By Samuel Sanya and David Mugabe
BRITAM top executives have signaled the likelihood of the company cross-listing on the Ugandan share markets following new regulatory requirements for separate life and general insurance licenses.
A definite date has not been set though. Benson Wairegi, the Britam group boss, noted that the company took over Kenyan Insurance firm – Real Insurance, as part of an ambitious expansion plan into Tanzania and the wider African market.
He noted that the firm is open to similar acquisitions within Uganda to boost its expansion and growth plans.
“When the circumstances justify, we will cross list. It is something we are discussing at board level. As and when opportuni¬ties arise, we shall take up any acquisition opportunities that arise,” Wairegi told reporters at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
Britam listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in 2011 and has an asset base in excess of $301m (sh753b) with brand equity value in excess of $69.6m (sh174b).
Top shareholders of Britam include Wairegi, Equity Bank Group boss James Mwangi, prominent Kenyan businessmen Jimnah Mbaru and Peter Munga and Mauritian national Dawood Rawat.
Wairegi introduced the new Britam Uganda boss, Allan Mafabi, who replaces David Kuria.
Mafabi noted that the firm is looking to utilise the current mobile payments trend to grow sector penetration beyond the current 0.66% of GDP.
USE turnover improves
On Tuesday, the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE) market’s overall traded value improved significantly to sh486m follow¬ing block sales on the Umeme counter compared to last week’s overall turnover of sh13.4m.
Umeme sold 1,160,888 shares bringing in sh441m in turnover - the largest trade of the day at an improved share price of sh380.
In the previous Tuesday trading session, Umeme sold 7,700 shares at an average price of sh365, picking sh2.8m in turnover.
Tuesday’s overall traded volume was 2,651,650 - a rise from last Tuesday’s 18,600 sold shares.
The ever dominant and active Stanbic Bank sold 1,477,616 shares to realise sh44m in turnover selling at an average of sh30 per share. In the previous comparative session, Stanbic Bank did not trade.
BATU and New Vision did not trade on Tuesday.
Volumes have edged up slightly with demand for Stanbic shares remaining strong at over 34 million shares on the day compared to offers of just over four million shares.
Demand for listed companies is expected to rise according to market analysis from Crested Stocks and Securities as more companies edge towards declaring their financial statements. A few companies have already released their results, although overall market reaction has been slow.
Only four companies traded on Tuesday. Uganda Clays (UCL) sold 12,726 shares, making sh318,150 in value. The other active company was dfcu Bank that sold 420 shares to realise sh499,800 in turnover. dfcu traded at an average price of sh1190, while UCL sold at a weighted average of sh25 per share.
There was also fairly strong demand on the NIC and UCL shares.