Category Archives: Nairobi Jobs

Urban Inflation Index September 2009

(i) Tracking changes in the three months since June 2009, and approximately one year and two years ago
(ii) also the job/other opportunities column is back

Gotten cheaper
Communications: leading mobile company Safaricom this week launched Super Ongea, a zoning tariff that eases congestion on the network by offering different rates from the then low 8 shillings per minute (now the high) to as low as 80 cents per minute. This they hope will ease congestion on the network and also hold on to some customers who are flocking to the cheaper new provider Yu (Essar telecom) who have very low rates. Zain and Orange have gone slow on the marketing front, and this week the Orange CEO called for an end to price wars. The new Safaricom tariff does not affect data or money transfer of which Safaricom is getting a stranglehold with m-pesa and 3G. Safaricom is big seller of mobile phones, modems, and laptop computers, going full blast in data at the expense of retail ISP’s while M-Pesa utilization has taken on a life of its own that makes Kenyans wonder how life was before mobile money transfers started three years ago.

Foreign Exchange: 1 US$ equals Kshs. 75.93 compared to 77.94 three months ago.

About the same
Fuel: A litre of petrol is Kshs 80.9 (~$4.79/gal) up 11% in 3 months, 1@% cheaper than a year ago and 10.5% above two years ago, so relatively unchanged as thin fuel margins still continue from the price drop of about a year ago that wiped off Triton

Entertainment: A bottle of Tusker beer (at local pub) is Kshs. 120 down from 130 three months ago. Prices seem to have stabilized though and with English football season on now, bars will not be changing prices anytime soon. East African Breweries year-end results showed that beer volumes were up just 1% for Kenya

Gotten more expensive
Staple Food: Maize flour which is used to make Ugali that is eaten by a majority of Kenyans daily. A 2 kg. Unga pack at Uchumi today costs Kshs. 84, 9% cheaper than 3 months, 15% up from a year ago, and 68% up in two years ago. Already there is worry about a grain shortage in the next few months, and the country may have to import some maize while awaiting the harvest from local farmers near the end of the year

Other food item: Sugar (2 kg. Mumias pack) is Kshs. 200 up 14% in 3 months, 38% in 1 year, 33% in 2 years, though it’s hard to say if sugar shortages are genuine or artificial; the annual importation exercise is a tug of war between politicians, tax man and importers.

Electricity/utilities: this month’s bill is Kshs 1,900 compared to 1,500 from three months ago. Still I can’t complain since compared to what some residents pay . The electricity rationing seems to have ended but at a cost since the new electricity is generated from more expensive thermal sources. The clean energy planned for Kenya- wind (Turkana, kengen) and sugar (Mumias), and mini-hydro’s (KTDA) will take a while to be felt in our bills.

Water rationing is still on going and the Nairobi water company said bills would increase from July 2009 onwards by about 50%.

Opportunities
most from the daily papers this week

SME Funding/Solutions
– For software developers from Microsoft through Local innovation centres unverified
– The Esther Passaris Grant is a monthly grant for Entrepreneurs. of between Kshs. 50,000 to 100,000 unverified
– Ongoing business plan competition jitihada closes 23/9
– Toolkit for learning: the IFC SME Toolkit Kenya

Jobs
finally a blog -related job makes the newspapers – The British high commission in Nairobi is hiring a communications support officer part of whose job will include supporting the post webmaster in developing & maintain website, including the high commissioner’s blog through regular updates and site moderation. d/l is 23/9 and applications by snail mail only.
Central Bank of Kenya : Accountants/ Financial Analysts, Finance Officers, Network Engineer, Network Administrator, Analyst/Programmer, Assistant Director: Policy Development And Research, Assistant Director, Academic Affairs, Finance Manager (2), Assistant Finance Manager (2), Internal Audit And Risk (manager, assistant manager, officer) and other jobs. D/L 25/9
– Equity Bank: Assistant HR Manager- Training & Development, Assistant HR- Services Manager D/L 19/9
– Apprentice engineers (20) at KPLC recruitment@kplc.co.ke by 7/10
KIPPRA jobs not online Economists in Infrastructure & Economic Services (3 positions), Senior Analyst/Analyst, Assistant Analyst, Analyst, Assistant Analyst apply to admin @ kippra.or.ke by 21/9
Safaricom : Senior customer systems analyst , senior manager – financial systems & analysis , principal accountant – treasury planning D/L 23/9

