- PBLS is the first bank in Somalia to establish a majority-owned banking subsidiary in Kenya.
- It's among the large banks in Somalia, accounting for 16 per cent of the banking sector assets.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the acquisition of 62.5 per cent of the shareholding of First Community Bank Limited (FCB) by Premier Bank Limited, Somalia (PBLS), effective March 27, 2023.
The acquisition will seek to strengthen the trade and investment ties between Kenya and Somalia, according to the regulator.
"We hereby welcome this transaction on the basis that it will seek to diversify and strengthen the resilience of the Kenyan banking sector," CBK notes in a statement.
The announcement follows the regulator's approval on March 13, under Section 13(4) of the Banking Act and approval by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning on March 16, pursuant to Section 9(1) of the Banking Act.
FCB was licensed back in April 2008 by CBK to conduct Shariah-compliant banking business in the country.
It has 18 branches and specialises in the provision of Shariah-compliant banking services to corporate and retail clients.
Categorized as a small bank, it had a market share of 0.3 per cent as of December 31, last year.
On the other hand, PBLS was licensed in 2014 by the Central Bank of Somalia offering a wide range of financial products and services.
It is a privately-owned commercial bank and is among the large banks in Somalia, accounting for 16 per cent of the banking sector assets.
Focuses mainly on retail, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporates.
PBLS is the first bank in Somalia to establish a majority-owned banking subsidiary in Kenya.