Uganda central bank takes over key commercial bank

2016-10-20 19:32
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Kampala - Uganda's central bank said on Thursday it had taken over management of the country's largest locally owned commercial bank, Crane Bank, saying its lack of capital posed a risk to the financial system.

Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said in a statement the bank would remain open, continue to operate normally and that the central bank would protect deposits.

Crane Bank, which says on its website it is Uganda's fourth largest bank in terms of assets and fifth in terms of deposits, is controlled by private Ugandan conglomerate, Ruparelia Group.

According to Forbes magazine in 2015, the head of the family owned business, Sudhir Ruparelia, was the 27th richest man in Africa with a personal net worth of $800m.

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Ruparelia is reportedly close to longtime Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Local media reported that Ruparelia made a private donation of $1m for the construction of a new headquarters for the ruling party ahead of February elections which handed the 72-year-old leader his fifth term in office since he seized power in 1986.

Crane Bank has been struggling for some time with an increase in non-performing loans and provisions for bad debts as companies fell back on loan repayments.

The Ruparelia Group has interests in financial services, insurance, hospitality, education, real estate and floriculture.

Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  uganda  |  east africa
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