Tenders
The Kenya Government has asked all ministries, agencies, parastatals to e-mail in soft copes of any tenders or procurement notices they advertise in the newspaper. This will be displayed at a government procurement portal.

Despite Safaricom’s controversial, no frills, AGM, Kengen, the company with the second largest shareholder register (216,000) after Safaricom, is not going to let its members go home empty handed. They have a tender at their site for
supply of agm goods & services that closes on 24/9

Travel: Emirate Airlines have launched world cup travel packages for fans wishing to attend the 2010 world cup in south Africa; these combine air travel, hotel bookings in Johannesburg, cape town & Durban, and ground transport to stadiums.

Week on Twitter (September 11)

Another re-cap of a week full of Twitter – @bankelele posts which included issues like – more innovative loans from Equity Bank, why do Kenyan companies make such large PDFs? The fibre cable has reached Mandera in remote Northern Kenya, but piped water is yet to get there, police dogs sniff grass, Zimbabwe ministers text like teenagers, how to get through to safaricom’s notoriously inaccessible customer service, mobile companies know how to keep Kenyan ministers happy, Kenyans laugh at their failings, pre-paid internet gets cheaper, another bank to list at the Nairobi stock exchange while another joins twitter, more awards for women, more jobs at the central bank of Kenya, and the UNEP toys with Kenya

– @TChenya @KumekuchaChris was just at Equity Bank; amazed they have loans for water tanks http://bit.ly/AoYg4
– This #Safaricom portal is going to be the Kenya borg http://portal.safaricom.com…
– Do cops favour their own matatus, leading to traffic jams for other motorists? http://www.coastweek.com/32…
– R/T @baldaufji #Zimbabwe minister text messages leaked http://bit.ly/2KkUIx U c the strait jacket vakuru [old man] is being given 2 wear
– The koinange family starts development of the parking lot next to kencom Nairobi
– Just registered to get my Safaricom dividend by cellphone m-pesa in November @saitonne m-pesa dividend registration ongoing around the country till 30 September, mostly at supermarkets – which one is near you?
– Cold call from a bank offering an unsecured personal loan at 24%!
– @egm_photo @jmugambi its soooo wrong for fibre cable to reach mandera before piped water!
– Gabon09 election resembles kenya08 but little concern in Kenya
– #TPF3 Tanzania is 0-2: EABL endears itself to that beer market
– (Sad to hear) R/t @estoni #samburu insecurity rife, tourist vans attacked, some travel companies are canceling Kenya safaris
– @kainvestor the most blatant on-going copy cat is ‘citi shuttle’ aping ‘citi hoppa’ with same green, same routes #thuo should do something
– (i) #shagslife a police dog from anti-stock theft unit just tracked down some stolen bales of hay to a nearby compound (ii) Hay and fencing was ‘stolen’ from farm of local MP last night. @coldtusker, this police lassie did an impressive job over many KM
– More bank for twitter @Standardbankgrp the official account for #stanbic (found at @kainvestor)
– R/t @saitonne are you stuck trying to call #Safaricom customer care 100 number? Try adding some zero’s and no’s e.g. 1000055
– R/t @kachwanya Yu to launch money transfer service on October 1. (Now where’s telkom, been almost 5 years in the making?)
– Watching morning news – #Safaricom seem to trend #CSR projects to home area of sitting communication minister
– Family bank march to listing at Nairobi stock ex @nsekenya on with plans for share split and rights issue pending approval
you know you’re Kenyan goes viral (i) #youknowyourekenyan when you understand (and agree with) Francis atwoli (ii) #youknowyourekenyan cause your “najivunia kuwa mkenya” cap is made in china

