These three Kenyan bank owners are laughing all the way to the bank after pocketing billions of shillings in capital gains

They defied the difficult operating environment that has been occasioned by the capping of interest rates.

The owners pocketed billions of shillings in capital gains at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in the past one year, defying the difficult operating environment that has been occasioned by the capping of interest rates and the prolonged electioneering period which led to a slowdown of the economy.

Latest NSE data shows that the market capitalisation or investor wealth in the 11 listed lenders rallied by 48 per cent or Sh229 billion ($2.25B) in the last 12 months to Sh704 billion ($6.93B) – significantly increasing paper wealth of top owners.

Here are just a few of the Kenyan billionaires with reaped the highest capital gains on top of their fat monthly salaries running into millions.

James Mwangi, Equity Bank

The CEO of Equity bank holds a direct stake of 3.4 per cent in Equity as per the latest available data dated December 2016.

The value of his stake rose from  Sh2.06 billion ($20.3m) to Sh5.52 billion ($54.3m), in line with the Equity share’s 59 per cent rally to Sh43 a share.

Gideon Muriuki, Co-operative Bank

The managing director and CEO of Co-operative bank used to own shares worth Sh10.3 million ($103,000) in Co-operative which is equivalent to 1.88 per cent of the lender’s issued shares.

According to the latest NSE data his shares are now worth Sh1.91 billion ($18.8m), having gained Sh700 million ($7m) above its worth a year earlier.

The Ndegwa family, NIC Bank   

The Ndegwa family, who owns a quarter of NIC Bank (National Industrial Credit Bank) saw the value of their 160 million shares rise by Sh1.44 billion ($14.2m) to Sh5.72 billion ($56.4m) in 2017.

The bank’s stock is up 34 per cent to Sh35.75 since February 2017.

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