Customers queue at a Capitec bank ATM.   Picture: SUPPLIED
Customers queue at a Capitec bank ATM. Picture: SUPPLIED

Black economic empowerment (BEE) consortium Petratouch, led by Harith General Partners CEO Tshepo Mahloele, has become Capitec’s largest empowerment shareholder after raising its stake in the bank to 7.27% last week.

The group made its first foray into Capitec in 2015 when it bought 5.3-million shares from the Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC’s) Isibaya Fund, for about R519 a share.

The shares were part of an original 10-million issued to BEE investor Coral Lagoon in 2007.

Coral Lagoon included high fliers such as Pilisiwe Twala-Tau, the wife of then Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau, and Gugu Mtshali, wife of former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

They have retained a 1.3% stake in Capitec while the bank’s staff trust holds about 0.2%.

Harith was started by the PIC in 2007 under then CEO Brian Molefe. Mahloele headed the Isibaya Fund when he worked at the PIC.

He recently made headlines after selling a mansion to Molefe at a massive discount.

The Capitec investment has paid dividends for Petratouch, notwithstanding the share’s failure to hold on to its recent record high.

Further to run

Two analysts who follow the company believe it has much further to run, however.

Avior’s Harry Botha has a target price of R867 on Capitec, while Arqaam Capital MD Jaap Meijer has R913 in his sights.

Capitec hit R832 on June 30 following its reinclusion into the JSE’s Top 40 index on June 19, which has helped pull index tracking funds towards it.

The rally was no doubt bolstered by the Lafferty Group’s recent appraisal of Capitec as the best bank in the world for the second year running. Botha said Capitec’s ability to continue attracting more than 100,000 customers a month was a big positive because it offset the bank’s dependence on unsecured lending in an increasingly straitened economy.

Graphic: RUBY-GAY MARTIN
Graphic: RUBY-GAY MARTIN

Arqaam said there was a lot of opportunity for Capitec to diversify into products such as insurance — although the Lafferty Group said "diversification often results in a lack of customer focus".

Meijer said that "even though Capitec has been around for a generation, we still see the bank as a disrupter".

Capitec has an 11% market share among customers earning R10,000 a month or more. It wants to take this to 20% by 2020, with an overall market share target of 30%.

Meijer said Capitec’s funding costs were becoming less of a "competitive disadvantage", notwithstanding that it did not have access to zero-cost deposits — typically low interest-paying current accounts.

This is one of the reasons that Capitec does not offer its own mortgages but chooses to use SA Home Loans instead.

Not everyone shares Avior and Arqaam’s enthusiasm for the share.

Of the 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, four have a buy call, four rate it a sell, while two reckon it is a hold.

SBG Securities’ target price is just R550 for the stock, implying a fall of about 30% from the close on Monday.

Renaissance Capital also rates Capitec as an underperform and expects it to trade to R585 a share.

Last week, Capitec chief financial officer Andre du Plessis cashed in 9,000 shares, raking in about R7.35m after selling tranches of stock between R815 and R819.31.

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