– NHC rescinds sale of houses to 102 #madaraka estate residents (for non-payment?) while NSSF threatens to repossess some tassia-embakasi plots
– @ kainvestor how do Kenyan corporations create such huge huge PDF? E.g. quarterlies from NSE site (i) Mabati Rolling Mills half year results (large PDF) http://tinyurl.com/ldyk22 (ii) @kainvestor #KenGenPIBO information memorandum dead D link on site at http://www.kengen.co.ke/PIBO/
– Nominate an African woman achiever for a Graca Machel award http://www.civicus.org/media/Graca_Machel_Initiative_Call.pdf D/L 30/9
– R/T @gishungwa @shiroh: Central bank of Kenya is hiring http://tinyurl.com/lu6bbo
– @inexes @shiroh while standard chartered will take divas to South Africa for shopping for $1,000, family bank has week-long trip in October for business customers for $2,000
– Eh @intelligensia, plans underway to (dredge &) raise the water level of masinga dam by 1.5 metres
– New Zain Kenya unlimited pre-paid internet bundles costing $3 per day, or $30 per month
– NTV’s Rita Tinina on GoK begging UNEP for Mau Cash http://bit.ly/2m8BUu (look for a toy truck near end of vid)

Mostly Equity – Suspensions & Housing Evictions

Equity suspended: Equity Bank was briefly suspended as a Central Depository Agent by the Central Depository & Settlement Corporation (CDSC). They have smartly escaped unscathed without answering any charges owing to:
– Playing one regulator against another the. The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) immediately reversed the ban, and reinstated Equity while terming the CDSC action as being against procedure
– By invoking the ‘small investor’ Equity said that they were in trouble because they had reached out to the small investor, lending them funds to buy Safaricom shares without collateral, and some people did not like that

Lost in the story is:
– Equity split shares were supposed to start trading on April 14, but have been trading as split prices and have appreciated about 40% since the announcement
– The spat makes the CMA and CDSC look bad; by having a turf war (PDF) and fighting in public both claiming to fight for the integrity or interest of investors
– Why won’t Equity pay the minuscule amount or respond to the regulator (CDSC)?
– Comments made by the CEO at the bank AGM, bragging having the most investor accounts in the country coming back to haunt at a time when brokers are (i) broke (ii) resentful/envious
– More tales at the stockskenya forum

Equity moves in at Housing Finance: At Housing Finance, Equity is asserting its authority at the bank and Equity directors will now form 1/3 of the Housing Board of Directors, with Peter Munga (Equity chairman) Benson Wairegi (Equity vice chairman) and Babatunde Soyoye (Helios) all appointed in 2008 and who will all be ratified by Housing Finance shareholders this month.

During the 2008 rights issue at Housing Finance, Equity also increased their ownership stake from 20% to 24.9% while sister institution British American Investments (Britak) also increased from 4.9% to 7.5%. The rights issue also saw the National Social Security Fund reduce stake from 7.8% to 6.8% as the Government of Kenya which did not take up any new shares saw its stake reduce from 7.3% to 3.6%

Opportunities

Free Download Githongo Book – The most talked about book in Kenya – It’s Our Turn to Eat – the Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower (John Githongo) by Michela Wrong will be available for download from April 10. yes you probably have a bootleg copy, but this is the real one from the publisher

– Invest in a Government of Kenya Bond to raise 10, billion shillings ($125 million), and earn a potential 10% bond return (PDF); minimum application amount is 50,000 ($625), and the offer closes 22 April. (better than Madoff?)

Maker Faire Africa (MFA), a celebration of African ingenuity, innovation and invention, will take place August 13-15 at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT in Ghana’s capital, Accra there are opportunities to sponsor the summit

Jitihada is the Kenya National Business Plan Competition – (details) (PDF) that will be launched in mid-April.

