Uganda Business | National Social Security Fund (NSSF) invests Shs 145 Billion in Equity Bank

Posted July 22, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Business ~ 2,898 views


Managing Director National Social Security Fund - NSSF, Mr. Richard Byarugaba

Managing Director National Social Security Fund – NSSF, Mr. Richard Byarugaba

Alon Mwesigwa — The National Social Security Fund has bought a 2.44 per cent stake in Equity bank group, making it the seventh largest shareholder in the group, it was announced yesterday. This translates into 90.2 million shares at a cost of Shs 145bn from Helios EB, an equity fund, which was pulling out of the bank after seven years.

Richard Byarugaba, NSSF executive director, said at Serena hotel that the buy showed the NSSF’s aggressiveness and effort to diversify its investment to outside Uganda. He described the deal into the East and central Africa’s biggest bank as “smart buy, which guarantees a competitive return to its members”.

In Kenya, NSSF also has shares in Safaricom. The bank, with ten million customers, has grown tenfold every five years, according to the Group CEO James Mwangi.

Mwangi describes what the bank does as the “basic financial intermediation” without going into the hard concepts of “derivatives”.

This, he said, helped them to be the only bank that went through the 2008 recession without any shock. Mwangi said was growing so fast that they were overwhelmed by opportunities.

The bank opened in South Sudan. It has since opened in DRC, where just four per cent of the 85 million people have bank accounts. “There is a huge opportunity there,” he says.

He says they have been cleared to be the first outside bank to open in Ethiopia, an opportunity he describes as “enormous”.

Equity ranks among the top 1,000 banks in the world. It has attracted world’s largest equity funds, including the Dutch’s Norfund and NorFinance – which own 12.2 per cent of the bank.

At the end of 2014, Equity bank’s assets grew to Shs 12.2 trillion (Kshs 372.5bn) up from Shs 9.7tn (KShs 295.3bn), which represents a 26 per cent year on year growth.

Source — Weekly Observer.

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