Category Archives: CFC

Karuturi AGM 2018

As workers of the former Karuturi flower farm in Naivasha, Kenya, await the outcome of a new appeal of the long-running court case and receivership, the Karuturi Group held an AGM in India and passed new resolutions to turn round the company.

The Bombay Stock Exchange-listed Karuturi, the world’s largest producer of cut roses, had published an annual report ahead of the AGM. According to the notice and results of the AGM, the Group proposed to increase the authorized share capital of the company to meet their long-term capital requirements.

Karuturi also plans to allocate convertible warrants to new shareholders who are; IBelive Fitness Solutions who may end with 10% if they exercise all options, Eye-3 Info Media who may end with 8% and Srinivasa Retail who will end with 14.3%. Prior to the AGM, the three had no shares in the company while the promoters of Karuturi had 25% and other public shareholders had 75%, including Deutsche Bank with 5%.

Shareholders also voted to appoint Messrs K G Rao and Co as auditors of the company and the notes showed that the previous year’s figures had not been audited by the current year auditors who had then provided a qualified opinion due to non-filing of some tax returns by the holding company. Another resolution was to ratify the appointment of the daughter of the Chairman and MD Sai Rama Karuturi, who had joined the board in September 2017. The resolutions were all passed.

The company has primary borrowings with Axis Bank in India (third largest private bank in the country), ICICI Bank of India, Axis Dubai, and smaller borrowings at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Zemen Bank and Lion Bank in Ethiopia.

The accounts provided an (incorrect) link to the long-running Kenya bank case and receivership in Kenya. There are mentions in the notes that Karuturi Kenya was wound up by a court order of March 2016 and the company did not have any outstanding tax demands in Kenya or Ethiopia 

In a statement, the Board Chairman wrote that the Kenya farm should soon be back in the company’s possession following workers’ protests to various government authorities and media attention fueled by Kenyans on Twitter. On Ethiopia, he welcomed the new leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and mentioned that the company had withdrawn all cases against the government of Ethiopia, paid compensation to the workers, and entered new lease agreements with a view to resuming operations in mid-2019.

Kenya’s First REIT IPO

About a year after laying out their plans,  the Capital Markets Authority has approved the first REIT to be issued in Kenya – and it’s from Stanlib Kenya.

Stanlib Fahari I-Reit will issue an initial public offer for investors to subscribe to units in the new REIT which is expected to raise a minimum of Kshs2.6 billion and a maximum of Kshs12.5 billion. The unrestricted IPO will be listed on the main investment market segment of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

US$1 = Kshs 105 this week

CFC Stanbic 2010 AGM

The CFC Stanbic Holdings annual general meeting (AGM) for 2010 was held on May 21 at the tented parking at CFC Centre, off Museum Hill, Nairobi. (twitter @Standardbankgrp)

The Managing Director re-capped the year’s performance of the group companies. CFC Stanbic (bank) had a flat profit of 1.9 billion [$25 million], CFC financial services (stockbroker) lost 108 million [-$1.4m], CFC Life (insurance) lost 433 million [-$5.6m] while Heritage (insurance) had a profit of 278 million [$3.6m]. He attributed the performance to impairment of the stock portfolio at the Nairobi stock exchange which declined by 60%, increased operating costs (New IT system, write-off old IT system, opening of new branches, and refurbishing/rebranding of all other branches) overall operating income was up 25% in 2009, but operating costs went up 46%. Finally, he added that the first quarter of 2010 has seen a good performance – with good earnings from forex and government securities, and the NSE rebound has good for their portfolio this year

Hot Button Issue: Poor performance of the Group /companies was cause for concern among several shareholders who asked questions citing:
– High operating expenses of 6 billion
– Item of ‘other expenses ‘ totaling 3.4 billion ($45 million) that were not detailed in the notes
-Ill-feeling, that when they approved the CFC Stanbic merger they were told that the group would have a leaner management structure would lead to cost savings across the group, and this has not happened
– The company used to be generous & give bonuses, but looking at the results, this is not going to happen anytime soon!

In reply, the Board referred back to the MD’s earlier statement that had broken down the major cost items as well as the decline in the company’s NSE portfolio that had resulted in their auditors asking that they factor in an impairment provision of about 700 million while the others were the IT costs, advertising/branding branch refurbishment across the group, not just bank business.

Why new borrowing?: a corporate bond of 2.5 billion [$32.5m]was asked about. Notes also show increase loan from IFC of 759 million and new loans from other banks – NIC (200m) and CBA (500m). MD said the bond and loans were to support their mortgage business, which has been one of their better performing lines and also support their subordinate capital position (500m).

Banking sector fraud is high even as the group invests in a new system and new products like electronic banking, there is a lot of fraud in the sector with customers losing their money to bank insider, and are Kenyan laws keeping up with new fraudsters. MD replied that the new system was safer.

