BY SAM ALFAN.
National Bank of Kenya has dismissed a suit filed seeking to stop its takeover by KCB as misconceived arguing that it is not a state corporation.
The Bank’s Secretary Habil Waswani said in reply to a suit by two Kenyans that the bank was exempted from state corporations Act and the majority of its shares being held by non public entities therefore not a public entity as alleged.
Waswani added that the takeover by Kenya Commercial Bank is subject to the provisions of the relevant legislations which protect the interests of its shareholders.
“The claim by Evans Aseto and John Kiptoo that National Bank has not obtained the consent of the Competition Authority of Kenya has no basis in law as the regulations require that parties obtain approval of the authority, the CAK and Central Bank before takeover is approved”, said Habil.
The bank argued that if the process goes through, it will be undertaken in accordance with and conformity with the law contrary to the speculative proposition by the petitioners.
“The books of the bank cannot lawfully be audited by the auditor general as claimed by the petitioners since the bank is not an entity conceived under Article 229(4) of the constitution nor is it funded from public or a state corporation”, added the bank secretary.
Waswani added that the bank is not subject to the oversight of the Public Investment Committee of Parliament nor has it neglected service of summons from the same as falsely claimed and it has appeared before the Parliamentary oversight organs but purely discharge of its obligations as responsible entity.
On the issue of job losses, the bank said it will not only depend on the offer , which has yet to be received but will further be subject in law to the approval of the oversight authorities including competition Authority, Central Bank and the ministry of labour in the event of redundancies.
“It is thus not within the purview of the petitioner to invoke the jurisdiction of the court to review the same,” he said.
National Bank shareholding as at of March 31,2019 are National Social Security Fund with 162.802.746 (48.05%), The Permanent Secretary Treasury-76.230.000 (22.50%), Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Limited-4,840,000 (1.43%), Best Investment Decisions Limited – 2,350,271 (0.09%) among others.
The government’s shareholding in the National bank is 22.50% and the other significant shareholder is the national social security fund which is a state managed pension scheme funded by contributions from employees and employees and not from exchequer.
Civil activists filed application in court seeking to suspend the intended acquisition of National Bank of Kenya by the Kenya Commercial Bank .
Evans Aseto and John Kiptoo want the court to suspend any deliberation or negotiation in relation to the intended acquisition of NBK, pending the hearing of their petition.
Through lawyer Duncan Okatch, the two also want orders compelling both banks to furnish them with documents and information in respect to the intended acquisition.
They further want an order to conduct independent audit of the assets of NBK, to be done by an independent audit firm and the costs of the said audit be borne by the respondents.
The activists said the Banks have embarked on a share swap transaction that will see NBK duly acquired by KCB.