Plans and procedures for acquisition of Crane Bank Rwanda by Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) are at an advanced stage with the deal expected to be completed in coming days.

The sale of Crane Bank Rwanda comes months after the parent firm, Crane Bank, was sold to Dfcu Bank, both based in Uganda.

According to The New Times, a Rwandan non-government newspaper, the acquisition was initiated about a fortnight ago and could be complete any day from now.

A number of local banks had expressed interest in Crane Bank Rwanda, which has two branches in the country. The bank began operations in the country in 2014.

Source told The New Times that there have been discussions on the acquisition, which are awaiting formal sign-off.

CBA entered the Rwandan market in January.

The bank partnered with telecom service provider MTN-Rwanda to roll out a mobile telephone-linked banking product, MoKash.

The capitalization challenges at Crane Bank Uganda and consequent takeover of the management by Uganda’s central bank did not have direct effect on its Rwandan subsidiary, officials from the National Bank of Rwanda say.

This is because foreign players do not open branches in Rwanda as they are expected to register separate entities and operate in accordance to the Rwandan Laws and within the regulation of Rwanda’s Central Bank – BNR.

There are currently 17 banks operating in the country with 194 branches and 174 sub-branches.

As of December 2016, total assets of the banking sector stood at Rwf2,378 billion up from Rwf2,133 billion in the previous year.

Asked about the development, central bank governor John Rwangombwa said they were awaiting official communication on the development from the seller.

He explained that the Central Bank is not usually involved in the negotiation and sale of a bank when it is not under receivership.

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