5 February 2018

Kenya: Bullish NSE Lifts Unclaimed Securities, Cash to Sh34 Billion

Unclaimed cash and securities surrendered to the authorities hit Sh34.2 billon last weekend following improved performance at the bourse and an increase in compliance by various companies.

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) also said it held Sh10.7 billion at its Central Bank Trust Account, up from Sh10.1 billion reported last September which was the end of the compliance period.

Ufaa said it had in custody 446 million shares worth Sh23.5 billion compared to 317 million shares reported at the end of September last year.

"This money belongs to Kenyans and it is up to them to check whether their money is with us. Apparent owner names and their last known address, where applicable, have been published on our website (www.ufaa.go.ke) to facilitate online search," said Ufaa's chief executive Kellen Kariuki.

The CEO said plans to set up a non-trading Central Depository Agency was at an advanced stage. It will help Ufaa fast-track transfer of stocks to beneficiaries once they certify the claimant is the owner of the select securities.

"To date, 4,124 claims amounting to Sh180 million have been lodged with the Authority. Fully supported claims are paid out as stipulated in law and attendant regulations," she said.

As at end of the compliance period in September 30 last year, Sh56.5 million had been paid out to claimants but many Kenyans lack information about the monies surrendered by individual companies as unclaimed salaries and wages, royalties, unclaimed client moneys and loan credits.

Others are dormant account balances, unclaimed repositories held by banks and Saccos as well as unit trusts, dividends and matured insurance policies. Security agents at the Nairobi bourse have also surrendered securities worth billions of shillings.

Claimants are expected to file requests in hard and soft copy to be sent to the Westlands-based Ufaa headquarters to kick-start the process of claiming assets.

Claimants of assets of a deceased person must seek estate administration papers from court.

Assets are deemed abandoned as at June 30 with firms given an extra two months to compile a report to surrendered to Ufaa by September 30.

Ufaa said it would continue sensitising Kenyans via radio and TV programmes as well as countrywide exhibitions on the availability of funds.

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