Credit Bank and Bio Foods get the nod to list on NSE

Credit Bank branch located along Koinange street. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Credit Bank has received approvals to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

The approval breaks a listing drought for local banks that has lasted 14 years, with the lender becoming the 12th banking entity to trade shares on NSE.

The last local bank to list was the Co-operative Bank in 2008 through an initial public offering (IPO). Rwandan bank BK Group cross-listed in 2018.

"I want to congratulate Credit Bank. I am told they too have gotten the necessary approval to list on the stock exchange.

That is a positive signal for all of us including those in the public sector," said President William Ruto when he rang the bell for the launch of the NSE Market Place yesterday.

He said dairy processing firm Bio Foods has also received approvals to list.

President Ruto, whose government plans to privatise several struggling public corporations, lauded Credit Bank, a tier-three lender, which recently sold a minority stake to an international private equity fund.

He said he seeks to enable "between five and 10 public enterprises" to list within the next 12 months.

Credit Bank's listing comes at a time when many listed companies' share value is struggling due to foreign investors selling off in favour of more lucrative markets.

In August, the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) through a gazette notice announced that Credit Bank has sold a 20 per cent stake to ShoreCap III, a private equity fund managed by US-based Equator Capital Partners.

"The Competition Authority has authorised the proposed acquisition of 20 per cent of the share capital of Credit Bank Plc by ShoreCap III, Lp," said CAK Director General Wang'ombe Kariuki in the gazette notice.

The deal was the first in Kenya by ShoreCap III.

The firm has offices in Nairobi, Abidjan, Johannesburg and Chicago.

Speaking at the NSE function yesterday, Co-operative Bank of Kenya Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki said the lender, whose asset base has grown nearly eightfold since it listed from Sh83 billion to Sh600 billion, confirms the value of listing for companies.

President Ruto said he seeks to enable "between five and 10 public enterprises" to list within the next 12 months.

He also asked the private sector to work with NSE, which has 63 listed stocks, to list more firms.

The President also promised that his government would review privatisation laws to create room for "a less inhibitive and more facilitative policy framework to steward rapid privatisation process".

Credit Bank started in 1986 as Credit Kenya Ltd, a non-bank institution. It became a fully-fledged commercial bank nine years later.

The bank has 16 branches and is ranked 26th in size in the country, according to data from the Central Bank of Kenya.

Its total assets grew by 12 per cent to Sh25.97 billion in December 2021, up from Sh23.21 billion in December 2020.

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