Billionaire Baloobhai Patel expands his Absa stake with 5.8 million shares

Baloobahi Patel.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Billionaire investor Baloobhai Patel purchased an additional 5.8 million shares in Absa Bank Kenya in the six months that ended December 2023, taking his stake in the lender to one percent for the first time.

Absa Bank disclosures show that Mr Patel closed December with 55.86 million shares, giving him a 1.03 percent stake in the lender that is majority owned by South Africa’s Absa Group. He owns the stake alongside his wife, Amarjeet B Patel.

Mr Patel’s latest stake in Absa is a rise from 50.06 million shares, or a stake of 0.92 percent he owned on July 1, last year, meaning that he added 5.8 million shares with a current market value of Sh75.4 million in the six months.

The new buying marked an increase of 8.3 million shares in a year, given that Mr Patel was holding 47.57 million shares or a 0.88 percent stake, at the end of December 2022.

His current stake in Absa is valued at Sh715 million, with the shares added last year worth Sh106.2 million, based on the lender’s share price of Sh12.80 during Monday’s trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Absa Bank share has this year alone appreciated by 11.79 percent, increasing the value of Mr Patel’s stake by Sh75.4 million in under four months.

Mr Patel also holds stakes in other listed firms, including Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Carbacid Investments, Bamburi Cement, Sanlam Kenya, and CIC Insurance Group. He also has investments in real estate.

In Co-op Bank, he bought 35.2 million additional shares last year, taking his stake to 1.29 percent as of the end of December. The Co-op stake is currently valued at Sh1.04 billion, going by the share price of Sh13.75. The share has appreciated by 20.6 percent since the start of the year, increasing Mr Patel’s stake by Sh177.6 million.

Both Absa and Co-op Bank have proposed dividend payments, which will see Mr Patel earn millions of shillings for his stakes.

Absa has proposed a final dividend of Sh1.35 per share, adding to the Sh0.20 per share paid in October last year. This means Mr Patel will have received about Sh75.4 million in dividends before withholding tax, when the final distribution is made on or about May 23. The lender’s net profit rose 12.2 percent to Sh16.3 billion in 2023.

From Co-op Bank, Mr Patel will get about Sh113.5 million on his stake. This is after the lender maintained a Sh1.50 per share dividend on the back of net profit for the financial year that ended last December, growing by 5.2 percent to Sh23.2 billion.

In Bamburi, where he held a 4.12 percent stake, he is in line for a Sh81.8 million dividend after the cement-maker raised its payout to shareholders 7.3 times to Sh5.47 per share on increased cash position in the financial year ended December 2023. The payout is assuming Mr Patel kept his stake unchanged last year.

The investor also has a 49.9 percent stake in Carbacid Investments, which is held through his private firm Aksaya Investment Holdings Limited.

Carbacid posted a 17.9 percent rise in net profit to Sh485.16 million in the half-year that ended January 2024 on increased sales of carbon dioxide in the new regional markets, with the board saying it will consider a dividend on full-year results.

The carbon dioxide maker last year paid a dividend of Sh1.70 per share amounting to Sh433.25 million or 53 percent of the Sh816 million net profit posted in the financial year ended July 2023. Out of the payout, Mr Patel received about Sh212.3 million

Sanlam Kenya has posted a loss and will not be paying a dividend while CIC is yet to make public its performance for last year. CIC last year paid a dividend—the first in four years—after net profit for 2022 grew 63 percent to Sh1.09 billion.

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