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NCBA Eyes More Fuliza, M-Shwari Billions in Ethiopia

NCBA registered a profit after tax of Ksh5.1 billion in Q1 2023

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NCBA Group has disclosed that it is looking to partner up with Safaricom to launch digital banking services in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation. In Kenya, NCBA in partnership with Safaricom have achieved incredible financial success with their M-Shwari loans and Fuliza overdraft service.

NCBA Managing Director John Gachora confirmed that they would engage Safaricom, which in May 2023 bagged a mobile money license allowing it to launch its M-Pesa service in Ethiopia, after launching telco services in the country in October last year.

“In Ethiopia, we will certainly talk to Safaricom, but also other local banks that we can work with…or maybe work with Safaricom,” Gachora stated.

Gachora emphasized that collaboration with telcos and financial institutions formed the key plank of their plans to expand across Africa. The bank last year disclosed plans to venture into Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a focus on digital banking services.

“What we are looking at in Ghana is now getting the licenses to operate. We had applied for licenses and are at the tail end of that application. We should hopefully get licensing fairly soon,” he noted.

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NCBA Group, partially owned by the family of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta, posted a profit before tax of Ksh6.4 billion in Q1 2023 ending March 31, 2023, a 32 per cent increase compared to Ksh4.8 billion reported during a similar period last year.

NCBA registered a profit after tax of Ksh5.1 billion, representing 49 per cent growth up from Ksh3.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

The bank saw its full year net profit increase from Ksh10.22 billion in 2021 to Ksh13.78 billion in 2022 – a 34.77% increase. NCBA stepped up lending in 2022, growing its loan book by 14.29% to Ksh278.92 billion up from Ksh244.04 billion the previous year.

Within six months of its entry into Ethiopia, Safaricom had signed up 2.8 million customers in the country according to the telco, while also building a distributor network of over 114 outlets and delivered network in 22 cities and regions; with close to 1300 network sites and over 900 staff.

“Since the commercial launch in October, the brand is visible, deeply rooted in the Ethiopia and quickly becoming in every sense fabric of the society. The potential for Ethiopia is immense and we look forward to the future with optimism and excitement,” noted Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

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