Finance

Finance (395)

Kasekende Troubled By Uncertain Future At Bank Of Uganda

The past years, especially from the time they took over and sold Crane Bank to dfcu Bank in what pundit say was a rushed and dubious deal, have been problematic at Bank of Uganda.

And if the public commentary is anything to go by, the problems at the country’s central bank are not to go away anytime soon. The central bank is facing numerous investigations, inquiries, and court suits.

And now, Bank of Uganda, the country’s regulator of the banking sector, as expected, has started the year 2020 on a wrong footing. The contract of the central bank’s deputy governor is expiring and Dr. Louis Kasekende, according to reports is working towards its renewal.

Dr. Kasekende, who started working at the Bank of Uganda in 1986, was highly expected to replace the governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile who has aged and deemed unfit to continue in such a sensitive post.

This replacement was bound to happen and had the blessing of the public but for leading the central bank into trouble and causing the regulator to lose billions of money in silly deals, Kasekende is judged unfit for that post.

This harsh judgment is coming when the bank has only days left on his current contract. Nile Post, a local online news publisher, reported that Kasekende’s contract is scheduled to expire on January 13, 2020, while that of his immediate boss, Emmanuel Mutebile expires in 2021.

The Nile Post quotes the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, through New Vision, saying he cannot help with Kasekende’s quagmire as the matter is before Yoweri K, Museveni, the country’s president.

Unsure of his re-appointment, Kasekende is panicking and fearing to lose such a good opportunity and a job in the dreams of any career economist.

Another media report by Eagle Online reported that Kasekende, who is said to have accrued illegal wealth while at Bank of Uganda enlisted the services of former finance minister Gerald Ssendawula and high ranking Catholic clerics to lobby him.

Eagle Online reported that Ssendawula and the clerics met President Museveni at his country home in Rwakitura recently to beg the president to retain Kasekende at the central bank. Not much detail emerged from that meeting.

Kasekende is determined to remain at Bank of Uganda and to achieve this, reports indicate that he used the festive season to meet some influential people who can put in a word for him before the appointing authority – the president.

Kasekende, according to Watchdog Uganda, another local publication, met with the secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi at Acadia Hotel in Bunyonyi, Kabale District, Kigezi sub-region. It is reported that Muhakanizi wants the governor’s job. Was Kasekende looking for an ally to retain the deputy governor's job?

Kasekende worked at Bank of Uganda for the last 33 years having joined in 1986. He served in different capacities before rising to the position of deputy governor in 1999. In 2002, he left the central bank to serve at the World Bank before returning to occupy the same position.

Sudhir Explains Why He Has Trusted His Business Empire To His Son Rajiv

The reasons why businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia chose his only son Rajiv Ruparelia to steer the Ruparelia Group business empire are beyond bloodlines.

Rajiv, who celebrated his 30th birthday on 2nd January 2020, was drafted into the senior management positions of Ruparelia Group at an early age just when he had completed his business degree from a London university.

He has since risen to the position of managing director and his father, arguably the richest man in Uganda has no regrets but only proud of his decision to let Rajiv learn how to do business and run the family business.

As managing director, Rajiv manages investments the Group has injected in various sectors. He has also seen these portfolios grow and expand. The Group has investments in real estate, horticulture, finance, hospitality, broadcasting, and education.

He is the youngest chief executive managing a business valued at over $2bn. This makes Dr. Ruparelia happy. The old Ruparelia told CEO East Africa in an interview that Rajiv’s intellect and hunger to succeed pushed him to relinquish administrative powers to the son.

“One of the biggest problems in a family business is succession. In succession, the first obvious choice is your family members. What we tried to do is mould him into business, work with him and guide him at an early age.

“The important thing is that Rajiv is intelligent, he has got his own hunger for success, and by 27 years, we felt it was the right time for him to join the business.

“He is very hardworking and dedicates time to the business. Now he has also taken on motor rallying and you can see his hard work there too. He has won almost all the races he has participated in, in just under 6 months of joining the game.

“As long as he balances the business with rallying and the businesses do not suffer, then we do not have any issue. Otherwise, things are going according to our goals and plans and we are moving forward.”

“I think everything has worked out very well for him. Three years down the road, we have successfully put up a lot of investments in the country. Rajiv has successfully overseen the construction of Kingdom Mall, The Cube, Kitante Apartments, Hardware Plaza, Market Plaza, Electrical Plaza, and Kampala Boulevard.

“We have started putting up 269 apartments hotel at Kabira Country Club; it has just started hopefully in 2 and a half years, it will be completed. Rajiv has managed all these. There are more than 10 other buildings in the pipeline and the projects are ready to take off also supervised by him.” Dr. Ruparelia told the CEO. 

