Gideon Muriuki, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Co-operative Bank of Kenya, purchased 14.6 million shares worth Ksh.173 million ($1.2 million) in the first half of 2023, boosting his ownership to a two-percent stake in the bank.
Regulatory documents as of June this year, confirm that Muriuki’s stake increased from 1.75 percent in December 2022, solidifying his role as the leading individual shareholder in the company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
Insider shareholdings – by executives and board members – often reflect confidence in the company’s future.
This sentiment is particularly strong when insiders buy shares directly with their own funds.
Although several executives of listed companies have substantial shares, many obtain these through grants or deeply discounted options as part of their pay packages.
Muriuki had once held a two-percent stake in Co-op Bank, but after selling some shares in 2020, his stake had dropped to 1.75 percent.
Between January and June 2023, Co-op Bank’s shares ranged from Ksh.11.15 ($0.076) to Ksh.13.35 ($0.091), market data indicates.
Currently, the bank’s valuation is considered low by historical standards, even with its earnings and dividend growth. Co-op Bank’s present market value is approximately three times its earnings and 64 percent of its total assets, with a dividend yield of 12.7 percent.