Various shareholders recommended the meetings be moved to Dodoma because it is at the heart of the country, making it easy for participants from across the country to get there conveniently. The bank's shareholders are literally drawn from all regions and districts of the country.
The shareholders repeated their call to shift the venue during the 17th AGM held over the weekend at AICC in Arusha.CRDB Managing Director, Dr Charles Kimei, expounded on the bank's position, saying that the recommendations by shareholders has been well received by the management but there is no other region in the country, including Dodoma, with facilities to hold over 1,000 delegates at once.
"It is only Arusha which has such a large venue (Simba Plenary Hall of AICC with a capacity of 1,200 people)," stated Dr Kimei, adding that other factors were also taken into consideration including accommodation and infrastructure.CRDB Bank, with a customer base of 1.1 million, has 33,000 Tanzanian shareholders who meet annually in Arusha to hear and contribute ideas on the bank's performance and progress.
The bank's AGM brings together around 1,000 participants to those meetings and it is only in Arusha that the number can be well accommodated in terms of hotels and venue accessibility.The AICC complex is located in the centre of the town making it easily accessible from whichever area that CRDB delegates will be staying without suffering the inconvenience of traffic jams.
The next CRDB AGM is therefore going to take place again in Arusha in May 2013. Shareholders from Mwanza advised the bank to construct a large conference hall in Mwanza where they claimed the bank has most customers and shareholders.
During the 2012 meeting, members were also doubtful if the bank's proposed venture into Burundi would be viable. During discussions, many were of the view that the country's economy is not doing well enough to guarantee the bank's financial boost.They were particularly pessimistic about the country's political and social stability. During the meeting, concerns were also raised that a number of foreign nationals have been reportedly buying the bank's shares.
"As per CRDB regulations, no individual is allowed to own more than 10 per cent of the bank's shares and this is specifically meant to ensure that our company's ownership remains in the hands of ordinary Tanzanians," said Dr Kimei.
"It is, however, a good thing that people from outside the country are seeing great potential of our bank and are rushing to purchase its shares," he pointed out, adding that this new development should also be taken as a challenge to Tanzanians who are still not keen to buy stakes in the company.
According to Dr Kimei, the bank floated its shares at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and the number of the bank's shareholders rose from 11,000 to 32,000 though again the figure recently dropped to 30,000 shareholders and it was discovered that many Tanzanians have been selling their individual shares to more interested parties, especially foreigners.
This year, CRDB intends to give dividends to the bank's shareholders at the new rate of 9/- per share which is a shilling more than last year's 8/- per share."Our bank will distribute nearly 20bn/- to the shareholders after the CRDB made close to 38bn/- in profits," said Dr Kimei, adding that the bank's core capital of 258bn/- is the highest among financial institutions operating in the country at the moment.
The CRDB Investor Relations Manager, Mr Emmanuel U-Ng'ui said the bank has a total of 22.2 billion shares of which only around 30,000 have been sold so far, which means even if each citizen in Tanzania was to buy 100 shares the bank will not exhaust them.