Kingdom, Malawi central bank lock horns

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Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited (KHFL) has accused the Central Bank of Malawi of failing to raise $10 million it demanded for it to dispose of its stake in First Discount House (FDH) Financial Holdings of Malawi.

KFHL chairman Nigel Chanakira told NewsDay this week the financial service group was ready to dispose of its 38, 15% stake in FDH.

He said the Malawi central bank has so far offered $2 million.

We evaluated our Malawian business and it was worth $10 million, Chanakira said.

They (Central Bank of Malawi) offered us $2 million which is ridiculous. We have found a buyer for $10 million and they are now blocking the buyer.

He said KFHL was prepared to take the issue to the Supreme Court in order to be granted a fair value on the investment.

KFHL was the majority shareholder in FDH.
Other shareholders included Thompson Frank Mpinganjira Trust with 37,85%, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company(Malawi) 19% and FDH ESOP with 5%.

Chanakira said he had learnt a lot about mergers through his failed partnership with Meikles Limited and Malawi First Discount House.

The past is gone. I probably have a tool kit for mergers and acquisitions, he said Chanakira said KFHL took a long time before it agreed to partner with Mauritius based financial institution AfriAsia.

This was a well-considered one with AfriAsia. It took us time. AfriAsia is a young institution and they have Pan-African values, he said.

AfriAsia Bank Limited recently acquired a 35% stake in KFHL after it injected $10 million into the holding company.

KFHL corporate communications and public relations executive Sekai Chitemerere last month said the disposal of KFHL stake in FDH was in line with the groups strategy of constantly reviewing its regional expansion and with the macroeconomic challenges currently prevailing in Malawi.