According to Reuters, Kenya’s I&M Holdings, which operates the country’s sixth-largest bank by assets, is seeking for acquisitions in Ethiopia, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is based on the assumption that Ethiopia will soon open its doors to foreign banks.

Lenders in East Africa’s largest economy are trying to expand their coverage of new markets in order to assist customers trade more successfully across the region and boost their own growth.

I&M will fund possible acquisitions with internally produced funds, according to Low, who added that the company also has credit lines with other organizations, including the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private arm.

Because greenfield operations are more difficult to scale up, the lender prefers acquisitions in new markets, according to Chris Low, I&M’s regional director, but cautioned that potential targets must be a good fit. The lender already has operations in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mauritius.

I&M, which began as a community bank in 1974, has progressed to the top tier of banks by focusing on corporate clients, who account for around three-quarters of its loans.


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