Kenya adds Sh1bn Shelter Afrique shares

Shelter Afrique headquarters in Upper Hill, Nairobi. PHOTO | POOL

Kenya acquired an additional stake in Pan-African housing financier Shelter Afrique for Sh1.1 billion ($9.28 million) in the year ended December 2021, cementing its role as the largest shareholder in the lender.

The extra capital injection moved Kenya’s shareholding to 17.44 percent in the review period from the 14.82 percent it held the year before.

Nigeria which holds 13.02 percent and the African Development Bank (AfDB) whose stake stands at 12.58 percent are the second and third largest owners respectively.

“The Kenyan government was the most significant contributor, with a payment of $9.28 million accounting for 37 percent of the total collections,” Shelter Afrique head of investor relations Kahumbya Bashige said in the firm’s latest annual report.

Shelter Afrique is owned by 44 African countries and two development institutions — AfDB and African Reinsurance Corporation — the latter being class B shareholders.

The firm in 2013 and 2017 signed up deals with shareholders to recapitalise the company through additional equity.

Besides Kenya, the financier said 10 other countries also gave Shelter Afrique additional capital, bringing the fresh capital received by the housing financier in the year to December to $24.83 million (Sh2.95 billion).

“During the year, shareholders continued to demonstrate their support of the institution and its mandate by injecting $24 million equity into the company,” said Shelter Afrique.

“This amount represents 143 percent of the annual target of $17 million and 46 percent growth over the 2020 collections of $16.7 million.”

Other members that contributed capital include the Democratic Republic of Congo ($4.18 million), Cameroon ($3.53 million), Tanzania ($3.08 million), and Mali ($2.06 million).

According to the update, Shelter Afrique, which provides long-term credit lines for primary mortgage lenders, housing micro-finance institutions, and re-financiers, last year approved financing worth Sh4.18 billion ($35.1 million) with Kenya representing 8.8 percent of the equivalent of Sh368.2 million.

The bulk of lending went to Senegal, which got Sh2.37 billion (56.9 percent), Zimbabwe got Sh832.3 million (19.9 percent), and Cameroon got Sh603.1 million (14.4 percent).

The board of Shelter Afrique said in June that it is looking for a new chief executive to replace Andrew Chimphondah after he quit suddenly in February.

Mr Chimphondah moved to court to contest the sacking, joining a list of executives who have left the Pan-African housing financier abruptly or under a cloud of controversy.

Shelter Afrique said earlier it is eyeing rolling out its planned issuance of Sh148.6 billion ($1.25 billion) worth of new bonds from African capital markets.

The company will seek Sh59.4 billion ($500 million) from East Africa and a similar amount from Nigeria, with the remaining $250 million (Sh29.7 billion) coming from its francophone markets.

“As part of our 2021 to 2025 strategic goals, we are returning to the Local Currency Capital Markets and target to raise 30 to 45 percent of our total debt from these markets,” said the financier.

“The East Africa bond will be listed on Nairobi Securities Exchange, with the proceeds deployed in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.”

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