Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

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Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
Type Government owned
Industry Finance
Founded 1963
Headquarters Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Products Financial services
Total assets Birr 86.5 + billion (2012)
Employees 8,000+ (2010)

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) is the largest commercial bank in Ethiopia As of June 2011, it had about 86.5 billion Birr in assets and held approximately 63.5% of deposits and about 38% of all bank loans in the country. The bank has around 8,000 employees, who staff its headquarters and its over 500 branches positioned in the main cities and regional towns. The latter include 45 branches in the national capital Addis Ababa. With the opening of a branch in the Gechi in the Illubabor Zone of the Oromia Region, CBE's banking network has reached 550 branches.


A Commercial Bank of Ethiopia building in Addis Ababa.

In 1963, the Ethiopian government split the State Bank of Ethiopia (est. 1942) into the National Bank of Ethiopia, the central bank, and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE).[1] In 1958, the State Bank of Ethiopia established a branch in Sudan that the Sudanese government nationalized in 1970.[2] The government later merged Addis Bank into the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in 1980 to make CBE the sole commercial bank in the country. The government had created Addis Bank from the merger of the newly nationalized Addis Ababa Bank, and the Ethiopian operations of the Banco di Roma and Banco di Napoli. Addis Ababa Bank was an affiliate that National and Grindlays Bank had established in 1963 and of which it owned 40%. At the time of nationalization, Addis Ababa Bank had 26 branches.

In 1991, when Eritrea achieved its independence, CBE lost its branches in Eritrea to nationalization. These branched formed the base for what became, in 1994 the Commercial Bank of Eritrea. Also in 1994, the Ethiopian government reorganized and reestablished CBE.

A few years ago, the government restructured CBE and signed a contract with Royal Bank of Scotland for management consultancy services. After the death of its former President, Mr. Gezahegn Yilma, the Board of Management appointed Mr Abie Sano as a new President of the Bank. Parliament recently increased the Bank's capital to 4 billion Ethiopian Birr. At some point CBE had a branch in Djibouti that it has since closed.

In January 2009, CBE received regulatory approval to open a branch in Juba, Southern Sudan.[3]


  1. ^ BRIMMER, Andrew F. (1960). "BANKING AND FINANCE IN THE SUDAN". South African Journal of Economics (28): 23–34. doi:10.1111/j.1813-6982.1960.tb01848.x. 
  2. ^ Mauri, Arnaldo ((2008); The re-establishment of the Ethiopia's monetary and banking systems, Dept. of Economics and Business, University of Milan, W.P. n. 11-2008.[1]
  3. ^ ALEMU, HILINA (18 January 2009). "Ethiopia: CBE Poised for Venture into South Sudan". Retrieved 21 January 2013. 

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