Nairobi, March 29 -- Equity Group has narrowed the profit gap with Safaricom to the smallest in eight years, leading a banking sector onslaught in the race for East Africa's most profitable company.

The bank on Tuesday reported a 15 percent growth in net profit to Sh46.1 billion for the year ended December 2022, cutting the earnings gap with telco by close to Sh32 billion in three years.

This follows a back-to-back profit drop by Safaricom in the year ended March 2022.

Safaricom's profit machine has looked unassailable over the past decade, driven by remarkable innovation.

But the telco's net earnings, which stood at Sh67.5 billion in the year ended March 2022, are now 1.46 times that of Equity compared to 3.66 times more in 2020 when...