Diamond Trust Bank Ltd., a Kenyan lender, is considering expanding into a fifth African country as growing competition at home squeezes margins, Chairman Abdul Samji said. The bank, based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, may enter Madagascar, the Democratic Republicof Congo or South Sudan by 2017, Samji said in an interview yesterday. Diamond Trust last month raised 3.63 billion shillings ($41 million) by selling new shares to existing stockholders. “In the next two to three years, we are going to be in one of those countries,” Samji said. “The determining factor of where we are going to have a footprint will be determined by what makes economic sense to the people of those countries.” Madagascar, Congo and South Sudan offer growth opportunities for Kenyan lenders because of their lack of access to banking facilities. While 42 percent of Kenyans aged 15 and older have an account at a formal financial institution, that ratio is only 6 percent in Madagascar and 4 percent in the Democratic Republic of Congo, World Bank bank data shows. The sub-Saharan Africa average is 24 percent. In South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan three years ago, only 1 percent of households have a bank account, according to the United Nations. Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd., the country’s biggest lender by market value, last month said it’s considering expanding into Congo, Mozambique, Zambia and Somalia. Equity Bank Ltd., Kenya’s second-largest bank, has operations in four other East African nations including Uganda,Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.