NAIROBI, November 11 – The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group on Tuesday saw its 2.2 billion shares begin trading at the Uganda Securities Exchange.,
At the start of the trading, KCB Group Chairman Peter Muthoka said the board had been motivated by the potential that exists in the Ugandan market and the bank’s desire to make KCB shares accessible to more people across the region.
“The bank’s leadership is keen to see the emergence of regional institutions that will support and give credibility to the East African economic integration,” he said while thanking the Uganda Securities Exchange, the Capital Markets Authority and the Bank of Uganda for their support in the process.
He observed that the cross-listing was a timely and ideal move for the bank as it seeks to improve its performance in the financial sector.
Within the past one year, the bank has established three operational branches in Uganda with an additional four branches planned f at the end of November to bring the number of units to seven before the end of the year.
The Board has also approved works on four more branches.
“Alongside the dream to set up a viable business in Uganda, we felt the urgent need to give East Africans the opportunity to share in the success of our business, mainly because we see KCB as the bank with the heritage and capacity to belong to and appeal to the people of this region,” the chairman added.
The bank’s cross-listing programme had been designed to ensure prospective investors have a convenient way of buying KCB shares from local agents without the risks of undertaking cross-border transactions.
To this effect, the bank plans to have a register of KCB shares available to buyers with a fully-fledged and recognised registrar to handle administrative requirements.
Mr Muthoka revealed that the plans to simultaneously cross-list in the USE and the Dar-es-Salaam Stock Exchange were advancing well.
“The bank is also considering a similar arrangement for the Kigali Stock Exchange to tap into the investment potential in Rwanda when it finally enters that market later this year,” he disclosed.
The KCB shares have over the past seven years performed consistently well, and hit the US$2 billion mark in 2008 that was attributed to increased interest from the market.
“We bring to this market a very good stock backed by strong business fundamentals. In our recently released third quarter results, the KCB Group reported a 64 percent increase in profitability. I encourage investors in this market to take advantage of this opportunity to own a piece of East Africa’s largest indigenous commercial bank,” Muthoka said.