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CRDB, Norfund, IFU partner for Congo subsidiary

CRDB, Norfund, IFU partner for Congo subsidiary

CRDB Bank sets to enter DR-Congo well capitalised with huge back support from two international funds as part of its team. 

The bank already said it enters Congo's market via its second-largest city Lubumbashi with 30 million US dollars (70bn/-) and its first branch will be opened in the second half of the year. 

The CRDB'S Group CEO and Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela told shareholders in Arusha over the weekend that the lender is backed by Norfund of Norway and The Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) of Denmark. 

"These two partners have the same thinking as CRDB’s strategy and innovation, especially on climate change and gender equality issues. 

"They'll also bring in their expertise on cross-border business and assist us in building capacity," Mr Nsekela said. 

The investors will own a 22.5 per cent in CRDB Congo's subsidiary each while the bank will control the majority stake of 55 per cent. 

Mr Nsekela said CRDB is venturing into DR Congo to serve its growing clientele in Lubumbashi in Katanga Province and neighbourhood provinces.  

"Our entry strategy in DRC is through green fields’ investment," CRDB Head said adding “we have partners, who are keen on supporting our growth ambition in line with our core purpose of transforming lives." 

The bank has already appointed a CRDB Congo Head and the board chair and directors and figuring out to start operations in October, should all go as planned.

CRDB Chairman Ally Laay said the bank managed to attract such international investors since the bank is rated by Moody's Investor Service with B1 stable outlook. 

"Foreign firms want to partner with CRDB based on Moody's rating since they are sure of their investment," Dr Laay said. 

The Chairman said the Group has an ambitious regional expansion strategy, targeting the larger East and Central African region and will leverage on innovations that will shape the financial ecosystem in the coming years. 

"The success of our Burundi subsidiary especially in bolstering bilateral trade continues to influence our immediate frontiers in terms of expansion," Dr Laay, who the central banks approved his term increase to 2025, said. 

“We expect to commence operations within the second half of the 2022 financial year,” he noted while updating the shareholders on the Bank’s strategic expansion to DRC. 

The Board also appointed Ms Jessica Nyachiro to head the Congo’s operations. Until her appointment, Ms Jessica was Head of Strategy and Investor Relations. 

Ms Jessica fortnight ago assured Tanganyika Investment and Business Summit that the bank will be in Lubumbashi and spread to other cities accordingly.

“As CRDB, we see the challenges that DRC faces as opportunities for us to play a role in transforming the lives of Congolese people. 

“Our business is built on the sole purpose of transforming lives and DRC offers a unique opportunity for our group to provide solutions that are not only transformative but also impactful,” Ms Jessica confidently said. 

DR-Congo so far has 16 banks led by Rawbank and followed by Equity Bank and CRDB will be the 17th lender. 

CRDB has also set eyes on opening operations in Zambia and Rwanda in the near future, which is in line with the bank’s short-term strategic plan.

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Author: ABDUEL ELINAZA

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