May 13, 2019 / 7:53 AM / a year ago

Kenyan watchdog approves Commercial Bank of Africa and NIC Group merger

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the NIC Bank Kaunda branch in Nairobi, Kenya December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Njeri Mwangi/File Photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Competition Authority of Kenya approved on Monday a proposed merger between Kenya’s Commercial Bank of Africa and NIC Group, the regulator said.

The approval was on the condition that no employees would be made redundant in the merged unit within 12 months of the deal’s completion.

The two banks announced the deal in January, in which current NIC Group shareholders would own 47% of the merged entity and CBA shareholders 53%.

In March, Commercial Bank of Africa said its shareholders had accepted a share swap with NIC Group.

The merger was agreed by NIC Group’s shareholders on April 17, paving the way for the two companies to create the third-biggest bank by assets in East Africa.

Should the deal go through, it will mark the first major merger in the sector since the government imposed a cap on commercial interest rates in 2016.

Writing by Hereward Holland, editing by Louise Heavens

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