Every human being has his or her own salient attributes and leadership qualities, and these vary from individuals to individuals; especially when they occupy top managerial positions in their respective organizations.
Such could allude to the substantial and impressive leadership qualities which epochal Kennedy Uzoka has brought to bear, since he assumed office as the MD/CEO of United Bank of Africa few years ago. As the helmsman of the first generation bank, Kennedy Uzoka is daily proving pundits wrong that age is not a big factor when it comes to efficient service delivery and well-focused administration, even in the face of persistent opposition from both within his bank and other financial services providers.
Since he came into office by a stroke of fate, the youthful banking guru has continued to remain focused, stoic and steadily delivering the growth to the bank, with several products and services that can make other banks go green with envy.
He is a professional banker par excellence, with an intimidating academic profile of over two decades, within which he has garnered relevant banking experience across key banking functions, including Branch Services, Commercial Banking, Public Sector and Institutional/Corporate Banking.
Aside his banking job, Ken Uzoka is also a power dresser, and also proficient polo player, with a good marital life. His leadership and managerial styles have also extended beyond the borders of Nigeria, and the results coming in are very impressive.
Pan-African Financial Services Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc will be rewarding its loyal customers who refer friends and family to the bank in its new diaspora campaign.
The campaign is designed to reward customers of the bank who refer their Diaspora friends/relatives to open a UBA account.
Specifically, this campaign will last for three months and the bank will be rewarding any customer who refers other customers with the reward of N5,000 for every successfully opened new and funded account.
For instance, new and existing customers who refer friends and relatives in the Diaspora to open new UBA accounts will be eligible to grab the reward for as many times as the number of people they refer.
According to the campaign managers, the referrer who must have an account with UBA, will have his/her account number inputted in the provided field by the referred. The account number is expected to serve as a reference code for paying the reward, and once the new Diaspora account is funded with a minimum of $100, $100, £100, €100 or N50,000, for a one-month period, the reward sum of N5,000 will be automatically credited into the Referrer’s account.
They further explained that the campaign which kicks-off on May 22, 2018, involves no raffle draws, customers just refer, and redeem their cash prizes after successful funding of the new account.
Pan African Financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) has again disrupted the e-payment space with the introduction of Master Pass ‘Quick Response’ (QR) Bot.
The revolutionary solution enables the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria and across Africa to receive digital payments from their customers through scanning, using their Facebook account. Developed by MasterCard International in partnership with Facebook, Master Pass ‘Quick Response’ (QR), allows payment collection by SMEs through Facebook Messenger and delivers unified and instant self-service across a range of interconnected payment solutions.
Like LEO, the acclaimed artificial intelligence payment solution introduced by the Africa’s global bank, UBA, Master Pass ‘Quick Response’ (QR)is a a chat Bot, currently available via Facebook Messenger as Masterpass QR for Merchants With this development, customers are given the freedom to shop across devices and channels. With Masterpass QR for Merchants, small and informal micro merchants, large corporates and governments now have access to fast, simple and secure digital payments options, a global digital system that allows people pay for services using mobile phones.
In addition, individuals can now make purchases via merchant apps, in-store or online by simply clicking the Masterpass button and authenticating to complete a transaction. All a user simply needs to do is Scan the QR Code generated by the merchants to pay. Making transactions for both the merchant and customer fast and seamless.
Speaking on the development, Group Executive, Digital & Consumer Banking, Anant Rao, said: “Our customers are at the heart of our business, that’s why we keep going the extra mile to satisfy them. As we very well know Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute significantly to the economy but remain heavily dependent on cash to run their business; however, consumers are demanding safer and more convenient ways to pay. The innovative new platform enables micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria receive digital payments from millions of customers by simply scanning”
He noted that access to mobile technology presents an opportunity to meet this demand, and the new UBA Masterpass QR Merchant App is set to change the payment landscape to the benefit of micro merchants across the country.
