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NBK ordered to disclose buyers of its properties

National Bank of Kenya branch in Nyeri. FILE PHOTO | NMG
National Bank of Kenya branch in Nyeri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A parliamentary committee has directed National Bank of Kenya (NBK) #ticker:NBK to disclose details of individuals or firms who bought 11 properties that the publicly listed lender has sold in the past four years.

The Finance, Planning and Trade Committee ordered the bank to also unmask individuals who acquired three of the 11 properties that were disposed of through NBK financing.

Chairperson Joseph Limo said the House committee had information that a buyer who acquired one of the NBK properties in Mombasa used an undeveloped parcel of land as collateral, exposing the bank to possible losses.

“We want you to give us details of the buyers for all the 11 properties, provide a list of who financed the purchase and whether the bank was bank involved in one way or another,” Mr Limo told NBK chief executive Wilfred Musau and chairman Mohammed Hassan.

Ruaraka MP Waihenya Ndirangu asked the NBK to disclose all properties it has sold in Nairobi through by providing the MPs sale agreements.

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Mr Musau told MPs that the asset disposal was part of austerity measures that the board sanctioned in 2014.

He said the board made an approval for disposal of 11 properties to comply with regulatory requirements that require financial institutions to be below the 20 per cent ratio of no core business.

“The board approved the same for the bank to come out of the non-core business of owning brick and mortar.

“We are yet to dispose of two properties, meaning that we are still in breach of the law,” Mr Musau told the committee.

He said the NBK has a number of assets where it has tenants leasing excess space, which still earns it revenue.

“We identified 11 assets across the country and disposed them over the last four years. We have two properties that are outstanding.  

“This is the Eldoret building that sits at the core of the town that is still in discussion.

“We are engaging an institution that wants to own the asset but I can’t disclose (the details) because of client confidentiality,” he said.

Mr Musau said a second property that yet to get a buyer is in Mombasa Old Town. “We are still in the market looking for a potential buyer,” he said.

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