KCB Group, one of Kenya’s biggest banks, has reportedly lost its bid to purchase distressed Chase Bank to QNB of Qatar.

KCB is said to have come third from four bids the Central Bank of Kenya received for the purchase of the SME lender, which was put under receivership two weeks ago after it experienced a run on its deposits following rumours of financial distress, according to Nairobitech blog.

Chase Bank went down after misreported insider loans caused panic withdrawals.  Qatari lender, QNB, the second largest bank in Africa and the Middle East, is said to be the front runner to take over Chase Bank.

If it is successful, it will take over an entity with an enviable portfolio of small businesses that other banks have been angling for to drive their growth. Rand Merchant Bank of South Africa was reportedly second in the bid with KCB coming in third.

CBK has yet to formally make any official announcement regarding the matter but insiders indicate QNB may get the nod. Chase shareholders have been pushing for CBK to bring in someone to run the bank rather than go the Good-Bank-Bad Bank way which they feel would destroy the lender.

Also being mentioned is French lender BNP Paribas but this is seen as a long shot with few European lenders seeking to expand on the continent. Nedbank SA has equally been mentioned as a possible candidate.

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