Investors from the United Arab Emirates have invested Shs12 billion in the National Bank of Commerce, formerly Kigezi Bank of Commerce, with an objective of increasing shareholder dividends and introducing Sharia banking in Uganda.
Sharia banking is where shareholders deposit money on their accounts without withdrawing and share dividends at the end of the year. The National Bank of Commerce board chairman, Mr Mathew Rukikaire, said Shs3 billion has already been received from the Arab investors and the balance is expected next year.
"The Shs12 billion investment in our bank has doubled the shares of all our shareholders. We are ready to take up the investor's proposal of Sharia banking as long as the law is passed by Parliament," Mr Rukikaire said. He also explained that the Arabian investment in the National Bank of Commerce accounts for only 25 per cent and the rest 75 per cent remains with the local shareholders.
More than 200 local shareholders hailed the management team for soliciting for the Arab investors and asked for special loans to help them invest in agriculture as a way of promoting food security and increasing their household incomes.
One of the investors, Mr Ahamed Dagher, promised more donations to the National Bank of Commerce with an objective of economic empowerment to the local shareholders and ordinary citizens with accounts in the same bank.
The majority shareholder in the bank, Mr Amos Nzeyi, said the coming of the Arabian investors into their bank is an economic blessing to the people of Kigezi sub-region who started this bank and to all Ugandans using this bank.