Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Expansion, ECOBANK-Style

For a bank whose genesis is West African, it strikes as rather odd that a bank with the pedigree of ECOBANK would now only in 2008 be opening in the West African country of Gambia.

The news that it has joined the ranks of ECOWAS countres in which ECOBANK operates is great news. ECOBANK now covers all of the ECOWAS countries, reminding us first of its West African roots and, secondly, underscoring the importance of the its expansion into the eponymous role of a "Pan-African Bank".

One of ECOBANK's major tactics is in the acquisition of percentages of the banks in which it now operates. Speaking of which, let us remind ourselves that ECOBANK continues to expand --as exemplified by Ecobank's acquisition of 75% of no less than the East African Building Society Building.

The script runs that ECOBANK has a comparative advantage in mortgage financing, therefore this takeover is both useful in expanding respective portfolios and consolidatiung expertise.

Rememeber when ECOBANK opened a branch in Rwanda? I wondered whether this was carte blanche for the group's entry into East Africa? Well, it's a foregone conclusion now!!

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