Kenya: HSBC will open liaison office

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya has licensed HSBC Limited to open a representative office for marketing and liaison purposes in the country, the east African nation’s central bank said on Thursday.

Foreign banks have been queuing to set up operations in the region’s biggest economy, drawn in by robust economic expansion and the country’s status as a hub for financial services in the region.

“This follows authorization granted to HDFC Bank of India in June 2008 and Nedbank of South Africa in June 2010. CBK (Central Bank of Kenya) is also processing a fourth application for a Representative Office from a South African Bank,” central bank said in a statement.

The office “is restricted from mobilising deposits from the public”, it added.

There are 43 commercial banks and one mortgage finance company in Kenya, of which 30 are locally owned and 13 by foreign institutions.

Analysts say the country’s banks are likely to benefit this year from vibrant economic growth in the region, increased lending at higher spreads and improved margins from cost reductions through job cuts and other measures.

Source: Reuters Africa

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