Genene Ruga (left) and Woldetensai Woldegiorgis (centre), president and board chairman of Nib International Bank, respectively, handed Yinager Dessie (PhD), governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), a present as part of a ceremony for the private financial institution’s milestone.

The 37-storey Nib International Bank's headquarters, making it the tallest building in the capital, opened its doors last week. However, the record will be transient until the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia’s (CBE) 48-storey skyscraper is completed, scheduled for inauguration at the end of the year.

Nib's hive has consumed two billion Birr, almost half the bank’s paid-up capital, constructed by China Jiangsu International Economic & Technical Cooperation Group. The construction took half a decade, mainly due to foreign currency shortages and a depreciating Birr, the headache of many a contractor in the country. The contractor attempted to renegotiate its agreement with Nib unsuccessfully.

For days after dusk, the Hive was lit up, fiery orange from the ground to the highest floor, visible from miles away under Addis Abeba’s underlit night skyline. The lighting outlined the headquarters’ design of a beehive, where the bees live, and the honeycomb, the structure they make the honey in and store it.

Now that it is finished, "The Hive" joins Dashen, Awash and Hibret banks on Ras Abebe Aregay Street, near the National Theatre, the latter of which moved into its 32-storey building earlier this year. Wegagen Bank, a short walking distance away but on a different street, has been operating from its headquarters for the past four years.

These will, in turn, be joined by Zemen, Abyssinia and CBE in the neighbourhood of Sengatera, which, with its concentration of financial institutions’ head offices, including that of the central bank, strives to become the premier financial district of the capital, the Wall Street of Ethiopia.

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PUBLISHED ON Sep 04,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1114]

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