NSSF buys additional Sh98 million KCB Group shares in first quarter

Customers queue outside a KCB bank in Nairobi.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

National Social Security Fund (NSSF) stake in KCB Group has hit a new high of 9.84 percent after it purchased additional shares in the lender in three months ended March.

KCB Group’s latest filings show NSSF joined local institutional investors and foreigners in purchasing additional shares in the period local individual shareholders sold 12.4 million shares.

NSSF, which had not purchased any additional KCB shares since the end of December 2022, resumed accumulation by buying an additional 3.54 million shares to take its stake to 9.84 percent from 9.73 percent in December 2023.

The additional shares purchased by NSSF are currently valued at Sh98.5 million going by KCB’s share price of Sh27.85 Tuesday on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The new shares, when added to the units already owned, take its stake in KCB to 316.25 million shares valued at Sh8.8 billion.

The pension fund is one of the anchor shareholders of KCB alongside the Treasury, which maintains a 19.76 percent stake in the lender, equivalent to 635 million shares.

NSSF’s increased stake came as that of local individual shareholders dropped to 26.64 percent from the 43-month high of 27.03 percent in December 2023. The number of local individual shareholders in KCB dropped to 187,304 at the end of March from 187,304 at the end of December 2023, meaning that 208 shareholders sold their entire stake during this period.

KCB shares opened the year at Sh21.95 and closed March at Sh30.05, meaning that the transactions happened in the period the stock was appreciating, closing the quarter with a 36.9 percent gain.

Local institutional investors and foreign investors also joined NSSF in benefiting from the shares sold by local individual shareholders.

The stake of local institutional investors in KCB moved to 44.5 percent from 44.3 percent after they purchased an additional 6.25 million shares, currently valued at Sh174 million. Foreign investors, whose stake had fallen to the low of 8.66 percent last September before improving to 8.91 percent in December, continued with accumulation. They added 6.18 million shares, currently valued at Sh172.1 million.

The latest purchase by the foreign investors in three months to March adds to the 7.81 million shares (currently valued at Sh217.5 million) that they had purchased between last September and December.

The back-to-back purchases mean foreigners have spent at least Sh405 million in six months to acquire additional KCB shares.

Foreigners are reversing the general trend of selling that had seen their stake in KCB fall to the low of 8.66 percent in September last year compared with highs of 29.25 percent as at the end of December 2017.

The sell-down by foreigners was more pronounced during the Covid-19 period when they cut their holding from 19.09 percent in March 2020 to below 10 percent in September 2022.

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