Category Archives: EABS

Ecobank 2010 AGM

Ecobank, a Togolese based banking conglomerate, makes history today by having its 22nd annual shareholders general meeting, not in Togo or Accra where it is listed, but in Kenya. Why Kenya? While it has a presence in over 30 African countries, in 2008 they completed a buyout of a homegrown financial institution that was known as the East African Building Society, and which is now known as Ecobank Kenya from which they will base their ambitious regional plans.

As with exposure to Ugandan investment sector, Ecobank brings an awareness of practices of and levels of disclosure for Kenyan companies that have engaged in cross-listing on exchanges in Uganda and Tanzania.

• Looking at the AGM notice for Ecobank which has 180,000 shareholders, it encourages shareholders to sign their proxies and vote even if they don’t plan to attend the AGM, with for/against/abstain boxes to tick.
• Notice figures are quoted in US$ [profit of $62.9 million and a dividend of $29.7 million equivalent to $0.3 per share]. [At the end of 2009, Ecobank has assets of $9 billion, while in Kenya it was the 19th largest bank by the same measure with assets of Kshs 13.95 billion, ($186 million) and made a loss of Kshs 1.15 billion ($15 million) after making heavy provisions in a one time effort to clean up their old loan book]
• Approval of director’s remuneration is something glossed over in Kenya and approved without scrutiny or numbers disclosed, perhaps referred to in the footnotes. Ecobank lists the packages availed to directors that are being voted on [Chairman $50,000, other board members $30,000 and all get two first class air tickets to Europe]
• There is follow-up to previous shareholder resolutions: It notes that shareholders had approved capital to be raised by $3 billion, by a rights issue – but that so far only $778 million has been raised and (the meeting) asks shareholders to re-affirm the decision and to allow the board to continue to raise funds by various means.
• Audit firm of Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) is re-appointed as joint auditors comprising teams from PWC Ivory Coast and PWC Nigeria.
• Directors being co-opted to the board have their (extensive) CV’s – two in this case, and both are under 50 years.

Record Bank profits expected

No doubt, there will be very strong, embarrassingly record profits (esp. from Equity Bank), which will shock Kenyan’s but the results are for the year (2007) which was virtually over by the time that the country plunged into chaos. The impact of the economic disruptions, violence, and framework may not be seen at banks until after June 2008. Meanwhile one bank that was in expansion mode has put off the program and staff recruitment until further notice.

SME Finance: EABS Bank, soon to be Eco Bank (after the West African bank takes over 75%), has partnered with Enablis to provide young and upcoming entrepreneurs with bank loans this year.

Check your own credit: what has been personal right for millions of US consumers is now available in Kenya – the self credit check. The service is offered by CRB Africa, Kenya’s leading credit reference bureau, but many here have no credit at all. Still it’s a free service, which someone should try out.

Corporate governance; KCB has an ethics help desk at its site to receive confidential reports on fraud and workplace abuses within the organization.

Bug-me-not: From the bankwatch blog comes results of a survey that shows bank customers do not want bothersome SMS’s sent to their phones that don’t add value or inform them much e.g. account balance messages that cost 30 shillings ($0.4). I think it would be useful to have services that tells you when a cheque is about to bounce, or the CFC chip card alerts which inform account holders each time their credit card is charged

opportunities
EADB: Project Officers, Senior Project officers,
I&M Bank: Credit Officer, Treasury Dealers/Officers, (Asset) Relationship Manager, (Liability) Relationship Manager, and Relationship Officer
Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) : Webmaster, HTML text editors, Editor, Marketing Manager, and 3-month internships for year 2008. Apply to the Programs Manager, info@irenkenya.com by 15/2

Kutwa: Tuesday: Pick out a positive story

Bank Round-up
Co-op Bank extends its banking hours from the now less-traditional 9 to 3 to 9 a.m. to 4. p.m. daily and up to noon on Saturdays.

bold Equity Bank announced plans last week to open new branches in Kisumu, but that was before a new outbreak of violence over the weekend and the fatal shooting of an opposition MP this morning.

