The proposed merger between Kenyan lenders Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and National Industrial Credit Bank (NIC) has obtained the green light from the local competition regulator.

Competition Authority of Kenya cleared the transaction on the condition that all 1,872 staff would be retained within a year of deal closing.

The consolidated group will have 85 branches along with 74 ATMs.

It is expected that the banks will not trim their existing branch network except in the case of overlaps.

Currently, CBA and NIC is said to hold market share of 6.05% and 4.62%, respectively.

The merged entity will hold 10.67% of the market share.

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The deal was first announced this January and received shareholders’ approval in April.

The merger will take place through a share swap.

Under the agreement, CBA shareholders would hold a 53% stake in the combined group while NIC shareholders would own the remainder.

“Based on the foregoing, the Authority’s view is that the proposed transaction is unlikely to lead to a lessening of competition in the relevant product market for retail and corporate banking services in Kenya,” the competition watchdog stated.

Last month, another Kenyan lender KCB Group agreed to acquire National Bank of Kenya.

In the same month, Kenya’s Equity Group agreed to buy Atlas Mara’s stake in banks in Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania.