Finance (46)

Orient Bank Celebrates 25 Years With Fastpay Mobile App Launch

Orient Bank Uganda Limited has celebrated 25 years of banking excellence in Uganda by launching a revolutionary mobile banking application FastPay.

The mobile banking application launched by the Governor Bank of Uganda Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile allows convenient account opening from wherever one is with just a mobile phone and a national ID.

 Speaking at the celebrations,Bank of Uganda Governor said to succeed in today’s competitive environment Banks must harness the power of innovaton in providing financial services needed by businness.

“And in this regard, Orient Bank has actively designed customer focused products and services in order to achieve compettiive advantages. I congratulate the Bank”.

 He added ,“The Orient FastPay Mobile app will enhance the evolution of e-banking in Uganda and broaden acces to financial services at a lower cost that we are used to.”

 The FastPay App,in partnersthip with VISA on mobile,a first in Uganda, allows every customer of Orient Bank and other banks to send money to any mobile phone at no cost.

 Orient Bank which opened its doors to the public on 15th March 1993 has grown to 23 branches across the country and an array of service channel including cards,ATMs and Point of Sale Machines.

 Michael Cook,the Chairman of the Board emphasised the need to embrace corporate governance best practices. “Orient bank as a privately owned commerical bank in Uganda has only stood out and achived this milestone due to the creation of structures that allow for corporate governance best practice to thrive.”

Ketan Morjaria, Founder and Vice Chairman,Orient Bank  spoke about the growth of the bank’s offering since 1993. “A lot has changed in the last 25 years. We have grown our branch network and developed a product range that serves every need of industry ,commercial and individual customers and technology that allows them to do business throughout the world”.

Today Orient Bank is known as a leader in innovation through technology and partnerships.  The Managing Director Orient Bank, Julius Kakeeto thanked customers for the 25 five years ‘you have given to Orient Bank in form of your partnership.’ “We look forward to your continued partnership. Our commitment to you is to to serve you quicker and cheaper due to investment in people and technology.”

The Business Development Manger,Tashin Morjaria enumerated the various offerings of the app; “The Orient Fast Pay app will not only allow you to save even the smallest amount of money free of charge and earn you interest for every day saved but will also offer you possibility,in conjunction with VISA to link your debit card to your Uganda Shillings account while shopping locally and any International foreign curency while shopping across borders to mitigate foreign exchange losses.”

Prudential Declares Shs1.5bn In Bonuses To Its Customers

Prudential Assurance Uganda Limited last week announce that customers will receive a total performance bonus of UGX1.5 billion on their policies. These bonuses are added to the guaranteed amount and paid upon maturity of the policy, loss of life, or disability.

Speaking at a media dialogue held at Pearl of Africa, Arjun Mallik CEO Prudential Uganda said “There has been a double-digit increase in bonus from UGX 700 million last year,reflecting a solid investment performance. Prudential invests money in carefully selected assets on behalf of customers, who receive a share of the profits as a bonus each year, provided they pay their premiums regularly.’’

“We also had a significantly larger pool of funds as a result of increased number of customers choosing to plan their financial future with us.This has to do with our products addressing crucial needs and our track record of honouring every single genuine claimever since we entered this market”,he added.

The bonus applies to customers who have been consistent in paying their premiums and have completed atleast one year with Prudential as at 31st December 2017.

Our successful strategy, innovative products and strong execution have driven growth across all our business lines. We have doubled our market share in Uganda every year in the last two years.

According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority 2017 half-year provisional report, Life insurance generated premiums worth UGX 75 billion in 2017, up from UGX 60 billion in the same period in 2016.

Prudentialcontinues to offer innovative products that meet the savings, health and protection needs of the fast-growing middle class in Uganda. Our average revenue growth over the last two and a half years is 322% each year.

This growth demonstrates that Prudential is highly effective in addressingmarket needs, and that customerexpectationsare being met.

Together with other markets, Prudential Group now manages assets worth USD 900 billion dollars and on 30th May 2018, Prudential will celebrate 170 years of supportingcommunities in Africa, Asia, United States of America and United Kingdom through protection, investment, tax revenue and employment.

Business Man Sudhir Ruparelia Tips Lawyers On Business, Wealth

The story of Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia being the richest man in Uganda is one that has been told many times but not many times has the astute businessman himself told an up-close tale of what is to be a wealth man and a successful businessman.