– The Business Daily reports that West African giant Ecobank, plans to take over a majority stake in limping mortgage bank EABS whose recent growth had lagged most of its peers

NIC Bank to convert this cashless ATM points into full branches and expand its network.

capital flight: A leading multi-national bank is considering moving an African operations department out of Nairobi, and to another country. The amount of capital flight (money leaving the country) is also at an alarming high.

Other sectors
Valentine’s day massacre?; What does Naivasha flare up mean for some flower farms who Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) shipment/sales can account for up to ½ their turnover in a year ?
– Nairumor that a blue chip CEO and turnaround specialist will resign next month in search of (foreign) greener pastures
– The Harvard Business School’s Africa Business Conference is on February 15-17, 2008 in Boston MA. Details from YAP
– Some troubling signs and even more today.
– Another regional airline upstart is Executive Turbine, flying 4X weekly to Kisumu for Kshs. 3,540 ($70). Regional airlines should be added to the earlier post on election winners.

Trivia
Will ‘President Obama’ need Equity Bank? – because 46% of African American household’s don’t have bank accounts – he can tap Equity Bank’s revolutionary model to bring banking to the unbanked.

wish I was in France: It’s better to be a rogue trader facing charges for misplacing $7 billion. But it’s also a reminder that financial shenanigans are still rarely punished and prosecuted in Kenya. E.g. Francis Thuo. (and maybe Mr. Kerviel would rather have worked for a Kenyan bank instead)

Bank Review ’07: Part III

Middle of the pack

20. (20) Fina Bank: Estimated assets of 7.6 billion ($108 million) and profits of 90 million shillings ($1.3 million), with growth of about 20% from a year ago. Opened upcountry branches in Kenya (Nakuru, Mombasa, and Eldoret) and will start branches in Uganda next year, bridging the Fina to their existing Rwanda operations.

19. (22) Family Bank: Estimated assets of 9 billion and profits of 220 million in 2007. Known as Equity Blue, it has enjoyed similarly rapid growth (though slightly less this year) since converting from a building society to a bank. It has followed Equity’s footsteps, applying for the same exemptions granted to Equity – such early as admission to the clearing house and permission to issue chequebooks. It has also opened branches at a fast rate and its paperless banking model and women-entrepreneur loan models are a hit with rural Kenyans. But, in the year in which they converted to a Bank, they also lost their long serving CEO over board dispute and got sued by a Central Bank official who their Chairman had accused of being corrupt.

18. (18) EABS: Estimated assets of 9 billion and profits of 15 million. Teething pains continue at the former building society which converted to a bank three years ago, and had growth of about 5% in 2007.

17. (17) Housing Finance : Estimated assets of 10.5 billion and profit of 120 million, with loans 15% up from a year ago but assets only 2%. The bank tried to merge with Development Bank of Kenya, and later raise cash in a rights issue, but both plans were scuttled by regulators; later the board signed to sell a 25% stake to Equity Bank. HFCK and S&L (owned by KCB) are still major players in the mortgages sector which is becoming a crowded field with newer entrants Stanbic and Standard Chartered. HF also lost a class action lawsuit filed by customers over illegal bank charges.

16. (19) Bank of India: Estimated assets of 11 billion and profit of 500 million for quiet bank that grew at about 25%. Does a lot of India related business and Kenya government securities.

15. (16) Imperial Bank: Estimated assets of 11.5 billion and profits of 600 million. In 2007, the bank grew about 40% as it launched shariah banking, asset finance, children’s accounts and opened new branches at the coast.

14. (14) Bank of Baroda: Estimated assets of 14.9 billion and profit of 600 million for quiet bank that grew at about 25% and does a lot of Kenya government securities investing. It has been in Kenya for 52 years

13. (15) Prime Bank : Estimated assets of 15 billion and profits of 350 million. The fast growing bank will consolidate with affiliate Prime capital company by year end leading to a much larger bank in 2008.

12. (11) Investment & Mortgages: Estimated assets of 30 billion and profits of 1.3 billion. Fast growing bank also diversified into shariah banking, custodial services and also acquired two new euro bank shareholders.

