CHASE bank has tapped cash from a long term regional investment fund to boost its foray into the regional SME banking market.
The mid tier bank has announced that Amethis Finance has injected $10.5 million (Sh898.8 million) into the bank which will be used for regional expansion. Amethis Finance is a fund made up of a community of long term investors keen on exploiting opportunities in Africa.
"Chase Bank's strategy is to strengthen its position in the SME market in Kenya and develop its retail footprint with the development of regional agencies and new branches," said a statement from the bank.
The bank added that the new partnership fits well with Amethis strategy which is to support mid-size fast growing local companies, targeting institutionalisation and regional expansion.
Chase Bank said it was forced to seek alternative funding methods to boost its cash position to be in tandem with its rapid growth in line with banking regulations of capital adequacy ratio.
"One of the initiatives has been partnering with development finance institutions for debt and equity. The overall goal is to boost our capital to meet regulatory requirement but also to take the bank's expansion and growth strategy to the next level," said Chase bank.
Following the partnership, Amethis will now have a representative in the board of Chase bank, a move the bank said would help it strengthen its internal organisation and tap into international markets.
The bank started wooing institutional investors last year through pursuing long term debt securities in development finance institutions and international fund managers.
Prior to the partnership, shares of the private owned bank were only held by industrial groups and few individuals. Chase bank said it is currently implementing a strategic diversification of its shareholder base. Amethis Finance gives two options of long term finance with a choice provide debt or equity.
Apart from offering retail banking products with a bias on the SME segment, Chase bank also operates a subsidiary deposit taking micro finance institution called Rafiki.