Wegagen Bank, the second capitalised private bank in the country, completed the construction of its headquarters with a total cost of nearly a billion Birr, becoming one of the landmarks in the capital.
The building will be inaugurated in the coming two weeks in the presence of the Bank’s board of directors, the president and the Bank’s senior management.
The Chinese state-owned Enterprise, China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic & Technical Cooperation (CJIC), undertook the construction which took six years.
The Cooperation secured the project in 2011 with a cost of 733 million Br, but later the overall cost of the construction increased to a billion Birr owing to a surge in prices of building materials.
Established in 1993, the Chinese company is a well-known contractor throughout African countries including Kenya, Botswana and Ghana. It is involved in building, waterworks and road projects.
Situated in front of Yidnekachew Tessema Stadium along Ras Mekonnen Street, the multipurpose building has 28 storeys including a semi-basement and three underground floors, which are going to be solely used for parking.
Initially, the project was planned to be undertaken in five years. However, the project became delayed for a year due to lack of terminal to start the construction.
“During the beginning of the construction, there was no space to place building materials needed to build the headquarters,” Fikru Woldetensae, marketing and corporate communications director of the Bank, told Fortune.
Sprawled on 27,849sqm of land, the 107 metres tall building has halls, shops and offices that are going to be rented to businesses.
“We also have a plan to open a premium branch on the ground floor of the headquarters,” said Fekiru.
ETG Designers & Consultants S.C designed and supervised the headquarters project. Founded in 1995 with a capital of 100,000 Br, the company has now a capital of over 50 million Br, engaging in environmental impact assessment, feasibility study, architectural and structural designs of buildings.
ETG previously worked on designs of the compound of federal government offices, Mekelle University, Sendafa Athletics Stadium Gambella Airport Terminal.
Wegagen, whose headquarters is currently located inside Dembel Building along Africa Avenue, was established by 16 shareholders in 1997 with a startup capital of 30 million Br.
Now, its paid-up capital has reached 2.2 billion Br invested by over 2,349 shareholders, having 232 branches throughout the country. Last year, the Bank earned a gross profit of 798 million Br- a 50pc growth compared with the preceding fiscal year. This makes the Bank the fifth most profitable bank in the country.
In the next two months, the Bank will start moving to the new headquarters, according to Fikru.
“This will help us save rent expenses,” he said.
Last year, the Bank spent over 109 million Br as rent, which is 27 million Br higher than 2014/15 fiscal year.
The construction of the Bank’s new headquarters was completed just two months after the Bank replaced its two-decade old logo with a new one.