Bank of Uganda Not Aware of Crane Bank Sale
Uganda’s Central Bank, Bank of Uganda (BOU) is yet to receive official communication on the proposed move to sell shares in Crane Bank, Red Pepper Online has learnt.
According to Christine Alupo, the Director for Communications at BOU, the Central bank has not received any request from Crane Bank to approve change in shareholding.
Crane Bank is an indigenous bank solely owned by tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, a businessman with interests in real estate, hospitality and service sectors. It started as a Forex Bureau before transforming 25 years ago into a fully-fledged commercial bank whose profitability, before losses registered last year, drove an ambitious expansion plan with opening of new branches across the country.
Sudhir has confirmed that he is in talks with what he calls a “strategic partner” to acquire stakes in the bank. In a statement issued on Friday, Crane Bank said they had initially wanted to float shares on the stock market but now want private equity instead.
The bank said, they are looking for a partner with regional or continental footing. Media reports have suggested that the potential partners are South African, although other sources also suggest they may be Ethiopian. Details on the “strategic partner” are not public yet.
According to the tycoon, what they were doing “was a normal transaction” which should not cause any public anxiety or outcry.