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Commission nods to MyBucks, New Finance Bank merger

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The Comesa Competition Commission (CCC) has approved the acquisition of 50 percent shareholding by MyBucks in New Finance Bank Limited (NFB).

The approval has been given without conditions, according to a determination letter dated October 1 and posted on the commission’s website.

In the letter, the CCC said the Committee Responsible for Initial Determination (CID) on the application for authorisation, found that the merger is not likely to lessen competition in the Common Market or negatively affect trade between the 26 countries that make up the Comesa region.

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“The CID observed that there are limited horizontal overlaps between the activities of the merging parties. Further, the merging parties’ combined market shares in the relevant markets are not substantial to lessen competition,” the statement reads.

The merger fulfilled the requirements under Article 23(3) of the Comesa Competition Regulations in that the merging parties were proven to have operations in more than one Comesa member state, thus giving the commission mandate to assess the transaction.

According to the parties’ submissions, the acquiring company, MyBucks was listed as a company offering unsecured consumer loans, banking solutions as well as insurance products to customers while NFB, the target, has operations only in Malawi providing retail and corporate banking services.

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The competition analysis conducted by CCC defined the parties’ relevant markets as; micro loans, commercial loans and deposits to retail customers.

In Malawi, NFB has six branches while MyBucks has operations in twelve African countries but also has operations in two European countries as well as Australia.

In an earlier interview, NFB Board Chairperson, Francis Pelekamoyo, said the agreement will boost NFB’s financial position to serve customers’ better.

Pelekamoyo further said the bank will now intensify efforts to close the gap between the banked and unbanked population.

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