Nigeria’s largest bank, Access Bank Plc has received the go-ahead to acquire Kenya’s Transnational Bank Limited.
The bank has been given the go-ahead by the Competition Authority of Kenya.
According to the sketchy details of the acquisition, Access Bank will take over 93.57% of Transnational Bank Limited.
It would be recalled that Access Bank and Diamond Bank merged to form Nigeria’s largest bank by the customer base.
However, the acquisition of Kenya’s Transnational Bank Limited by Access Bank follows a series of mergers in the East African nation’s banking industry. The country has recorded merger between NIC Group Plc and Commercial Bank of Africa Limited, and KCB Group Limited’s acquisition of National Bank of Kenya Limited. Kenya’s Central Bank has been pushing for a merger between the country’s banks because it has more banks per person than South Africa and Nigeria.
Kenya has a population of 50 million with about 40 banks. The drive for consolidation had led SBM Holdings Ltd of Mauritius to acquire some of the assets of Chase Bank Kenya Limited and the entire capital of Fidelity Commercial Bank Limited. With this move by Access Bank, it now has operation in Kenya like its Nigerian competitors, Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd and United Bank of Africa Plc.
Transnational Bank only lends to the agricultural sector. However, its non-performing loans increased by 58% to 1.85 billion shillings, while loans rose 0.5% to 6.63 billion shillings, according to a report.
In 2018, Transnational Bank recorded a full-year pretax loss of 98.5 million shillings ($951,690).