VoIP: This week Telkom launched VoIP service using their existing and new call cards (branded with the big five animals). Typical per minute rates are 15 shillings for calling the USA, UK, & Canada, and 20 shillings for Uganda, Rwanda & most of Africa.
In a timely article, the Economist reviews the consequences of the recent E-Bay/Skype deal noting that one day all voice calls, including mobile, will be free.
Fibre: Telkom also began laying an optic fibre cable between Nairobi and Mombasa which it hopes to complete by March ’06.
EA Cables: Seeks to acquire 51% shareholding of Tanzania Daesung Cable Ltd which is currently by Nexans Korea Ltd. The company will seek shareholder approval for the deal at an extraordinary general meeting on October 18 at Holiday Inn, Nairobi.
EA Portland Cement: EAPC intends to acquire 49% of the Kigali Cement Company via a 160 million shilling investment that will raise KCC’s production from 50 to 300 tons a day by the end of the year.
Shell/BP BP oil is pulling out of Kenya – selling all its country operations including 65 fuel stations, a 17% stake in the Mombasa oil refinery and 50% stake in both BP Kenya & Shell Kenya.
Unga limited has attained a profit for the first time since 1997 – returning a 72.5 million shilling profit for the year ended in June, up from a loss of 102 million in 2004. It is managed by Seaboard Corporation, an American company who retain the right to acquire a majority stake in the company. No dividend will be paid though owing to current debt and modernization costs.