Mauritius' SBM Holdings is bidding to buy a stake in Kenya's Chase Bank, SBM's chairman said, which will give it greater presence in the East African economy after acquiring Fidelity Bank last year.
"SBM is bidding yes. Fidelity is a very small bank. Chase is interesting for our Africa strategy," Ki Chong Li Kwong Wing, chairman of SBM Holdings told Reuters in a text message. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) wants to find a strategic investor for Chase but has not specified what size stake it will sell.
It said this week that 12 parties, including local and foreign banks, had expressed interest in the bank, which is not associated with JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Regulators placed the mid-sized Chase Bank under receivership in April 2016 after an unexplained loss of billions of Kenyan shillings. Chase is in the hands of the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC), a state body that protects depositors in case of a bank failure. In November, SBM Holdings acquired Kenya's Fidelity Bank in a deal valued at Sh100 shillings ($0.98) and said it would inject Sh1.45 billion of fresh capital into it.
Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s largest cocoa producers, said they will work together to derive more value from growing beans after a slump in prices hurt their economies.
The two West African nations will better coordinate the production and marketing of cocoa while boosting the countries’ capacity to process beans, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo, told reporters in a joint briefing on Friday. The countries requested the African Development Bank to do a study on how they can reap the most benefit from their cocoa sectors, Ouattara said after a meeting between the leaders in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan.
“We don’t want to export cocoa beans. We want to export processed cocoa,” he said. “That is what we want at the end.”
Cocoa futures in London are trading near the lowest in four years as a rebound in production is leaving the global market oversupplied. Plummeting prices are hurting the finances of producing nations and incomes for hundreds of thousands small-scale farmers.
Ivory Coast, the top grower, had to reduce the price paid to farmers by 36 percent for the smaller harvest which started last month and trimmed its 2017 budget by a 10th. Ghana lost almost $1 billion in export value because of lower prices, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the chief executive officer of the country’s cocoa regulator, said in April.