NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 -The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) will soon have its shares listed on the Rwanda Over the Counter Market – which is an equivalent of a stock market – once it receives the requisite approvals from the country’s authorities.
KCB Group Chief Executive Officer Martin Oduor-Otieno said that following Friday’s shareholders approval to have the shares cross-listed in that market, they would now go ahead and seek permission from the Rwandan authorities as they seek to position the bank as a regional brand.
“Subject to the approval of the authorities and the speed with which they move, KCB will be the first listed securities in that market which is great for us, it will also give us the visibility that we and our customers need,” he boasted.
Besides helping them to tap into the investment potential in Rwanda, Mr Oduor-Otieno said that trading on that market would encourage the nationals to have a sense of ownership of the bank.
The bank recently ventured into the small East African country as its newest operation having previously entered in Tanzania, Sudan and Uganda markets. It plans to open six branches in Rwanda by the end of the year.
The Group also has 2.2 billion shares trading on both the Uganda Securities Exchange and the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
The banks expansion plans into various African markets are also on course as the CEO revealed that they had embarked on carrying out feasibility studies to guide them in this mission. Burundi is their next target and they hope to be in that market by the end of the year.
Speaking to reporters after the bank’s 38th Annual General Meeting (AGM), Mr Oduor-Otieno also said they will now have a wider scope to develop their mortgage business after their shareholders gave them the green light to merge the operations of its mortgage subsidiary Savings and Loans Kenya (S&L) with those of the bank.
“With the merger of the two institutions, we will now be able to actively sell mortgages right across our network and we will be able to get the efficiency that we need in order to grow that business under one roof,” he said adding that this will be made possible by its 145 branch-network across the country.
The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Kenya have already approved the merger.
The endorsement came only a day after S&L posted a 99 percent increase in its first quarter profit before tax to Sh202m bolstered by its retail and corporate business.
S&L was acquired by KCB in 1972 to serve as the housing finance arm of the bank and has a market share of slightly over 20 percent.
At the same time, the bank will now be able to electronically dispatch financial reports and notices to some of its 170,000 shareholders who have electronic addresses, a move that will also see it save millions of shillings in printing costs. his follows the passing of a resolution to amend Article 131 of the institution’s Articles of Association.
Previously, the bank had to post documents to its shareholders but the review of its law now gives them the options of posting, advertising in the newspapers or sending emails as that would be deemed to be adequate service.
A dividend payout of Sh1 for every held share was also approved during the AGM.