Long-serving Chairman Exits: During director elections, the chairman Charles Njonjo announced that Mike Du Toit (long time Stanbic K MD), Titus Naikuni (MD of Kenya Airways) and himself who were all up for re-election were all stepping down, but added that Du Toit would take up other responsibilities within the group. On his part he thanked shareholders for their support though the years and said he was proud that the company that he, Jeremiah Kiereini (fellow powerful director), and PK Jani had started many years ago had grown into a conglomerate which now had undergone many recent changes and there were many new faces (and more women) who did not know his face, He said Kiereini, who will remain on the board for a few more years, would look after his interests but that he would still be around next year, as a shareholder on the floor, to ask questions of the board. Re-elected directors were Eddy Njoroge (Kengen MD), Fred Ojiambo (Nairobi lawyer), Jane Babsa-Nzibo and Greg Brackenridge who will be the new Bank CEO?

Bonus at next meeting: an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders will be called later in the year to approve the hiving off of the insurance business (CFC Life and Heritage) into a new company (in a deal with Liberty Holdings & African Liaison Consultants) that will also be listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Current CFCStanbic shareholders will receive a dividend in specie of 1 share of the new company for every 1 CFC share they currently hold, at no additional cost.

Goodies: – lunch box (flat rice & chicken piece), soda, umbrella (which I lost an hour later)
– Scary? The annual report was 114 pages long without a single picture or CSR fluff page. Shareholders also, after several questions, approved a motion allowing the company to publish accounts in the newspapers, have it on their website or e-mail it to shareholders in lieu of having to print and mail one to every shareholder.

Kenya Bank Rankings 1968 Edition

From reading a 1968 book Who Controls Industry in Kenyaa report of a working party comes some history of the Kenyan banking sector. It mentions that in 1968;

– Kenya had 10 banks and all but 3 banks were foreign bank off-shoots.
– They had given loans of loans of £70m, deposits of £83m – a book ratio of 83%, compared to US or UK which had ratios of between 33% to 50%
– Depositors received 3-4% interest on deposits and paid interest of 7-8% on loans [today deposit rates are about the same but loan borrowers pay 12 – 25%]

There were two tiers of banks then;

The Big 3 Banks which 3 held 80% of deposits and 85% of bank assets amounting to K£111 million in 1966 were
Barclays Bank: Had assets of UK£1.4 billion and had 83 branches, and Kenyan directors included Michael Blundell, S. Waruhiu and J. Opembe. Today it has 111 branches
Nation & Grindlays (now KCB):  Had assets of UK £401 million and after-tax profit of £1.2 million. It had 50 branches, and 16 directors who were all British. Today KCB has 165 outlets in Kenya
_ Standard Bank (now Standard Chartered): With assets of UK £892 million and a net profit of £3.1 million. It had 41 offices, 22 directors all British.

Next 7 Banks
– Bank of Baroda
– Ottoman Bank
– Bank of India
– African Banking Corporation (subsidiary of Standard Bank)
– Commercial Bank of Africa
– Algemene bank (General Bank of Netherlands)
– Habib bank

Other institutions
– Cooperative Bank of Kenya (established in 1967)
– National Bank of Kenya (established in 1968)

Finance houses
– Big 3 (licensed as banks)

– National industrial credit (then 40% owned by Standard Bank, now NIC)
– United Dominions Corporation
– Credit finance company (now CFC Stanbic)

Others registered as ordinary companies: 
– Transaction Finance Corporation (subsidiary of Cooper Motor Corporation CMC)
– Industrial promotion services (Now IPS, was est. in 1963 by the Aga Khan)
– Africindo Industrial Development (powerful Asian industrialists seeking credit facilities for exports to India with training for Kenyans there)

Development corporations
The big three commercial banks also owned development corporations to undertake longer-term investments than normal banks accepted; these were Barclays Overseas Development [assets of UK£9m and 88 projects in East Africa], National & Grindlays Finance and Development [B£3m] and Standard Bank Development Corporation.

Building societies
As at 1964, they had loaned UK£3m more than they had in deposits; this was after sudden withdrawal in 1959 of £4m savings by European and Asian depositors.
– Savings & Loan Society
– East African Building Society
– First Permanent (East Africa)
– Kenya building society (subsidiary of Commonwealth Development Corporation CDC)
– Housing Finance Company of Kenya (now Housing Finance)

Online Nairobi Stockbrokers

Continuing the popular Where to buy shares series, my long-time stockbroker CFC (actually CFCFS) have finally unveiled an online trading and account/portfolio platform. It’s quite good so far, quick registration, easy navigation, and hopefully a secure one. I hope they add share reports, and other useful tips which they can e-mail to users.

My portfolio is correctly displayed and I will make my next trades online (previously I used to e-mail my orders, and get confirmations and statements back by e-mail)

Other brokers with online features (can’t vouch for their quality) include Afrika Discount Drummond Dyer & Blair, Faida and Sterling

Questions
1. What are you online experiences like with your Kenyan stockbrokers?
2. Have any Kenyans in the Diaspora got their Safaricom IPO refunds, or been able to apply them to buy other shares? Have you seen your refund cheques, or know where they are?