In a bid to gain access to Kenyan markets, Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco’s royal family-owned lender, has signed a trade finance co-operation agreement with KCB Group.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on the sidelines of the 6th International Forum Africa Development (FIAD 2019) held from March 14 to 15, 2019 in Casablanca, Morocco will see, Attijariwafa Bank, one of Morrocco’s largest lenders, gain access to the Kenyan and regional markets through KCB Group.
The Chief Executive Officer of Attijariwafa Bank, Mohamed El Kettani said “this memorandum of understanding is very important for the Attijariwafa Bank group and will allow economic operators in all the countries where the group is present to access the Kenyan market but also to all the markets that KCB covers level of East Africa”.
KCB operational director Samuel Makome represented Kenya’s biggest bank by assets at the ceremony.
In November 2018, Attijariwafa Bank said it plans to launch a new acquisition push in East Africa before end of 2019, starting with Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia. The bank, which is controlled by the royal family through its Al Mada holding company, already has subsidiaries in Cameroon, Congo Republic, Egypt, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Tunisia and Togo. It also has branches in Europe and the Gulf.
Speaking on the sidelines of an investment conference in Johannesburg, the Deputy General Manager of Attijariwafa Bank, Youssef Rouissi said “we have opportunities in Rwanda. We are also considering opportunities in Kenya and Ethiopia. The idea is to acquire banks that are ranked among the first five banks in every market”.
Several international banks are interested in exploring the East African market. They include New York-based lender JPMorgan Chase and one of Russia’s largest privately owned banks, Promsvyazbank, both of which have said they are mulling over expanding operations into Kenya.