Treasury Paves Way for Branch to Acquire Kenya’s Century Microfinance Bank

Kenyan Treasury exempts digital lender Branch International from Sec 19 of Microfinance Act paving way for acquisition of an 85% stake in Century Microfinance Bank.

The National Treasury of Kenya has exempted Branch International Inc from section 19(1) of the Microfinance Act, 2006, paving the way for the fintech company to acquire an 84.89% stake in Century Microfinance Bank Limited.

Through a Gazette Notice No.17 dated Jan 24, 2022, Ukur Yatani, Cabinet Secretary National Treasury and Planning however said Branch is exempted:

“…from the provisions of section 19 (1) of the Act for a period of four years from the 1st January 2020 until the 31 December 2025 in connection with the acquisition and direct or indirect holding of ordinary shares in Century Microfinance Bank Limited.”

The 2006 Microfinance Act provides for an institution to apply for exemption from 25% single shareholder limit capping as a capital injection strategy.

According to the 2006 Microfinance Act section 19 (1), “No person shall hold, directly or indirectly or otherwise have a beneficial interest in, more than twenty-five per cent of the shares of an institution.”

Century Microfinance Bank provides financial services to micro, small and medium businesses at large. 

It was licenced by the Central Bank of Kenya as a deposit-taking microfinance institution on 19th September 2012 to provide a full range of financial services such as savings accounts and credit facilities. It currently has over 26,000 clients.

Branch operations in East Africa are handled by Dan Karuga who acts as Managing Director.  The fintech company has more than 3 million customers and more than 15 million loans issued in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Mexico, and India.

Branch to Acquire 84.89% Stake in Century Microfinance Bank

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