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Prime Bank's Malawi unit gets Sh1.2bn cash injection.

figure By JAMES KARIUKI A Malawian affiliate of Kenya's Prime Bank has raised nearly Sh1.2 billion through sale of a stake to Old Mutual Investment Group.First Merchant Bank (FMB) Capital Holdings Plc last week announced that it had raised additional share capital of $11.5 million (about Sh1.2 billion) through the issue for cash of 122 million ordinary shares to Old Mutual Investment Group.

Prime Bank has shareholding in the Malawi Stock Exchange listed FMB, which gives it a regional presence in Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. The announcement comes shortly after Prime Bank announced the sale of a controlling Sh5.1 billion stake to private equity firms AfricInvest and Catalyst Principal Partners.

The transaction saw the wealthy Rasik Kantaria family loosen board control of the business that they founded in 1992.The cash injection, which earned the private equity investors a 24.2 per cent stake, valued Prime Bank at about Sh21.1 billion.Additional capitalThe additional capital raised boosts FMB's regulatory capital.

It will be applied to fund short to medium-term growth initiatives across the Group and will solidify FMBCH's position as a leading banking group in the Southern African Region.The Malawi Stock Exchange approved the admission of the additional 122 million FMBCH shares effective Monday 14 January 2019. The additional shares issued equate to 4.

96 per cent of the enhanced share capital of the bank and did not change control of the company. The share issue also increased the free-float of public shareholders of the company and added considerably to the breadth and diversity of its shareholder base.

FMB Capital Holdings, incorporated in Mauritius, has controlling interests in banks operating as First Capital Bank in Malawi, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and as Capital Bank in Mozambique. The banking group which was founded in Malawi in 1995 as First Merchant Bank has a staff complement in excess of 1,800 people and assets in excess of $1.1 billion.

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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6MALA
Date:Jan 19, 2019
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