Equity Bank Kenya Sees Surge in Lending, Deposits in Second Half

Equity Group Ltd. expects deposits and loans to grow by about a third in the second half, driving profit growth at Kenya’s biggest bank by customers, Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi said.

The bank, which posted a 12 percent increase in first-half profit, also expects to expand its Equitel mobile-phone banking business by distributing almost 4 million more SIM cards by the end of the year, Mwangi said in an interview Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi. Equitel, which went live earlier this year and competes with Safaricom Ltd.’s M-Pesa, had 1.2 million SIM cards in circulation at the end of June.

“We expect the main drivers to remain the loan book and deposits and to grow in excess of 30 percent for remainder of the year,” Mwangi said.

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