Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Kenya's CFC Stanbic starts South Sudan operations

NAIROBI, June 12 (Reuters) - Kenya's CFC Stanbic Bank, the main business of Kenya-listed CFC Holdings, said on Tuesday it had started operations in South Sudan to tap into an increasingly attractive new market.
Ranked among the largest banks in the east African nation, CFC Stanbic is controlled by South Africa's Standard Bank through CFC Holdings, which also runs a financial services firm.
"Our entry into South Sudan is in line with our strategic plan to diversify into other markets in the region," Chris Newson, the chief executive officer for Standard Bank Africa, said in a statement.
South Sudan has become more attractive to banks seeking to expand regionally after it officially gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, and moved to rebuild a country ravaged by a two-decade war.
The country accounted for 42 percent of the 2.3 billion shillings ($27 million) profit that Kenyan banks made from their regional subsidiaries last year, the central bank said in an annual report.
CFC Stanbic becomes the third Kenyan bank to venture into the new African nation, after Kenya Commercial Bank, the biggest bank by assets, and Equity Bank, the Kenyan bank with the most customers.
CFC Stanbic has 20 outlets, all in Kenya. It also said it plans to raise funds for its expansion programme through a rights issue. ($1 = 84.7000 Kenyan shillings)

(Reporting by Kevin Mwanza; Editing by David Clarke and Hans-Juergen Peters)

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