Central Bank of Kenya approves National Bank Acquisition

BY GERALD GEKARA – Kenya Commercial Bank is set to become the largest bank in East Africa. This is after the Central Bank of Kenya approved its planned acquisition of state-owned National Bank of Kenya through a share swap program.

In a press release sent out to newsrooms, Central Bank was confident that the Kenya Commercial Bank was able to strengthen the ailing institution, which had been rocked by a decrease in value at the stock markets.

”The acquisition will strengthen both institutions leveraging on their respective well-established domestic and regional corporate, public sector and retail franchises.” CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said in a statement.

Despite opposition from the National Assembly that alleged that the bank is a national entity and disposing of it would be illegal. The CBK, however, has insisted that the take over is supported in the constitution.

”The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announces that it has approved today the acquisition of 100 percent shareholding of National Bank of Kenya Limited (NBK) by KCB Group PLC (KCB Group). The approval has been granted in accordance with Section 13(1) (e) of the Banking Act.”

National Bank of Kenya which was incorporated in 1968 as a wholly- owned Government entity, But over the years, government of Kenya has over time, reduced its shareholding in NBK. KCB Group will taker over operations in National Bank’s entities; NBK Insurance Agency Limited, and Natbank Trustee and Investment Service Limited.