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Jamii Bora to expand countrywide next year

By | December 17th 2011

By Fredrick Obura

Shareholders of Jamii Bora Bank have approved the sale of 925,000 ordinary shares and 1,350,000 Class A shares to Asterisk Holdings Ltd at Sh250 and Sh66 each.

The transaction saw Asterisk Holdings pump in Sh320 million. Another Sh270 million was raised in a successful rights issue that increased the bank’s share capital by Sh540 million this year.

At a special general meeting on Thursday, the shareholders further approved the establishment of an employee share option plan through the creation of 900,000 new Class A shares, which shall be vested in the newly-created Jamii Bora Bank ESOP Trust pending operationalisation of the scheme.

The shares in the plan will comprise 10 per cent of core capital at all times.

It was also unanimously agreed that the share capital be increased to 1.77 million to accommodate the ESOP.

Speaking at the meeting, chairman Richard Njoba said the entry of Asterisk as investors in Jamii Bora Bank strengthened the business in terms of capital and management.

"We are glad with the direction the bank is taking. We are confident that the management will turn this bank around over the next 12 months and return incremental profits for shareholders thereafter," he said.

New Chief Executive, Sam Kimani, promised shareholders that his management team would maintain the bank’s focus on micro-lending while also growing its portfolio of banking products and services.

"We feel proud to be a part of your original dream of providing financial services to the low-end market and shall strengthen the bank’s capacity to achieve that dream by building a strong business with the right structures to deliver in a competitive market place," said Kimani.

He said the bank would embark on a reorganisation exercise in order to meet the heightened expectations of the market.

"We are now a fully-fledged bank which means we have to reorganise and re-strategise in order to be relevant and competitive. We must broaden our business horizon to tap into high potential areas in order to realise decent stakeholder value," he added.

The CEO said the bank will undertake a fresh business segmentation in line with its key strengths and embark on a product innovation programme to address the needs of each segment.

"We will also strengthen our human capital through recruitment and training in order to meet the audacious targets that we have set for ourselves over the coming years," he said.

The bank is expected to open 12 new branches next year. This, the management says, will help spread its reach and capitalise on the existing market potential.

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