Yesterday the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) meted out punishment, following the Uchumi Supermarkets (USL) rights Issues.
Back in 2014. Uchumi’s rights issue to raise Kshs 895 million ($10 million) by offering shareholders 3 shares for every 8 held at Kshs 9 per share, with the funds to be used for expansion in East Africa and refurbishment of stores.
(Excerpts from) The CMA statement reads:
- The regulatory breaches of the former directors and the two USL officers were identified in respect of the period of 2012 – 2015 and involved making changes to the Information Memorandum (IM) after CMA approval; failing to make proper disclosure of material information to inform investor decision making; misapplication of Rights Issue (RI) proceeds; mis-statement of financial statements in 2014; weaknesses in board oversight of the branch expansion programme; inadequate conflict of interest management; and inadequate disclosure of asset sale and leaseback arrangements. The breaches of the transaction advisor revolve around not ensuring changes made to an approved IM were submitted to CMA for further approval.
- Out of the Ksh895 million right issue proceeds received by USL in January 2015 it was established that a small portion was used to pay the rights issue expenses but the balance was transferred to the trading account from where payments were being made to settle outstanding suppliers’ debts as opposed to funding branch expansion.
- With respect to the financial statements for the period ended June 30, 2014, that were used to support the Right Issue, it was established that a Ksh350 million asset sale and lease back transaction was recognized, while the agreement for the same was signed and funds received in September 2014 . As a result of this recognition, USL’s profits as at June 30, 2014 were enhanced by Ksh19.97 million arising from the gain on sale of the assets. Further, the USL liabilities were understated to the tune of approximately Kshs.1 billion. The Board subsequently reversed this treatment in the audited accounts in 2015, stating that this recognition had been premature.
Other recent actions by the CMA have targeted directors of Imperial Bank and CMC Group.
Centum Investments, which recently announced a record profit, and the end of a seven-year deliberate dividend drought, has been running ads in the newspapers and online, asking shareholders to register their names & details via SMS to ensure that they get their payments on time.
At the same time, Centum has also published a list (PDF), on its website, of shareholders who have not claimed their dividends. The list has about 9,000 names, and that’s a shocking stat, considering that Centum has about 37,000 shareholders.
No shareholder likes to lose out on a dividend or an investment. And regular shareholders who attend AGM’s have also been aware about resolutions at companies to comply with a legal requirement to surrender unclaimed assets, including dividends, to the government.
Almost all large public companies, except those which listed recently, list & highlight their liability from unclaimed dividends (owed to shareholders) for many years in their annual reports. But if 25% of Centum shareholders, have not claimed their dividends, totaling Kshs 78 million after almost 8 years, it raises many questions about why this situation exists. But one reason could be that shareholders have been unable to receive their dividends because some companies and their registrars have made it very difficult for shareholders to prove, claim and receive their rightful dividends.
- $1 = Kshs 100
- A registrar is an institution, responsible for keeping records of shareholders..and when an issuer needs to make dividend payment to shareholders, the firm refers to the list of registered owners maintained by the registrar.
- Centum ads say the registration is free, but normal SMS costs seem to apply.
Kenyans have been saving more each year for their retirements. From about Kshs 50 billion in 2000, assets in the retirements benefits industry have risen to about Kshs 814 billion in 2015. However, the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) estimates that fewer than 15% of the population will be secure in their old age.
This low number this probably ties in with the people who were employed in formal sectors. That is people whose employers enrolled them in occupational pension schemes, and made deductions from their salaries, and remitted amounts for their retirement to be managed at statutory (i.e NSSF) or other pension schemes. Most employers only enroll their employees in NSSF; however, it’s not enough to just contribute to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) (here’s why) if one wants to have a comfortable, decent retirement, one in which they are independent, and able to enjoy their own pursuits.
Kulegalega is a campaign that aims to educate and encourage more young Kenyans to start taking charge and enhance their savings and investment, from a young age, and long before they consider retiring.
