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Equity Bank of Kenya to Open Branches in Rwanda, Tanzania

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March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Equity Bank Ltd., Kenya’s biggest lender by market value, will open five branches in Rwanda and three in Tanzania, Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi said.

Equity Bank will start operating in Rwanda in April and in Tanzania in May, Mwangi told reporters today in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. The lender yesterday received a license to operate in Rwanda and has already hired staff, he said.

Equity, which has units in neighboring Uganda and southern Sudan, has retained 4 billion shillings ($47.8 million) of its earnings to fund the company’s expansion, Mwangi said.

Both the Ugandan and southern Sudan units are expected to contribute about 10 percent of the company’s total profit in the 12 months to December, he said.

The stock climbed for the first day in three, rallying 25 cents, or 1 percent, to 25 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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