DFCU Bank Loses Founding Shareholder After Shares Trade Off

DFCU Bank has lost its founding shareholder, CDC Group, after the UK’s development finance institution confirmed it has sold its 9.97% stake in the Ugandan commercial bank

CDC Group and DFCU Bank revealed that the shares are being sold to IFU, the Danish development finance institution. This means that IFU replaces CDC as the second biggest shareholder of the bank.

CDC has been reducing its stake in DFCU over the last six years - from 60% to 15% in 2013 and then to just under 10% in 2017 following a rights issue at the bank.

CDC’s Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe said the partnership with DFCU has perfectly demonstrated their credentials as a provider of patient capital.

“And I am delighted that in IFU, we are passing the baton to a like-minded investor that, alongside Arise, the largest existing shareholder in DFCU, will be as equally committed to DFCU’s long-term stability and success.”

IFU´s Chief Executive Officer, Torben Huss said they are pleased to become a shareholder in DFCU as they share the ambition to expand access to financial services.

“Moreover, we see this acquisition as a strategic step to increase our engagement in the private sector in Uganda and further promote the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Elly Karuhanga, the Board Chairman of DFCU Limited said that with IFU as one of the shareholders, they are confident that DFCU is well on track to achieving its vision of being the preferred financial institution in Uganda.

“We take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to CDC who have walked this journey with us since 1964. Their commitment and support over the last 55 years has enabled us to make real tangible progress towards the achievement of our vision. We look forward to continued collaboration with CDC in other areas in the future.”

CDC made its first investment in DFCU in 1964 as a founding partner to the bank and has played an integral role in its long-term growth over the last six decades, through a number of equity and debt funding rounds.

Danish Firm Risks To Buy CDC's 9.97% Shares In Dfcu Bank

DFCU Bank, in what they called a cautionary announcement published in the local media said one of their significant minority shareholder was quitting and had found a buyer to buy their interests in the bank.

DFCU Bank, however, didn’t name the shareholder leaving or the incoming investor; however, Eagle Online has Tuesday reported that the departing shareholder is Britain’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Group.

Eagle Online in the same report said the incoming investor is the IFU- Denmark – the Danish Development Finance Institution/ Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

While DFCU Bank has not confirmed these developments, it looks like the time for CDC Group to quit DFCU Bank has finally arrived and the British firm is parking up its 9.97% shareholding in the Ugandan bank.

Material effect expected

DFCU, who have for the past three years been struggling to retain customers, staff and investors, said in the notice that the departure of CDC Group is expected to cause a material effect in the day to day running of the bank.

“Dfcu limited…advises its shareholders and the general public that a significant minority shareholder has received and accepted an expression of interest for the purchase of its shareholding in the Company by another which, if successfully concluded, may have a material effect on the price of the Company's shares,” Dfcu said in the cautionary announcement.

It went to warn and advise shareholders and potential investors to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s shares until a further announcement is made.

DFCU Bank Announces They Are Losing A Significant Shareholder

A significant minority shareholding is quitting DFCU Bank, the commercial bank has announced in what it called a cautionary announcement published in the media.

The bank didn’t name the shareholder quitting the unsettled bank but speculation is that it could Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Group. Last year, it was rumored that CDC Group was in advanced stages of leaving DFCU.

“Dfcu limited…advises its shareholders and the general public that a significant minority shareholder has received and accepted an expression of interest for the purchase of its shareholding in the Company by another which, if successfully concluded, may have a material effect on the price of the Company's shares,” Dfcu said in the cautionary announcement.

But the transaction, according to the announcement, remains subject to obtainment of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of all conditions precedent.

“Shareholders and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s shares until a further announcement is made,” the announcement reads in part.

A couple of top executives and investors quit the commercial bank because of terrible investment decisions taken by the bank’s Kampala management. Some of the unforgivable bad decisions was the buying of Crane Bank.  

CDC’s Investment Director Irina Grigorenko wrote a confidential letter to Dfcu Chairman Elly Karuhanga of CDC Group’s intention to sell some or all of its shares.

Grigorenko, said then that CDC Group was “undertaking a review of its investment in DFCU Limited which may lead to the disposal or some of some or all of its shares in DFCU over the short to medium term.”

The current DFCU Bank shareholding stands at Arise BV 58.71%, CDC Group of the United Kingdom 9.97%, National Social Security Fund (Uganda) 7.69%, Kimberlite Frontier Africa Naster Fund 6.15% and two undisclosed Institutional Investors at 3.22%.

Others are SSB-Conrad N. Hilton Foundation 0.98%, Vanderbilt University 0.87%, Blakeney Management 0.63%, Retail investors 11.19% and BoU staff retirement benefit scheme is 0.59%.

