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COVID19 WOES: Equity Bank Cancels Dividend Payout To Its Shareholders…

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EUBL Mnaging Director Sam Kirubi

The Board of Directors of Equity Group Holdings Plc, has cancelled the Proposed Dividend payout of a Ksh. 9.5 billion (UShs336bn) to its shareholders for the financial year ended 31st December, 2019.

In a letter dated 26th May 2020, Mrs. Mary Wangari Wamae, the Group Executive Director who oversees the Group’s subsidiaries, EGH board cancelled the payout to, “Conserve cash to enable the Company to respond appropriately to the unfolding crisis in terms of supporting its customers through the crisis and directing cash resources to potential opportunities that may arise as economies in which the EGH Group operates begin to recover.”

Equity Group Holdings Plc is the largest bank on the Nairobi Securities Exchange by market capitalization.

Mrs. Wangari says, “During the release of the financial results of Equity Group Holdings Plc (the Company) for the financial year ended 31st December, 2019 on 19th March, 2020, it was announced that the board of directors of the Company (the Board) had resolved to recommend to the shareholders of the Company for their approval at the upcoming annual general meeting, the payment of a first and final dividend of KES 2.50 for each ordinary share of KES 0.50 for the year ended 31st December, 2019 (the Proposed Dividend Recommendation).”

She adds, “As the notice of the annual general meeting has not yet been issued the Proposed Dividend Recommendation has not yet been put to the shareholders for their consideration. The Board has considered the events that have taken place since the financial results of the Company for the year 2019 were released and particularly the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to both the world and the Kenyan economy.”

L-R: Dr. James Mwangi and Mrs. Mary Wangari Wamae

“After careful consideration, the Board has resolved not to present the Proposed Dividend Recommendation at the forthcoming annual general meeting, because the Board wishes to exercise financial prudence so as to conserve cash to enable the Company to respond appropriately to the unfolding crisis in terms of supporting its customers through the crisis and directing cash resources to potential opportunities that may arise as economies in which the EGH Group operates begin to recover,” she writes.

Mrs. Wangari says, “Accordingly, the Board has passed a resolution withdrawing the Proposed Dividend Recommendation and instead will be recommending to the shareholders that no dividend is paid for the financial year ended 31st December, 2019. The Board continues to evaluate the potential impact of the pandemic on the Group and to formulate and implement plans to mitigate this impact. In this regard, the Board will in the usual manner ensure that it keeps the shareholders informed.”

“Therefore the shareholders of the Company and other investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s ordinary shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the Uganda Securities Exchange and the Rwanda Stock Exchange,” she notes.

 

By Grapevine Reporter

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You Are Not The Only Ones Closed, Wait For The President – Security Minister Gen. Tumwine Warns Traders Against Striking….

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L-R: Okello together with Ministers Tumwine, Among and Kyambadde

Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine has warned arcade owners, KACITA leaders and traders that they will be imprisoned for inciting violence if they try to open arcades to resume business.

Kampala Minister Betty Amongi, trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde, Security Minister Elly Tumwine, the state Minister for Kampala Benny Namuggwanya and Kampala Resident City Commissioner Faridah Mayanja inspected some of the Arcades in Kampala to see which ones have complied with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be reopened.

Later, while addressing the landlords of City Arcades and tenants, trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde disclosed that they have done their work of inspecting all the arcades and  out of the 2000 arcades in Kampala Central Business Center, only 47 have complied with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) like having good  Water and Sanitation centers, clean premises, proper access ways , good waste management for both solid and liquid waste and social distancing.

Amelia disclosed that cabinet is going to meet the President and by the close of this week, the President will hopefully address the nation and guide on those arcades which have complied with the SOPs.

The chairman inspecting committee Dan Okello listed some of the arcades that are set be reopened, they include: Mukwano Arcade, Grand corner House, Arua park Complex , Mega Plaza, Zai Plaza , Nabugabo Business Center, Angles Arcade , Capital Center arcade among others.

Kampala Minister Betty Amongi pleaded with tenants to talk to their landlords about their most pressing issues instead of being misled to strike by some KACITA leaders.

Some KACITA leaders had organised tenants to forcefully reopen the arcades today after giving government a three days’ ultimatum.

Minister for Security Gen. Elly Tumwine warned KACITA leaders that if it was another government, they would be in jail now for inciting violence.

Gen. Tumwine said that government has not yet allowed arcades to resume work, he cautioned traders to remember that they are not the only ones still in lockdown, but boda bodas, churches and mosques are also not yet opened but they have not taken the KACITA way.

