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NBK chiefs under fire over ‘dodgy’ takeover answers

Mercy Mwai @wanguimarci

Members of the National Assembly yesterday took to task top managers of National Bank of Kenya (NBK) over claims that there are underhand dealings in the proposed takeover by KCB Group

At a meeting between MPs and NBK management led by managing director Wilfred Musau, the officials said they are still not aware of the details of the takeover bid.

Takeover document

Musau said KCB had only given the bank a notice of intention, adding they expect Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to share full details with them since have the full takeover document.

The admission by Musau came even as the MPs were shocked to learn that as of today National Bank of Kenya is not only unaware of the exact offer price KCB is giving but it has equally not given KCB an offer price on how much it wants from the sale.

Legislators who sit in the Finance and Planning Committee, claimed that while NBK has said it is open on how the entire transition is being done, it is evident the plan is shrouded in mystery and is being rushed through.

At the meeting were chairman Joseph Limo (Kipkelion East), Ndirangu Waihenya (Roysambu), Mohammed Ali (Nyali), Kimani Kuria (Molo), Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), Chris Omulele (Luanda), Erastus Kivasu (Mbooni) and Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga)

They said based on information forwarded to them it is evident that the majority shareholders including National Social Security Fund (NSSF), that owns 48.05 per cent of the shares and the government, through Treasury Principal Secretary, which owns 22.5 per cent of the shares are aware of the transaction but have declined to give details.

The legislators accused NBK of initiating the takeover yet they know the problem is with the management and not the bank.

KCB chief executive Joshua Oigara told shareholders at their annual general meeting last week the decision to acquire the ailing bank is backed by good reason and a risk analysis, which has established that NBK has great potential but is weighed down by a series of bad decisions by the management and the perennial defaulters. 

Risk  profile

“The board has looked at the risk and what is the risk profile. The board does not intend to keep the management of NBK. The board has no intention of keeping the NBK board. There is no (such) intention,” he said at the meeting at Kasarani Indoor Arena, Nairobi.

Limo said it is evident that there is a hand behind the transaction, and the MPs want to know whether this is coming from the national treasury or NSSF. “You are actually not telling us the truth, you are lying. Why are you calling for an annual general meeting, to talk about what you don’t have. You are not being truthful at all and that is why you are taking us round like children,” he added.

Waihenya who is the vice chairperson of the committee accused NBK of pretending to publicly portray the process as open yet under the table the managers are already selling the bank.

He added: “What you are doing is undressing the bank so that you can get an offer that you want instead of opening up the bank to other interested parties.”

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