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Kenyan bank to expand operations to Burundi, Uganda

Shareholders of the Kenya’s Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), a subsidiary of the Agha Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Wednesday approved the bank’s plan to expand to Burundi and Uganda, making it the third bank to move regionally.

The shareholders, who met at the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, also approved mass payouts of dividends of 35% on the Issued and Paid-up Capital of Kshs 652 million, an increase of 40% over the previous year, bank executives said.

The bank’s Chairman, Mahmood Manji, said the decision to enter the Burundi market and increase its investment in DTB Uganda was prompted by the need to further strengthen its presence in East Africa.

The Group is already well established in Tanzania.

DTB Kenya said it intends to establish a subsidiary in Burundi and increase its investment in DTB Uganda, by participating in the latter’s rights issue, which would allow existing shareholders to increase their stakes in the bank.

This follows the shareholder endorsement of the proposal at the AGM, held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

The DTB group posted a pre-tax profit of Kshs 346 million for the first quarter this year, a 60% increase over the same period last year.

The group’s 2007 profit before tax crossed the billion-shilling mark to close at Kshs 1.06 billion.

The three months results to March 2008 incorporate the profits of the bank’s Tanzanian subsidiary.

This follows DTB Kenya’s acquisition of an additional 22% shareholding in DTB Tanzania, from 33% to 55% in June 2007.

The group results also include DTB Kenya’s share of profits in DTB Uganda, in which it has a 27% shareholding.

The profit growth was underlined by a strong customer deposit base, with DTB Kenya recording an increase in deposits from K Shs17.8 billion in 2006 to Kshs 25.9 billion in 2007.

The Group Deposit Base at March 2008 stood at Kshs 30.9 billion.

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