The sixth annual East African Finance Summit took place last week, bringing together several players in the financial sector. Vice Governor of the central bank, Solomon Desta heralded Ethiopia's financial sector as being on a positive trend by indicating that the 109 financial institutions in the country had managed to amass 32 trillion Br in assets. He disclosed that independent regulation of the insurance companies is under development. With the impending entry of foreign investment in the local banking sector, Solomon advised commercial banks in attendance to 'get ready for consolidation'. The directives to govern the entrance modality of foreign banks are currently being worked on. Richard Keller, managing director of Genesis Analytics, cautioned Ethiopian private banks to get ready for intense competition from non-banking companies that provide mobile money operations by comparing the case of M-Pesa, which collects more in transaction fees than Kenyan commercial banks combined. He highlighted the underdevelopment of Ethiopia's insurance sector by indicating its meagre 0.3pc contribution to the country's GDP. Keynote speaker Brook Taye (PhD), Director General of the Ethiopian Capital Market Authority (ECMA), said they would be issuing service provider licenses in two months.
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