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Investor Patel acquires 1.29 stake in Co-operative Bank of Kenya

NAIROBI, January 22, 2024 - Kenyan tycoon Baloobhai Patel has acquired a 1.29 percent stake in Co-operative Bank of Kenya after buying an extra 20.5 million shares worth Ksh 232mln.

Patel, whose interests span real estate and listed companies, has been accumulating shares of the bank over the years, capitalising on the undervalued banking stocks in the country.

Regulatory filings indicate that Patel has accumulated 75.6mln shares in the bank valued at Ksh 855.5mln as of end of December 2023, which is an increase from 55.1mln shares equivalent to a 0.94 percent stake he held in February 2023.

According to capital markets watchers in Kenya, additional share purchases in the bank makes Patel, the second-largest individual investor in the bank. He comes behind the bank’s CEO Gideon Mariuki who has a 2 percent stake.

The bank now ranks among Patel’s major investments on the Nairobi Securities Exchange [NSE], with a stake set to earn him more than Ksh 100mln in dividends per year.

Co-operative Bank of Kenya, which also operates in South Sudan, had the second-highest dividend yield among the listed banks at 13.3 percent based on the recent share prices after Standard Chartered Bank Kenya cash return stood at 13.6 percent.

The bank raised its dividends per share by 50 percent to Ksh 1.5 in the year ended December 2022 from Ksh 1, saying the decision was consistent with its policy of balancing shareholder returns and long-term growth.

The bank said it pursued a balanced funding strategy with an attractive dividend pay-out ratio that enables it to reward shareholders while at the same time reserving sufficient funds to fuel its growth strategy.

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