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Ethiopia - Berhan International Bank plots bid for HQ
By Muluken Yewondwossen
The newly formed private bank in Ethiopia, Berhan International Bank (BIB), is hoping a land lease auction announced by the Addis Ababa City Administration will result in it accessing a plot to construct its headquarters. Belachew Bogale, president of BIB, told Capital that the new bank's priority is to set up its own headquarters. According to the president, the management has formed a committee to monitor land availability. "Currently, the heads of the management and board of directors are considering various opportunities to secure plots in the town, including the lease auction," Belachew said.
A few weeks ago, the city administration announced land lease auctions based on the city's master plan for any interested parties.
The bank that opened its first branch around Bole International Airport early October last year now has eight outlets, including five that opened in the last week. Three of these are out of the capital in Hawassa, Bahir Dar and Nazreth, and the other two are in Kera and Kality areas of Addis Ababa. These two additions means there are now five branches in Addis Ababa. This budget year, which ends in July, the bank plans to open 10 branches.
Currently, one of the major annual costs for banks is rent, especially for head offices and branch offices in the capital city. Some private banks, such as Dashen and Awash, possess their own buildings, while others are currently constructing them in Addis Ababa and regional towns.
Berhan began its service with the latest technology, which has not yet been implemented by other banks of a similar age. According to BIB officials, the bank is also under preparation to shortly launch SMS, ATM and internet banking in its second phase IT project.
The new banking system (core banking) is operated by Neptune Software Plc, a London-based financial solution service company, which was established in 1999. The project is assisted by System Consultant, a local company.
BIB has 6,320 shareholders, a large number for an Ethiopian bank. Currently it has 95 million birr paid up capital, and the subscribed capital is around 300 million birr.
The board is chaired by Daniel Kitaw (Eng, PhD), Assistant Professor of the Technology Faculty at Addis Ababa University.
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