(Reuters) – Bob Geldof’s African private equity fund said on Tuesday it has acquired a 42 percent stake in Orient Bank, a medium-sized Ugandan commercial bank to tap into a growing economy and a largely unbanked population.
Although the balance sheet of Uganda’s banking industry is still relatively small – compared to that of Kenya, its neighbour and the region’s biggest economy – but could grow fast in a country set for oil production around 2018.
Uganda’s banking sector, with more than 20 players, is dominated by Stanbic Bank, a subsidiary of South African giant Standard Bank and local units of Britain’s Barclays and Standard Chartered Bank.
In a statement, Hemen Shah, Partner at 8 Miles described Uganda’s banking sector as “an attractive investment opportunity with a growing economy and a largely unbanked population.”
8 Miles said it bought the stake in Orient Bank from Nigeria’s Keystone Bank, but did not say how much it paid.
Orient Bank has 23 branches in Uganda and provides banking and stock broking services, and had assets worth $173 million and customer deposits of $139 million at the end of last year, according to the statement.