Equity Group is expecting to finalise the acquisition of Rwanda’s Compagnie Générale de Banque, better known as Cogebank, by the end of November.
The banking group made the disclosure on Monday during an investor briefing on quarter three financial results. During the period, the group reported a 5% jump in profit after tax to KSh 36.2 billion from KSh 34.4 billion reported similar period last year.
- The acquisition was projected to end in September this year but has faced delays in obtaining the necessary approvals.
- The deal is subject to approval by Rwanda, Kenya and COMESA regulators.
- The bank now says that it is only waiting for one key approval, and that the deal will be finalized by 30th November 2023.
In June, Equity Group announced it entered into a binding term sheet with the government of Rwanda, Rwanda Social Security Board, Sanlam Vie Plc and Judith Mugirasoni for the purchase of 91.93 per cent of the issued shares in the capital of Cogebank.
At the end of 2022, Cogebank was the fifth largest bank in Rwanda by reported book value of total assets and shareholders’ equity. It serves customers in the corporate, small and medium sized enterprise and retail customer segment. Equity intends to merge it with Equity Bank Rwanda, the group’s existing subsidiary in the country.
Profits in Kenya dip
Despite other subsidiaries posting strong numbers, the group Kenyan arm’s profit after tax declined 20 per cent to Sh19.3 billion, for the first time in seven years.
The group attributed this to high non-performing loans but Dr James Mwangi, Group Chief Executive Officer, assured investors that the balance sheet of the Kenyan arm is intact and it is the subsidiary to watch in the future.
“The results are on the backdrop of a challenging macroeconomic environment, we borrowed from a similar experience during the Covid-19 pandemic to put up measures protecting our customers against the shocks,” he noted. “The measures have been useful in protecting the customers against high interest rates, currency devaluation and other shocks we continue to experience.”
Even though there has been a slight reduction in transactions on the Equity Mobile App, 98 per cent of transactions are done outside the branch.