Rao further explained that, Banking is going conversational and UBA in partnership with Facebook is at the forefront of driving this innovation globally. “It is 100% self-service and generation of the QR is immediate. Acceptance of payments can begin immediately the QR is generated, it is making banking simple”
The announcement follows the Pan African commitment made by UBA to introduce safer and more convenient ways to pay for goods and services in Nigeria and across the continent. “As a group, we are committed to driving financial inclusion and empowering businesses across Africa. Our partnership with Mastercard enables us to deploy safe digital solutions for customers, and the UBA Masterpass QR Merchant App is just such a solution,” said Rao.
Rao confirmed that UBA will be working with other Mastercard partners that are experts in their respective fields thereby further supporting the local industry.
“By using Masterpass, our customers can know with confidence that they are paying with trusted technology, whether they are a small business buying equipment at an office supply store or a family of four dining at their favourite neighbourhood restaurant. Earlier this year, UBA launched a chat banking personality named LEO that enables its customers to make use of their Facebook chat function to carry out key banking transactions.
LEO allows customers to open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, transfer funds and airtime top up. You can also confirm cheques, pay bills, apply for loans, freeze accounts, ask for mini statements, among other things and even check the weather.
UBA, Africa’s global bank, is one of the largest commercial banks in Nigeria incorporated which operates in 19 African countries whilst providing a wide range of products and services. UBA is a leading bank in infrastructure financing particularly in the Power, Telecoms and Transport sectors. UBA leads in social infrastructure such as hospital and education facilities to various countries in Africa. In Nigeria, the bank operates in each of the country’s 36 states, helping to deepen financial inclusion through its brick and mortar network as well as through its cutting edge digital platforms. Globally, UBA has over 1,000 branches and customer touch points, serving over 14 million customers.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, and China Development Bank (CDB), the world’s largest development finance institution, yesterday announced the signing of a $100 million seven-year loan agreement to finance the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
The$100 million loan will enhance UBA’s capacity to provide access to finance to small and medium enterprises across the 19 African countries where UBA currently operates.
“We are excited to partner with China Development Bank (CDB), the Development Financial Institution of the Chinese Government, on this historic transaction, as we strongly believe that the facility will serve as a catalyst to the sustainable development of commerce and industry in Africa through provision of critical financial interventions to SMEs across our presence countries,” says Group MD/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka.
Uzoka noted that this line of credit is timely, as it should complement the recovery of economic activities. It will also further encourage African entrepreneurship particularly as the funds will be applied to SMEs, which are important for inclusive growth on the continent.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu said the fund will boost small and medium scale enterprises across Africa, noting that CDB’s interest in supporting SMEs aligns with UBA’s vision in growing business across Africa.
While some banks are still sticking their head in the sand, United Bank for Africa, amongst many, have realized that social media is fundamentally changing the way people communicate. Therefore, when contemplating their future, banks would be ill-advised to overlook social media. It is with this realization that the Pan-African financial institution, has moved to change the face of e-banking with the introduction of Leo, the UBA Chat Banker that enables customers to make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transactions.
On Thursday, January 11th, 2018, the bank brought together its customers and financial journalists at The Backyard Bar & Grill on Musa Yar’Adua Street, Victoria Island, Lagos for the launch of its latest app, everyone present at the event knew it had to be something revolutionary.
For a bank that has scored many firsts in the industry and is ranked among the top three banks in effective use of social media in Nigeria in a social media report by Alder Consulting; a bank that has invested heavily in building a robust and secure e-banking platform that supports its e-banking operations globally through strategic partnerships with various local and international organizations, you could only expect the bar to keep going higher.
Beyond being active on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Google Plus, and also running a corporate blog, Africa’s global bank is continuously innovating and developing strategies aimed at making banking seamless and effortless for millions of its existing and potential customers, while also ensuring the utmost safety of their transactions.
