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Attijariwafa Bank Buys 75 Percent Stake in Rwanda’s Cogebanque

Attijariwafa Bank signed an agreement to acquire a 75 percent stake in the Rwandan bank Cogebanque on Tuesday in the capital city of Kigali, where King Mohammed VI is currently visiting to pursue stronger ties to the East African country.

The announcement on Wednesday comes a month after Attijariwafa Bank opened a new subsidiary in Chad and a couple of weeks after the bank bought Barclays Egypt.

CEO Mohamed Kettani is part of the King Mohammed VI’s entourage as the monarch tours Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia – three countries that have recognized the self-proclaimed, Algeria-backed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, against Morocco’s position on the Western Sahara issue.

Cogebanque represents the second-largest bank in Rwanda, with total assets equal to $226 million at the end of 2015. The bank has moved up in size from 5th to 2nd place nationally over the past three years, but remains far behind in value to the No. 1 Bank of Kigali.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said the deal was worth $41 million and Attijariwafa confirmed the deal still needs regulatory approval from both Moroccan and Rwandan authorities.

King Mohammed VI has signed 19 cooperation cooperation agreements with Kagame in various fields, including tourism, transport, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals and banking.

Jeune Afrique reports that Rwanda has attracted a myriad of investments in recent years; however, its institutions remain small in size. None of the country’s financial entities appear in the list of Africa’s top 200 banks.

Last year, Morocco’s BMCE Bank expanded into Rwanda – the last East African country in which it did not operate – by purchasing a 90 percent stake in Agaseke Bank.


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