KCB head office in Nairobi Kenya

Kenya’s biggest bank by assets KCB Group reported on Wednesday a 6% increase in gross profit for the first nine months of this year to Ksh27.2 billion from Ksh25.6 billion generated in the same period last year.

 KCB, which also operates in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan, attributed its profit growth to a 10 percent increase in its total income as lending on its digital platform surged.

The lender’s total assets saw a 12 percent rise to Ksh764.3 billion from Ksh684.2 billion attained in the same time frame last year.

Its lending via mobile phones, which are offered on Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform typically for one month, increased more than three times during the period to Ksh98 billion, boosting non-interest income, the group said.

Shares of Kenyan banks have attracted renewed interest from foreign investors after the government removed a three-year old cap on commercial lending rates last week.

KCB said it also cut operating expenses, its cost to income ratio as well as its funding costs in January-September.

KCB said it expects its acquisition of National Bank of Kenya, which closed in October, to strengthen its position in the domestic market.