It was, therefore, not surprising that UBA would score yet another first with the introduction of Leo, an innovation that is capable of revolutionizing the way banking is done in Africa. Leo, a UBA Chat Banking personality that enables the bank’s customers to make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transactions, comes as a solution developed with people’s lifestyles in mind.
With Leo, customers are able to open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, carry out money transfers and airtime top-up, pay for Uber, as well as perform other transactions like payment of bills, data top-up, mini-statements, loan applications, cheque confirmation, account freezing, among others right on their mobile phones.
Designed to work with the platforms people are already familiar with, Leo has already taken off on Facebook Messenger. In the nearest future, the app is expected to show up on other social media platforms and all it takes to enjoy the services is simply to have a Facebook account. At the official launch of Leo in Lagos, Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, explained that Leo, being an intelligent personality, will give customers instant feedback as they transact their business on the platform, describing it as “a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint which is easy to use by anyone regardless of your career”.
“The formulation of this product is consistent with the bank’s customer-first philosophy, where we are doing things not the way we like but exactly what the customers want, where they want it, and in the exact platform they want,” Uzoka said.
“And so, we have been working with technology giants from around the world because for UBA with so many customers, we have to deal with those who have the global capacity. Therefore, we at UBA have collaborated with Facebook to come up with this. In future, Leo will show up with other platforms. All you need to do is to have an account with Facebook,” he said.
Highlighting some of the advantages of using the app, Uzoka said the chat language is elementary, and Leo can even help one remember what he or she needs to do at every particular point in time. On the security of the platform, he said that Chat Banking with Leo does not elevate the risk already available. “You do not need to learn to use it because it has always been part of your life. It is the solution from customers’ point of view. Its greatest asset is its simplicity. Leo is an artificial intelligence. He will address all banking concerns. He should help pay for everything but you need to have an account with UBA to transact with Leo,” Uzoka said.
“This is the first time that a financial institution in Africa has come up with this manner of solutions to simplify the way customers transact, something that has become necessary in today’s fast-paced world with demands for quick-time transactions and response,” he said. He expressed a belief that with the huge number of customers the bank has as well as its growing customer base in all the 19 countries of operation, customers would be served using modern and forward-looking technology.
Austine Abolusoro, group head, Online Banking, UBA Plc, who took UBA customers and journalists present through a step-by-step demonstration on how to make use of Facebook chat function to enjoy seamless banking services through chat sessions, explained that Leo is not just a chat machine but an artificial intelligence service as well a personality meant to address any type of banking concern.
“Leo is ready and waiting to help with most transactions and to deliver any form of banking services. Leo is operating a lifestyle banking platform on Facebook Messenger to assist with your transactions while chatting with your friends and business partners,” Abolusoro said. “The security with this platform is that for every transaction, an OTP (One Time Password) is generated to the phone number that is registered on the account,” he said.
He explained further that to open an account and enjoy the chat banking advantage, the prospective customer just needs to log on to the Facebook Messenger and opened up the chat with Leo, who then takes over the conversation by telling the customer what steps to take. On security measures, he said the prospective customer needs to provide a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and phone number that is linked to the BVN.
But there is a ceiling on the volume of transaction that can be done by customers, the bank said. Customers with low-key Know Your Customer (KYC) will transact to a limit of N50,000 daily, already existing customers can do N200,000 and N100,000 in the first seven days even as the accounts can be upgraded to do higher transaction volumes.
“We are increasing customers’ happiness level with this product. We have brought banking to the chartroom,” Uzoka said. No doubt, as e-banking continues to reshape the way bank customers carry out their financial transactions by providing 24-hour services and saving customers the stress of joining long queues in banking halls, UBA Plc is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to not just keep up with technology but to always stay ahead of the game.
With eyes on the future, and conversant with the new trend in customer behaviour, the bank is constantly innovating, taking strategic steps to integrate more people into the digital financial services net, drive down the cost of service, and build consumer confidence in digital platforms.
The Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and one of Africa’s top businessman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has stressed the need to change the African narrative while concentrating on the myriad of opportunities inherent in the continent, stating that its economic transformation and stimulation should be the focus of all governments and global institutions.
This, he says, is paramount if the continent is to take its rightful position as a strong regional player in the international community, owing to its numerous investment opportunities.
Elumelu, who is the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the time had come for governments on the continent to put things in place to ensure that the continent which has great potential, lives up to it; adding that already, there are signals of the greatness all around.
Speaking during Richard Quest’s programme on CNN aired on the sideline of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, he said: “The time has come for us to prioritise our young ones, who are the future of this great continent. These are the men and women who are energetic in Africa and who can perform wonders if the enabling environment is there.
“We need to get it right with infrastructure in Africa and with the macro-economic policies and environment. And the good thing is that things are gradually falling in place. I think Africa promises good investment opportunities, the problem has always been creating the right environment for it, and this should be our major focus.” Elumelu stressed.
He added that in Zimbabwe, for instance, there have been recent concerted efforts by the government and the people to change the narrative, adding that “I am optimistic about what is happening in Africa right now, because our leaders are getting it right and in fact what has happened in Zimbabwe is also an indicator of great things to come. The fact that they on their own decided to sort things out the way they did, is a new kind of democracy that the world needs to learn from. “There is so much private global capital looking for the right destination, they can go to Zimbabwe as in other African nations, once the right environment is put in place.”
While pointing out that the blame game which previously obtained in the continent should be done away with, Elumelu called for increasing support from the private sector as well as key stakeholders to make Africa and African self-sufficient.
Throwing more light on this, he said; “We can’t keep talking about missed opportunities. What I keep saying to people is to put an end to the blame game. Let’s begin to fix what needs fixing and get things right. Our government should get it right, the private sector should come forward and we need to support the young African entrepreneurs; create economic hope and opportunities for them.
“We need to think of how to engage Africa in the 21st century because it is no longer about giving grants and aid to Africa, it is more about engaging them in a way that creates self-sufficiency; independence; and reduces the perpetual syndrome of dependence.
Continuing, he said “There is promise; it is getting better because the way this year has started in Nigeria for instance, we have seen market indicators showing good promise, so we are optimistic that it will be better year. The Key is to prioritise things that are important to us to help the continent to grow.”
RedTV, a dynamic online lifestyle channel, supported by United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, marked its second year with the REDTVRave, a funfilled outdoor event to celebrate its growing fan-base.
The second edition of the annual rave, which held over the weekend, was well-attended. Present at the talk of the town show were Chairman, UBA Plc, Tony Elumelu and the Group Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka, as well as top celebrities and key players in the entertainment industry.
Afrobeat sensational artiste, Mayorkun and the award-winning Nigerian-act, Davido, were on ground to thrill the participants with interesting musical performances.
REDTV is a digital online television network that features the very best in entertainment, news, design, travel, fashion, music, sports, comedy and much more.
In the two years of its operations, the online channel has gained massive acceptance amidst growing acclaim winning an impressive number of awards for its content.
The Creative Director, REDTV, Obinna Okerekeocha, who commended supporters and subscribers of the channel over the years, said the brand which has gained wide acceptance, was coming up with even more content to keep viewers and subscribers spell-bound and well-entertained.
He said, ‘REDTV is already winning coveted awards having received top two awards at the recently held Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA) in New York City.
“We are doing well and we wanted to celebrate with our followers to say thank you’. REDTV is a brand dedicated to creating and producing high quality lifestyle and entertainment content that showcases the best of the African continent,” he said.
UBA with its vast network and capabilities continues to serve customers bearing in mind their importance and exceeding their expectations. As Africa’s Global Bank, UBA will continue not only to serve them, but also to partner with them in order to provide excellent financial services to them.
If you missed the #REDTV rave, it’s not too late to be a part of the movement.
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The Business council for International Understanding (BCIU), a non-profit U.S Business association dedicated to forging relationships and promoting dialogue between business and government communities across the globe, has presented the prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award to both Tony O. Elumelu and Bill Marriott, Chairman, Marriott International Inc.
