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Capital Markets

Local investors seize KCB control from foreigners

A KCB branch in Rwanda
A KCB branch in Rwanda. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Local institutional investors have bought an additional 361.7 million shares in KCB group #ticker:KCB pushing their stake to top spot and relegating foreign investors to third position.

Details of shareholding profile up to March 2019 show that local institutional investors now hold 986.29 million units, an equivalent of 32.17 percent stake.

This makes them the highest shareholders in KCB, followed by local individual investors at 27.44 percent, while foreigners now come third.

The combined stake of local individual and institutional investors is now at 1.82 billion shares or 59.61 percent, up from 47.58 percent at the end of December 2017. Additional 532 local investors bought KCB shares with 415 being individual and 117 institutional.

Foreign investors, who were the highest shareholders in KCB at the end of 2017 now control a 22.86 percent stake in the Kenya’s largest bank by assets.

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Between December 2017 and March 2019, some 19 foreign investors got rid of KCB shares, cutting their number to 660 with 701 million shares. This is unlike in 2017 when they had 896.78 million shares with a stake of 29.25 percent.

National Treasury has maintained its stake of 537.38 million shares, equivalent to 17.53 percent stake as it was in 2017. However, National Social Security Fund bought 14.63 million additional shares, raising its stake to 6.12 percent from 5.64 percent.

Last year, foreign investors turned net sellers for all the 12 months of trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, doubling their sell-offs and cutting stake to levels last seen seven years ago.

Capital Markets Authority data covering up to December 2018 showed that foreign investors’ net sell-off hit Sh22.96 billion, nearly double from Sh11.58 billion in 2017.

The sell-off pulled down cumulative foreign investor holding in the listed firms to 19.44 percent from 20.17 percent in 2017.

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