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Prudential Plc to join new Nairobi Financial Centre

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FILE PHOTO: A view shows a section of the skyline at the end of a night-long curfew ordered by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Nairobi
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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Insurance company Prudential Plc is set to sign an agreement on Tuesday to join the new Nairobi International Financial Centre, eventually becoming one of its anchor clients.

Kenya has been working since 2014 to establish the centre (NIFC), which aims to become a gateway for capital flowing in and out of Africa and to compete with established financial centres like Mauritius.

"Deepening the financial sector across the continent is key to building and driving economic resilience," Shriti Vadera, who chairs the board of Prudential, said in a joint statement with the NIFC.

The NIFC aims to raise more than $2 billion in targeted investments by 2030, the centre said in a statement, without giving a value for the Prudential deal.

The new centre is also set to sign an agreement with TheCityUK, which supports Britain's financial services industry, to help the NIFC learn from a world leader in the area.

The formal submission of Prudential's application to join the NIFC and the signing of the agreement were scheduled to take place in London on Tuesday ahead of a meeting later this week hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta.

As well as serving as a gateway to Africa for investors, the centre also aims to deepen the local financial and capital markets.

Kenya's capital markets are relatively developed, but 75% of all business financing in the economy was from banks, the finance ministry has said in the past, adding that this situation was not ideal.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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