The award was conferred on in recognition of his outstanding work in promoting Entrepreneurship on the continent of Africa and across the globe.
Elumelu, himself a serial entrepreneur, through his Tony Elumelu Foundation, has funded over 3,000 African entrepreneurs to date with his $100 million commitment to 10,000 entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years.
These entrepreneurs are expected to create a million new jobs and over $10 billion in revenue as a result of the initiative of the Elumelu Foundation.
At the award gala, former American President, George W. Bush, acknowledged the efforts of the African entrepreneur saying ‘I am impressed with Tony’s philanthropic initiatives which are powering job creation and entrepreneurship in a region(Africa), that is very dear to Laura and me. To receive an award founded by President Eisenhower, has added meaning. Eisenhower provided example in leadership, which we can all learn from. Additionally, his belief in promoting international understanding is a vitally important responsibility.
Speaking on the reason Elumelu was selected as the recipient of this prestigious award, Peter Tichansky, the CEO of BCIU, said: ‘Mr Elumelu’s bold approach and can-do mindset are exemplary characteristics of a visionary entrepreneur. He embodies the idea that companies must take the lead in bringing business and society together. His advocacy is proving that businesses, acting as businesses and not charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing social challenges and economic development’
Indeed, this is the philosophy of Elumelu, founder of the concept of Africapitalism, which essentially states that Africa’s private sector must play a leading role in the development and growth of the continent as both governments and the private sector come together to make this happen.
Elumelu, who was presented his award by Kip Forbes and Anne Eisenhower (the granddaughter of President Eisenhower,) in his acceptance speech, stated: ‘President Eisenhower was a man of many dimensions and most important is his leadership.
Being recognized today as a recipient of the inaugural global entrepreneurship award is an honour that resonates with so many people in Africa. What our entrepreneurs in Africa need is powerful leadership to further energise, encourage and motivate them to transform the continent.’ He went on to say ‘ I hope this will further spur on other Africans and friends of Africa, to make sure we work together for an inclusive prosperity’.
Elumelu dedicated his award to his wife and children as well as the staff of UBA, Transcorp, Heirs Holdings, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and all the other companies within his group of companies.
He thanked BCIU on behalf of entrepreneurs in Africa: ‘On behalf of the over 3000 entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship programme, I say thank you very much”.
The award ceremony and gala took place at the historic venue, the Cipriani on Wall Street in New York.
Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has once again proven its leadership on the continent, as the Banker Magazine crowned UBA the “African Bank of the Year 2017”.
This Banker Award is premier for Nigeria, as it marks the first time a Nigerian-headquartered bank will be wining the prestigious and highly coveted regional award.
To further demonstrate the group’s strength and dominance in the financial sector on the continent, four of UBA Group’s operations in Africa also led contenders in their respective countries to emerge the Best Bank of the Year 2017 in their respective markets.
UBA Congo, UBA Tchad, UBA Gabon and UBA Senegal emerged the Best Bank of the Year in Congo, Tchad, Gabon and Senegal, reinforcing the strong franchise of the Group across its chosen markets in Africa.
Notably, UBA Gabon and UBA Senegal won the same awards in 2016, as both subsidiaries of UBA Group remain the Banks to beat in Gabon and Senegal.
A publication of the Financial Times Newspaper, The Banker Magazine is a global financial intelligence magazine that provides global bank ratings/analysis and it is the definitive reference in international banking for high level decision makers globally.
According to the magazine, the aim of the award “is to highlight industry wide excellence within the global banking community.
The winner is selected from participating banks in each of the 120 countries from which entries are received for the competition.”
Explaining the rationale behind UBA carting multiple categories in its December issue, the Banker’s Magazine noted that Africa’s economic landscape has been unpredictable in recent times which resulted in recession in some of Africa’s best performing economies, while the region as a whole only expanded by about 1.3% in 2016.
