East African Cables Ltd. held their 40th annual general meeting at Holiday Inn, Westlands on the morning of Thursday April 21st. About 70 shareholders showed up, in an 80 capacity room, which is about par with previous years.
The AGM was a no-nonsense affair, as shareholders were genuinely happy with the company whose share price has shot up from 13 shillings to 67 shillings within a year since a change of ownership and management in 2004. The company’s earnings per share increased from 0.46 to 6.11 shillings per share and it also paid a total dividend in the year of 3.5 shillings. Most questions dealt with the company’s main customer (Kenya Power & Lighting Company) and the previous majority owner (Sameer Group). Official matters concluded in about 30 minutes, and were followed by a buffet lunch, poolside at the Holiday Inn (for once, there wasn’t any major food drama)
After attending a few AGM’s, you start to notice some familiar faces i.e. people who own shares in all these companies and have time to attend them. Allegedly there’s one gentleman who owns a few shares in most of the 47 NSE companies and attends these functions for the perks and prestige (always gets to ask a question). Also there are some other men who are reputed to own significant shares in some of these companies – and who are even listed in the company accounts as being among the top 10 shareholders.
The Board of EA Cables invited the head of the central depository system to talk about the new way of trading shares and shareholders had tons of questions for him. (making it worthy of a separate blog entry – coming soon)