But last Saturday, law students at Makerere Law School were lucky when the businessman agreed to speech to them at the annual Makerere lawyers Annual dinner. The dinner, at Kampala Serena Hotel, was used to mark 50 Years of the law school at Makerere.

In his key note address titled “the relationship between business and the Law; and the opportunities that will be available for Lawyers in the future,” the upcoming lawyers got firsthand experience and tips on making money and excelling as entrepreneurs.

Ruparelia in his address noted that being a seasoned businessman carries with it a tag of weathering storms and soldiering on a challenging journey.

Focusing on two segments; the Relationship between business and the law and the Opportunities that will be available for Lawyers in the future, the businessman told his story in which he overcame the burden of growing up in exile in London and returning to Uganda to start out as a businessman.

"In December, 1986 I started business-trading business on Kampala road with a capital of USD 25,000. Like Chairman Mao said a long journey starts with one step. From the one trading step in December 1986 to date the Ruparelia Group is comprised of 14 Companies in different sectors.

Commenting on the success journey his Ruparelia Group has gained, Ruparelia said: "To do all this one needs good professionals, good dependable people and this includes good lawyers.I will not define who a good Lawyer is but professionalism, reputation, knowledge and agility are key attributes. A good lawyer must constantly be ahead of the curve in the profession.

"When we talk of business, there is one key pillar of it that is inevitable. That is Capital. One thing we must constantly remember about capital is the now famed phrase; CAPITAL IS A COWARD. This phrase first came in print in October, 1884 in the Jersey Journal.

As you know when threatened, a coward flees and so does capital under threat. It goes where it is safe and stays where it is protected. It flees when threatened and unprotected. The biggest protector of capital and therefore business is the Law. This sums up the relationship between business and the Law."

Risk taking, the businessman said, is an attribute of entrepreneurship. He advised that risk must always be weighed against rewards and possibilities. "What is undisputed is that every business has risk well embedded in it. The Law is the strongest insurance against many risks.

That is why confidence in a functioning and reliable judicial system is key for business. The compliance and regulatory environment is important too. Business thrives when the rule of Law exists. As a businessman you always want that comfort that the law will protect you and you can run to Court or a Regulator should the need arise.

Read full speech HERE.

Crane Bank Sale Has Had Major Consequences On Economy - Youth

The catastrophe surrounding and emanating from usurping of Crane Bank operations by Bank of Uganda and eventually selling it dfcu bank has had major consequences on the economy, Youth Power Research-Uganda (YOPRU), a group of youths that advocate for economic empowerment told a press conference.

“Crane Bank was involuntarily precipitated to close without taking time to analyze the impact of the bank to the economy. Our indigenous bank that was a rock of refugee to the business community was unceremoniously closed by weevils from Bank of Uganda,” a statement addressed to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and read by Ben Ssebuguzi, the team leader at a press conference on Tuesday said.

“Traders suffered hard because it had tailored needs with flexible terms. Youths lost jobs and worst of all, the directors, who have dedicated all their time to develop their country Uganda have been frustrated by mafias through depriving them the sweet of their investments. A bank that had Net Assets worth Ugx1.3 trillion was sold a paltry of about Ugx200bn,” it read in addition.

“Your Excellency, this is a significance of day robbery by people with selfish interests from Bank of Uganda who want to reap where they have not sown. As youths of Uganda, we castigate such attitude as it may scare other potential investors who would like to commit their resources in our country,” adds the statement.

“Mr. President, Crane Bank would have been saved if we had patriotic people in BOU given the fact that the Bank was the second largest indigenous bank which does not repatriate profits but ploughs back.

The bank needed special supervision because it had defied all odds and decided to penetrate the countryside where other banks fear hence promoting financial inclusion where the largest number of the unbanked population live, hence indirectly supporting government Vision of transforming rural communities into the money market through bank services,” continues the statement.

“By virtue of this, the bank was carrying ‘systematic risk’ where by the decision of closure was not supposed to be hastily done. We believe that this bank needed due diligence with utmost good faith.” They say that by letting Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia unfairly lose his bank, government was cultivating a bad investment culture both locally and intentionally.

