Actis to sell major stake in Dfcu bank

Thursday June 30 2011

By Walter Wafula


Actis, a British investments company and majority shareholder in Dfcu Limited plans to sell a major stake in the bank to its managers Daily Monitor has learnt. Actis which is part of the Commonwealth Development Corporation owns 60 per cent of Dfcu. The CDC is the United Kingdom’s development finance institution.

The bank’s other major shareholders include; the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, NSSF, NIC and Investec Asset Management Africa. Yesterday, Ms Agnes Isharaza, the Dfcu corporation secretary confirmed “that a major shareholder had received an expression of interest for the purchase of a substantial number of shares” in the bank.

The disclosure was made in an announcement aimed at cautioning shareholders of the company to exercise when dealing in its shares until further notice. The successful sale is expected to have an effect on Dfcu’s share price at the Uganda Securities Exchange where the bank’s shares are listed, according to Ms Isharaza. Dfcu’s share price at the local stock market yesterday traded at Shs1,000 despite rising by only Shs4 on Tuesday to Shs1,004.

Mr Authur Nsiko, a research analyst at African Alliance Uganda, an investment firm, said news of the intended purchase had not yet had a significant impact on demand for shares or on their share price.
The decision by Actis to dispose of its stake in Dfcu comes on the back of a decision by the British government to sell 40 per cent of its remaining shares in Actis to its managers, according to the Financial Times newspaper in London.

Fraud revelations
This follows revelations by Mr Andrew Mitchell, United Kingdom’s minister for international development that managers of Actis were defrauding the government by not paying taxes and remitting its share of profits.

Mr Juma Kisaaame, Dfcu’s managing director declined to comment on details of the intended sale but referred Daily Monitor to Mr Michael Turner a manager of Actis’ Agribusiness operations in Kenya.
Mr Turner could not be reached for a comment because he was attending a meeting, according to his personal assistant in Nairobi.