Over the past one year, the Co-operative Bank stock has been one of the most resilient counters on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

in a year that saw the continuation of a bearish trend on the local bourse Co-op Bank was one of the stocks that rewarded investors in the medium term.

These are the investors who made their investment early in the year. At the time, Co-op Bank was trading at lows of Sh.  11 per share. Today, the stock is trading at highs of Sh. 16 per share.

The stock has within the year peaked at a high of Sh. 18 per share. This means that at the high of Sh. 18 per share investors who bought 45,454 at Sh. 11 apiece made a profit of Sh. 318,181 – transaction fees not factored in.

The same investors are making a gross profit of Sh. 227,264 at the current price of around Sh. 16.

This has not been in vain. Rather, it has followed a trend by the bank to consolidate its position as one of the most prominent banks in the country by assets, capital base and profitability.

The stock has received a boost with prominent long term NSE investors buying more of its shares. For example, Billionaire investor Baloobhai Patel more than quadrupled his stake in Co-op Bank to Sh. 403 million, becoming the second-largest individual investor.

He raised his ownership from 5.8 million shares in February to 25.2 million in September, boosting his stake in the lender from 0.12 per cent to 0.43 per cent.

Other key investors are Tanzanian billionaires Aunali and Sajjad Rajabali who hold a 0.41 per cent stake and the bank’s CEO, Gideon Muriuki, whose ownership stands at 2.05 per cent.

Co-op’s issued shares have increased 1.7 times to 5.8 billion from 3.4 billion after the 2008 initial public offering. It has also been leading with return on shareholder funds ranging from 18 per cent to 21 per cent under the controlled interest rates regime..

The huge interest in this stock has followed a growth trajectory that the bank has been implementing under its Soaring Eagle Strategic plan.

Under this program, Co-op has seen the launch of digital platforms and cost cutting measures that have revolutionized a new and easier way of banking.

For example, the launching of its mobile loans product is currently seeing over 1000 loans requests being processed every day. This has seen loans taken under the mobile loans platform under the M-Co-op Cash mobile app rise to over Sh. 8.7 billion.

M-Co-op Cash disburses loans of between Sh. 100 and Sh. 200,000 repayable within a month, and is available across all mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money.

Additionally despite the introduction of a law capping interest rates that has seen reduced profitability across the local banking sector Co-op Bank has continued to record profits. The bank reported a Sh. 9.5 billion net profit for the nine months ended September.