The founders of Equity Bank , led by chairman Peter Munga, cut their ownership further in the second half of last year. Regulatory filings indicate that the family of the late Nelson Muguku , Simon Thuo and Mr Munga sold shares currently worth Sh327.5 million, Sh262 million and Sh229 million respectively in the six months to November. Individual top shareholders of Equity Bank have since 2008 harvested billions of shillings from the sale of their shares after the end of a two-year-lock-in period for anchor shareholders. The anchor shareholders were barred from selling their shares as a condition for listing at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in 2006. Mr Munga and the Mugukus have made the deepest cuts since the bank's listing. Mr Muguku , who passed on in October 2010 at the age of 89 years, built a multi-billion- shilling business empire from humble beginnings. His Equity Bank stake is now held by Leah Muguku and the family has cut their shareholding by 10 million shares in the period to November to 1.08 per cent from 4.3 per cent in October 2012 and1.35 per cent in May. Before Equity Bank's debut at the NSE, Muguku had a 8.3 per cent stake, meaning the family earned about Sh4 billion from its share sales. The late Muguku earned the Equity Bank stake after injecting Sh200 million via a private placement in 2004. READ: Mugukus cut stake in Equity Bank Mr Thuo , who sold eight million shares in the period to November, also gained a stake in the bank through the private placement. His stake of 0.86 per cent is now worth Sh1.04 billion, and has dropped from 2.4 per cent in 2006 and Sh1.08 per cent in May. Since the bank's debut at the NSE on August 7, 2006 , its stock has appreciated the most over the seven-year period at more than 900 per cent, opening the way for investors to skim their holdings at decent capital gains. This has made its top owners, including employees, directors and founders, billionaires. James Mwangi , the bank's CEO, has earned about Sh1.6 billion from share sales since 2009 and his 4.88 per cent stake is now worth Sh5.9 billion. Mr Munga, who helped found the bank in 1984, has cut his stake to 0.42 per cent in November from 0.16 per cent in May and 3.2 per cent during the lender's listing. Equity Bank's share has shed 2.24 per cent over the past six months to the current Sh32.57.
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