Bank of Uganda: Crane Bank Free to Sell Shares


Bank of Uganda has does not see any problem with Crane Bank selling a stake to private investors, order Chimp Corps report.

The commercial bank’s board chairman Joseph Biribonwa recently said in a statement that in 2014, visit web the shareholders and board decided to get a strategic equity investor with a regional or even better continental network.

“This strategy is in sync with the inevitable trend of mergers and acquisitions, not just as an important forum of growth for the purpose of the EAC integration but as a strategic move at a global level,” said the chairman.

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This equity investor, according to Biribonwa, is hoped to strengthen the bank’s balance sheets and take it to the next level with enhanced products and services.

Reports of Crane Bank selling shares have since discomforted customers.

Bank of Uganda confirmed it had received several enquiries about Crane Bank, which is one of 25 commercial banks licensed and supervised by the Central Bank.

“In line with the Financial Institutions Act 2004 (FIA 2004) as amended in 2016, if a commercial bank wishes to dispose of equity worth 5 percent or more of its shares, the sale must be approved by the Bank of Uganda,” said Bank of Uganda Communications Director, Christine B. Alupo.

As of now, assured Alupo, Bank of Uganda has not received any request from Crane Bank to approve a change in shareholding.

‘“Should such a request be received, the proposed share holders will be vetted for “fit and proper” credentials and positively considered if they warrant approval,’’’ she added.

Crane Bank, which has been in business for the last two decades with tycoon Sudhir Rupaleria’s family owning a 48 percent stake, remains one the leading indigenous financial institutions in the country with now 46 branches around the country and over 100 ATMs.

The bank recently opened a branch in the neighboring Rwanda.

Despite being one of the most profitable financial institutions in Uganda, Crane Bank last year recorded a Shs 3.1bn loss.

However, Alupo emphasised that, “it is normal practice for financial institutions to change shareholding in line with their strategic objectives, and this has happened several times in Uganda.”

The bank boasts Shs 1.8tn in assets.


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