Exit of Multinationals Blessing in Disguise for Local Investors

Opportunity Bank’s Chief business officer (CBO) John Robert Okware.

Opportunity Bank’s Chief business officer (CBO) John Robert Okware.

Kampala | RedPepper Digital | Business – The exit of multinational companies from the Ugandan economy could be a shot in the arm if harnessed well by local investors; this is according to Opportunity Bank’s Chief business officer (CBO) John Robert Okware.

 “The exit of the multinationals gives an opportunity to the local companies in the sense that some of them can take up the assets that have been left behind, and also the customers especially as the economy recovers and this aligns with the BUBU (buy Uganda build Uganda),” he made these remarks on Tuesday 14th September when launching a campaign dubbed Vimba Naffe at the bank’s head offices in Kampala.

Furthermore on the exit of the multinationals especially in chain store retails business (Shoprite and Game stores), he opined that their closure of shop exit of shop goes back to their different exit strategies when they were making entry into the Ugandan economy.

“Every multinational company that comes into this country has its own exit strategy and it differs from one company to another,” he said.

Okware also forecasts the growth of the local companies especially in the retail space, as the economy recovers from the economic effects of the pandemic.

On the issue of the Central Bank’s plot to increase the financial threshold of commercials from the current UGX50b to approximately UGX150b and its implications on the sector, Okware made his opinion known as he said: “For financial inclusion, I think it is not aligned. Because with financial inclusion you want as many players as possible to reach out to as many people as possible in the country.”

Discussions are ongoing to see that all stakeholders in the banking industry come to a common ground as far as the matter is concerned according to Okware.

He says that the campaign is unique in nature from what their competitors are offering because it was specifically designed to help the public re-emerge out of the economic effects of the 42-day lockdown that climaxed on 30th July.

“People have been having a lot of idle assets, idle money, some businesses have collapsed and some are struggling to rejuvenate their businesses. We thought it is the right time for the customers could still rise up from the shockwave by saving for the future and get interests too,” he stressed.

Customers who have an extra save or business account qualifies for the promotion and potential customers only require only UGX10,000 (extra save account) shillings to open and join the promotion with payouts of up to 7% interest when withdrawing. The campaign targets over one million customers (100 monthly), with cash prizes in the six months period.

According to banking experts, most customers of banks have evolved from the normal teller banking during the Covid-19 and now use the digital channels of banking like agency and online banking which now covers over 70% of bank transactions countrywide, up from 30% before the pandemic.

“We have seen a lot of shifts from the branch to the alternative digital channels that the banks offer with 77% of our transactions coming from the last quarter (May to August 2021),” says Robert Ongodia, the bank’s CEO.

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