Baloobhai buys 5m more shares in Absa Kenya


Baloobahi Patel. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Billionaire investor Baloobhai Patel bought an additional five million shares in Absa Bank Kenya Plc last year, which are worth Sh58.75 million at the current market price of Sh11.75 per piece, as he strengthens his position as the single biggest local investor in the lender.

The billionaire held 42.5 million shares in the year ended December 2021 but increased his stake from 0.78 percent to 0.88 percent or 47.5 million shares in the following period.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed lender revealed the shareholding changes in the latest annual report where the top 30 shareholders are listed.

Mr Patel is the biggest local investor and the third shareholder behind two foreign investors, including the parent company Absa Group.

He received Sh54.7 million as a final dividend from Absa’s Sh1.15 per share and a total of Sh64.2 million for the year ended December 2022.

The lender declared a final dividend of Sh1.15 per share which was distributed on May 25 to shareholders on the register as of April 28.

This is in addition to an interim payout of Sh0.2 which was disbursed last year.

Absa Bank Kenya posted a 50.7 percent rise in net profit to Sh4.45 billion for the three months to March on the back of an increase in non-interest income.

The lender’s non-interest income grew the fastest in the period, rising to Sh4.5 billion from Sh3 billion, backed by an 80 percent rise in foreign exchange trading income to Sh2.2 billion.

The bank’s loan book grew to Sh310 billion from Sh242.7 billion in the comparable quarter last year.

The billionaire has started plans to transfer his direct equity positions in publicly traded companies into his holding company, Aksaya Investment Holdings Limited, including his stake in Carbacid Investments, Sanlam Kenya, Bamburi Cement, Absa Bank Kenya, and Co-op Bank, as part of a succession plan that began in 2015.

The businessman spent more than Sh300 million to buy an additional 7.9 million shares of Bamburi in 2021, more than doubling his holdings to 14.9 million shares equivalent to a 4.12 percent stake.

Co-op Bank shares

Mr Patel also bought an additional 14.6 million shares in Co-operative Bank in February, entrenching his position as the lender’s second-largest individual investor. 

This led to his stake in the country’s third-largest bank rising to 0.94 percent from 0.69 percent over the same period.

The investor received a payout of Sh78.5 million, net of taxes from Co-op Bank after it raised the dividend by 50 percent from the Sh1 per share distributed for the previous financial year.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.