The Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Kenya’s largest closely held lender, has expressed interest in a stake in the DRC Banque Internationale Pour l’Afrique au Congo (BIAC).
CBA has written to the DRC’s regulator, Congo Central Bank (BCC), asking to participate in the re-capitalization of BIAC, which, informed sources in the Congolese banking industry say will require as much as $100 million USD. BCC spokesman, Plant KIBADI, said various expressions of interest were received and the regulator will make a decision once it had studied the “credibility of each offer and the funds each investor is prepared to avail.”
BIAC was placed under statutory management on 30 May 2016 after the cancellation of credit lines from (BCC) in February caused a run on the bank, forcing it to stop depositor withdrawals and close branches. Prime Minister Matata Ponyo ordered the Congo Central Bank (BCC), the regulator, to halt certain loans to BIAC because they were inducing inflation.
With its immense natural resources and the update of banking services standing only at 4%, the DRC has in recent years attracted expansion from African banks from other countries on the continent.
Kenya’s Equity Bank in 2015 acquired a 79 per cent stake in ProCredit Bank Congo from German firm ProCredit (61 per cent), Belgian development finance institution BIO (six per cent) and Dutch fund DOEN (12 per cent).
In 2011, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) acquired 75 percent of DRC Banque Internationale de Crédit (BIC), making it one of the strongest banking institutions in country.