“In the same vein, as the trustees and management of YOPRU, extend their sincere thanks to President Museveni, for implementing our recommendations in the petition highlighted above like prevailing over the anguish of BoU against Crane Bank directors by allowing negotiations outside court,” says the statement.

“This is very crucial because the frustration of Mr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the director of defunct Crane Bank by BoU can be equated to a local adage of washing and drying in mud. Mr. Sudhir is made by Ugandans themselves hence making Uganda to have one of the most successful investors in the region. So destroying him would mean destroying a thousand jobs for youths; it is easy to breakdown an investor, but very difficult to make another one.”

MPs Ask Auditor General To Probe Bank of Uganda

Auditor General John Muwanga has been instructed to return to Bank of Uganda (BoU) to do a broad forensic audit into the operations of the bank and demand accountability of Shs200b, which was injected into the collapsing Crane Bank before it was sold off to dfcu Bank, Daily Monitor reported on Tuesday.

The privately owned daily newspaper said government used taxpayers’ money to rescue Crane Bank from collapse but the initiative was a fiasco. Cabinet, according to the newspaper, had warned that ‘the collapse of one of the largest commercial banks in the country could torpedo the entire financial sector.’

The Auditor General’s expanded audit into BoU was prompted by petitions from former Crane Bank and central bank employees regarding Shs200b allegedly sunk into the defunct commercial bank, the newspaper revealed.

Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru told Daily Monitor that before the release of money (Shs200b) to Crane Bank “under the guise of capitalisation”, Parliament had already capitalised BoU with Shs400b. Mr Mwiru said “all these monies remain unaccounted for.”

“Referring to two separate petitions from former Crane Bank shareholders and unidentified BoU staff, MPs on Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) have asked the Auditor General to audit the central bank afresh.” The newspaper said.

It added that the MPs further asked Mr Muwanga to scrutinise the disputed agreement signed with dfcu Bank during the sale of Crane Bank.

Some of the MPs on Cosase and sources close to the Auditor General’s office told Daily Monitor at the weekend that details of the two petitions were given to Mr Muwanga last week. They said the new expanded audit into BoU operations will form the basis of Parliament’s inquiry into the central bank’s dealings, including the sale of Crane Bank to dfcu Bank.

The spokesperson for the Auditor General’s office, Ms Gloria Namugera, confirmed the forensic investigation into BoU and said the audit process is ongoing.

“All those issues will be captured in our report to Parliament. The audit will be within the confines of the law. The National Audit Act is very clear on the mandate of the Auditor General. We will analyse the new issues and see how to incorporate them in the expanded audit into bank of Uganda,” Ms Namugera told Daily Monitor at the weekend.

READ FULL Daily Monitor article HERE For Details

Crane Bank Takeover Bolsters dfcu Shs127bn Profit Surge

Dfcu Bank has announced a Shs127.6bn net profit for the year ending 2017, a development industry speculators attribute to their acquisition of Crane Bank which they acquired for free as many money matters experts put it.

Dfcu in 2016 made a paltry profit of Shs46bn and was rumored to be folding up its business at the time the central bank was chasing down Crane Bank. The public expected both bank to close up shop only for Bank of Uganda to quietly sell Crane Bank to Dfcu.

The bank’s financial statements released Thursday indicate that Dfcu registered an increase of nearly Shs100bn in interest income largely from loans and advances taken over from Crane Bank.

Bank of Uganda said Crane Bank was risk to the banking sector with no real value. Dfcu didn’t only takeover liabilities of Crane Bank but assets and customers many of which had been the reason Crane Bank was the fastest growing indigenous bank.

Foreign Governments Had A Hand In Crane Bank Sale

The plan for dfcu bank to take over Crane Bank was allegedly planned with knowledge of Bank of Uganda, speculation supported by manner in which highest shareholder of dfcu, Arise B.V., was formulated and pooled resources to usurp majority shareholding in dfcu, April last year.

Media reports, including this elaborative article published by ChimpReports explain that Arise B.V. was formed after Rabobank of Netherlands and two Norwegian firms Norfund and Norfinance FMO pooled resources together knowing they can acquire Crane Bank.

The news website reports that Arise BV, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands became majority shareholder in DFCU, (owns 57.81% of shares), just three months after the latter acquired Crane Bank’s assets.

“Meanwhile, this giant on its website also promises its owners that it will “grow into a company with assets in excess of USD 1 billion over five years.” ChimpReports wrote in the article published on their website.

