MALAWI – The National Bank of Malawi (NBM) is targeting to acquire 75 percent of Akiba Commercial Bank (ACB), making it the first Malawian bank to head north.

This comes following the signing of a Share Subscription Agreement of 31 January 2020 between NBM, Malawi’s leading commercial bank, and ACB.

The Fair Competition Commission (FCC) said in a public notice on Wednesday that it was investigating the merger deal.

“FCC is currently investigating the intended acquisition in line with the provisions of the Fair Competition Act and the Competition Rules, 2018,” said FCC.

The commission has asked parties, whose interests are likely to be affected by the merger, to submit their petitions to assist the commission in reaching a just and reasonable decision regarding the intended merger.

NBM is a leading commercial bank in Malawi specialising in a provision of commercial banking services ranging from wholesale banking, treasury and investment banking, to personal and business banking.

The Malawian bank which was listed at the Malawi Stock Exchange in 2001, was established in 1971 as a result of a merger of Barclays Bank DCO (Dominion Colonial Overseas) and Standard Bank, which had its origins in the Republic of South Africa.

NBM shareholders as of December 2018 were Press Corporation with 51.5 percent, Old Mutual Group with 25.1 percent, the public 23 percent and employees with 0.4 percent. National Bank of Malawi has over thirty branches

ACB is a full-fledged Tanzanian commercial bank providing banking, financial and other related commercial banking services. It was established in 1997 with 300 individual Tanzanian entrepreneurs and had total assets of Sh155 billion, according to the latest bank’s audited annual report for 2018.

The bank is a retail commercial bank that focuses on serving the poorest of poor Tanzanians and their enterprises. It operates as a microfinance bank.

In 2013, Akiba Commercial Bank was ranked “the best customer-focused bank in Tanzania” based on convenience, customer care and pricing.