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Rwanda’s BK Group becomes billion-dollar company

BK Group Plc, the holding company of Bank of Kigali (BK), Rwanda’s largest bank by assets, is steadily growing into the country’s new investment powerhouse, after reporting a 23.4 per cent year-on-year growth in its net income, earning Rwf7.5 billion ($8.3 million) in the first quarter of 2019 across its four subsidiaries.

The group’s latest addition, BK Capital — a wealth management and investment firm, which was launched this year — has already recorded a growth in its assets under management to Rwf2.4 billion ($2.7 million).

BK Group Plc reported a return on equity of 15.2 per cent, while return on assets stood at 3.3 per cent.

Total assets increased by 20.2 per cent compared with the same time last year growing to Rwf907.8 billion ($1 billion), making it Rwanda’s first billion-dollar company.

''This growth is due to innovative products we continue to roll out. BK Group also reduced operating costs by 9.7 per cent this year due to improved efficiencies in our operations as we continue to digitise many of our processes,'' said Diane Karusisi, CEO of BK Group.

Bank of Kigali’s retail client balances and deposits reached Rwf153.1 billion ($172.8 million), while business clients balances and deposits stood at Rwf320.4 billion ($361.7 million), up 7.9 per cent.

The bank’s recently launched Ikofi product, a universal digital financial solution targeting farmers, where they register using their business certificate to start transacting with e-money, has already garnered 50,000 registered farmers.

In what shows increased appetite for BK’s loan products, the bank’s loan book expanded, recording an increase of 6.2 per cent in net loans and advances this quarter, and 26.4 per cent growth compared to last year to Rwf603.3 billion ($681 million).

BK general insurance registered a profit of Rwf690 million ($778,956), compared with Rwf79 million ($89,184) over the same period last year, representing 701 per cent growth in profitability.

BK techouse, whose mandate is to create digital consumers by providing high quality innovative technology products and services, registered a sales revenue of Rwf247 million compared with Rwf136 million in the same quarter last year, an 81 per cent sales growth.

Shareholders equity increased by 54.5 per cent to Rwf199 billion ($221.4 million) for the period that ended March 30.