Category Archives: NSE investor awareness

Barclays launches the Africa Financial Markets Index 

Barclays launched their first edition of the African Financial Markets Index (AFMI) that ranks and compares the depth of financial markets in seventeen African countries. The countries were score against six broad pillars of (1) Financial markets depth, (2) Access to foreign exchange,  (3) Market transparency & the regulatory environment, (4) Macroeconomic opportunity, (5) Enforceability of agreements and (6) Capacity of local investors.

South Africa came out on top of the AFMI with 92 out of 100. It was classified as a highly developed market but (with a) challenging macroeconomic outlook; It was followed distantly by Mauritius (66), Botswana (65) and Namibia (62).

Kenya was ranked fifth (59), just ahead of Nigeria (53) Ghana (49) and Rwanda (48), and Kenya was found to be the most sophisticated in East Africa due to innovations and reforms by the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).  Kenya’s scores were quite consistent across the six pillars with recent developments including the de-mutualization and the IPO of the NSE, the launch of a first exchange-traded fund by Barclays Kenya, and the launch of the M-Akiba bond.

Kenya is the seventh largest stock exchange by market capitalization and sixth by bond listings. But George Asante, Managing Director and Head of Markets at Barclays Africa said that Kenya lacked deep-pocketed market-makers who could broker deals, and take price risks and also that Kenya needed to develop a primary dealership network. He added that the participation of local investors in long long-term investing was quite limited and local investors are critical as they buffer volatility caused by foreign investors. Assets were concentrated among buy-and-hold investors, rather than pension funds and insurers. Kenya’s domestic institutional investors have $12.6 billion of assets but this only works out to  $173 per capita and he suggested that Kenyan markets and regulators needed come up with more securities listings, instruments, and innovations.

Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said that “The AFMI will be produced annually to drive conversations, track progress and address gaps in financial markets.” Already countries like Rwanda and Morocco want to use the index data to improve their financial markets.  At the tail end of the AFMI was Egypt, Mozambique, Seychelles and Ethiopia. Ethiopia was scored as “a fast-growing economy but with no financial markets depth or local investor capacity.”  

Guests at the launch included Jeffrey Odundo, CEO of the NSE, and Paul Muthaura, CEO of Kenya’s CMA. Muthaura said the CMA had a master plan to make Kenya a choice destination for capital flows by 2023, while Odundo said the NSE has broadened its  revenue and product base (by introducing REIT’s, ETF’s, M-Akiba and next derivatives, and a new law to govern securities lending), and was working to make Kenya more visible. They are active members of the Africa Securities Exchange Association and will host a “Building African Financial Markets” seminar in Nairobi in April 2018. They also plan to join the World Federation of Exchanges.

The AFMI report can be downloaded here from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum website; OMFIF produced the report with Barclays Africa

ARM sells Mavuno Fertilizer and non-cement business for $16M

As part of the continued restructuring since CDC invested in the company in 2016,  ARM Cement is selling its non-cement subsidiaries for $16 million to reduce the debt of the company and strengthen its position in its core cement business.

A shareholder’s extraordinary general meeting on January 22 is expected to green light the disposal of its industrial minerals business, fertilizer business (to Mavuno Fertilizer), its silicates business to ARM Energy and its mining business to ARM Minerals.

After the transactions, the companies will cease to be subsidiaries of ARM and be owned as:  

  • ARM Minerals and Chemicals (will be 100% owned by 100% by Mavuno fertilizers), which will be 51% owned by Omya (Schweiz) AG and 49% by Pinner Heights Kenya.
  • ARM Energy: will be 100% owned by Pinner Heights Kenya.

Pinner Heights is owned by a trust set up for the benefit of ARM’s long-time Managing Director and key man, Pradeep Paunrana who owns 11% of ARM Cement, and his immediate family. A leasing company Vaell has sought an injunction stop the transactions and repossess vehicles leased to ARM Cement, but ARM has objected in court as the assets are not part of the non-cement business being sold.  

Elsewhere, a UK firm Exotix has issued a warning on Kenya cement company valuations with the view that the listed cement companies are overvalued due to high prices of clinker, foreign exchange losses and exposure of Kenyan companies to cheaper imports unlike their peer companies in neighbouring countries. Exotix recommends price downgrades of Bamburi Cement (by 2% from the current share price of Kshs 180), ARM Cement (by 22% from Kshs 13) and East African Portland Cement Company (by 32% from Kshs 27).

$1 = Kshs 103.

Kenya’s Money in the Past: Nairobi Stock Exchange in 1997

What companies were listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, twenty years ago, in 1997? A chart of listed shares appeared in Financial Review which was a popular magazine that featured business, and later political stories.

