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First Merchant Bank assures OIBM customers

First Merchant Bank (FMB) has assured Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM) customers that they will be seamlessly integrated into FMB operations following FMB’s acquisition of OIBM.

The transaction is the second major corporate action announced by FMB this year, following its recent acquisition of a majority stake in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe.

The OIBM transaction is subject to regulatory and statutory approval by the Reserve Bank of Malawi and the Competition and Fair Trading Commission of Malawi.

In his remarks at the announcement of the agreement, FMB Chairman Hitesh Anadkat said OIBM customers will enjoy wider access to banking services, products and infrastructure.

“This is a historic development for all of us at FMB, for Opportunity International and, most importantly for the hundreds of thousands of Malawians who have come to depend on OIBM for small-scale transactional, savings and loan services,” Anadkat said.

Frazer Hume, chairman of the board of OIBM said the agreement allows Opportunity International to accelerate growth and expand its impact and effectiveness in Malawi.

“Opportunity International is moving towards operating banks in partnership with other financial institutions focused on financial inclusion to maximize its leverage and impact and end extreme poverty in our lifetime,” he said.

FMB is a public limited liability company incorporated in Malawi under the Malawi Companies Act, 1984. It is registered as a commercial bank under the Banking Act 2010 and was listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange in June 2006.

It has two wholly-owned subsidiaries incorporated in Malawi, The Leasing and Finance Company of Malawi Limited, a licensed financial institution engaged in deposit taking and asset finance, and FMB Capital Markets Limited, a licensed portfolio manager.

FMB also holds a 70 percent shareholding in Capital Bank Limited, a licensed commercial bank incorporated in Mozambique, a 38.60 percent shareholding in Capital Bank Limited, a licensed commercial bank incorporated in Botswana, and 49 percent stake in First Capital Bank Limited, a licensed commercial bank incorporated in Zambia.

Opportunity International is a global non-profit organisation that helps people in developing countries work their way out of poverty. Founded in 1971, the organization has provided more than $10 billion in loans to help clients launch and expand businesses, feed and educate their children and create jobs in their communities.

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