Adding: “And by the look of things, it is currently on the right path, considering the obscene profits that DFCU Bank clenched in just months of acquiring Crane Bank.

Days ago Dfcu announced a staggering Shs127.6bn net profit for the year ending 2017, up from just Shs46.2bn it recorded the previous year.”

ChimpReports writes that dfcu owners, besides Arise BV, are Commonwealth Development Cooperation Group (CDC), which has a 9.97% stake, and is fully owned by the British Government; Kimberlite Fund (6.15% stake) which based in New York, Uganda’s National Social Security Fund – NSSF (6.15%) and others (18.38).

“Over the past weeks, speculations have continued to become more and more apparent, that these British, Dutch and Norwegian firms played a significant role in the sale of Crane Bank. These speculations are based largely on the reaction of the firms, immediately after the sale.”

“Prior to April last year, NorFinance and Rabo Development held an equal 27.5% stake in Dfcu Limited, which wholly owns Dfcu Bank. These shareholders did not flinch, amidst the controversy trumpeted repeatedly in the media surrounding the sale of Crane Bank.

Instead, weeks later, they were to pool resources, to form Arise BV that is now the majority owner of DFCU Bank.”

“It is the belief of some observers and the ill-fated former shareholders of Crane Bank, that these European firms colluded with the Central Bank and the management of DFCU bank to acquire Crane Bank under terms that have been described widely as fraudulent.

“Crane Bank’s shareholders, who are legally challenging the sale of their bank, have since listed a number of gaping flaws in the deal, shining a light on Bank of Uganda’s total disregard of several laws and miscalculations.

READ ChimpReports full article HERE

Bagyenda Moved A Whooping Shs500m On Her Mobile Money In Only 3 Years

By now any Ugandan with access to news knows that Bank of Uganda director in charge of supervision is filthy rich. The much feared woman is reportedly hiding over Shs20bn in different local banks.

Well the iron lady as she is fearfully referred to as in the banking circles has not only been moving huge sums of cash in banking halls but also on her know MTN Uganda mobile money account.

Details that have been leaked to public reveal that in the last three years, Bagyenda has moved in excess of Shs500m. Bagyenda has been receiving sizeable chunks of money from various numbers for reasons we couldn’t verify.

While she has been receiving mobile money from different numbers, Bagyenda has been been forwarding part of this money to a one Robert Muhumuza who media sources are describing as a close relative. She has also received money from Muhumuza on a couple of occasions.

For example, on the Friday afternoon of 3rd July, 2016 Bagyenda received Shs500, 000 from Muhumuza. She would thereafter a few minutes send Shs405, 000 to another. A close look on the transactions indicates that highest value she moved was Shs2m and the lowest was Shs12000.

Bagyenda, now fighting for her survival and to retain her job at the central bank despite being sent into early retirement, also used her mobile money account to pay bills like electricity and water.

Recently, similar leaked documents indicated that Bagyenda has moved and is hoarding Shs20bn in different local banks. The manner in which she moved this money has attracted investigators from Uganda Financial Investigative Authority to ascertain how she accumulated that wealth.

The inspector general of government (IGG) is also investigating her wealth after it was revealed that astronomically owns multimillion properties in and around Kampala and other major upcountry towns. This wealth according to IGG doesn’t tally with her known salary and income something that contravenes with the leadership code.

The executive director of Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority Sydney Asubo has said they have received information from an unnamed whistleblower claiming that Bagyenda had “assets and finances” that do not correspond to “her earnings.”

It was after these allegations, according to Asubo, that the Authority decided to kick off an investigation after which they will share information with relevant law enforcement agencies to take action.

Politicians, Business Moguls Fueled Crane Bank Collapse

Documents contained in court affidavits submitted in court by former Bank of Uganda lawyers David Mpanga and Masembe Kanyerezi reveal the extent to which local politicians including cabinet ministers and moneyed businessmen in Kampala contributed to the failure of Crane Bank, a commercial bank that belonged to Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia.

One of the documents reveals a list of more than 30 prominent firms and individuals who were struggling to pay back their loans worth billions to the now defunct Crane Bank, a reason it may have been taken over by Bank of Uganda and declared bankrupt and a threat to the banking sector in Uganda.

