Kenya’s Housing Finance raises 2.95 bln shilling in rights issue

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan mortgage firm Housing Finance said on Wednesday it raised 2.95 billion shillings ($32 million) in a rights issue to help the company increase its lending base.

The lender initially planned to raise 3.5 billion shillings, but said in a statement that 84 percent of its shareholders had taken up their rights in an oversubscribed issue that received 9.01 billion shillings in bids.

Housing Finance says it opted for a cash call after high interest rates forced it to ditch plans for a corporate bond issue last year.

It had offered 116.67 million new shares at 30 shillings each. Every two existing shares were entitles to one new share.

It said the rights shares that were not taken up would be allocated on a pro rata basis to eligible shareholders who have applied for additional shares.

The new shares will start trading on April 15, it said.

Kenya needs 210,000 new housing units annually, well above the 50,000 houses actually built, according to a study by the country’s central bank and the World Bank.

($1 = 91.7000 Kenyan shillings)

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