Shares traded at a flat price of Ksh 15.90 for Equity Bank on Friday as a trader moved more than 10 million units in a block trade valued at Ksh 162 million. A dealer said, “A total of 12.7 million shares worth Ksh 201. 9 million was traded in the banking stock, accounting for nearly half of the market turnover. The shares were sold by a local investor and taken up by foreigners.” In the local trade, investor shares worth Ksh 162 million were sold that led to the high foreign interest in stock.
Equity CEO James Mwangi reduced his stake by five million shares in 2011. Others who reduced their stocks in the bank include the late Nelson Muguku, chairman, Peter Munga and John Kagema.
Following the expiry of a Capital Markets Authority lock-in period imposed at the time of listing five years ago, it prompted the top shareholders to cash in on their investment in recent years. Due to high liquidity and the consistent growth in earnings, Equity shares attracted foreign investors.
In September 2011, Equity reported a 41 percent growth in net profit with Ksh 7.2 billion. It is the second largest bank in terms of assets behind KCB. It’s now broadening its product range to include home loans, corporate banking and re-entry into investment. About 5.7 percent was shed in the National Bank, on a day when it advertised for the position of its managing director.
Since 1998, the managing director of NBK, Reuben Marambii has been in control, having joined Equity from the Central Bank to salvage the parastatal that was hurting under the massive weight of non-performing loans borrowed by the then politically influential figures.
Mr. Marambii is set to retire at the end of the year. He has been lauded for his financial management skills and managerial skills through out his career. He has helped Equity turn around for the first time in 12 years in 2011. Equity will be seeing its shareholders rewarded with dividends.