The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) okayed Egyptian bank Banque Misr S.A.E. to establish a representative office in Kenya.
The bank is wholly owned by the government of Egypt and is currently the second largest commercial bank in the country by asset size and market share.
The bank provides retail corporate and trade banking services in its home country and has international operations in the Middle East, Europe, Russia, South Korea and China.
The opening up of the representative office is expected to catalyse standing trade relations between Kenya and Egypt.
Representative offices in Kenya are usually established by foreign banks for the purposes of marketing their products and services in the country.
They act as liaison between their parent banks and clients in the country but are prohibited from undertaking primary banking business.
Banque Misr becomes the tenth international bank with a local representative office.
Other banks with representative offices include Bank of China Limited, Bank of Kigali Plc, FirstRand Bank Limited, HDFC Bank Limited and Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited.
Others are Nedbank Limited, Co-operative Rabobank U.A, Societe Generale and BAHL.
In 2021, the representative offices facilitated business worth Ksh.376 billion from Ksh.373.8 billion in the prior year according to CBK data.
The rep offices facilitate business activities including corporate finance, syndicate finance, correspondent banking, and project financing, specialized finance, property and trade finance.