Africa's best bank transformation 2018: First Merchant Bank
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Africa's best bank transformation 2018: First Merchant Bank

Awards for Excellence 2018

This year’s winner of Africa’s best bank transformation is a bank that, although small, has made big changes so that it is ready for growth and a more international future.

That bank is Malawi’s First Merchant Bank. Although its profit before tax only amounted to $14 million in 2017, its purchases of Barclays Zimbabwe and Opportunity Bank in Malawi in October last year point to a daring willingness to expand into new markets, while further securing its dominant status in its home market.

In September, FMB Capital Holdings (FMBCH), the group holding company, successfully concluded a one-for-one share swap with FMB shareholders to list on the Malawi Stock Exchange. The group now intends to list FMBCH on a market with more developed global linkages, compatible with its ambitious growth plans.

Finally, at the end of 2017, FMB merged the operations of its wholly owned subsidiary, the Leasing and Finance Company of Malawi, with those of FMB. The merger should create synergies that will benefit both the bank’s asset finance and wholesale deposit business in Malawi.

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