KENYA – Oiko Credit, a Dutch Private Equity Fund has acquired 28.8% shareholing in Credit Bank for US$10 million.

Oiko Credit Portfolio Director Africa Robert Kagiri said that Credit Bank has a strong SME customer links and financial inclusion and therefore is a good fit for Oiko, reports Business Daily.

“By enabling Credit Bank to expand its lending activities to SMEs, we’re helping them support the creation of sustainable jobs.

“We look forward to working with Credit Bank towards lasting social impact for people on low-incomes in Kenya,” Mr Kagiri said.

The bank’s CEO, Betty Korir said that the lender had raised US$12 million through private placement as they target closing the rights issue in December.

The bank, which is associated with former Finance minister Simeon Nyachae, is majority-owned by Kenyans, and two British foreign owners as was stated by Ms Korir the institution.

Ms Korir said the lender would leverage on counterparty risk to manage bad loans by assessing companies the SMEs traded with and their ability to pay.

While soughting to acquire the tier II status, the lender approved increase of its share capital from US$50 million to US$70 million last year.

It has been seeking capital including through a rights issue of US$20 million.

Credit Bank intends to grow its SME loan portfolio from the funding and to further build on the trade finance solutions on offer.

Small lenders have turned to private equity firms to raise capital. They include Prime Bank that got US$51 million from AfricInvest and Catalyst Principal Partners and Sidian, which got US$12 million Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU).

The bank’s bad book stood at US$11 million in December 2018 up from US$8.76 million and had a loan of US$130 million at the end of last year compared to 2017 which was at US$96 million.

Recently, Africa Development Bank gave Credit Bank a tough competition after it approved a debt finance facility to further extend its presence in the SME market.