Kampala- Ugandans will in the next three-and-half months have an opportunity to own Crane Bank after an announcement by the financial institution that the management is looking to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) by April this year.
According to the bank’s Managing Director, Mr A R Kalan, management is looking to fulfill this plan.
“We are listing in April. And by May, we will be (trading) on the Uganda Securities Exchange,” Mr Kalan told journalists earlier in the week while opening the bank’s 40th branch in Ibanda, Western Uganda.
There are currently 18 companies at the USE, with Uchumi being the latest entrant to crosslist on the stock market.
In an interview with the Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Officer, Keith Kalyegira, it emerged that should Crane Bank go ahead to fulfill its promise, it will be one of the few indigenous private companies to list without previous connection to government.
He said: “Out of eight companies on the USE you will notice that at least seven were as a result of privatisation, meaning at one point it was a government parastatal/institutions.”
He continued: “With the Crane bank now intending to make a move that is not only just good news but it also means that privately- owned companies can take advantage of such avenues to raise money.”
According to Mr Kalyegira, Capital Markets Authority is willing to help Crane Bank actualise its intention within 21 days.
He said: “All we want is a detailed prospectus (company’s information and we will guide them through the process.”
Industry analysts have applauded the move saying it will make Crane bank stronger, especially in terms of its capital base. Earlier, President Museveni had expressed concern as to why Ugandan companies do not let the public own at least part of their shares.
Given Crane Bank’s move, it is hoped that other indigenous organisations will follow suit as well.
EXPANSION PLANS FOR THE BANK
Meanwhile, Crane bank has allocated about $40 million (about Shs100billion) for the expansion of its operations and branches. Last year it spent around the same amount that saw it close the year with 39 branches across the country.
This year, it is looking at establishing at least 10 branches with the Ibanda branch being the first of such facilities.
According to the bank’s top management, emphasis will be put on supporting agriculture, and the youth, who will be given credit ranging between 12 per cent and 16 per cent interest. It is also understood that preference will be given according to the level of economic activity of the facility.
In two years the bank will have spent about Shs 200billion on its expansion alone.