He however warned that security was ready to handle the traders to maintain law and order.

The Landlords led by Hamis Kiggundu asked government to allow them to resume their businesses because they are not the ones who brought Coronavirus. He however promised that as landlords, they are ready to comply with all measures put by government and scientists.

Tenants lead by Geoffrey Katongole, the chairman Kampala Arcades Association said that they are tired of staying at home.

Katongole revealed that their families lack what to eat because of the lockdown while many of their colleagues have business loans on their necks.

 

By Timothy Nyanzi

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Balaam Asks For Shs.1billion From Kabushenga Led Kampala Sun For Portraying Him As A Fraudster And Extortionist…

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It seems the troubles of Robert Kabushenga led Vision Group are not about to end.

This is after events promoter and National Resistance Movement (NRM) party diehard Balaam Barugahara threatened to sue them if he is not compensated with Shs.1bn.

Through his lawyers of Isabirye and Company Advocates, Balaam claims that, Vision Group, through its weekly newspaper the Kampala Sun defamed him when they alleged that he was muscling Uganda Cranes players for a share of money allegedly paid to them by President Museveni.

“Needless to say, that the publication was false, baseless and not with any truth but has none the less damaged the reputation of our client in a manner that is irreparable, as when construed and contextualized in its natural, and ordinary meaning, or by innuendo, said article is understood to mean and to suggest that Mr. Balaam Barugahara, our client, is a criminal, an immoral and indefensible man,” Balaam’s lawyers stated in their letters.

They insist that the Kampala Sun article under the headline ‘Balaam harasses Uganda Cranes over Sevo Cash’ negatively impacted on the integrity of their client, demeaned his reputation in his capacity as a businessman and a family man in the eyes of reasonable Ugandans, East Africans, Africans and the world at large to the extent of him being viewed as a fraudster and extortionist.

“In addition to causing him to limit his interaction with his peers, contemporaries, business partners and colleagues in order for him to avoid the contempt and ridicule that he suffers when amongst them, this emotional suffering has caused him to suffer stress and affected his moods and behavior in a depressing manner,” the lawyers added.

They claim that because of such suffering, their client demands a public apology for the claimed false story and compensation of Shs.1bn.

They gave vision group only three days from yesterday to do so.

Last week, Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) suspended Urban TV’s Scoop on Scoop gossip show after socialite Sheilah Gashumba petitioned the commission over defamatory statements from the show host Tina Fierce against her. Urban TV is another Vision Group product. Sheilah also asked for Shs.400 million compensation.

 

By Jamil Lutakome

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COCA COLA IN TROUBLE: Distributors Bitter At Beverage Company For Supplying Smelly Green Water, Woman Who Got Stomach Complications After Drinking Rwenzori Takes Them On…

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Melkamu Abebe General Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda. Inset are pictures of the bottles and cans containing green smelly water.

A group of Rwenzori mineral water distributors are bitter with Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), the bottlers of Rwenzori mineral water for distributing Green smelly water.

The group told this website that the company distributed batches of 1.5litre mineral water bottles with green water which they deemed dangerous for their clients.

The group further told theGrapevine that batches BB 14NOV 2020 and BAT 135E,0650 (1.5liter bottles) contained smelly water while batch BB 02OCT20, BAT 093 A, 1850 of water in Jumbo cans, the ones that are mounted on water dispensers contained Green water.

The affected areas included Kasangati, Bulenga some areas in the central business district and some upcountry areas.

Some of the bottles of 1.5litres that contained bad water

Multiple sources told the Grapevine that such recklessness is sometimes as a result of not following the proper cleaning procedures when bottling the water.

Recently, a one Rosemary Adong from Kakira took on Rwenzori after she got stomach complications from taking Rwenzori mineral water.

Adong raised dust at the Namanve based plant until the manager bowed in to the pressure. Adong is currently being facilitated by Coca Cola and receiving treatment from Dr. Galukanda in Kampala.

Coca Cola is currently paying her hospital bills and facilitating her with 30,000 as transport refund every time she goes to see Dr. Galukanda.

Some of the jumbo cans on the market that contain green water

Recently, another doctor in Jinja threatened to sue CCBA for distributing water to him that had dangerous particles, he asked for Shs.15 million in damages but the company sat him down and agreed to sort the matter amicably.

When the Grapevine to Simon Kaheru the Public Affairs & Communications Director Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda (Century & Rwenzori Bottling Company), he said, “We have a very straightforward and transparent customer or consumer complaints system. Most of the outlets you mention are our regular customers who would raise such an issue directly on the spot.”

 

By Grapevine reporters

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