Govt Has Done Well Attracting FDI, Economic Growth, Says Businessman Sudhir

The government of Uganda has done a good job to ensure that there is a conducive and competitive environment to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country, businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia told journalists on Friday.

The businessman was speaking to the press during the official opening of a Chinese supermarket at Kingdom Kampala mall. The giant and magnificent mall is owned by the Ruparelia Group.

“Foreign Direct Investment coupled with our own domestic investments is the best way of creating jobs and thriving livelihoods for Ugandans,” the businessman said. He thanked the government for always supporting foreign investors to settle in the country and create jobs for Ugandans.  

The new supermarket called Shopping Union is owned by Ye Baochun, a Chinese investor. “Our focus is offering good and quality products at affordable prices,” he said at the opening of the supermarket.

Chen Xiao Lu, the Managing Director of Shopping Union Supermarket isn’t scared of the ‘mushrooming supermarkets’ in Uganda and past history.

“This is not a supermarket for the Chinese. It is an international market targeting Ugandans, Europeans, Indians, Chinese and all different kinds of people,” Chen Xiao Lu said adding that they will endeavor to offer the best price.

The supermarket is spacious and has a variety of items both local and international. The biggest advantage it has over other supermarkets is the ample parking space it has and how quickly one can get in and out.

“Now other supermarkets should be ready for competition,” Sudhir said, adding that the Supermarket will not only pay taxes but also employ Ugandans directly and indirectly.

Goldstar Insurance Offers Online Option To Buy Travel Insurance

Ugandans looking to travel abroad or inland can now buy Travel Insurance online from Goldstar Insurance Ltd, a local insurance service provider.

According to Investopedia, Travel Insurance is a type of insurance that covers the costs and losses associated with traveling. It is useful protection for those traveling domestically or abroad.

Also, according to Goldstar Insurance, this will boost the tourism sector and also help insurance uptake in Uganda which stands at barely 1% grow.

Goldstar’s Travel Insurance, according to officials at the insurance firm, helps travelers in case of flight cancellations, loss of luggage, passport and when injuries occur to a traveler in the process.

"Goldstar Insurance offers award-winning Travel Insurance at the most competitive rates. Travel insurance is mandatory in the Schengen area and with our 24/7 assistance all over the world, you can be assured you are safe with us.

"We have a range of options so you can choose the cover that is right for you. We also offer Annual Multi-Trip cover for a single premium.” Jay Sankaria, the business development manager at Goldstar said in a comment.

According to Global Credit Ratings’ independent report on the insurance industry in Uganda, Goldstar Insurance has the strongest solvency margin, the highest cash claims cover and the best underwriting margin.

Apart from Travel Insurance, Goldstar Insurance offers Marine Cargo Insurance, Group Personal Accident, Engineering Insurance, Commercial Property, Electronic Equipment Insurance, Burglary Insurance, Car Insurance, Motor Cycle Insurance, Home Insurance, Buildings Insurance, Contents Insurance, Renters Insurance, and Landlords Insurance.

Others are Deterioration of Stock, Personal Accident, Property Cover, Liabilities, Workers' Compensation, Directors and Officers Liability, Professional Indemnity, Fidelity Guarantee, Banker's Blanket Bond, Office Contents and Legal Fees and All Risks Insurance. 

Why Sudhir Snubbed COSASE Invite In DAPCB Inquiry

Businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the chairman of Ruparelia Group and Managing Director of Meera Investments Limited snubbed an invite by Parliament's Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, to answer queries on how he acquired certain properties within the city.

The committee investigating how politicians and businessmen across the country acquired properties from the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) had invited Ruparelia to appear before the committee on Wednesday and explain how he acquired five properties.

However, the businessman on the same day, through his lawyers of Walusimbi & Co Advocates wrote back to the committee head Ibrahim Kasozi, the Makindye East MP, saying their client cannot appear before Parliament since he has never purchased any properties from the Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board.

"Our clients noted your invitation for him to appear tomorrow - 4/12/2019 - before the committee with regard to your inquiry into matters of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board land purchases.

In the result, he (Sudhir) requests for your advice as to why his presence is required, especially it being that he has never purchased any property from the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board, nor has he claimed on behalf of anybody.

Your detail, as requested for above, will enable him to benefit from informed legal advice and approach the matter from an informed view." Walusimbi & Co Advocates said in the letter.

In response, Kasozi wrote back naming five properties that the committee is interested in - the properties are Plot 23 on Jinja Road, Plot 24 on Kampala Road, Plot 5 on Colville Street, Plot 3 and 5 on Bombo Road in Kampala and Plot 26 on Republic Street in Mbale, eastern Uganda.

