GCR withdraws ratings on NIC Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa

23Jul 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
GCR withdraws ratings on NIC Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa

JOHANNESBURG based rating agency, GCR has withdrawn ratings on NIC Bank Kenya Plc and Commercial Bank of Africa Limited, without review, as the legal entities have merged into a new legal entity.

NCBA Bank Tanzania Limited’s Managing Director, Margaret Karume speaks during the official launch in Dar es Salaam last week.

“Accordingly, GCR will no longer provide ratings or analytical coverage for NIC and CBA. The ratings were last reviewed in February 2019,” the GCR which is an African arm of New York Stock Exchange listed Duff & Phelps said in its latest report.

Both banks were then rated as evolving with CBA assigned A+(KE) and A1 (KE) for long term and short term respectively while NIC Bank was accorded A (KE) and A1-(KE) also for long term and short term accordingly.

The report further noted that in October 2019, NIC Group and CBA completed the merger process of the two entities after obtaining applicable shareholder and regulatory approvals. “The merger was executed through a share swap, with the shareholders of CBA exchanging their shares in CBA for new shares in NIC, the surviving holding company of the merged businesses and NIC remaining a publicly listed company quoted on the Nairobi Securities Exchange,” the report stated.

Among other things, the NIC directors approved to change the name of the holding company to NCBA Group Plc while shareholders and directors also approved the proposal to change the name of the combined bank to NCBA Bank Kenya Plc.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam last week when NCBA Tanzania Limited officially started business, Chairman, Sharmapal Aggarwal and Managing Director, Margaret Karume said the new bank has started operations following approval of the merged bank by regulatory authorities effectively.

Aggarwal said the new entity is inspired by digital innovation and a can-do attitude that empowers customers to ‘Go For It,’ as its new slogan. He pointed out that the will foster successful personal relationships with customers by offering the best-in-class products and services for all segments of customers including personal, business or corporate.

“NCBA Bank is a stronger and larger universal financial institution with strength, expertise and regional connectivity to put our customers first through an expanded range of products and services,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Karume said that the new brand identity will allow the combined entity leverage on the strengths, values and historic legacies of the former two brands. “We are pleased to unveil our new inspirational logo, as part of our journey to bring our merger under one unified banner. The new NCBA logo and visual identity will be rolled out gradually across all our customer touch points,” she stated.

She noted that the name and logo reflect NCBA’s deep roots and experience in Tanzania and the region as a whole in addition to representing the ambitions of NCBA Group to become one of the leading banks in the local market and across the African continent. Following the merger, the NCBA is now Tier 2 banking institution with net assets worth over 500bn/-.

NCBA Bank Group operates a network of more than 100 branches in five countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ivory Coast with a combined customer base of over 40 million, making it the largest bank in Africa by customer numbers. Over the next one month the bank will finalise the rebranding of their external branch signage across Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha and Zanzibar.

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