16 October 2017

Ugandan Bank Fails to Sell All Shares in Mixed Trade

DFCU Bank Ltd's rights issue was undersubscribed by 4.79 per cent, raising Ush190.67 billion ($52 million) against a target of Ush200 billion ($54.6 million) in a transaction characterised by strong institutional investor appetite and low uptake from retail investors.

The bank's share price fell shortly after listing of the new shares.

Latest data compiled by Crested Capital, a Ugandan stock brokerage and investment advisory firm, shows that the DFCU rights issue recorded a subscription rate of 95.21 per cent as 250.88 million shares, priced at Ush760 ($0.21) per share, were absorbed.

Some 263,157,895 new shares were on offer, with an allocation ratio of 0.53 to one rights share issued. Abandoned new shares were 12.63 million, valued at Ush9.6 billion ($2.6 million), the data shows.

The rights issue was concluded on September 25 and the new shares floated on the Uganda Securities Exchange on October 10, 2017. The total number of listed shares on DFCU's counter rose from 497,201,822 shares to 748,082,989 while its market capitalisation grew to Ush561.06 billion ($153 million).

Whereas most institutional investors took up their rights shares, we could not point out specific reasons for the high uptake within this segment.

Arise B.V., DFCU's largest shareholder increased its stake from 55.08 per cent to 58.71 per cent while the National Social Security Fund increased their interest from 6.28 per cent to 7.69 per cent.

The Kimberlite Frontier Africa Naster Fund L.P-RCKM increased its stake from 5.93 per cent to 6.15 per cent while SSB-Conrad N Hilton Foundation-00FG raised its stake from 0.97 per cent to 0.98 per cent.

Vanderbilt University increased its stake from 0.8 per cent to 0.87 per cent while the Bank of Uganda Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme managed by Stanlib Uganda slightly expanded its stake from 0.58 per cent to 0.59 per cent.

In contrast, SCB Mauritius a/c CDC Group saw its shareholding drop from 15 per cent to 9.97 per cent, a change partly attributed to the company's desire to exit the business after a 50-year relationship with DFCU while Banque Pictet and Cie sa a/c Blankeney L.P saw its shareholding fall from 0.95 per cent to 0.63 per cent, the data revealed.

DFCU Bank Ltd boasts of 10 institutional investors on its shareholder list that currently hold 88.81 per cent shares, a factor that leaves its fate in the hands of large, deep-pocketed investors.

However, the overall shareholding pegged to retail investors dropped from 12.96 per cent to 11.19 per cent, suggesting low appetite towards the transaction among individual investors.

While some institutional investors were apparently motivated by hopes of a smooth integration of DFCU Bank's operations with those of the former Crane Bank that it acquired in January, stronger demand for credit, backed by steady declines in the benchmark policy rate and projected economic recovery, retail investors appeared discouraged by insufficient information on the acquisition, The EastAfrican has learnt.

A higher rights issue offer price of Ush760($0.21) compared to a previous trading price of Ush758 ($0.207) also put off many retail investors, with most of them preferring to buy new shares at the USE instead of taking up allocated rights shares.

The Bank of Uganda cut its Central Bank Rate by 0.5 per cent to a record low of 9.5 per cent this month, signalling a further decline in interest rates that's badly needed to accelerate credit demand and economic growth that grossed just 3.9 per cent at the end of 2016/17.

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