And still, in a written response, Sudhir through his lawyers denied, saying: "Our client reiterates that he has in all instances not purchased any said properties from the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board, which your esteemed committee is inquiring into."

About the building on Plot 43, Jinja Road, Ruparelia said what he possesses does not march with the descriptions of COSASE. However, he promised to make a search at the Lands Registry and report to Parliament.

The city tycoon insisted that he possesses a genuine land title for the property on Plot 8, Colvile Street in Kampala, which he said he purchased from registered owners.

For Plot 24 on Kampala road, Mr Sudhir said he bought the property under his company, Meera Investments Ltd and that in 2012, he won a court case, which DAPCB had instituted against him challenging his ownership.

He said that Plot 3 and 5 on Bombo Road were bought from Joint Ven (U) Ltd. He also said that Meera investments Limited never bought from DAPCB using third parties.

Ruparelia To COSASE: I Didn’t Buy Any Of My Properties From DAPCB

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has said that he never purchased any properties from the Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board (DAPCB).

He then challenged the decision by COSASE to summon him in relation to how he acquired five houses that are said to have been part of departed Asians’ properties.

A COSASE Sub-committee headed by Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi, which is investigating the alleged fraudulent acquisition of departed Asians’ properties, had on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, invited Ruparelia to appear before the committee on Wednesday and explain how he acquired five properties.

The properties in question are Plot 43 on Jinja Road, Plot 24 on Kampala road, Plot 8 on Colville Street, Plots 3 and 5 on Bombo road (all in Kampala) and Plot 26 on Republic Street in Mbale Town.

But Ruparelia, through his lawyers of Walusimbi & Co Advocates wrote back to Kasozi, saying their client cannot appear before Parliament since he has never purchased any properties from the Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board (DAPCB).

“In the result, he (Sudhir) requests for your advice as to why his presence is required, especially it being that he has never purchased any property from the DAPCB nor has he claimed any property on behalf of anybody,” the lawyers wrote in a December 3 letter.

About the building on Plot 43, Jinja Road, Mr. Ruparelia said what he possesses does not march with the descriptions of COSASE. However, he promised to make a search at the Lands Registry and report to Parliament.

The city tycoon insisted that he possesses a genuine land title for the property on Plot 8, Colvile Street in Kampala, which he said he purchased from registered owners.

For Plot 24 on Kampala road, Mr. Sudhir said he bought the property under his company, Meera Investments Ltd and that in 2012, he won a court case, which DAPCB had instituted against him challenging his ownership.

“With your guidance, we need to advise our client whether matters decided upon by court can be subjected to an inquiry,” the lawyers’ letter to COSASE states.

SOURCE: PMLDaily News

Attempt By MP Kasozi Plans to Humiliate Sudhir Unearthed

The COSASE subcommittee investigating the grabbing of departed Asians properties has turned its guns against businessman Sudhir Ruparelia after the tycoon showed no interest in wetting the committee head’s beak.

Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi who presides over this committee has vowed to embarrass Sudhir who is not shaken by the threats from COSASE but offered to volunteer information on how he genuinely acquired the properties questioned by Kasozi led- team.

For example, through his lawyers Walusimbi advocates, Sudhir has responded to queries on how he acquired plot 24 on Kampala road, plot 8 on Colville street in Kampala and plot 74 LVV711 IN Jinja.

In one of the cases raised by Kasozi, Sudhir’s lawyers informed him the contest on plot 24 was settled by the court in a decision between Meera investments and Departed Asian Property Custodian Board.

Earlier, Sudhir had sought guidance from Speaker Rebecca Kadaga whether matters resolved by the court can again be discussed by parliament.

Sources at parliament reveal that however, Kasozi and his cohorts are planning a mega attack on the tycoon by embarrassing him with an arrest should he appear before the subcommittee.

While responding to the committee’s summons, Sudhir insists on knowing the agenda since he has never repossessed any departed Asians properties.

A source added that Kasozi and his team have secretly been lobbying the tycoon to wet their beak if they are to let him off the hook, to their consternation he said he will not cough a coin.

To their disappointment, the tycoon has stood his ground saying he has no case to answer before Parliament.

A few months ago, Sudhir was quoted in the media saying he bought whatever property being mentioned against his name- a case in point being Plot 24 Kampala road which sources say is being eyed by some sections within the government.

Information from sources reveals that now the MPs, frustrated by the tycoon, have now invited him to Parliament so that they can humiliate him through an arrest.

This is all aimed at intimidating the unrelenting tycoon. A source said Kasozi and his clique have held several meetings at Fung Fung restaurant opposite Nakasero Primary School designing a robust plan to embarrass the money magnet.

SOURCE: Trumpet News 

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