Egypt’s CIB looks to east Africa for growth
Commercial International Bank has opened a representative office in Ethiopia, implementing its programme of expansion into east Africa.
A typical CIB branch in Egypt
Commercial International Bank (CIB) announced the opening of an Addis Ababa office on April 18, with the aim of improving the bank’s knowledge of the Ethiopian market, strengthening its relationships with local banks and promoting Egyptian exports to the country.
It represents the first step in CIB’s plan, adopted in 2017, to expand outside Egypt.
Beyond a small presence in Dubai, CIB had previously focused exclusively on its home market. That is now changing, the bank’s chief operating officer Mohamed Sultan tells Euromoney.
“We are trying to engage in markets where we see potential to expand,” he says, adding that has meant looking seriously at African opportunities for the past two years.
CIB is singularly interested in east Africa, which it views as the most natural foreign market for an Egyptian bank, owing to that region’s strong trade links with Egypt.
“We need to consider where can add value, where we can compete,” Sultan says. “It would make less sense for us to expand in the Gulf or in Europe, for example.”