Create a Logo for an international mobile banking conference and win $200. Details here, found at @whiteafrican

Jobs
Old mutual: Broker distribution manager, Mass market manager. Apply to recruitment@oldmutualkenya.com by 17/4
National social security fund managing trustee. apply through manpower associates by 26/4
Capital Markets Authority: Assistant Manager (Legal Framework), Accountant, Assistant Manager (Investigations), Manager (ICT). D/L is 15 April

Kenya Infrastructure Bond

The government of Kenya infrastructure bond closes on Wednesday and looks to be a successful fully subscribed offer that will raise Kshs. 18.5 billion (~$231 million).

It will have proved irresistible to funds and institutional investors who have been looking for investment outlets as the Nairobi Stock Exchange slump persists, and the sure 12.5% annual return from the Government of Kenya over the next 12 years is a sure bet. The 12.5% interest payments will be paid semi annually with principal repaid in 2015, 2017 and 2021. Bonds from Mabati and Barclays were fully subscribed in 2008

Through the minimum investment is just Kshs. 100,000 (~$1,250) it looks like there’s little interest from retail investors, with many smarting from the free-falling NSE and more concerned with protecting their existing investments (read these great tips) from rogue stockbrokers to sign up for bond which, the fire-fighting Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has not gotten round to providing much investor education. The short window (about 3 weeks from Jan 28 to Feb. 18) may also not have favored retail investors.

The success of the bond which is earmarked for road, geothermal and water projects comes despite some reservations (little infrastructure spending identified, limited oversight, may affect Kenya’s credit rating). The bond was first set out in the 2008 budget by the Minister of Finance.

Read more bond perspectives from the Kenya Capital Investment Group blog

Opportunities

Start your own collection agency from Collection Africa

– Join embattled Suntra investment bank as a manager – investment banking & fund management or manager – stockbroking.

Equity leads the Kenyan Economy

The first Bank (as usual) out with the 2008 profits is Equity Bank with the usual staggering financial results (PDF) for 2008 with 101% growth in profits and 103% in loans.

But a closer look at the numbers show some more subdued stats that may indicate an economic slowdown, and which may be confirmed when other banks (especially Barclays and KCB) release their year-end results in the next two months.

– Equity’s growth in assets is 45% from a year ago, but 6% in Q3 and 3% in Q4
– Equity’s deposits are 55% up from a year ago, but this breaks down to 23% in Q2, 10% in Q3 and 6% in Q4
– Equity’s’ loans are up 87%, but the 41% increase in Q2, was followed by 17% in Q3 and 2% in Q4
– Expansion costs – income up 98% from a year ago, but expenses have kept track – up 97% from a year ago (in 2007, the spread was 73% and 52% in 06/07)
– Factor in Safaricom IPO lending (interest and fees) estimated at– and Q2 income was 3x higher than in any of the other two quarters
– Cross-checking against the 2007 election and disruption in economic activity, in 4Q of 2007, Equity had growth of 18% in deposits and 33% in loans with 54% in profits in same quarter, with in 1Q of 2008, had 8% deposit and 11% in loans, rates which outpace 4Q of 2008

Shareholders will be happy with the Kshs. 3/= dividend, but the 1 for 10 share split, will add a huge float of shares to an overflowing NSE pool.

Bank opportunities
most from the daily papers this week
African Development Bank is currently accepting applications for its Young Professionals Program . Apply online by 20/2
Barclays seeking debt recovery agents – auctioneers, re-possessors, valuers and investigators. D/L is 28/2
Commercial Bank of Africa: senior manager finance. Apply through KPMG by 25/2
Family Bank Bancassurance Manager. D/L for online applicatiosn is 6/3
IFC Investment officer (private equity & investment funds division) Africa, based in Nairobi. D/L is 27/2