Minority shareholders of Rokel Commercial Bank have demanded that the opportunity be given to them, to acquire the 51% shares presently held by the Government of Sierra Leone if the government wants to vend off its 51% shares.
This demand was voiced during the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex at Kingtom in Freetown, yesterday.
Some of the majority shareholders who attended the meeting disclosed that they have been with the bank since its transformation from Barclays to Rokel Commercial bank, stating that it will be grossly unfair if government decides to sell its 51% controlling shares to another entity when they the minority shareholders can afford to buy it.
Prior to the deliberations on government’s 51 % shares as to who should or should not buy it, the Board Chairman Mr Birch Conteh welcomed shareholders who attended, and called on all to observe a minute of silence for the deceased Director Samuel Beccles Davies.
This was followed by Mr Eugene Nicol who voiced his curiosity about government’s policy on the sale of shares and the appointment of Directors by the minority shareholders. The Chairman stated that the National Commission for Privatization (NCP) has completed work on the guidelines and there is a programme for the Bank which will be completed soon.
The Chairman’s statement as contained in the annual report was taken as read and adopted, along with the proposed 2006 annual audited report.
Mr Ibi May-Parker sought clarification on individual transaction and cash transaction on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM); which was then explained by the Company Secretary Victor Cole.
The Chairman disclosed that following resolutions passed at the extra-ordinary general meeting, the bank transfer the sum of Le 6,718,464,000 from retained earnings in a further effort towards achieving the Bank of Sierra Leone stipulated minimum capital requirement by end of 2009.
In accordance with resolutions passed at the meeting, the Chairman announced that every shareholder of the bank was issued with one bonus share for each share held as at 31st December 2006.
The total number of shares issued as at 31st December 2007 therefore rose to Le 13,436,928,000. Although profits have not increased significantly, the bank is pleased to advise a dividend of Le0.30 cents per share amounting to Le 4,031,078,400 which reflects an increase in the dividend paid last year of Le. 335,923,200.