Tanzania: Optimism After Arise Acquires NMB Stake

Dar es Salaam — Just over a week after completing its acquisition of 34.9 percent of NMB Bank Plc shares, Arise spoke out yesterday, terming the move as a milestone.

"Conclusion of the share transfer is a significant milestone for Arise," firm's chief executive officer Deepak Malik said in a joint statement with NMB Bank Plc.

"The organisation's core mandate is to partner with locally owned sustainable financial institutions to strengthen and develop effective, inclusive financial systems in Africa to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction."

On December 28, 2020, the Capital Market and Securities Authority (CMSA) in Tanzania approved the transfer of 174,500,000 NMB Bank Plc shares owned by Rabobank to Arise, an investment arm.

The share transfer process was completed on December 31 last year.

According to Mr Malik, Tanzania was a key investment destination for Arise in sub-Saharan Africa.

"We are excited about the collaborative partnership with NMB, which is set to further advance financial inclusion in Africa," said Mr Malik.

Arise is owned by Rabobank in partnership with the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and the Norwegian State-owned development fund (Norfund).

Arise is focused on sub-Saharan Africa, aiming at supporting the growth and advancement of financial institutions by proactively providing - among other things - technical assistance and managerial services in the fields of governance, management, marketing, innovation, compliance and risk management.

Speaking on the shares transfer, NMB chief executive officer Ruth Zaipuna said "Successful completion of the shares transfer is a testament of investors' confidence in the institution and the country at large."

NMB is Tanzania's largest bank by asset size, according to the third quarter 2020 financial results.

Its total assets increased to Sh7.0 trillion in the third quarter last year up from Sh6.1 trillion from the third quarter in 2019.

NMB is also the most profitable bank in Tanzania after recording Sh145 billion as cumulative net profit in the quarter that ended on September 30, 2020, up from Sh82 billion registered during a similar period in 2019.

"The collaborative partnership between Arise and NMB is envisaged to deliver substantial operational, commercial, organisational and financial benefits with long-term market returns that go beyond stakeholders' expectations," Ms Zaipuna said.

"Undoubtedly this long-term investment by Arise will support NMB's future growth aspirations and spur economic growth and the prosperity of Tanzanians through increased financial inclusion and also the growth of retail, SMEs and agriculture sectors. NMB would like to thank all its shareholders, strategic partners, customers and staff for continued faith and dedication to the organisation."

Apart from Arise, which is now taking over the 34.9 percent share-holding of the Rabobank, the Tanzania government owns 31.8 percent of the equity as listed at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

This year, the government received Sh15.2 billion as a dividend from NMB Bank Plc.

This was after the lender recorded a Sh149 billion profit in 2019.

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