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Uchumi of Kenya to Open Outlet in Tanzania, CEO Ciano Says

Uchumi Supermarket Ltd., a Kenyan retailer that emerged from receivership in March last year, will open an outlet in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, “any time now,” Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ciano said.

The company will open a second branch in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in two months’ time and also plans to open a business in Gulu, Uganda, he told reporters in Nairobi today.

Ciano was among three directors elected during a shareholders’ meeting in Nairobi. The other two are Mahmud Janmohammed, managing director of TPS Eastern Africa Ltd., the Kenyan holding company for the Serena chain of hotels, and Kungu Gatabaki, a former chairman of Housing Finance Ltd., Kenya’s only publicly traded mortgage company.

Uchumi went into receivership in June 2006 with debts of 2.2 billion shillings ($26 million), of which 957 million shillings was owed to Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. and PTA Bank Ltd. The receivership ended on March 4 after most of the company’s debts were cleared and others converted into shares.

The company hopes the Capital Markets Authority, the industry regulator, will “soon” lift its suspension from trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, Ciano said.

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