(Adds quote, details)
WINDHOEK, March 1 Namibia's central bank has
assumed control of SME Bank Limited, a lender focused on small
businesses in the southern African nation, it said on Wednesday,
citing investments that can pose a risk to the bank's stability.
Certain investments made by SME Bank did not conform to
sound investment principles, the central bank said in a
statement, adding that SME's chief executive and other senior
managers were removed on Wednesday.
The central bank said it will further investigate the
affairs of SME Bank, majority-owned by Namibia's government, but
lending and other banking activities will continue.
"At this point, the Bank of Namibia is not satisfied with
the information provided and is unable to render an objective
opinion regarding the soundness or magnitude of the investments
in question," the central bank said.
The bank could not be reached for comment.
(Writing by TJ Strydom; Editing by James Macharia)