“In these conditions only the most diversified and innovative of regional banks can prosper. And this is precisely why the United Bank for Africa (UBA) has scooped the 2017 regional winner award. For one, the lender registered impressive top- and bottom-line growth over the review period,” it noted.
The magazine went further to enumerate the various achievements recorded by UBA group during the period, noting that earnings for the year reached N384bn ($1.07bn) signalling 22% growth from its 2015 performance while profit before tax also grew, by 32%, to reach N91bn.
According to the organisers, “Equally impressive is UBA’s capital adequacy ratio which, at the end of 2016, stood at 20%, while its nonperforming loan ratio was a healthy 3.9%. Operating across 19 markets in Africa, the bank serves more than 14 million customers.”
It added that the Pan-African bank’s foray into various ventures in Africa also helped to clinch its activities in the year under consideration, stating, “Beyond the numbers, the bank has won and acted on a number of headline deals.
These include the financing a new stadium in Douala, Cameroon, for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations for $285m.
In Senegal, more than $250m of trade finance was provided to the state oil company, while the lender acted as arranger and bank agent in the raising of $160m to finance road infrastructure.
The bank’s digital tax collection solutions are also helping regional governments in Senegal and Burkina Faso.”
The organisers noted that UBA is making impressive strides in the digital space, adding that in terms of internet banking, the organisation processed 7 million transactions valued at more than N600bn in 2016.
Mobile banking processed transactions valued at N70bn over the same period.
UBA has also launched eMailMoni, a service that lets customers transfer funds via e-mail, while Chat Banking allows clients to perform basic transactions through social media platforms.
“For these reasons, and others, UBA is the winner of our 2017 African Bank of the Year award,” the Magazine stated.
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who was delighted by the recognition from The Bankers said; “These awards mark another milestone for UBA Group and is a testament of the diligent execution of the bank’s strategic initiatives on customer service. Being recognized as Africa’s best bank complements positive feedback from customers and is a recognition of our improving efficiencies, service quality and innovation. I therefore dedicate it to our growing loyal corporate and retail customers, who are our essence. Given our heritage commitment to Africa’s development, we continue to impact lives through our service as well as funding to individuals, businesses and government.”
Uzoka added; “The bank remains focused on its goal of democratizing banking in Africa, leveraging on new technologies and our rich pool of talent. It is satisfying that our efforts towards leadership are yielding great results. We continue to gain market share across our chosen markets, as we deepen financial inclusion, meeting basic and complex financial service needs of the growing African population. We are Africans and determined to change the narrative of financial services in Africa and this is just the beginning,” he noted.
On his part, Mr. Emeke Iweriebor, Regional CEO, UBA Francophone Africa, described the awards as exciting, stating that the bank’s great work in Africa is increasingly being recognized.
Iweriebor who dedicated the awards to the bank’s esteemed customers, said “Our pioneering innovations in the African banking sector are undoubtedly critical to the growth and development of the continent. Africa’s banking sector has come a long way but we still have a lot to do. We at UBA Group are dedicated to being a critical part of this transformation.”
He added that the bank will continue to leverage its local knowledge, global exposure as well as presence to drive positive change in Africa, working actively with the government, local businesses, regulators and other stakeholders in deepening financial services.
The Banker award’s “Bank of the Year Awards” are widely regarded as the Oscars of the Banking Industry. For 90 years, The Banker has been the world’s leading monthly journal of record for the banking industry. The organisers note that the aim of the awards programme is to highlight industry wide excellence within the global banking community.
The Banker selects one winning bank for each of the 120 countries that are covered. Over 1,000 applications are entered and judges select winning banks based on the ones that have made most progress over the past 12 months.
UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank provides services to over 14 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.
UBA was the first Nigerian bank to make an Initial Public Offering, following its listing on the NSE in1970. It was also the first Nigerian bank to issue Global Depository Receipts. The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.