PAN African bank UBA plans to consolidate its business in the country through playing a big role in energy sector and infrastructure financing, its group managing director Phillips Oduoza announced yesterday. Nigeria based UBA which has been undergoing rapid expansion in the continent currently operates in 19 countries within Africa, with Kenya among its newest markets having started operations in the country in October 2009.
"Energy is one of the strengths of UBA and we hope to build capacity by bringing in people who have expertise in energy transactions," explained Oduoza. "We have knowledge in structuring oil and gas transactions and we shall train our people here in Kenya on financing deals to do with oil and gas."
UBA Africa CEO Gabriel Edgal added that the financing institution will set up "a fully fledged energy desk" in Kenya to attend to the businesses associated with the oil and energy sector. The bank said it is able to meet the demands of availing funds for the capital intensive energy sector because it pools resources from all its markets and channels it to regions where that money is needed.
"In Nigeria we survive majorly on oil deals, we cut our teeth financing oil and gas operations," noted Edgal. East Africa has recently become abuzz with activities around the exploration of oil and gas and the development of this sector after reports of oil finds in Kenya and Uganda and large deposits of gas in Tanzania.
Oduoza on his part said the bank has already started down stream through financing deals with oil importers and is keen on going for the big deals that could involve firms in the exploration business. UBA bank has also listed tourism, agriculture, infrastructure inter-africa trade and utilities as some of its target business areas in the country and EA region.