While access to pensions services, alongside other financial services like banking, remains a challenge, there are now more opportunities to save with secure service providers that are regulated by the RBA. It’s also important to demystify the idea young people have that they can’t afford to save, or that they will only be able to invest and save when they are older and have risen in the work place and have higher income. It is important to start saving as soon as possible, and get into the habit of saving today, to enjoy tomorrow.
Co-operative Bank of Kenya (Coop) had its 8th AGM (since listing) on Friday 27th May, at Bomas, in Nairobi. At the end of 2015, Kenya’s 3rd largest bank had 342 billion in assets, and profits of Ksh 15 billion. It had Kshs 208 billion in loans and Kshs 265 billion in deposits. The CEO also mentioned that Q1 profit in 2016 was almost Kshs 5 billion and they hoped to attain Kshs 20 billion by the end of 2016.
- Soaring Eagle: The CEO gave an update of the ongoing transformation project that seeks to improve Co-op’s efficiency and services to the 5.9 million customers of the Bank. Now, only 25% transactions are done at branches, as customers have the choice to use other channels like mobile phones, ATM,s internet, or bank agents. Internally, staff are tasked to cross sell bank products & open accounts, and they receive promotions, bonuses, and increments based on KPI’s and appraisals. They consulted with McKinsey for some of this.
- Regional Expansion / Subsidiaries & Associates: They own 60% of Kingdom Securities (stockbrokers), and in South Sudan they own 51% of Coop Bank there, with the government of South Sudan owning the other 49%. The bank went from a loss of Kshs 687 million to a pre tax profit of Kshs 850 million, and the CEO said that Sudanese see the bank as their own, as they have a stake a board and management are local. They plan to use the same joint venture approach to take Coop Bank to Ethiopia, another large closed banking market. They also own 100% of Co-op Consultancy and Co-op Trust Investment Services, 35% of Cooperative insurance (parent of the listed CIC insurance) and 31% of CIC South Sudan.
- Shareholders: The bank has almost 96,000 shareholders who will each receive Kshs 0.8 per share in dividend – and this will total Kshs 3.9 billion in 2015 (up from 2.4 billion). The bank Chairman said that they had to maintain a balance with the dividends paid out so that they they did not have to call on shareholders to put money back in to the bank as it grows. Coop shares were issued after a 2008 IPO at Kshs 9.5, and now trade at 18.3. They have also issued bonus shares (twice?).
Elections: During the shareholder election, the CEO explained two unique points. One was that Coop Holdings which owns 65% of the bank, had already had its AGM and nominate 7 directors (that they are entitled to) and merely forwards the names to the Bank for endorsement at the AGM. Second was that the CMA now requires that companies make shareholders aware that they have audit committees, and to have shareholders vote for the members of the audit committee at the AGM.
- One Shareholder asks about the cost of banking saying that If he deposits Kshs 100 at an agent, Kshs 20 is cut, and there’s another Kshs 50 for each of his ATM withdrawals. The CEO they share these fees with the agents who have to pay for costs like electricity or to run their kiosks. Another one asked that Coop asked the bank to open more agent locations (now at 8,765) to serve other parts of the country.
- Insider Lending at Coop? The CEO assured that all loans taken by directors (total about Kshs 300 million) and employees (about 6.5 billion) are being serviced properly, and that they are known to, and approved by the board. Insider lending had brought down other banks in Kenya, but, he said, this was not an issue at Coop.
- Legal cases? All banks have legal cases, and they highlighted the main ones in the annual report.
We have four professionals involved in the running of a pension scheme, namely:
- Trustees who are responsible for management of the scheme and act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
- Fund Managers to provide investment advice as well as investing the scheme funds.,
- Custodians for the safe custody of scheme assets and title documents.
- Administrators who carry out administrative duties including keeping members records.
The lines above are excerpts from a speech by Edward Odundo, CEO of the Retirement Benefits Authority, at the rebrand and launch, of Liberty Pension Services, one of the leading independent pension fund administrators, which has now rebranded as Enwealth. He also said that the retirement benefits industry assets have grown tremendously from Kshs 50 billion in 2000 to Kshs 814 billion in 2015, and should reach Kshs 1 trillion by the end of 2016.
All the above entities are licensed by the Capital Markets Authority.
$1 = Kshs 100