Category Archives: East African Community

Shares Portfolio May 2016

Compared to last quarter  and a year ago. Since February, the portfolio is down 1% while the NSE 20 share index is up 2% this quarter. Both measures are down 19% compared to a year ago.

The Stable


  • Atlas ↓ (down)
  • Barclays ↓
  • Bralirwa (Rwanda) – (no change)
  • Centum (ICDCI) ↓
  • CIC Insurance ↓
  • Diamond Trust ↑ (up)
  • Equity –
  • KCB –
  • Fahari ↓
  • Kenya Airways ↓
  • Kenya Oil ↑
  • NIC ↓
  • NSE ↑
  • Stanbic (Uganda) ↓
  • TPSEA ↓
  • Unga ↑

Summary: Another quarter when most shares are down,  while a few shares were  unchanged.

  • In: None
  • Out: None
  • Increase: None
  • Decrease: None
  • Best performer: NSE (up 22%), Kenol (up 10%)
  • Worst performer: Stanbic (UG) (down 22%(, Barclays (down 19%)

Unexpected Events:

  • Decided to sell out of Bralirwa Rwanda and Stanbic Uganda, but its’ more difficult getting out thatn it was getting in (during their respective IPO’s). For Uganda, you have to open a CDS account there, just to sell your shares.

Looking Forward to:

Oil Pipeline, Economics & Politics

It’s been reported that the oil pipeline from Uganda is going to go through Tanzania, not Kenya. Two forgotten facts about the Uganda oil decision are that; (1) President Museveni of Uganda has been steadfast that he wanted to refine oil in Uganda, not export raw crude (2) Uganda’s oil has been said to be waxy or heavy. This means it would require complex heating to keep it flowing along a complex oil pipeline through the rift valleys and hills – to the coast of Kenya.

M7 poster 2

The cost, insecurity and difficulty of building infrastructure have been cited reasons that Uganda opted to go through Tanzania. Still Kenya has several LAPSSET projects on the cards including an oil pipeline to go to Lamu where there would be a new highway, railway, coal plant and modern, deep-sea port.

Pipeline Impact

Last year at the TDS Nairobi summit, during the 10th  Ministerial Conference (MC10) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a session was held on local content in extractive (and oil) industries. Some interesting comments there included:

  • It is a legitimate objective for any resource rich country to try to maximize the value of its resources.
  • If a country puts restrictions on raw exports, it may distort the local economy; it creates artificial demand – and if it is not efficient, local related industries will not survive.
  • Kenya energy expert Patrick Obath suggested that Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan have to talk together and implement projects together for projects like the oil pipeline to be viable. That would also have to happen to get more value-addition from the oil in the countries e.g. can the countries plan to get fertilizer from oil?
  • With mining, you have 20 years of opportunity for local suppliers and jobs, but with an oil pipeline that’s only there in the beginning, then goes away once the pipeline is built (there wont be many local jobs after, and communities don’t get an economic boom from having an oil pipeline passing through their land..which may lead to some local frustration).

More on Kenya Pipeline:

oil tankers

  • The Kenya Pipeline Company is charged with transporting and storing of petroleum products.
  • A (presidential task force on parastatal reforms proposes the Treasury incorporate a holding company known as the Government Investment Corporation (GIC), into which Kenya Pipeline Company should be transferred to determine (its) intended privatization.
  • Meanwhile Kenya Pipeline is continuing with its projects including replacing the current Mombasa-Nairobi Pipeline.

Top 5 Kenya Bank Stories of 2015

  1. Imperial Bank collapse: The shock of the year, and probably the decade. Owaahh shows in Part 1,  2, and 3, of “The Sack of Imperial Bank”, that it was actually a 13-year saga that unravelled in 2015.
  2. The new Governor at the Central Bank of Kenya, Dr. Patrick Njoroge, had an immediate impact, not just with Imperial, but also Dubai. He also cracked down on banks that were apparently lax on large payments, legit and illicit ones.
  3. Bank profit drop or flat growth: Whether it was the local economy, bad debts (Stanchart, Bank of Africa), or East African impact (events in South Sudan, Burundi or Mauritius [for Britam], this year tested banks after years of ‘easy money’ and double digit growth in the industry.
  4. Barclays exit from Africa (really, a 2016 story)
  5. Agency banking. Even Family, I&M and Barclays, took this route. While a few branches are still opening in new malls, they are not the main channel for small transactions, as ATM’s phones, social media, and now bank agents handle lost of customer interaction.

What other stories merit ranking?

  • The law on unclaimed financial assets, and the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) became active

NSE Shares Portfolio February 2016

Comparing performance to last quarter and a year ago, the portfolio is up 0.3% in the last three months, while the while the NSE 20 share index is down 5% since November 2015. Compared to a year ago, the portfolio is down 21% while the NSE is down 29%.

The Stable


Atlas –
Barclays ↓
Bralirwa (Rwanda) –
Centum (ICDCI) ↓
CIC Insurance ↓
Diamond Trust –
Equity ↓

Fahari –
Kenya Airways ↓
Kenya Oil ↑
Stanbic (Uganda) ↓
Unga ↓

Summary: Another quarter when everything is down, except Kenol, while a few shares were  unchanged including Bralirwa, Fahari (I-Reit)  and the now dormant Atlas.

In: Serena
Out: None
Increase: None
Decrease: None
Best performer: Kenol (up 21%)
Worst performer: NSE, Serena, KQ (~all down 10%)

Unexpected Events:

  • The low uptake of the Stanlib Fahari I-REIT which showed that NSE investors are risk-adverse, and won’t flock to new products like REIT’s and derivatives.
  • Going back on the East African dream of cross border investing, there’s much difficulty in cashing a Rwanda dividend cheque (Bralirwa) as many banks still don’t accept Rwanda Franc cheques and KCB which used to have over-the–counter encashing for the Bralirwa dividend cheques (drawn by KCB Rwanda) does not have the facility this year. Stanbic Kenya and Stanbic Uganda have never had any cooperation in that regard as well.
  • The losses and corporate fallout at Uchumi, Mumias, Imperial Bank, and Kenya Airways that were discovered after their high-profile, long-serving, CEO’s departed.

Looking Forward to:

  • Mobile money treasury bonds
  • Kengen rights issue


Norfund invests 1 billion in FIT Express, the UPS East Africa exclusive partner

UPS, is a hundred year old company that started out as a bicycle messenger firm. It now moves 18 million packages a day (32 million during the holidays), and their 435,000 employee serves 8 million customers daily.

UPS have now made Freight In Time (FIT Express) their exclusive partner in Kenya, consolidating both their express and freight forwarding services in Kenya. FIT, which is located in 8 countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, DR Congo), also has a presence at all the main border crossing points and airports in the East Africa region.


UPS SWAG, but except to see more brown vans

Shamit Shah, the FIT Express CEO, said that Norfund just invested over Kshs 1 billion in FIT. He added that a great logistics company works seamlessly that customers don’t even notice them – and that few people even knew they had been a UPS authorized  contractor & partner until now. They have a  new workstation at Nairobi’s JKIA airport and do courier, express, warehouse, distribution, air & sea freight, and most important – the regional road freight for UPS.  

FIT Express is also a certified authorized economic operator and while they were ISO 9000 certified (quality management), they also recently got an ISO 14000 (environmental management) rank, which fits in UPS initiatives to go green and reduce their carbon footprint even as their global logistics volumes expand.