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Kenya’s I&M Holdings Acquires uganda's Orient Bank

Kenya’s I&M Holdings Acquires uganda’s Orient Bank

The Ugandan market has seen a new entrant today as Kenyan Banking group, I&M Holdings has acquired Orient Bank Ltd.

The bank is the 12th biggest in Uganda and the acquisition sees I&M take 90% of the bank from a UK-based investment group.

The previous owners of Orient Bank were 8 Miles LLP and Morka Holdings Limited, a financial company registered in Mauritius.

Orient Bank and I&M signed the acquisition agreement in July 2020 and saw its completion last month. This came after the Central Bank of Kenya, Bank of Uganda, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya, and COMESA gave the necessary approvals.

‘’The move underscores I&M Group’s commitment to its growth and expansion strategy in East Africa. Uganda was the missing link in the group’s strategic effort to set up its presence in all East African countries,’’ a statement from I&M read in part.

The company has staged operations in Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and now Uganda.

Panic spread among Ugandans when a rumor came up that the bank would be closing at the end of the month. They, however, became calm when Orient Bank dismissed the rumor. The bank, on the other hand, said they will be closing three branches located in Mbale, Gulu, and Mbarara cities.

The closure of these branches has been reflected on the developments in the banking sector. This means that most commercial banks are closing down their branch networks to reduce the costs incurred in operations.

In a different move, banks have resorted to agent banking which. This has seen Ugandans able to access services at 10,000 agencies. This is up from the 600 bank branches about four years ago.

With the acquisition, comes loans worth Ushs 255b. And customer deposits worth over Shs 603b held by Orient Bank at its 14 branches countrywide. The bank also has a customer base of 70,000 and a staff component of 340 employees.

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