SA bank hits 74.9pc target stake in Stanbic Holdings

A Stanbic Bank branch on Kimathi Street, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

South Africa’s Standard Bank has hit its target of raising its stake in Stanbic Holdings to 74.92 percent after four years.

The multinational spent more than Sh5 billion to acquire an additional 59 million shares in the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm, raising its ownership from the 60 percent it held in 2018.

The shares were purchased through an offer of Sh95 per share to minority shareholders in early 2018 and subsequently through ordinary trades on the NSE.

Standard Bank holds the Stanbic shares through its investment vehicle Stanbic Africa Holdings Limited (SAHL).

“Pursuant to various extensions granted by the Capital Markets Authority, SAHL is pleased that it has now completed the acquisition of the additional shares that have brought its overall shareholding to 74.92 percent of the total issued share capital of Stanbic Holdings,” said SAHL in a notice.

“SAHL has, therefore, ceased acquiring additional shares in Stanbic Holdings,” the multinational added, meaning it will remain a co-investor with the minority shareholders in the subsidiary.

Stanbic Holdings is one of the most important businesses for Standard Bank outside South Africa and the share purchases signal its confidence in the subsidiary’s long-term performance.

Stanbic Holdings more than doubled its dividend payout for the year ended December 2021 to Sh9 per share or a total of Sh4.2 billion. The lender had paid a dividend of Sh3.8 per share or a total of Sh1.8 billion for the prior financial year.

The larger dividend came after the bank’s net income jumped 38.8 percent to Sh7.2 billion on reduced loan impairment and higher interest income.

Credit impairment charges shrunk by Sh2.3 billion to Sh2.5 billion, reflecting improved loan repayments and the brightening economic prospects.

Stanbic Holdings, like other listed lenders, is expected to announce even higher earnings this year.

Its main subsidiary, Stanbic Bank, reported a 12 percent net profit growth to Sh2.1 billion in the first quarter ended March.

The bank had reported a net income of Sh1.8 billion a year earlier.

The performance was driven by higher interest income from loans, a rise in non-interest income, and a reduction in loan loss provision.

The loan book expanded 30.7 percent to Sh206.4 billion, helping to lift total interest income to Sh5.2 billion.

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