The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) says it is not aware that KCB Group #ticker:KCB has made a bid to acquire a 70 per cent stake in the National Bank of Kenya (NBK), #ticker:NBK urging investors to exercise caution when trading in the lenders’ shares.
The regulator, in a cautionary statement issued Tuesday, says it has not received any formal filings from KCB regarding such this transaction first reported by the Daily Nation last week.
“We wish to clarify that no regulatory filings have been made to the Authority by the KCB Group regarding this matter and no confirmation of the existence of such a transaction has been received,” CMA said in its statement.
KCB is said to have approached the Treasury and the National Social Security Fund, the major shareholders of NBK, with a written proposal to acquire a majority stake in the troubled lender.
Treasury, NSSF and other significant minority shareholders of NBK will, in a share swap transaction, be issued with KCB shares in exchange for NBK shares based on the market valuation of both banks.
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This will see Treasury and NSSF’s collective ownership in KCB increase from 23.6 per cent to over 30 per cent.
The government is said to be looking to sell the stake in NBK, seeing it as the best shot to finding a lasting solution to the perennial problems the lender has faced over the years.
“An appropriate announcement shall be made in the event that details of such a transaction (if any) are filed with the Authority as required by the applicable regulations,” the CMA said in its statement.
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Incidentally, KCB is one of the six banks shortlisted by the Central Bank of Kenya to acquire a stake in Chase Bank and its subsidiary Rafiki Microfinance, which the bank owns 75 per cent.
Societe Generale, France's third largest bank by assets, and Mauritius-based SBM Holdings are said to be the frontrunners in this transaction which is expected to be completed by September.
I & M Bank, Stanbic Bank and South Africa’s First Rand complete the list of interested investors.