Capital Markets

Harambee Sacco restarts disposal of properties to boost cash flow


Harambee Co-operative plaza in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Harambee Sacco has resumed its efforts to sell off some of its multibillion-shilling real estate portfolio to boost its cash flow as it continues implementing its turnaround plan.

Falling property prices had last year forced the giant sacco to defer sale of some of its Sh1.7 billion land and developed properties.

On Friday, the country’s third largest sacco whose 76,000 strong membership is largely drawn from civil servants advertised for sale 16 maisonettes located in the upmarket Nyali Estate in Mombasa.

The sacco's chief executive officer George Onchiri had earlier told the Business Daily that they expected to raise about Sh400 million from the sale of these properties.

The sacco's real-estate portfolio is spread across the country in major cities and towns including Kisumu, and Mombasa. It also owns the Harambee Sacco Plaza in Nairobi.

“We have got a lot of land around the country, we want to convert that into cash. We are eyeing nearly a Sh1 billion,” Dr Onchiri had said.

In Kisumu, the sacco was looking to sell 11 acres and has also said that participating in the sacco mortgage services financed by the Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company would help it offload another 10 acres in Siaya.

Asset base

The funds raised will allow the sacco to participate in the affordable housing programme rolled out by the government as part of the Big Four Agenda.

Harambee Sacco had more than 73,000 members and an asset base of Sh29.5 billion at end of 2019.

The sale of the property comes as the number of properties going under the hammer crippled by mounting debt defaults that have remained elevated during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

But auctioneers are finding it difficult to get buyers amid a supply glut on the back of a slowdown in the economy, which contracted by 0.3 percent last year.