11. (12) Diamond Trust : Estimated assets of 31 billion and profits of 950 million. In 2007 the bank grew about 45% as it opened several new branches, had a second rights issue in less than a year and also acquired a majority stake in Diamond Trust Tanzania.

10. (8) NIC: Estimated assets of 34 billion and profit of 1.1 billion. The bank grew at about 30% in 2007. It had a rights issue, rewarded shareholders with a bonus, went into custodial and investment banking (acquiring a stockbrokerage firm). But the market leader in asset finance also faced increased competition from other banks in this field and was dropped from NSE share index in favour of ICDCI.

9. (5) Citibank Kenya: Estimated assets of 38 billion and profit of 1.9 billion shillings. Otherwise a flat year for the bank whose parent faced her own troubles in the US banking meltdown. Growth was about 5% as the bank got into the local IPO advisory races.

8. (6) Commercial Bank of Africa: Estimated assets of 40 billion and profit of 1.4 billion. Growth of 9% from a year ago got into unit trusts, home loans, insurance, and funding of women projects. Similar to CFC and would be prime candidate for a merger.

7. (7) National Bank of Kenya: Estimated assets of 45 billion ($645 million) and profit of 1.4 billion shillings ($20 million) for 2007. NBK finally had its most of its non- performing portfolio debt albatross sorted out with a government bailout in the form of bonds maturing over the next 10 years. Now that its cleaned up, it could once again be a target of Stanbic again who two years ago offered to buy out NSSF’s 48% after their CFC merger is done in 2008 (Equity Bank is a also long shot). During the year, NBK partnered with Standard investment bank offer stockbroking services through NBK branches and also tried to have businessman Ketan Somaia jailed over an unpaid debt to the bank

Jobs

Chase Bank; Head of ICT, senior manager operations, head of trade finance. apply by snail mail to the Head of HR 28987-00200 by 29/2
– Cabin crew at Emirates airlines
Fina Bank Uganda: The bank is starting operation in Uganda in January 2008, and those interested in working there should send detailed CVs to hr@finabank.com.
tough job – Head of marketing & corporate communications at Kenya Airways apply online by 15/1

2006 Kenya banking review


still Barclays country

based on reported figures for September 2006

1. Barclays Bank of Kenya [assets worth 117.17 billion shillings ($1.67 billion)] In 2006 Barclays made a major policy about turn and announced expansion plans including reopening branches they had closed a few years ago. They also venture into Shariah compliant banking as did KCB, I&M, Dubai and K-Rep banks.

Compared to September 2005, assets were up 10%, deposits 12%, loans 14% but income was up only 6%. They also increased their investment in government securities to about 40% of the loan book. Still despite being Kenya’s largest bank, it also has the 2nd highest return on assets at 4.16% (second only to Equity Bank at 4.74%)Barclays shareholders had a very happy year, which saw them earn a bonus share and a share split in addition to their usual top dividend.

2. Kenya Commercial Bank [84.92 billion] KCB nudged passed Stanchart in assets while its share price zoomed passed though Stanchart still has a higher market cap and better returns. KCB’s expansive rural branch network was the envy of other banks such as Barclays and it also expanded into Sudan in 2006. KCB’s assets were up 18%, deposits 17%, loan 13% while income was up 26% from a year ago

3. Standard Chartered [84.09 billion] The bank launched several new products including accounts aimed as women (Diva) and children and adult savings (Safari) accounts. Stanchart also appointed a new MD – Mr. Etemesi. Assets up 18% deposits 16% loan s22% and income 10% while it also increased its investment in government securities

4. Cooperative Bank [55.17 billion] Co-op’s strong recovery continued and it remains a strong candidate for a listing in the next two years. One of their unique traditional products – kids’ savings accounts – was invaded by other banks this year. Compared to last September, assets were up 12%, deposits up 18%, income up 19%, but loans down by 16%. Also their total non performing assets (NPA’s) doubled to 17 billion while the bank also tripled its in investment in government securities during the year.

