SBM Holdings Ltd (SBM Group) has acquired Fidelity Commercial Bank in Kenya through its subsidiary SBM Africa Holdings Ltd, marking its entry into continental Africa.
Fidelity Commercial bank will now operate under the legal entity SBM Bank (Kenya). The group is set to inject KES 2.6 billion as capital in its first year of operations as part of enhancing its competitiveness.The change of name will also result in rebranding of all branches and ATMs to SBM Bank, and an appointment of a new Board of Directors.
“SBM will bring its experience and expertise from Mauritius and other markets, to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of Kenyas banking sector. Going forward, SBM is well poised to play a significant role in financing intra-Africa trade and investments, using Kenya as a launching pad into other African markets” noted Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge as he welcomed the acquisition
Board of Directors
Upon Completion of the acquisition, the new Board of Directors were announced. They include ; Mrs. Flora Mutahi, Mr. Jim McFee and Mr. Sharad Rao .Mr. Jotham Mutoka will be the acting CEO ahead of the appointment of a Kenyan Managing Director to be announced at a later date.
Inspite of the acquisition, SBM Bank (Kenya) Limited will retain branches and staff members of the acquired bank. Thus, they will have 6 branches in Nairobi and 4 branches in Mombasa which will soon offer its revamped suite of products and services to all existing customers.
The bank now intends to focus initially on the Corporate and SME segments. They beleive that these companies that are the engines of growth. They will offer them better access to dollar lending and trade financing.
“We will also look at financing large infrastructure and real estate projects that are key for economic growth” noted Mr. Jairaj Sonoo, C.S.K. Chief Executive Overseas Expansion, SBM Holdings Ltd.
SBM’s entry into Africa begins from Kenya as hub for East Africa expansion followed by expansion into other regions.
The strength of SBM is its ability to deploy capital and liquidity from other operating jurisdictions, and provide comfort to wholesale depositors in Kenya for placement of their surplus funds. The credit deployment in the initial stage would be to large corporates and the SME segment before extension into retail and small finance products.