Bank of Kigali to go regional
Bank of Kigali, Rwanda's biggest bank by assets, plans to expand by opening limited banking facilities in Kenya and Uganda this year after increasing its foothold in its home central African country, it said on Friday.
Rwanda sold its 45 percent stake in Bank of Kigali for $62.5 million in a heavily oversubscribed initial public offer last August.
Rwandan assets have been attracting plenty of interest as investors bet the central African nation will offer good returns as it develops its economy and capital markets from scratch.
"We will shoot for this year," Lado Gurgenidze, chairman of the bank told Reuters, referring to the planned operations in Kenya, east Africa's biggest economy, and Uganda, which is ranked third in the region.
"It's not going to be much. It's going to be an outpost, trading, finance, just following our clients ... We're just kind of planting the flag and being present there because those economies are important to our clients. That's plenty for the time being. We have so much work here in the country."
The bank predicted total asset growth for 2012 would be 60 percent, compared with 45 percent in 2011.
"This is the third year in a row, year on year, that we keep gaining market share," said Gurgenidze.
The bank's share price stood at 125 Rwanda francs on Friday, compared with a high of 200 francs when it launched.
More than three million out of a population of nearly 11 million hold bank accounts in Rwanda. The country hopes to increase this number to 80 percent of population by 2017 and for everybody who is of eligible age to hold an account by 2020.