5. National Bank of Kenya [39.37 billion] NBK is yet to have its capital and debt restructuring done even though it is promised every year by the Government and despite reporting profits each quarter, it was not able to pay any dividends. The Bank launched a low fee (Taifa) account to counter the crowds flocking to Equity and Co-op banks. Assets and loan were up 10%, deposits and income up 16% and it tripled investment in government securities but NPA have also doubled to from a year ago.

6. Citibank Kenya [35.43 billion] Assets up 12% loans up 42% and income up 33%. Was a late entrant to the share craze providing advisory services to the Mumias rights issue in November.

7. Commercial Bank of Africa [35.12 billion] CBA opened a new headquarters and is expected to venture into stockbroking. Assets, deposits, loans, and income were all up 21% but NPA also up 45% from a year ago.

8. CFC [25.04 billion] Had a successful rights issue to raise capital and also continued to roll out new insurance products. Its stockbroking unit is the largest in the country and was reported to have processed Eveready applications amounts that exceeded the shares being offered. CFC doubled its investment in government securities, assets were up 35%, deposits and loans up 20%, income up 61% but NPA were also up by 74% from the year before.

9. NIC [23.55] Still the leader in asset finance while their flat fee (MOVE) was imitated by other banks. Assets and deposits were up 18%, loans 15%, and income 33%, but NPA’s doubled from a year ago also. Shareholders finally enjoyed some significant price appreciation after being stuck at 50 /= forever.

10. Standard Bank (Stanbic) [23.29 billion] Many Kenyans bought shares in their Ugandan subsidiary while the Bank has expressed an interest in investing in NBK once it is restructured. Stanbic which has the lowest NPA (followed by Citibank and D-Trust) had assets up 54% deposits and loans up 44% and income was up 49%.

11 Investment & Mortgages [21.79 billion] I&M had assets up 25% deposits 27% loans 36% and income up 33% as the bank made a push into the credit card sector.

12 Diamond Trust [19.14 billion] Raised capital in an over-subscribed rights issue in December and is rumored to consolidate with a sister bank next year. Assets were up 27% deposits 29% loans 25% while income was up 33% from a year ago.

13 Equity [16.33 billion] Kenya’s s fastest growing bank had assets up 63% deposits 81% loans 105% and income 90% however expenses in Q3 grew faster than income and NPA’s are up 165%. It has the highest returns (assets 5% and equity 46%) and successfully listed all their shares on the NSE in 2006

14 Bank of Baroda [11.43 billion] Assets and deposits up 29%, loans up 27%, income up 22% and profit could double this year.

15 Housing Finance [9.8 billion] Has a new MD while its share price appreciated beyond expectation leaving it with the highest P/E on the NSE. Assets, deposits, loans, income, and expenses remained basically unchanged from a year ago while the bank has converted cash into government securities. The lack of new loan growth resulted in NPA’s forming a greater portion (72%) of loan book.

16 Prime Bank [9.26 billion] Assets and income up 40%, deposits 43% loan 29% and profits are up 69% from a year ago.

17 EABS Bank [8.55 billion] Teething pains continue as assets shrunk by 4% but with a positive outlook as income increased twice as fast as operating expenses this year, but still NPA’s are at 72%.

18 Imperial [8.47 billion] Assets up 5% loan 146% and securities up 60% as the bank had redeployed about 1 billion in placements. Income is up 13% and Imperial has among the top 5 returns (even better than Citibank)

19 Bank of India [8.15 billion] Assets and deposits up 20%, loans up 56%, income up 46% but NPA up 43% – still the bank is on track for a huge profit this year.

20 Bank of Africa [6.23 billion] Expects to open another Nairobi branch and but into a bank in Uganda to go with the one it invested into in Tanzania. Assets up 17% deposits 35% loans 16% and income up 31% and despite increase expansion costs remains on track to achieve a profit this year.

21 Fina [6.15 billion] One of the banks that has championed SME financing and also has an extensive operation in Rwanda. Assets unchanged from a year ago while loans up 17% profits will be 41% higher, but NPA also up 59%.

22 Habib AG Zurich [5.07 billion] Asset up 9%, loans 16% and income up 11% at this bank which invests primarily in government securities.

