Equity Bank has been ranked as the company that made the biggest foreign direct investments (FDI) in Africa in the last year.
FDI Intelligence, a division of Financial Times that tracks investment flows in Africa, arrived at its ranking after valuing Equity Bank’s expansion plan which included opening 10 additional branches in East and Central African region.
“Equity Bank plans to invest US$225 million (Sh22.5 billion) and open 10 branches in the region,” said FDI Intelligence in The Africa Investment Report 2016 released on September 22, 2016.
Equity Bank’s ranking was boosted by its investment in Democratic Republic of Congo where it acquired a German owned bank.
During the year under review, the bank acquired 79 percent of issued shared of ProCredit, the 7th largest bank by assets in Democratic Republic of Congo in a transaction that was concluded in September 2015.
Equity’s investment pushed Kenya to the 8th biggest source countries for foreign investments projects in the continent with its funding going to 32 projects.
The second biggest mover of FDI to Africa after Equity Bank was United Arabs Emirates-based UAE Exchange Centre which invested in 10 foreign direct investment projects.
“Similarly, UAE Exchange Centre opened 10 branches in Africa in 2015,” said the report.
Access Infra Africa, an energy investment firm also based in Dubai was third with nine projects.
The Old Mutual PLC owned Faulu Microfinance was ranked fifth with 8 projects while International Finance Corporation (IFC) backed private school chain Bridge International Academies was ranked fourth.
During the period under review, Kenya received the second highest number of FDI projects after South Africa. Kenya’s projects grew by 49 percent to 85 against South Africa’s 118 projects.
However, in terms of value of the projects, Kenya was ranked eighth with project valued at US$2.4 billion (Sh240 billion). Egypt was the biggest recipient of investment flows gobbling US$14.5 billion or 22 percent of all the inflows into the continent.