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NSSF Uganda acquires 2.44% stake in Equity Group

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

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NSSF Uganda has acquired 2.44% stake in Equity Group from Helios EB in a bid to continue providing a high return to members.

The transaction which is valued at UGX145Billion was approved by the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya, and has been undertaken pursuant to the Capital Markets Act.

The Fund’s MD Mr, Richard Byarugaba throws more light on the investment decision. 

  1. Why did NSSF choose to invest Outside Uganda

The legible opportunities within the country are not enough to absorb NSSF’s investment’s potential. NSSF has invested heavily within the Ugandan Economy and currently holds 20% of traded securities listed on Uganda’s Securities Exchange.

Investing in other Equities markets within the East African region therefore provides an opportunity for diversification of the Fund’s investments but does not imply that the Fund will lose sight of any upcoming lucrative investment opportunities within Uganda.

  1. Why did NSSF choose to invest in Equity Group?

NSSF’s investment in Equity Group is in Line with the Fund’s strategic Plan and will enable the Fund improve its portfolio mix. Currently The Fund’s investment portfolio comprises of 10% Equities, 9% real estate and 81% fixed income, our overall aim is to increase our investments composition in Equities which on average provide a higher return in comparison to the other investments held fixed assets and real estate.

We also specifically selected Equity Group, because Equity Group is a fast growing financial institution within Africa and has registered exceptional performance over time. Since 2000 the Group’s pretax profit has grown at an annual average of 65%. The Group also has a proven track record of value creation for its investors and efficiency in utilization of its assets registering Returns on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA) of 27.6% and 4.8% respectively.

Equity Group is also the 2nd Largest Bank in East Africa, with a good track record of successfully establishing subsidiaries across East, west and Central Africa.

We are also impressed by the Groups adherence to good corporate governance practices that have earned it recognition and several awards including Best Bank in East Africa during the ‘2014 Think Business Banking Awards’ and recognition as one of  Kenya’s Top Tax Payers.

  1. How much money has the Fund invested?

The Fund has invested UGX 145 billion.

  1. What is the projected return on this investment?

We cannot speculate the actual figures, but we believe this is a good investment for a long term investor like NSSF. This acquisition is in line with our aggressive yet, prudent investment approach that guarantees a competitive return to our members.

  1. Why the movement into equities?

As explained above, currently, 81% of our investments are in Fixed Income. Fixed income is safe, but if we want to give a more competitive return to our members, we must diversify more into equities, especially regional equities. Investment opportunities in the region such as Equity Group offer us an opportunity for diversification in order to achieve a desirable portfolio mix.

  1. Has the investment been approved by all relevant authorities?

Due procedure was followed in line with our Investment policy and yes we hereby confirm that the investment was approved by the Fund’s Management Investment Committee, the NSSF Board of Directors in consultation with the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. We also obtained legal advice from the Office of the Solicitor General.

  1. What measures are in place to protect the Fund’s investment in the long term?

This is a listed investment/security which provides for a straightforward exit: the stock is one of the most liquid stocks in East Africa. The company is cross listed in Uganda and Rwanda, and has adopted best practice with regard to Corporate Governance standards.

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NSSF collects over 8000 units of blood in national donation drive

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba donates blood during the launch of this year's week-long NSSF blood donation drive.

NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba donating blood at the recently concluded blood donation drive launch that took place at the NSSF Head Office at Workers House.

By Our Reporter

National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in the recently concluded 6-day blood drive managed to collect 8887 units of blood across the country, this was 88.8% of the set target of 10,000 units.

The blood donation centers around Kampala collected 4,031 units in total while the upcountry donation points managed to collect 4,856 units throughout the six-day campaign.

The top three upcountry districts that collected the highest units of blood were; Mbarara which collected 659 units, Masaka collected 535 units and Hoima which managed to collect 380 units of blood.

This year’s NSSF National Blood Donation Drive which was launched at their head offices at Workers House in Kampala ran under the theme “Stand Up for Life” from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th January 2020.

The NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba during his remarks at the launch mentioned that their target this year was collecting 10,000 units of blood which is four thousand units higher than the previous year, where they successfully managed to hit and go above their 6,000 units target.

These units of blood that have been collected are going to relieve the Uganda Blood Bank which is the official blood supplier of blood in Uganda on the current blood shortage. The blood bank is always expected to have blood available for the different hospitals and health facilities nationwide that need an average of 1,250 units daily.

NSSF’s annual blood donation drive partnership with the Uganda Blood Transfusion services is a move that seeks to reduce the gap of blood shortage in the country during the months of December and January when school institutions are closed for the long holidays.

