Kenya's 2nd largest bank Equity Bank has just sacked 200 employees in neighbouring South Sudan


Kenya’s largest lender Equity Bank has sent packing 200 of its 300 workers in South Sudan following closure of more than half of its branches in the troubled country.
The lender has also frozen lending in the country due to political uncertainty given the civil war that has seen businesses come to a halt.

Customers at an Equity Bank branch (Courtesy)

The bank, which had 12 branches in the country, is now operating only five outlets having closed down the seven branches in May this year.
This move comes amid a decline in earnings having recorded a 7.4 per cent drop in half-year after-tax profit as interest income took a hit from the rate cap law.
The net profit for the period to June 2017 was at Sh9.33 billion compared to 10.07 billion in a similar period last year.
Equity held assets in South Sudan worth Sh11.1 billion by December 2016. However, the business has since been operating in the red, recording net interest loss of Sh55 million and a loss before tax of Sh528 million.
Kenyan financial banks raced to open branches in South Sudan anticipating booming businesses in 2011 when the country attained its independence.
For a while business was great but hell broke loose in 2013  when Rebel leader Riek Machar fell out with Salva Kirr plugging the war torn country into war since then.
Equity, however, does not yet plan to exit the South Sudan market, it has adopted a wait-and-see approach, hoping that the country will stabilise in the near future.

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