(Adds details, background)
By George Obulutsa
NAIROBI, April 28 Kenya's central bank has
issued a licence to DIB Bank Kenya Ltd, which is owned by United
Arab Emirates-based Dubai Islamic Bank, the first by
the central bank since 2015, when it placed a moratorium on
approving new banks.
The move announced on Friday will make DIB Bank Kenya the
third fully shariah-compliant lender in the to operate in the
east African nation, the central bank said.
"DIB intends to exclusively offer shariah-compliant banking
services in Kenya," the Central Bank of Kenya said in a
statement. "DIB's entry will expand the offerings in the market,
particularly in the nascent shariah-compliant banking niche."
Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC also holds stakes in banks in
Pakistan, Sudan, Jordan, Bosnia and Indonesia. Other fully
shariah-compliant institutions in Kenya are Gulf African Bank
Limited and First Community Bank.
"DIB PJSC’s entry into Kenya is anchored on its strategic
focus of enhancing its international presence," the central bank
In March, the central bank said in addition to DIB Bank, it
was finalising the licensing of Mayfair Bank, which is owned by
Kenyan investors. At the time it said both banks had received
"approval in principle" before the 2015 suspension of
When it issued the moratorium for licensing new banks, the
central bank gave no reason for its action.
But the moratorium came after it had placed privately-owned
Imperial Bank under receivership in October 2015. Imperial's
board had alerted the central bank to malpractices at the
(Editing by Alexander Smith)