The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted authority to Bank of China Limited (BOC) to open a Representative Office in Kenya, BOC’s first office in East Africa.
The authority, issued pursuant to Section 43 of the Banking Act (Cap 488) will allow BOC to provide corporate and personal banking, investment banking, treasury and asset financing services.
The Chinese Bank whose major equity is owned by a Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund is headquartered in Beijing and operates both in China and internationally with branches in South Africa and Zambia.
BOC’s Representative Office will market the products and services of Bank of China Ltd to existing and prospective customers in Kenya and the East African region, conduct market research and act as a liaison between the Bank of China Limited’s head office and its customers.
Under the Banking Act, a representative office of a foreign bank in Kenya is not permitted to engage in banking business as defined in the Act but can only engage in marketing and liaison roles in connection with the activities of its parent bank and affiliates.
Through the Representative Office in Kenya, Bank of China Ltd seeks to explore potential business opportunities in the country with a view to evaluating the prospects of a long-term presence in Kenya and the wider East African region.
Kenya continues to attract growing international interest from renowned international financial institutions as a preferred base for their regional operations. This presents unique opportunities for the Kenyan economy to be part of increasingly global financial markets.
With more foreign institutions choosing Kenya as their regional base, the country draws closer to realizing its aspirations of being a regional financial hub as envisaged under the Government’s economic blueprint, Vision 2030.