Merger Updates

In the past 6 months, A few banks changed ownership and a few other things. Here is a break down.kenya-chinese-trade

Stanbic: Eight years after the merger between Stanbic and CFC banks, which created CFC Stanbic, Stanbic has rebranded and removed the “CFC” name completely from the bank. The 2008 merger created the number 4 bank in Kenya, and today it is about number 7 in assets with 25 branches and listed on the Nairobi shares exchange. The Stanbic brand will now be common in the 20 countries across Africa.

Bank M (of Tanzania) published a statement, denying they are the majority owners of the former Oriental Commercial Bank in Kenya – now known as M Oriental since June 2016. It states that MHL is a Kenyan entity that is promoted by some shareholders of Bank M, but that it does not have direct ownership.

QNB: Qatar National Bank continues to run quarterly newspaper ads on it’s size in Kenya without being linked to any Kenyan bank. Today’s newspaper which touts them as the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa region, with September 2016 assets of $196 billion (up 37%) and profits of $2.7 billion (up 11%).

Courtesy: Bankelele


A business magazine based in London, which boasts to be the best selling Pan-African business magazine, has on the cover of its November edition the title: Africa’s Best Brands; Exclusive ranking of Africa’s most admired and valuable brands. You do not need to spend your hard earned KSh300 to buy the magazine to find out what exactly they talking about. The magazine takes the stand that the growing consumption of the “middle class” in Africa is a good sign of good business within the continent.

Sure, we can welcome all sorts of foreign businesses, welcome their goods and consume them with no end. We can improve the business “atmosphere” with good governance, no sudden wars, less bureaucracy and so on. We can do our very best to behave, so that more and more multinationals feel comfortable with dumping their products in Africa or setting camp here, but the fact remains, the results of all this is Africa is going nowhere. The magazine is obviously doing some intensive marketing and that’s great for them, besides I’m sure rent in London must be getting more expensive by the year. However for the “African in Africa”, what is a branded shoe going to mean as we walk through the muddy streets(by the way nothing wrong with mud), or what is a new car going to mean on these roads that are already overloaded with ridiculously over priced import cars?

What are the benefits of just buying? What skills are transferred, which manufacturing industries are developed? Looking at the Kenyan situation comparing the values of our Domestic exports vs. Imports for 2012, one gets to see that, yes we are great at buying and consuming but that’s all we do.

It’s a song that’s has been sung before, an old adage that’s been over used; but lest we forget, the success of one industry results from the weakness of others.

BY Karimi Kimathi.