Still Listed
BAT Kenya
Bamburi Portland Cement
Barclays Bank of Kenya
Car & General
Carbacid Investments
Credit Finance  (later CFC, now Stanbic?)
Diamond Trust
Dunlop Kenya (now Olympia)
Eaagads
East African Breweries
East African Cables
East African Portland Cement
E. A. Oxygen (now BOC)
Express Kenya

ICDC Investment (rebranded as Centum)
Jubilee Insurance
Kakuzi
Kapchorua Tea
George Williamson (Williamson Tea)
Kenya Oil (Kenol)
Kenya Power & Lighting
Limuru Tea
Nation Printers & Publishers (now Nation Media Group)
National Industrial Credit (now NIC Bank)
Pan Africa Insurance (now Sanlam Kenya)
Sasini Tea
Unga Group


De-Listed 
CMC Holdings
A. Baumann & Co
Brooke Bond (became Unilever Tea)
Hutchings Biemer
Elliotts Bakeries
Kenya Orchards
Marshalls
Ol Pejeta Ranching
Timsales
Uplands Bacon Company

Gone
African Tours & Hotels (now Kenya Safari Lodges)
Chancery Investments
Consolidated Holdings
City Brewery Investments
E. A Bag & Cordage
E. A . Packaging
E. A. Road Services
Kenya National Mills (absorbed into Unga)
KCC (there’s now New KCC)
Motor Mart & Exchange
Pearl Dry Cleaners
Philip Harrison & Crossfield
Sofar Investments
Theta Group

This Standard article explains what happened to some of the companies. e.g. City Brewery manufactured City Lager beer, and Theta was a tea factory while many others were bought out or went out of business,

Also, see Who Controls Industry in Kenya in 1968. 

National Oil IPO?

It has been reported that the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) may do an IPO in 2019 with a goal of raising money to buy shares in oil blocks held by Tullow in Turkana, Northern Kenya

The most recently published annual accounts of National Oil were done by the Office of the Government’s Auditor General for the year to June 2014. Surely there are more accounts in the last three years as NOCK has gone through many changes at the board and executive level as well as in auditing requirements.

For the year to June 2014, National Oil had revenue of Kshs 23.6 billion and ended with a deficit of Kshs 657 million, down from a surplus the year before of Kshs 221 million. The audit, done by KPMG for the Auditor General, attributed the loss to the company having dead stocks worth Kshs 929 million at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries which they could not access – and this was probably at the time that the refinery management was the subject of an investment dispute between India’s Essar and the Kenya government.

National Oil had assets of Kshs 9.6 billion which included exploitation in Block 14T located in Magadi Kenya. Exploration work is being funded at Block 14T by a Japan oil & gas corporation (JOGMEC) .

National Oil is wholly owned by the Government of Kenya (99% Treasury, 1% Ministry of Energy) and received capital injection of Kshs 500 million in 2009 that had not been factored in. NOCK trades in refined petroleum, does some petroleum exploration and is mandated at the vehicle for the government of Kenya to participate in the energy sector.  It had a $12 million trade finance facility with KCB to purchase stocks and NOCK had also been contracted by the Government to construct a floating oil jetty at Mombasa.

The NOCK listing would be on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and London stock exchange. Perhaps much juicier than National Oil, would be an IPO of Kenya Pipeline which had assets of Kshs 73 billion and a profit go Kshs 10 billion in 2015.

Government Guarantee to Kenya Airways and Shareholding Increase

Today the Kenya government signed guarantee deals to secure Kenya Airways (KQ) continued financial support from EXIM Bank US, and a consortium of Kenya banks and also converted its debt to more equity, significantly altering the ownership structure of the airline.

The Government had advanced loans of Kshs 4.2 billion and $197million to KQ, and the debt conversion will see a 19.1% increase in their shareholding. Aside from, that Kenyan banks, which were owed $217 million, received a 38.1% shareholding in KQ in exchange for $167 million of that debt.

The $267 million government debt and bank conversions are part of a series of complex restructuring deals. The resultant shareholding of KQ will be Kenya Government 48.9%, Kenyan banks 38.1%, KLM 7.8%, and other shareholders will have 5.2%, after a  massive dilution that shareholders approved at an EGM in August 2017. Not all bank and all government debts were converted as that would have seen the government stake go above 51% and they wanted KQ to remain a private company, not a state/parastatal one. The restructured board will comprise 3 directors from the Government, 2 from the banks, and KLM will have 1 representative.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said that the guarantee and restructuring by the government was not a bailout and the Government expected repayments of dividends from KQ within the next decade. The Government had been faced with two options with regard to KQ one of which (folding the airline) it could not pursue, and it chose the other, to support the airline, for which, the Cabinet confirmed through an independent business case study by the Seabury Group, that the airline could, through shareholder support, be turned around and have a viable future. He said the capital optimization would enable the airline to trade on its own balance sheet.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that aviation sector, led by Kenya Airways,  contributes 10% to Kenya’s GDP and was a central engine that supports other economic activities like investments, horticulture, and tourism. Also by having a strong KQ, this would strengthen the case to make Nairobi’s JKIA airport a regional hub and his Ministry was in the process of finalizing plans to add a second runway and expanding existing terminals to enable the airport to serve 12 million travelers a year.

The bank shareholding will be through KQ Lenders Co, a special purpose vehicle that will be managed by Minerva Fiduciary Services of Mauritius and the agreement was signed by Madabhushi Soundararajan a career-banker, as director.