Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has turned down Mpatsa Holdings Limited’s bid to buy 49 percent stake in MyBucks Banking Corporation (Malawi), formerly New Finance Bank, due to lack of liquid assets.
In a statement issued yesterday, Mpatsa Holdings said the rejection has come despite the fact that the process for the acquisition was completed at the time when the Frankfurt-listed Fintech MyBucks S.A, the parent company of MyBucks Malawi, had announced of the development in June 2020.
Reads the statement in part: “We wish to notify the general public that RBM Governor has not approved the acquisition on the grounds that Mpatsa assets are in the form of fixed assets which may not be liquidated quickly should there be need in the future to provide support to the bank.
“Surprisingly, this is not a criteria for one to invest in a financial institution and has never been applied to any existing bank shareholders. This, in a way, is also a contradiction to the new administration’s policy of encouraging local empowerment and job creation.”
In June this year, MyBucks S.A. announced that Mpatsa Holdings had acquired 49 percent stake and that the acquisition was subject to approval by RBM.
Reacting to the development yesterday,
Mpatsa Holdings chairperson Jimmy Koreia-Mpatsa expressed disappointment with the criteria the central bank used to turn down the bid. M p a t s a H o l d i n g s
He said: “This is very strange. Af ter RBM communicated to us about their decision, we were asked to utilise the 21-day window to apply to the Financial Services Appeal Committee, but our audience with the Governor was granted after the 21 days had elapsed.
“So, at the moment, we have no capacity to do anything about this.”
RBM spokesperson Onelie Nkuna was yet to respond to our questionnaire as we went to press at 8pm last evening.
But financial market analyst Armstrong Kamphoni observed yesterday that while it could be difficult to make an analysis of the situation
as he was not aware of what Mpatsa Holdings submitted to RBM.
He said banks are discouraged in any case to hold fixed assets.
Said Kamphoni: “This is a new shareholder and we don’t know what sort of assets he has as they are not in public domain. Over the years, banks have hidden their fixed assets on the balance sheet.”
MyBucks is a Fin Tech company domiciled in Luxembourg that delivers financial services through technology. It operates in six African countries through its brands Getbucks, GetSure, MBC and Opportunity Bank.
Through its investment arm, Mpatsa Holdings, owned by business mogul Koreia-Mpatsa, the company has interests in several sectors of the economy, including mining, agriculture, hospitality, real estate, pharmaceuticals, distribution and marketing