I realized that I had not been to my stockbroker’s office to trade this year. It would be good to visit to find out the fate of my Stanbic shares. I’m not sure if I got a full allocation or a refund since I have not got any report from the broker. This week would be a good time to visit before the lines begin for the Access Kenya IPO which starts next week.
Access Kenya IPO
Access Kenya announced that their IPO will begin on April 19th. The company hopes to sell 80 million shares at 10 shillings ($0.14) each to raise 800 million shillings ($11.4m). I look forward to the prospectus to be released within the next few days to give a proper picture of the communications market. And we are also awaiting an IPO from Wananchi, Kenya’s largest ISP who unfortunately lost a bid for Africa Online to Telkom of South Africa.
The ISP industry has shown tremendous growth, but the sector faces additional challenges for investors.
- First like the Scangroup IPO, intangible measures take on greater significance in comparing the company against its peers and its future prospects.
- Second, an additional regulator comes into play i.e. the Communications Commission of Kenya. The sector has seen some turbulent investments that have not reached fruition including the third mobile operator (Econet in court for three years) and the second national operator (license has been awarded and canceled twice). Also CCK will in future move towards giving unified licenses, which means that companies won’t have to go back to re-apply each time they want to introduce a new service.
- Third in a unified license world, and once a restructured Telkom has been sorted out, Safaricom and Celtel may be the ISP companies of the future with their EDGE / GPRS offerings. (ISP’s are already complaining about mobile companies not playing fair with interconnection, leading back to the regulator again).
Alexander Forbes of SA has withdrawn its name from Alexander Forbes insurance brokers of Kenya citing a lack of majority equity or management control. The Kenyan operation (formerly Hyman Robertson) who already have a new name ready to launch, feel that they have been good custodians of the brand, turning it around from loss-making one to being one of the largest in East Africa.
Read in the Sunday Standard that the British Council was closing their library in Mombasa owing to declining memberships.