KCB bank opened its representative office in the country in 2015 has recently said it looking to make its entry through a partnership with a domestic bank or opening a fully-fledged subsidiary in the country.
Equity bank has been eying the country in a course to establish a full presence in 10 African countries, according to The Star.
Equity Group expects to make an impact in the Ethiopian market in 10 years due to the country’s protectionism.
The Kenyan based lender opened its representative office in Ethiopia in June 2019, as part of its Africa expansion and amid competition from Kenya Commercial Bank Bank that is also eyeing external markets.
The Ethiopian banking market is dominated by two state-owned banks- Development Bank of Ethiopia and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia that control 70 per cent of the market share.
In recent Africa’s Top 100 Banks 2019, foreigners are still not allowed to own shares in Ethiopian banks, although this is being relaxed into accommodate Ethiopians with foreign passports.
Despite the country being restrictive on its financial and telecommunications sectors, Equity sees it as promising market.
“It will take about 10 years to disrupt the Ethiopian market and become a leader,” the Group’s chief executive James Mwangi said during the release of lender’s Q3 financial results.
“We have started understanding intricacies of the place, skills distributions, analysing and creating partnerships.”