Robin Duan Wei, a Chinese investor and the founder of the leading technology platform Mobvista Inc., has acquired a majority stake in Kenya’s Choice Microfinance Bank (Choice MFB), a micro-finance bank led by Kenyan executive Joseph Ndung’u.
According to a press release issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the Chinese investor executed the deal on Oct. 22 through his investment vehicle, Wakanda Network Limited, a company incorporated in the UK on Feb. 26, 2020.
The deal reflects the growing micro-finance market in Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, as the CBK continues to work with micro-finance banks to transform their operations through customer-centric, tech-driven solutions, coupled with the use of traditional monetary drivers in the form of capital and liquidity buffers.
Wei acquired the 85-percent stake after the deal received the requisite approvals from the apex bank on Sept. 21 and other regulatory authorities in Kenya.
The monetary authority explained that the transaction is a critical component of Choice MFB’s transformation plan, as it will strengthen its operations as a core player in the East African country’s financial services space.
The apex bank added that the move will support stability in the micro-finance banking industry, as the country’s financial sector continues to experience growth driven by advances in technology and innovation and the consumer drive toward anytime-anywhere services.
Wei is a successful Chinese entrepreneur and the founder of Mobvista, a leading digital advertising company with operations in 21 cities.
Aside from Mobvista, which he founded in 2013, Wei owns mobile digital lenders across Kenya and Nigeria. His acquisition of Choice MFB represents his first investment in a traditionally managed lender.
As of press time, Dec. 15, shares in Mobvista were trading at HKD6.41 ($0.823) on the Hong Kong Exchange, 2.14-percent lower than its opening price.
At the current price, the company’s capitalization is HKD10.67 billion ($1.37 billion).