Govt to Allow Diasporas Join Banking Industry

ADDIS ABEBA – A new bill to revise the current banking business proclamation No 592/2008 has been discussed at the legislature body on Thursday.

The basic purpose of the revision is to allow foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin (the ‘Diasporas’) to engage in the banking industry by lifting the restrictions imposed on them.

The revised bill states that the Diasporas are ‘allowed to acquire the share of an Ethiopian bank or to open a bank in Ethiopia’.

‘Even an organization owned fully by the Diasporas or jointly owned by the Diasporas are allowed to acquire share in Ethiopian banks but they pay the values of the shares to the bank only in acceptable foreign currencies.

The bill restricts not to ‘repatriate any asset or interest obtained in this manner.’

But the bill also suggests that the Diasporas who engage in the baking industry upon the proclamation of this amendment shall receive their dividend or share transfers or share sales or in case of liquidation they Diasporas are paid in Ethiopian Birr.

“Foreign nationals or organizations fully or partially owned by foreign nationals may not be allowed to open banks or branch offices or subsidiaries of foreign banks in Ethiopia or acquire the shares of Ethiopian Banks,” according to the bill.

The draft states that the National Bank may issue directive prescribing standards on banks’ minimum security measures.