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FirstRand may expand in Kenya

Johannesburg - FirstRand Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest financial-services company, is considering expansion in Kenya as demand for banking services increases.

“We’ve a representative office in Kenya and we’re doing an analysis to see if we want to be there,” Sizwe Nxasana, chief executive officer, said yesterday in a presentation in Johannesburg.

FirstRand chief executive Sizwe Nxasana. Photo: Leon Nicholas. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“Given how much M-Pesa has made an impact, we’re evaluating the options.”

M-Pesa is a mobile-phone money-transfer service operated by a unit of Vodafone Group Plc and Safaricom Ltd., which counts more than 15 million users in Kenya.

FirstRand is seeking to restart its expansion plans in Africa after three deals to buy assets in Zambia, Ghana and Nigeria failed in as many years.

FirstRand has fallen 15 percent this year, making it the worst performer on the six-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index which has dropped 11 percent.

It was 0.2 percent lower at 30.49 rand as of 1:06 p.m. in Johannesburg trading. - Bloomberg News

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