In the pool
Diving in: Another West African bank giant UBA follows Ecobank after apparently having secured a banking license to operate in Kenya.
Treading in the shallow end: Still finding their ground are the new Islamic Banks – Gulf African and First Community that started business last year. They are likely to be the only banks that will record losses of at least Kshs. 200 million each as their new branches and staff continue to reach out and educate customers on a new way to bank.
Had enough swimming?:
(i) Morgan Stanley who were supposed to introduce long term foreign investors to Kenya with a five year window or longer, but instead brought in short term investors at the expense of the Government and othrr investors who took out their profits in a week. Another lesson learnt a long way back from the IPO.
(ii) The Kenyan unit of Citi is on track to rake in profits of $50 million this year on the back of aggresive trading, but will it be enough, or will it be bled off by the parent unit? And who would buy it and its lucrative American interest-linked business portfolio?
after Morgan Stanley & Safaricom
Rift Valley Railways: This week as the patience of the governments of Kenya and Uganda reached new highs, local stakeholders finally got rid of the managing director. More stories are now coming out on the (lack of) financial strength of the backers of the railway. The East African newspaper has (consistently) had the best coverage of the railway management over the last two years.
About a year ago, the former MD gave a talk on the difficulties he faced in reviving the railway and the way forward for the 25 year program.
Tiomin is another ‘foreign investor’ who never had financing that was sufficient enough for them to launch their operations in Kwale, even after the government and the courts gave them go ahead
Zain is the new brand of the former Celtel Group that is expanding all over Africa. But according to their group financial results for the half year, Kenya is the only African country where they did not gain subscribers over the last year. At June ’08, Kenya had 1.9 million subscribers compared to 2.4 million in June 2007. Compare that to Uganda 1.8m (up 100%) and Tanzania 2.8m (up 48%). Half year revenue and loss was $79.4 million and $26.4m compared to %100m and a loss of $4.2 million at the same point in 2007 Safaricom is blamed for defending their market turf
Google have bought into Mobile Planet a leading local provider of value added mobile services (and also a Safaricom partner).
Safaricom IPO Day 30: Deals 1,297, Turnover Kshs. 257.9 million [$3.9 million] Average 6.23 High 6.60 Low 5.95 Last 6.20 Volume 41.4 million shares. Feels and smells like a bear raid. [Commentary and data from Rich.co.ke – NSE data vendor, with Free real time prices between 0930 -1500]
– What is the role of Morgan Stanley in the price of Safaricom?
– How about a reverse stock split of Safaricom to weed out 2/3 of the unhappy 800,000 shareholders and get a manageable share register?
End of day update – Turnover Kshs. 450.4 million ($6.92 m), Average 6.20 High 6.60 Low 5.95 Volume 72.5 million shares. Rich.co.ke commentary; A very weak session. The article in Business Daily, a large trade on the prompt board at 6.20 all pushed this market over. It was all so fortuitous and coincidental to be quite remarkable. The price is undervalued here by a wide margin.