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At our incorporation on 18th November 1965, then under the name Housing Finance Company of Kenya Limited, our main objective was carrying out the government’s policy of “promoting thrift and home ownership”. This was to be achieved by providing savings and mortgage facilities to the Kenyan public. A policy made all the more urgent by the fact that Kenya had just gained its national independence two years previous to our incorporation.
The Company started responding to the growing demand from indigenous Kenyans of having their own homes. Indeed by the end of our first year of business in 1966, 34 applications had been considered and approximately Kshs. 400,000 advanced to the successful applicants.
Initially the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) held 60% of equity, while the Kenyan government held 40%. In 1970, the Kenyan government acquired another 10% of the shareholding and with that equity was equally divided between the founding partners. It was also agreed between the two parties that the board should consist of six people of whom three would be nominated in writing by the Kenyan government, and of these three one would be chairman.
The first chairman of the company was Mr. P.M Wise, the CDC regional controller. Other board members included Mr. J.N Michuki and Mr. J.N. Oluoch representing the Kenyan government, and Mr. J. Scott, Mr. G. Weaver and Mr. A.N Monckton representing CDC.
In 1992 Housing Finance Company of Kenya offered part of its equity to the public and became a quoted company on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Shareholding was distributed at 30.4% to the Kenyan government, 30.4% to the Commonwealth Development Corporation and 39.2% to the general public. Later, the Company issued a prospectus dated 26th February 1999 in which 30million government shares were offered to the public. After the sale, the general public and institutional investors increased their shareholding to 62.3%, CDC remained at a steady 30.4% of equity, while the Kenyan government reduced its shareholding to 7.3% of equity. The CDC Group has gradually been reducing it's shareholding with the eventual sale of all its shares to Equity Bank Ltd and British American Investments Company Limited (BAICL) on the 11th July 2007. The shareholding stood at 7.32% Government, 20.0% Equity Bank Ltd, 4.9% BAICL, 7.87% NSSF and 59.91% to the public.
The company then undertook a Rights Issue in June 2008 where the firm was seeking to raise Kshs. 2.3 Billion through issuance of an additional 115 million shares. The shareholding then changed to 3.7 % Government, 24.9 % Equity Bank Ltd, 7.5% BAICL, 6.8 % NSSF and 60.8 % to the public in which it currently stands.
The rights issue was declared a success with a 3% over-subscription. The money would be used to recapitalize the Company's Property Financing and Development business.
In the old days, the operations of the company were within the registered zoned residential areas of Nairobi and Mombasa. The first major project to be financed by the Company was the Woodley Estate in Nairobi whose construction started in December 1966. Since then, other major estate projects have been financed. For example, during the swinging ‘70s the Company financed the following estates: Ngei, Nairobi West, Otiende, Kibera Ayany Estate, Buru Buru, Golden Gate, Golf course and Ngummo to mention but a few.
Indeed from inception, Housing Finance has advanced billions of Kenya shillings to prospective homeowners and property developers. This has helped provide home ownership to thousands of Kenyans. Thousands more have been housed indirectly through loans the Company has advanced to various Kenyan municipalities such as the Kisumu, Nakuru, Kitale and Nairobi councils.
To date, the Company continues financing various estates countrywide as well as individual houses. In this regard, Housing Finance has re-launched the Construction Product. A product geared to meet the changing needs of today’s customer. Using this product, you can manage your exposure to the risks and challenges you may face in construction finance when you start developing your property. For more information on the Construction Product, click here.
In response to the ever-increasing costs of property development, the average lending limit of the company has risen from Ksh.100, 000 in 1966. These customer-centred changes have also been reflected in our re-branding from the old Housing Finance Company of Kenya Limited with “The Rock of Kenya” as its slogan. To the new, vibrant, Housing Finance: “Turning Dreams Into Homes”.
Today public deposits held by the Company stand at Ksh. 8.4 billion, while the Company’s assets have risen to the Ksh. 9.9 billion mark. Account holders at our tailored savings, deposits and mortgage accounts have grown at noteworthy rate. Another strong indication of the confidence customers and investors have in Housing Finance, even with the entry of commercial banks into the mortgage business. We consider ourselves privileged to serve 42% of the mortgage market.
It was actually on 6th March 2002 that our re-branding epiphany was celebrated. Housing Finance was reborn as a new, vibrant, re-focused Company. Team members received a personalized letter from the then Managing Director Mr. Peter Lewis-Jones announcing the new name, Housing Finance, and explaining what this change meant.
At a countrywide staff gathering on this important day, the unveiling of the new corporate logo and colours was done. Colours that express the new vibrant focus of our work:
ORANGE: To reflect a new beginning filled with radiance and optimism
WHITE: To denote the clear path to attaining one’s dreams
BLUE: To reflect the strength and success of our heritage
In 2007, Housing Finance launched a 5 year strategy which expanded our playing space in the mortgage financing market making us an end to end provider of the needs of the market as far as the property is concerned. We plan to ensure that we operate across the property value chain as suppliers as well as financiers of property.
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