Kenya’s KCB mulls investment in conflict-torn South Sudan

JUBA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) South Sudan said Thursday it plans to boost investment after seeing positive economic indicators in the conflict-torn east African country.

Roba Waqo Jaldesa, KCB South Sudan managing director told reporters in Juba that the lender would step up investment in a bid to increase its presence across South Sudan.

"The shock that we received in 2016 is different from where we stand now. So I’m confident that next year we will be strong in terms of economic growth because now everything is taking the right perspective and direction," Jaldesa said.

KCB is east Africa’s largest lender by assets but its operations in South Sudan were hampered after the country descended into civil war in late 2013.

The bank had 23 branches across South Sudan, but only 11 are currently operational.

Jeldesa said the bank tolerated more than three years of uncertainty caused by war and hyper-inflation in the world’s youngest nation but recent positive trends have pined hopes of economic recovery.

"We will still not shy away from investing in South Sudan because we are there for long, we are not a temporally investor in South Sudan, we are a permanent investor in South Sudan," Jeldesa said.

As part of the bank’s expansion plans, Jaldesa said KCB launched its mobile banking platform in South Sudan on Monday and that would be followed by reopening of branches that were affected by the civil strife.

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