23 ABC [4.95 billion] Assets up 7% with loans up 4%, and income up 20% from a year ago however NPA’s also up 46%.

24 Giro [4.93 billion] Nothing much heard from partnership with SBI (India) and
Assets were up 3%, income up 9%, but loans down 13% and profit will be less than 2005.

25 Guardian [4.66 billion] Assets up 2%, and bank has upped its investment in government securities by 61% compared to 2% growth in loans – however NPA up 216% .

26 K-Rep [4.52 billion] One of the banks that pioneered the micro-finance sector now finds itself being crowded out by new entrants advertising all manner of SME packages. It will administer an ADB guaranteed line of credit for women entrepreneurs (along with CFC and CBA). Assets up 31,% deposits 59& and income up 50% proving that micro finance is low risk niche with only 4% NPA’s even as loans by K-Rep increased by 40%.

28 Southern Credit [4.27 billion] Assets up 1% deposits up 6% and loans 9% but with NPA’s up 52% from a year ago at the bank with a major credit card arm.

29 Victoria [4.19 billion] Assets and deposits up 8% and the bank has reduced its NPA’s by 49% and now has the lowest NPA in the country at 1% with 1 billion shilling in the bank.

30 Charterhouse [3.94 billion] The bank was placed under statutory management following money laundering and tax evasion allegations and has fought back through the courts and the press (& with some questionable tactics). Even as depositors are locked out, assets up 19% but profits down 33% and the CBK manager increased investments in government securities – up by 332% (as directed by the law)

31 Equatorial [3.67 billion] A Sameer bank had assets up 1% but reduced government securities by 72% to increase loans by 22% but NPA also up 75%.

32 Middle East [3.45 billion] Assets up 1%, loans up 45%, but deposits down 10% yet bank may increase its profit as a result of an improved NPA positions.

33 Consolidated [3.45 billion] Assets up 29%, deposits & loans up 33% and despite high NPA it may achieve a profit in 2006. The Deposit protection fund is expected to sell its 50% stake in the bank, but without a profitable track record it will remain private.

34 Chase [3.29 billion] Assets up 33%, deposit 53%, loans & income up 43% but NPA also up 42%.

35 Development Bank of Kenya [3.05 billion] Assets up 20%, deposits & loans are up 50% but NPA up 52%.

36 Habib Bank [3.02 billion] Assets, deposit, and loans, all up 4% this year at Habib which is rumored to consolidate with sister bank in 2007. Has the highest ratio of investment in government securities.

37 Credit [2.77 billion] Assets down 6% and NPA up 125% as the bank drops 3 places in rankings.

38 Transnational [2.44 billion] Assets up 12%, while deposits & loans up 20% from a year ago but NPA also up 73%.

39 Fidelity [2.11 billion] Income up 50% while deposits & loans both up 35% from a year ago.

40 Paramount Universal [2.05 billion] Assets up 55%, deposits up 72% but income is flat and NPA’s are significantly up.

41 Oriental (formerly Delphis) [1.37 billion] Losses continue to eat into assets. Growth in income finally faster than growth in expenses but not enough to reverse wipe out of gains in the 1st half of the year as the bank moves further away from profitability and drops behind Paramount in size.

42 Dubai [1.22 billion] One of the first banks to recognize the potential of having a branch in the Eastleigh area now finds itself fighting with new entrants (giants Barclays and KCB) invading the area. Assets up 5%, loans up 12%, deposits up 15%, but NPA up 130% from a year ago.

43 City Finance [0.53 billion] Smallest bank with deposits up 34% (to 130 million), but income down 31% and NPA up 40% from a year ago.

Other institutions
Would be ranked 27Family Finance [4.47 billion in assets] Almost as fast growing as Equity with a similarly ambitious expansion plan, but was not able to become a bank since their planned conversion was put on hold by Central Bank. A share capital share of 390 million is more than other existing banks, but new banks are expected to be stronger and so the society went for a controversial private placement which was under-subscribed in November 2006. Assets and profits are up 40% from a year ago while deposits are up 50%.

new bankGulf African Will be the first 100% Shariah bank in Kenya