The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has called on the general public to submit their opinions on First Merchant Bank’s (FMB) acquisition of Opportunity Bank of Malawi (OBM).
Malawi Stock Exchange listed FMB bought 100 percent shares in OBM in June but the deal, among other things, awaits CFTC’s ratification.
According to a statement that CFTC issued on August 15, the commission is required to conduct an assessment of the likely impact of the proposed transaction on competition and economy before authorising the acquisition.
“The commission, therefore, is mandated to obtain representations from interested parties and stakeholders on their views of the transaction, in particular the proposed transaction’s effects on competition within the country.
“In view of the foregoing, the commission hereby gives notice to all interested stakeholders, including competitors, suppliers, customers and any other interested persons of the merging parties to submit written representations to the commission,” says the statement.
According to CFTC, the submissions should include comments on the developments and growth of the banking industry, any benefits arising out of the proposed transaction and more specifically the impact of the transaction on the competition and the economy in general.
FMB is a licensed commercial bank with interests in banking, asset finance, capital market and portfolio management while OBM is a licensed commercial microfinance bank targeting the economically active but marginalised Malawians living in under-served areas including semi-urban and rural areas.