The Co-operative Bank shares at the Nairobi Securities Exchange have continued to be a choice investment for long term strategic investors.
Regulatory filings show that local billionaire investor Baloobhai Patel had taken his stake in Co-op to 75.6 million shares as at the end of December 2023.
This was after Patel acquired an additional 20.5 million Co-op Bank shares. This acquisition was an increase from 55.1 million shares – equivalent to a 0.94 per cent stake – that Patel held in February 2023. His total Co-op Bank shares are now equivalent to a 1.29 per cent stake.
Patel’s investment in the bank is not so farfetched. The bank has had the second-highest dividend yield among the listed banks. As at January 2024, this dividend yield stood at more than 13 per cent.
Co-op raised its dividend per share by 50 percent to Sh. 1.5 in the year ended December 2022 from Sh. 1 a year earlier. Co-op Bank said that this increase was consistent with its policy of balancing shareholder returns and long-term growth.
The bank is expected to post record performance for the full year 2023, having announced a net profit of Sh. 18.4 billion in the nine months period ended September 30, 2023.
This net profit was derived from a gross profit of Sh. 24.7 billion which represented a 8.6 per cent growth from the Sh. 22.7 billion profit before tax the bank recorded in the same period the previous year.
“Co-op Bank runs the largest co-operative bank in Africa with 15 Million members together with SACCOs who are its majority shareholders Soaring Eagle is a transformative initiative launched by the Co-operative Bank of Kenya in 2014,” financial analyst Robert Ochieng’ told Bizna Kenya.
“Shareholder funds funds have grown from Sh. 42 billion in Q3 of 2014 to Sh. 108 billion in Q3 of 2023. It is only the third Kenyan bank with more than Sh. 100 billion in shareholder funds.”