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Stanbic Buys UCB

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th October 2001 03:00 AM

THE Standard Bank Investment Corporation of South Africa (Stanbic) has won the bid for the purchase of 80% shares of the Uganda Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL).

THE Standard Bank Investment Corporation of South Africa (Stanbic) has won the bid for the purchase of 80% shares of the Uganda Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL).

By Felix Osike THE Standard Bank Investment Corporation of South Africa (Stanbic) has won the bid for the purchase of 80% shares of the Uganda Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL). The bids were opened on October 1. Stanbic and dfcu Bank were the only final bidders after Standard Chartered and Barclays Bank pulled out. According to the Bank of Uganda resolution, the remaining 20% shares will be sold to Ugandans through the stock exchange “at the earliest moment.” “The board of directors of the Bank of Uganda have today (Monday) approved plans for the BOU to resolve its intervention in Uganda Commercial Bank by selling 80% of the shares to Standard Bank Investment Corporation of South Africa,” a statement issued last evening said. Under the agreement all the UCBL’s nationwide branch networks will remain open. Parliament on September 28, demanded that Bank of Uganda hands over UCBL to the Government immediately and abandon its plan to sell it to a foreign-owned bank. The standoff between Parliament and the Executive has been over the method of selling the bank. This is the second time the bank is sold to a foreign investor after the abortive one to Westmont Land Asia in 1998. MP Gulu Municipality MP Norbert Mao yesterday said MPs would proceed with a petition to censure finance minister Gerald Ssendaula. Mao and other MPs The New Vision interviewed said they had received reliable information that dfcu Bank had offered the highest amount. But a highly placed finance official said dfcu was not ready to make any down payment and had asked for a five-year grace period. He said Stanbic was paying 80% of the undisclosed price as first deposit and the balance in one year. Stanbic has branches in 38 countries including 19 in Africa. The BOU statement said the sale requires the approval of the board of directors of Stanbic and the central bank of South Africa. “UCBL will remain under statutory management of BOU until closure of the agreement with Stanbic which is expected not later than December 31, 2001.” It was also resolved that the operations of UCBL and Stanbic would be integrated into one bank soon. According to the resolution, the agreement reached will ensure the safety and soundness of the depositor’s funds because it will be supported by managerial, technical and capital resource of a major international banking group. The New Vision has learnt that dfcu wrote to the Bank of Uganda governor, Tumusiime Mutebile, on Friday saying as far as they were concerned, the process was “fair and transparent.” Mao said, “We have been threatening censure, but now the censure is inevitable if they go ahead. We believe that if UCB goes for that kind of price and in a non-transparent manner, the minister can be censured for abuse of office.” Some MPs want the Constitutional Court to say if BOU has the power to sell UCBL. Ends

Stanbic Buys UCB

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