KCB Group Ltd., a prominent Kenyan bank, has confirmed that it has temporarily halted plans to enter the Ethiopian market due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethiopia is also in the middle of a conflict between Ethiopia’s Federal Government and dissidents in the Tigray region that experts project as damaging for the country’s investment prospects as well as reforms being implemented throughout the nation.

The Bank’s CEO Joshua Oigara said in an interview that talks are going to continue once economic dynamics related to the pandemic are cleared up and a definitive path forward can be conceived.

Meanwhile, the CEO emphasized the need to focus on strengthening the six markets that it is currently active in. Due to the pandemic that Bank’s revenue declined by 43 percent from that of the preceding year but it estimates moderate recovery in East Africa as nations learn more about the pandemic and how to proceed.

To this end, a partnership with an Ethiopian Bank is still a viable prospect along with partnerships in other East African countries like Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Entry into these markets is essential for the recovery of the value of the Bank’s shares, which have declined by 30 percent.

Bloomberg, Bloomberg Quint

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