energy of the NABA team has helped set the stage and created a great forum where we together can advance the promotion of more and better business in Africa,” says Øystein Botillen, Manager Global Initiatives, Yara and NABA Chairperson.

Also Present at the Summit was, Ashish Thakkar, CEO, Mara Group; Bob Diamond, CEO, Atlas Merchant Capital; and Jaakko Kangasniem, Managing Director, Finnfund.


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