Bad timing for Uchumi whose private placement to raise 300 million shillings from shareholders draws to a close on August 15, which is when we are making investment decisions about Equity Bank shares.
The minimum investment of 10,000 shillings, approximately equals my loss, and I have to say no thanks this time – I am not going to put another 10,000 into Uchumi. It’s too soon to come back begging, the company’s status is unclear, and there are too many investment options out there.
Shareholders who take part will be on par with the government’s rescue loan but rank behind after banks and suppliers. And we know how poor parastatals are at repaying government loans. Also, there are many investigations pending, and no one has yet come out and clearly reported why the 1.2 billion shillings raised 9 months ago was not enough or where it was spent.
Yes, I will shop at Uchumi as much as I can, but that’s the extent of my support this time.
With the August 7 listing of Equity Bank shares just a week away, one of the company’s prominent directors has resigned from the Board.
We have to take note of what directors do in a company and it remains to be seen why a director at Equity made this decision so late in the game. We all remember how ICDCI duped the public they were not taking part in the Uchumi rights issue, as a way to reduce their stake in the company when all along they planned, and did sell out of the company completely soon after.
It’s a good time for milk drinkers as prices have dropped and all the major dairies have positioned salespeople at supermarkets to hawk their milk. Many of them are selling 500ml packs at 20/= (down from 25/= a few months ago) and also give away a free 200ml pack as well. The oversupply of milk is likely to reduce prices paid to farmers – a situation that no one wants, and so milk companies are giving away their surplus for free.
Nice feature on KTN/Standard over the weekend about efforts to produce bio-diesel in Kenya. Kenyatta University is pioneering a scheme in which 200 farmers in Kitui, Bondo, and Rachuonyo are cultivating jatropha curcas which takes 2 months to grow and can be used to produce diesel, which should reduce the country’s fuel bill.