BAT Kenya has appointed new shares registrars, ending a three-year affair with Co-operative Bank for the services of keeping the records of its shareholder’s books.
In a public notice on September 23, the cigarette manufacturing firm stated that Image Registrars Limited would be taking over from Co-op Bank as from October 1. Co-op Bank had been appointed on a similar effective date in 2016.
“All shareholder queries, application(s) for registration of transfer of shares of the company (BAT Kenya), dividend claims and immobilisation of shares should be lodged with the Registrars from the effective date,” BAT Kenya said.
Image Registrars also keep the share registers of listed firms such as Safaricom, KenGen, Britam, Standard Chartered and Standard Group.
The firm was contracted for the initial public offerings of Eveready EA and Safaricom, when the firms first issued shares to the public in 2006 and 2008 respectively.
BAT Kenya also told its shareholders that any unclaimed dividends remaining with Co-op Bank need to be urgently lodged. “Please not that by law, any unclaimed dividend outstanding for more than three years will be surrendered to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority. Kindly but urgently lodge any claim you may have with our shares registrars.”
A shares registry, or a shareholders register, is a list of active owners of a company’s shares, updated on an ongoing basis, according to the Investopedia website. It “requires that every current shareholder is recorded” and is ” is fundamental to the examination of the ownership of a company.” The registry should note all shares issued by a company and in addition details any possible restrictions on transferring shares.
The shares registry is usually kept by a shares registrars which is an institution responsible for keeping the records after an issuer offers securities to the public. As such, when a listed firm needs to make an interest payment on a bond or a dividend payment to shareholders, the company refers to the list of registered owners maintained by the shares registrar.
Investopedia further says, “One role of the registrar is to make sure the amount of shares outstanding does not exceed the number of shares authorized in a firm’s corporate charter. A corporation cannot issue more shares of stock than the maximum number of shares that the corporate charter discloses.
Outstanding shares refers to those that shareholders currently hold. “A business may continue to issue shares periodically over time, increasing the number of outstanding shares. The registrar accounts for all issued and outstanding shares, as well as the number of shares owned by each individual shareholder.”
Shares Registrars in Kenya
Shares registrars in Kenya include Image Registrars, Custody & Registrar Services, City Registrars, Haki Registrars and Funguo Registrars, among many.
Co-op Bank, CFC Bank, CMC Holdings and Jubilee also have share registry services.