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NSE bell rings for COOP Bank shares

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22 – The Cooperative Bank’s 40-year old dream became reality on Monday when its shares began trading at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE), valued at Sh13.50.

This is 42 percent higher than the Initial Public Offer price of Sh9.50, which recorded an 81 percent subscription rate to raise Sh5.4 billion as additional capital.

Speaking during the commencement, the Bank’s Managing Director Gideon Muriuki said that the trading was a milestone in the bank’s life and comes even despite the backdrop of an economic recession.

“We are totally amazed that the restructuring was undertaken successfully and the IPO went ahead within the scheduled time table and in the midst of the recession. The Kenyan people raised an astounding Sh5.4 billion,” Mr Muriuki said.

He added that shareholders of the bank, which has to date raised its capital base to Sh14 billion, will now be able to realise benefits through price discovery provided by the NSE.

The MD said the proceeds from the successful IPO would be ploughed back into the business to create great potential for the bank’s future growth.

NSE Chairman James Wangunyu, in his remarks, said the trading of the bank’s listing brought to two the number of capital markets transactions facilitated by the NSE, out of 27 transactions in Africa this year.

Mr Wangunyu said that the NSE remains a viable avenue for the acquisition of capital even in tough times, especially having been ranked 25th worldwide with regard to ease of equity financing.

He assured that the stock market would continue to take initiatives in investor education for the public, to create informed and empowered investors.

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“It is also with a view to enhancing investor confidence that we recently launched the NSE Code of Conduct, which is meant to provide a guideline for the ethical and professional conduct of member firms and it shall be binding and enforceable against any member,” Mr Wangunyu said.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, also speaking at the function, said the listing of the bank’s shares was a positive step towards raising equity and encouraged other banks to raise capital through the stock market.

Meanwhile, Cooperatives Development Minister, Joseph Nyagah who presided over the trading, assured those present of the government’s support to cooperative movements interested in venturing into the bourse.

“We need to change with the changing times,” Mr Nyagah said.

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