It is also a plea to the public countrywide to join hands for a greater cause by encouraging every eligible person in the public to adopt a culture where blood donation becomes part of their lives through donating regularly to save a life.

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Guinness Smooth officially launched in Uganda

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

Guinness Smooth officially launched in Uganda

By Our Reporter

Uganda Breweries Limited introduced their new Guinness variant Guinness Smooth in a luxurious ceremony held at the Kampala Serena Hotel gardens on Saturday.

During the launch, the Guinness Global Master Brewer Peter Simpson who played a major role in the making of Guinness Smooth took the invited guests through the four Flavour Rooms that speak to the character of the new beer.

The rooms included the Bittersweet Room, the Bold Room, the Rich Room and the Refreshing Room where consumers were let in on the sight, flavour, feel and taste of the new beer.

They were taken through the perfect serve for a Guinness Smooth, tasting and appreciating the perfect balance of sweet (butterscotch and toffee flavours) and bitter, and also smelling the chocolatey-coffee aromas and rich notes from roasted barley.

Speaking to guests, Mr Simpson commended Ugandans’ love for the famous black liquid and couldn’t hide his excitement about people finally tasting a product that he has worked on with Ugandan brewers for a very long time.

“I cannot mention how proud I am that you all get to taste Guinness Smooth today. It is every brewer’s dream to see people taste his creation,” he said, before imploring guests to toast to Arthur Guinness who first brewed the world-renowned beer in 1759.

Sheebah entertains guests at the Guinness Smooth launch

Sheebah entertains guests at the Guinness Smooth launch.

UBL’s Marketing Director Juliana Kaggwa noted that people have different palates and Guinness Smooth is a variant that maintains the full-bodied character of Guinness, though with bitter-sweet undertones.

“Brands that don’t innovate don’t survive. 261 years and counting, this is the first innovation extension or variant of brand Guinness in Uganda. This right here is history in the making,” Juliana Kaggwa said at the event. “We are giving young vibrant millennials an opportunity to join the family of Guinness through a variant called Smooth. The brand is smooth and therefore easy on the tongue.”

The night was crowned with performances from Uganda’s very own soul star Maurice Kirya and Sheebah Karungi, before Deejay Mary Jo took over the turntables to keep the party going till late.

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Western Union partners with Airtel to enable customers receive funds directly on Airtel money account

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company's Premium shop at Forrest Mall

An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company’s Premium shop at Forrest Mall.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, and Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, have announced a strategic agreement to offer Western Union’s cross-border capability via the Airtel Money wallet, enabling customers to move money in real-time across 14 countries in Africa.

The collaboration with Airtel Africa will enable more than 15 million Airtel Money mobile wallet users in Nigeria, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Rwanda and Seychelles to simply route any money transfer received from across the world into their wallets. The service will allow users to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions using their Airtel Money accounts. They can also use the funds to pay bills and merchants, top-up airtime and send money domestically and internationally. Service launch is expected in the course of 2020.

Global senders will also be able to direct international money transfers to Airtel Money mobile wallets using Western Union’s digital services in 75 countries plus territories, or the walk-in agent network across more than 200 countries and territories.

“Western Union’s unique ability to partner with a growing base of tech leaders is helping Africa to connect to the global financial system and enables African companies like Airtel to pursue their global ambitions. It also drives financial inclusion and improve last mile access for millions of unbanked Africans to financial services,” said Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is leading the way globally in mobile money and digital technology and is allowing the continent to leapfrog traditional barriers to development and accelerate economic growth. We are delighted to be part of this success story by leveraging our inclusive omnichannel approach and core assets – including global settlement capabilities, network, compliance and technology systems – to enable international cross border money transfers and payments,” Ersek said.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said, “We are very excited to partner with Western Union to offer Airtel Money customers better access to one of the world’s largest money transfer organisations. International remittances into Africa are a lifeline to some of our customers. This partnership will give our customers the convenience and security of directly receiving and sending remittances from their Airtel mobile money wallets. They will now be automatically credited and debited via their Airtel mobile money wallets on their phone and can immediately access the funds to pay bills or merchants and transfer funds to family and friends or convert to cash from the widespread Airtel Money agents, kiosks and branches.”

This tie up with Western Union adds to other tie ups that Airtel Africa has already put in place to help customers get inflows from across the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a home to the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is poised to create an entirely new development path harnessing the potential of its resources and people, according to the World Bank 1 . GSMA 2 project that in 2025, there will be nearly 6 billion unique subscribers, 5 billion mobile internet users and adoption of smartphones will reach nearly 80%.

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