Crane Bank under the leadership of Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia was a preferred commercial bank for many local leaders and businessmen to access loans. The bank which was established in 1995 was a champion of the saving culture in the country. Because of these good relations with the public and good service grew from one branch in 1995 to 46 branches in 2016.

But some customers took advantage of the bank and defaulted. According to a news articles filed by ChimpReports, Simba Telecom owned by Patrick Bitature had an outstanding amount of Shs12bn while road construction company, Spencon had an outstanding loan balance of Shs22bn.

Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel had also borrowed $4.3m (Shs 15bn), businesswoman Amina Moghe Hersi had an unpaid balance of Shs11bn which she acquired to expand her businesses in Kampala and Northern Uganda.

Goodra Behakanira Tumusiime Bwebajja, the owner of Bwebajja Hotel Complex along Entebbe Road had an outstanding loan balance of Shs6.9bn. Steel and Tube Industries had also acquired a loan of Shs6bn.

Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari of international consultancy firm Amproc, had, as of October 2016, an outstanding balance of Shs2.2bn. Internal Security Organisation (ISO), a government security agency, acquired a staggering loan of Shs 1.7bn. Mukesh Shukla of Shumuk Group of Companies was yet to clear a loan of Shs 2bn.

Robert Kabonero, owner of Pyramids Casino, Kampala Casino and a city car bond had an outstanding facility of Shs 2bn. Fountain Publishers, a publishing company in Uganda and Rwanda owned by James Tumusiime, also had an outstanding balance of Shs 1.4bn.

Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa had an outstanding balance of Shs 1bn. BlueWave Beverages, producers of Bluewave mineral water, had an outstanding balance of Shs 833m. Former ISO Director General Ronnie Balya Rwakihumuro also had an outstanding balance of Shs 562m.

Others are Esther Ampumuza of Serene Suites Mutundwe who was struggling with a loan of Shs 600m. Former ICT Minister John Nasasira had an outstanding balance of Shs 400m. Kuku Foods also secured a facility of Shs 500m from Crane Bank.

Journalist Andrew Mwenda had a balance of Shs 250m. Vision Group Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kabushenga had an unpaid balance of Shs 176m.

Former ICT Minister Ham Mulira had an outstanding balance of Shs 175m while Chris Katuramu, the brother of former Tooro Kingdom Premier Sanyu Katuramu had a balance of Shs 197m.

The former First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service Henry Kajura Muganwa was still paying back a loan of Shs 200m.

Financial Authority Investigates Bagyenda’s Wealth

The wealth of Justine Bagyenda, the outgoing director supervision at Bank of Uganda has attracted the attention of Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority. The Authority has since commenced investigations purported illegitimate accumulated wealth.

Recently leaked bank statements from various local banks revealed that Bagyenda has in excesses of Shs20bn in Barclays Bank, DTB and Centenary Bank. The banks, DTB and Barclays confirmed that Bagyenda holds such money and that the details were leaked by employees illegally. The banks promised to penalize the employees.

In the wake of these revelations, Governor Emmanuel Tumusime-Mutebile fired Bagyenda six month before end of her contract. The matter has since sucked in the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja, who halted the recruitment process that had seen Bagyenda replaced.

The IGG, it was reported, had also commenced investigating Bagyenda when it received reports that she was filthy rich unlike her known salary. This is contrary to the Leadership Code which governs public workers. And now Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority following complaints from the public has instituted investigations that might incriminate the former central bank supervisor.

Sydney Asubo, the executive director of Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority told journalists in Kampala that they had received information from an unnamed whistleblower who claimed that Bagyenda had assets and finances that do not correspond to her earnings.

After receiving these allegations, the Authority decided to kick off an investigation into the matter, Asubo said. They will then share information with relevant law enforcement agencies to take action. The Authority was set up to prohibit and prevention of money laundering.

“Whatever information we have we share it with law enforcement. We are still compiling information about the financial dealings of the director (Bagyenda) and then we have to verify that information,” Asubo said.

Uganda Revenue Authority is the other government agency which has received complaints regarding bagyenda, for evading taxes – with a tax liabilities amount of Shs7billion.

The Leadership Code Act demands that a person shall within three months after becoming a leader and thereafter every two years, during December submit to the IGG a written declaration of the leader’s income, assets and liabilities. This, Bagyenda has not been doing.

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