Ugandan Court Declares Syndicated Loan Illegal in Shock Ruling

The Ugandan High Court on Wednesday ruled that a syndicated loan granted to a local company was illegal in a shock judgment that banks warned could lead to a spike in defaults on $1.5 billion of debt, Bloomberg News reported. The case relates to a loan Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Ltd. provided to a Kampala-based firm with interests spanning real estate to agriculture, using its Ugandan subsidiary as the agent. Lenders in the East African nation were taken by surprise when Judge Henry Peter Adonyo said the transaction was illegal because the Kenyan bank didn’t have a domestic license to conduct such business in Uganda. The judgment enables the applicants, Ham Enterprises Ltd., Kiggs International Ltd. and Hamis Kiggundu, to recover more than $32 million from the bank, according to a copy of the judgment seen by Bloomberg. Read more